Captain Lawrence Espresso Stout
One of the few reviews that I’ve done where I have actually already had the beer while I’m writing the review. The Captain Lawrence Espresso Stout, like most of their beer, is a draft only seasonal beer. I’m writing this review as one of the few lucky people who actually have a sixtel of Captain Lawrence beer in their kegorator. How you ask? A couple of days ago, I hosted a Captain Lawrence Beer Dinner with Restaurant Passionne and Scott Vaccaro brought down a the last sixtel he had in the Brewery and after the event was done, he asked me if I wanted what was left. So what beer geek could possible say no? After promising to return the log and the tap, it now sits in my kegorator pouring glass after glass of espresso deliciousness.
To the best of recollection here is how Scott described the beer:
The espresso is sourced from a local Westchester County NY coffee roaster, Black Cow Coffee Co. The freshly roasted beans are steeped in the wirlpool (a staging area in the brew process after the boil and before the beer is cooled for fermentation) before the beer is moved to the fermentor.
Bottle: none, Draft only.
Release: Winter Seasonal (Nov-Feb)
Style: American Stout
This stout pours very dark with some intense ruby highlights around the base of the glass with a creamy tan head. It left some good lacing on the glass, although the head did recede fairly quickly, I would have liked it to stay a bit longer. Don’t know if the coffee oils had an effect on the retention.
A good mix of coffee and roasted grain are the dominate aromas, that is mixed with a bit of dark chocolate and smoke, with a hit of licorice.
First impression of the beer is that it is smooth, definitely coffee, medium mouthfeel and finish dry. Initially the first flavor you get is chocolate, a bit of semi-sweet chocolate that quickly gets vanquished by a long, growing coffee presence. I like the way the coffee doesn’t overpower, but transitions as the flavor grows until it finished dry with a good bitterness. After your sip, the coffee lurks on the back and sides of your tongue as a continual reminder of what your enjoying. As you continue to drink this beer, every once and awhile you get hints of licorice, smoke, and even raisin.
Glassware: Narrow goblet
This is one of those beers I don’t get tired of drinking. Has great coffee flavor without being over bearing and goes down very easy. I highly recommend trying it if you’re in the northeast during the winter.