Looking for something seasonal to warm your chilly bones during this dry, bitter season? One of St. Louis' most prominent breweries, Schlafly, delivers a roasty, balanced offering with their seasonal Coffee Stout, available from November to March each year. Crafted with French roast coffee from famed local roasters Kaldi's, this is an easy-to-find, fairly priced brew which craft fans can count on year in and year out.
This Coffee Stout was poured from a chilled 12 ounce bottle into a medium tulip glass, cascading down in an opaque mahogany color with deep, dark hues. A fluffy tuft of tanned head builds up, slowly collapsing into wispy film and rings of patchy lacing streaked around the vessel.
While breathing in, (attention coffee fans) smoothly roasted coffee beans invigorate the senses with hints of creamy sweetness. Touches of chocolate, cocoa, espresso and a hint of vanilla with caramel and dark roasted malts complete the bouquet without a notion of alcohol (5.7% abv).
Upon tipping the glass, a refreshing blast of invigorating coffee beans and roasted tones kick off the profile. The coffee bitterness is pleasantly mild (probably thanks to Schlafly's cold toddy extraction process), followed by hints of sweetness with cocoa and a dash of vanilla. Roasted dark malts and caramel support the medium backbone, before a smooth finish with lingering coffee dryness.
A medium body with solid carbonation delivers the creamy and smooth feel on the tongue. This is clearly a well crafted, drinkable coffee stout without the acrid bitterness that ruins some of similar ilk (thankfully). Schlafly should get more attention throughout the craft beer community these days, as their seasonal and specialty lineups are continuously impressive (also see their American and Tasmanian IPAs, as well as the Bourbon-Barrel Imperial Stout for further reference).
Look for Coffee Stout in 12 ounce bottle six-packs throughout New Jersey wherever quality beer is sold.