Dogfish Head Beer For Breakfast Stout (7.4% ABV)
Pour: 12 oz. bottle into a snifter
Look: Pours dark brown with a healthy inch-thick dark tan head that doesn’t completely dissipate, either from around the rim or the top of the glass. A bit of lacing.
Smell: Surprisingly subtle – not as much coffee as I would have expected. Instead, there’s a spice note that dominates – maybe sage?
Taste: Cold press coffee up front, something like black pepper in the middle, smoky finish. Not getting any of the maple or brown sugar notes at all, at least not at first – after a few sips, they start to appear in the middle. More black pepper in the aftertaste, along with a slightly bitter chocolate note.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. A bit thin for a stout, but not unpleasantly so.
Delaware-based Dogfish Head Brewing Company is probably best known for their 90-Minute IPA, which for me is the IPA by which all others will be forever judged. I’ve not ventured outside their range of IPAs before, but the label of this one caught my eye while browsing the craft beer aisle at my local, so I decided to give it a shot. With a list of ingredients that include Antigua cold press coffee, Applewood smoked barley, molasses, caramel malt, maple syrup, brown sugar, and roasted chicory, I was expecting something complex, layered, and slightly sweet. Turns out I was right on two out of the three. I’m not tasting much sweet in this beer; instead, there’s a strong black pepper note where I would have expected the maple or molasses to have come through. To be honest, I’m not at all disappointed by that – I actually prefer the peppery bite to a sweet note, meaning I actually enjoy it a bit more than I thought I would. It’s not something I would want to drink all that often, but it’s perfect for sipping on a quiet evening with a good book.