Barrier Half & Half

Val and I got my parents tickets to a Broadway show awhile back for their anniversary. We ended up going into the city as well and we stayed at The High Line hotel. They have an Intelligensia coffee in the lobby, which was amazing. I haven’t tried Stumptown coffee, but would really like to.

ABV: 8.8%

Style: Milk/Sweet Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Imperial Coffee Milk Stout Brewed in Collaboration with our friends Other Half Brewing. Brewed with 40 pounds of Stumptown Coffee’s blend of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Whole Bean Coffee and Lactose.”

Random: I drink my coffee black. Val drinks hers with half and half and sugar.

The beer poured with a thick, one and a half finger, light brown head. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown that was almost black. There was no carbonation visible due to the color. The nose was filled with earthy coffee notes. There was a lot of lactose as well as some smoke for good measure. The taste started with dark coffee and milk. There was some dark chocolate coming through as well with roasted malts. At the end of the sip, there was some caramel sweetness as well. The booze was well-hidden. The body was on the thicker side with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy and sticky with coffee and milk. I picked this bottle up for $8, which broke down to $.36 per ounce. I thought this beer was outstanding. It had lots of coffee and lactose and the booze was integrated perfectly. I highly recommend this one.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

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Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Milk Stout

This was another beer that I had on the Big Island. While Val and I were there, we took a trip to Volcano National Park. There was a lot of smoke, but not a huge amount of lava. Obviously since we went, that situation has changed a lot. Anyways, let’s see how this beer was.

ABV: 5.3%

Style: Milk/Sweet Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “America’s Favorite Peanut Butter Milk Stout: this silky-smooth beer put us on the map. Troy came up with the idea of combining Peanut Butter with our Beaver’s Milk Stout and he nailed it. Don’t let the dark color fool you, this beer is delightfully easy to drink with cascading aromas of roasted peanuts, dark chocolate and coffee. We appreciate your continued support for helping make this style our #1 seller.”

Random: This is a year-round offering from the brewery.

The beer poured with a thick, one finger, tan head. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color with no visible carbonation due to the dark color. The nose was filled with roasted malts, peanut butter and espresso. There was a touch of lactose as well. The taste was even better. It was like a peanut butter cup version of a beer. There was lots of authentic peanut butter with dark chocolate shavings and espresso. The body was on the thick side with a lot of carbonation. It had a lengthy and sticky finish with peanut butter and chocolate. This beer was outstanding and I would definitely have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Hardywood Gingerbread Stout

I can’t wait until it’s Winter. I’m really not made for this heat. Maybe a stout will remind me of the snow.

ABV: 9.2%

Style: Milk/Sweet Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Imperial Milk Stout Brewed with Fresh Local Ginger and Honey. Made with baby ginger from Casselmonte Farm and wildflower honey from Bearer Farms, Hardywood Gingerbread Stout captures the terroir of Central Virginia in a rich, creamy libation with a velvety mouthfeel and an intriguing evolution of notes from milk chocolate and vanilla, to honeycomb and cinnamon, to a snap of ginger in the finish. We hope Hardywood Gingerbread Stout contributes to your merriment this season. Best With: Hardywood Gingerbread Stout is exquisite as a dessert pairing beer. An absolute wonder with crème brûlée or fresh chocolate pudding, rich desserts with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla or chocolate really bring out the flavor of Gingerbread Stout, and vice versa. By itself, Hardywood Gingerbread Stout also makes a fine digestif while enjoying a cold night by a crackling fire.”

Random: This was released in November of 2011.

The beer poured with a half a finger of light brown head. It dissipated quickly, but left some lacing on the glass. The body was black without any visible carbonation. The nose was incredibly sweet. It had the expected ginger and brown sugar, along with lactose and chocolate. The taste was syrupy sweet up front with a lot of lactose. The gingerbread came through next with some molasses and brown sugar. There was also a significant note of burnt malts and booze. The body was thick and chewy with light carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with gingerbread. Val found this bottle for me at Trader Joe’s, so I’m not sure how much she paid for it. Either way, I thought this beer was just a little too sweet for my liking. I’m glad I got to try it, but I won’t be going back to it anytime soon.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Cigar City Cafe Con Leche Stout

I love Cigar City beers and this one sounded right up my alley. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 6%

Style: Milk/Sweet Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Sweet, roasty and always invigorating, traditional Latin American cafe con leche coffee can be found nearly everywhere in our hometown of Tampa, Florida and serves as the inspiration for our Cafe Con Leche Sweet Stout. The beer is made with bold, strong coffee beans to emulate the most characterful Cuban espresso and lactose, a milk sugar that adds sweetness, body and flavors reminscent of scalded milk. Despite it’s assertive flavors and full body, our sweet stout is deceptively low in alcohol, making it the perfect accompaniment to a late-morning plate of eggs, bacon and tostatas.”

