Wednesday, December 16, 2009

169. Tröegs JavaHead Stout

This is our second beer from Tröegs Brewing Company; our last one was their Nugget Nectar (number 22, which was forever ago), which has pretty much already come and gone for this year already. One tap or in the bottle—good drinking. But let’s focus on the here and now, because it is pretty damn good, too.

Described as a stout with coffee beans on the label, JavaHead pours a deep rich brown with some red highlights and a robust brown head that does leave some lacing behind. The nose runs the gamut from floral hops to roasty coffee to dry biscuit malt, with a dash of sugar sweetness and creamy cocoa aromas thrown in for good measure. Javahead begins with dry malt sweetness as well as creamy cocoa and light burnt malt flavors in the front; it then shifts to roasted malt flavors mixed with bitterness and light spicy and fruity hop flavor, before moving into chocolate and coffee flavors and ending dry with lingering bitterness, although some of the burnt notes and cocoa comes back as well. Medium to heavy bodied with a creamy, thick mouthfeel; there is also a decent carbonation bite to balance out a well rounded profile. JavaHead is complex and pleasant, and pretty smooth for the wide range of flavors it has; there is minimla harshness, and a nuanced and interesting set of flavors that took us a whole to pull apart & sort out the flavors across the palate. Definitely worth buying a couple extra bottles of this one—it will be interesting to see if it ages well. It will lose some of the hoppiness, but not much else, and the other flavors might marry together better. Well built and designed; for a 7.5% ABV beer, pretty light and dry, and definitely good drinking.

From the bottle: “JavaHead Stout passes through a blend of coffee beans and whole flower hops—akin to a French press—releasing cocoa, citrus, and java flavors.”

From the Tröegs website: “JavaHead Stout contains a blend of locally roasted espresso and Kenyan coffee beans by St. Thomas Roasters in Linglestown, PA. JavaHead’s recipe is based off of our original oatmeal stout. After the boil, the hot wort passes through our hopback vessel on it's way to fermentation. Packed full of whole leaf hops and a bed of ground coffee beans, the hopback vessel is similar to using a huge French press, intensifying the coffee nose and releasing subtle hints of coffee flavor. The result is a lush oatmeal mouthfeel balanced with cocoa, roast and subtle coffee flavors.”

ABV: 7.5%
IBU: 60
Malts: Pilsner, Crystal, Chocolate, & Roast
JuJu: Oats & Blend of Coffee Beans
Hops: Cluster, Chinook, & Cascade


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