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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Terrapin Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout 8.1%

Terrapin Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout:

Let's begin at the beginning.  Pouring this imperial stout is an interesting adventure: The pitch black brew with high viscosity seems to have no head, so let's ruffle up the feathers a bit and pour a little more briskly... Alright, the head appears and look like a root beer float, rising whole to the top of the glass, and sporting a dark brown color.  The aroma is certainly heavy on the coffee, with a slightly herbal scent.  The flavors are powerful and bittersweet, with coffee prevailing but a little chocolate and perhaps anise peek through as sell. The body is rich and full, with a velvety mouthfeel, probably due to the flaked barley and oats.  The lipids in the oatmeal help suspend flavor in the beer, as well as bulk up the body, and I believe that is why the finish is so rich.  This imperial stout tastes a little boozier than its abv% reflects.  At 8.1%, I feel like something a bit mellower would serve this brew a little better.

Let's discuss: I've liked Terrapin's brews thus far, but haven't been a huge fan of Flying Dog.  That being said, I'm perplexed to find out that FD has brewed this Terrapin Beer Company/Jittery Joe's Coffee collaboration.  I think that the recipe is pretty good and the craftsmanship matches.  I guess I'm holding this kind of beer up to an unfair standard, with Founders Breakfast Stout simply blowing me away.
Now, check the Terrapin website and you'll find the Wake 'N' Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout, weighing in at 8.6% abv, but my C.O.I.S. says 8.1%.


Also, my date stamp says "best if enjoyed before: vintage 09AA"  I'm not really sure what that means, but perhaps I should call Smart Suzy Sunset to get on the case.  Do I have a prototype brew on my hands?  An historical artifact?  Well, perhaps I did earlier this afternoon,but it is now most certainly history.

Terrapin Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout:

Representation:                 .85
Accessibility:                    .825
Style:                                .92
Personal Preference:         .90

Total Score:       3.495 Flags
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