Saturday, December 25, 2010

444. Mikkeller Rauch Geek Breakfast

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without booze and family, would it? Our coffeecake brunch needed something to round it out, and that something was Mikkeller’s Rauch Geek Breakfast, renamed for the U.S. market because we’re easily confused. Now that’s the breakfast of champions! Since Mikkel Borg Bjergsø is a gypsy-brewer, this beer was brewed and bottled at Nøgne Ø in Grimstad, Norway. You know what that means, don’t you? Grimstad water is in the house! This is our second beer from Mikkeller; the last one was Simcoe Single Hop IPA.

Described on the label as a “smoked oatmeal stout brewed with coffee,” Rauch Geek Breakfast pours a rich dark chocolate with plenty of red in it, and a fair amount of garnet highlights as well. There is minimal head retention for the brief cafe au lait colored foam produced during the initial pour, and subsequent pours dissipated pretty quickly as well. The nose is mostly smoked malt and that slightly sour aroma that comes with smoked beers—there is a bit of darker malt sweetness, but it is pretty well buried under the smoked malt. Opening with chocolate and smoke flavors, Rauch Geek Breakfast moves into a roasty and smoky middle that is also dry and lightly mineral-ly. There is a touch of coffee, but it comes across more as roasted flavors—the smoked malt seems to be covering over the coffee almost completely. The finish features a return of chocolate along with a light peat-y smoke character with a touch of sweetness to close things out, followed by a lingering smoky sourness. Rauch Geek Breakfast has a silky smooth mouthfeel via the oatmeal; there is also a fair share of dryness, which is either created or accentuated by the smoked malt, and a slight accumulation of warmth in the back of the throat. The carbonation helps dry out the beer as well, but is only minimally present across the profile. An interesting and enjoyable beer, but one that comes across more as a dark smoked beer than it does as an oatmeal stout—the smoked malt character is excellent, but it does cover over other more nuanced flavors in the beer, like the coffee.

From Beer News: “It is the same recipe as Beer Geek [Breakfast Stout] but with all the base malt replaced with smoked malt.”

ABV: 7.5%


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