Beer Review: Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout
Before I jump into the review, this marks the beginning of a series of Beer Review posts that we will be doing. A couple of things to note before we go on…
- We want to focus mostly on beers brewed in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. I’m sure we will break this rule early and often, but our first mission is to promote Bay Area craft beers and there are a ton of good ones to go through.
- We will try whenever possible to follow the BeerAdvocate.com guidelines outlined at the following link.
- Beer Advocate review guidelines (http://beeradvocate.com/articles/637)
- We invite your feedback and/or dissenting opinions, but we encourage you to read the Beer Advocate guidelines as it will help provide a framework for healthy debate.
- For step-by-step tasting guidelines visit here: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/101/taste
So, without further adieu, I’d like to start this series with a beer from Lagunitas who has believed in and supported North Bay Brewery Tours from the very beginning.
by Lagunitas Brewing Company
Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a branded Lagunitas mason jar pint glass. Purchased from local bottle shop BeerCraft in Rohnert park.
Appearance: Very dark in appearance, as one would expect from a stout. When held up to the light, the light only penetrates the edges of the glass leaving a rich brown color with the center of the glass completely black. Moderate to thick head and lacing.
Smell: The nose has prominent aromas of roasted coffee, sweetness, and a hint of chocolate. I can already tell this is not a dry stout and is going to have a nice mouthfeel. Smells like a mocha from your favorite coffee joint. (Note for Locals: The label says this is brewed with Sebastopol’s Hard Core Coffee)
Taste: Very smooth, very malty, goes down easy. The malt characteristic doesn’t overwhelm as one might expect from a beer this dark. The 9.2% ABV (Alcohol By Volume) is surprising based on the taste as there is nearly zero alcohol burn. Again, it drinks like a mocha. Chocolate and coffee flavors, pleasantly sweet without being cloying.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Not as big of a mouthfeel as I expected for a stout coming from Lagunitas, but very pleasant.
Overall: Really solid for the style. I have a slight bias against sweeter beers as I don’t have a huge sweet tooth, but I really like this one because it’s not too sweet. I have had several coffee-infused beers and been disappointed before. It’s easy to over/under-do the coffee flavor which they did not.
With this beer I felt like the coffee and the malt characteristics were in balance with each other. Roasty, chocolatey, easy-to-drink, slightly sweet, and 9.7% ABV to boot. Perfect for nighttime or when there’s still a little chilliness in the air. Overall I really like this beer, I’ve had it before, and I wanted to review a Lagunitas beer first since they are big supporters of the local community. If you like stouts and haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend it. You could age this beer but it is unnecessary as it is already pretty mellow.
Dare I recommend this as a breakfast beer? Yes. Fans of Irish Coffee certainly would. I kinda wish I had an extra on hand for my next lazy Sunday morning.
Lagunitas Rambling: If you’re not familiar with Lagunitas, Tony Magee includes a hilarious / rambling message for you somewhere on the label of all his bottles. We’re told they change periodically, but here’s what’s written on the side of this particular bottle.
“Up until the summer of 2010, we’d always had a little ditty on the side here that was a peon to a good old hot Cup O’ Joe. It was built on the bones of the 23rd Psalm and went sumpin’ like “Coffee is my shepherd, I shall not…” but that was where the trouble started. Turns out talking about Coffee’s happy side on a ale label is verboten now in Amerika. So, the things that I am allowed to say about it are that the coffee is delicious; that the ale is delicious; and that together they are not worse than the sum of their individual deliciousness’, most all of which are delicious. The label is glued on real well too, we make darn sure there are no holes in the glass, and that the cap stays put. We are proud of this and wish to brag about it all on this label, which is allowed by law. Thanks! Call us! 707-769-4495 Cheers!“
P.S. Our puppy Leena was begging for some stout too. Sorry Leena, this one’s for me!
Update: Here is Jeremy Marshall, the Head Brewer from Lagunitas, and his introduction of their Cappuccino Stout.