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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Troegs Java Head Stout

Troegs Java Head Stout:

I have shared with El Presidente as well as some beer-smart co-workers that Troegs might be my favorite Eastern Pennsylvania regional brewery.  Sure, I am a fan of Victory and Weyerbacher, but I think with Nugget Nectar, Hop Back, and Dreamweaver, and Sunshine Pils on their roster, they make for one hell of a team.  So, being a fan of the roasty, toasty, dark beers, I welcomed the chance to review a Troegs Brothers creation I have never sampled before.

With my first sniff and opening sips, I am not tasting or smelling much in the line of coffee.  I am drinking out of a bottle, so my second experiment will have to be in a glass to see if there is a difference.  When I first started drinking this "stout brewed with coffee beans", which coincidentally, weighs in at 7.5% abv, I couldn't help but think it had a full-bodied, straight-up "beer" taste to it, and I immediately thought of Victory Yakima Twilight, but I may need to drink another one of those, because I might be thinking of a different beer altogether.  As I am half way through the beer, I am now starting to get the slightly bitter aftertaste, which is not altogether unpleasant.  I am finally tasting the coffee here, which is a relief.  On the bottle neck, Troegs writes, "Java Head Stout passes through a blend of coffee beans and whole flower hops - akin to a French press - releasing cocoa, citrus and java flavors."  This is making for an interesting and tasty beer, just not a very coffee-flavored beer according to my tastebuds.

With bottle number two, I decided to pour this one into a pint glass, and there was quite a difference.  The bouquet really opened up in a glass, the roastedness, the coffee, all quite nice.  Here is the thing, though.  When you compare this stout with other dark coffee beers, it just doesn't measure up in the boldness and daring department.  I think as a stout, this is a nice beer, but you can't take the beer out of its context.  Troegs did not have to put "Java" in the title, they didn't have to put coffee beans and a death's head on the label (by the way, the label art is pretty kick-ass).  So, I guess what I am saying is that if this beer wasn't a "coffee" beer, I would be singing its praises, but as it stands, it is an okay "coffee" stout.

Troegs Java Head Stout:

Representation: .75
Accessibility: .85
Style: .70
Personal Preference: .8

Total: 3.1 Flags
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