Random: I never thought about pairing a beer with bacon and eggs, but I think that needs to be rectified.

The beer poured with a three finger, light brown head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown that was almost black. I couldn’t see any carbonation due to the color. The nose was filled with roasted malts and chocolate. I picked up espresso and lactose next. The taste started with a significant lactose sweetness. It quickly transitioned into milk chocolate and espresso. Smoke came through at the end of the sip. The body was on the medium side with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with lactose. I picked this up for $12.99, which came to $.59 per ounce. I thought this beer was good, but definitely on the more expensive side.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Narragansett Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout

Val picked this beer out during one of our trips to New York. It hung out in the fridge for a long time before I got to taste it. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 5.3%

Style: Milk/Sweet Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The History Lesson: This beer is a unique collaboration between two iconic Rhode Island companies. A custom blend of Narragansett’s bittersweet milk Stout with dark, delicious Autocrat Coffee makes for a delightful beer that is more Rhode Island than Roger Williams himself. Since the 1890’s, Narragansett Beer and Autocrat Coffee have been home-grown Rhode Island favorites.”

Random: The brewery recommends pairing this with chocolate desserts and with meats.

The beer poured with a huge, five-finger, dark brown head. It was thick and took forever to go away. The body was dark brown, almost black. There was no carbonation visible due to the color. The nose was filled with burnt malt and old smoke. The coffee was there as well, but was also incredibly burnt. The taste was only slightly better than the nose. It had notes of nuttiness and toasted almonds. It quickly went into burnt malt and old wood smoke. It also had burnt coffee as well. There was a slight sweetness with chocolate. The body was thick with not enough carbonation. The finish was lengthy and filled with smoke and burnt coffee. A can of this was $3, which came to $.19 per ounce. I thought this beer was completely out of balance and I wouldn’t have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Saugatuck Neapolitan Milk Stout

Since we’re off today, we’ve been binge watching shows. Earlier today, it was “Real Housewives of Potomac.” They were watching cricket in the Bahamas and that is one sport that I just do not understand. It doesn’t even look fun to play.

ABV: 6%

Style: Milk/Sweet Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A perfect blend of classic dry stout character with brilliant flavors of Neapolitan Ice Cream. Experience the nostalgic flavors of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry all in one glass – because sometimes ice cream just isn’t enough.”

Random: This uses Cluster and Cascade hops.

The beer poured with a thick, half finger of off-white head that dissipated slowly. It left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown with no visible carbonation due to how dark the color was. The nose was really, really peculiar. It had the expected lactose and artificial strawberry note, but also had brine and olives which didn’t jive with the other scents. The taste did not have the same brine note, which was greatly appreciated. What it did have was a really artificial strawberry flavor with aspartame and lactose. It had some milk chocolate, but was missing smoke or roasted malt to counter how sweet the beer was. It had a surprisingly light body with moderate carbonation and a finish that was sickeningly sweet and lasted too long. I was hoping that this beer wouldn’t just be a sweet and artificial gimmick, but as you can tell, I just didn’t like this one.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Left Hand Bittersweet

So, we just came back from Savor (again, remember I post months in advance). I enjoyed it a lot, but I thought the food was only alright. I did like that they had a lot of goses and pilsners on tap, because I prefer lighter ABV beers at an event like that. I’m glad we got to go. Anyways, beer time.

ABV: 8.9%

Style: Milk/Sweet Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “SUPER SMOOTH COMBO OF COFFEE AND OUR CREAMY IMPERIAL SWEET STOUT. OUR BIG, AGGRESSIVE Bittersweet stout is made smooth and even creamier with the help of tiny nitrogen bubbles that are released when you poured hard. The coffee’s dark cherry flavors and spicy undertones weave into the rich, imperial milk stout like a chocolate-covered espresso bean melting on your tongue. Bitter then sweet. Sweet then bitter. It’s Bittersweet.”

Random: We got beer to take home too, which was great, except they didn’t give out bags.

The beer poured with a half a finger of tan head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. It also had a small crown that was left behind as well. The body was a dark brown, almost black color with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was filled with black coffee, roasted malts and a touch of lactose. The taste started with a significant amount of lactose sweetness and cream. It had a lot of sweetness as well. It had some coffee as well. The taste reminded me of a really sweet coffee. It had some ash and smoke, but the taste was just overwhelmed by the sweetness. The body was smooth, but on the lighter side, despite the ABV. The alcohol was hidden and there was light carbonation. It had an almost instant, sweet finish. A bottle of this was $3.25, which broke down to $.27 per ounce. The beer was just too sweet for me, although I think it benefitted from being on nitro.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0