Every time I try a new brew from Lagunitas, I realize they’re a brewery with a lot of depth of range. I used to think of them as the “hops guys”, due to the popularity of their ubiquitous IPA and Hop Stoopid, but I’m finding more things to try from that are out of that range, and a little more experimental. Recently I reviewed the Hairy Eyeball Ale, which is a dark, rich, strong ale. Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout is one that I had recently that showed me they can branch out a bit. I love stouts, porters, and barleywines so this was a perfect pickup for me. Plus, it retails for $4.99 in my neighborhood, which at New York City prices is a steal. It was worth sampling on that alone. How did it stack up to some of my favorite coffee infused dark beers though?
Everything On Tap Review: Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout
Bottle: I had this in a bomber bottle. As is on all their labels, the dog is featured prominently on the white label. It reads “limited release” on the label and states that it’s brewed with Sepastopol’s Hard Core Coffee.
Pour: This was poured into a tulip glass right from the bottle. It had a massive, creamy looking light tan head – almost 3 fingers worth, which didn’t really dissipate a whole lot. The color of the beer in the glass was nearly black, with hints of brown. This is exactly the color I look for in this style of beer. Deep, dark colors. I poured this one slightly cooled, but not too far above 55º
Aroma: Right out of the bottle you can smell the massive amount of bitter espresso in this. Even before it warmed up. I also detected oak, vanilla, chocolate, and a little bit of bitter hops.
Flavor: As you may have guessed this beer is heavy on the coffee flavor, which follows the nose. There is a bitter coffee flavor with a lot of dark chocolate right up front. As it warms up you start to notice the alcohol in it a little, and it provides a warming effect. I would even go as far as to say it gave it a faint spiciness. There’s some earthy hops in there as well, but not very noticeable. The high ABV is pretty well concealed at cooler temps making it drinkable and deceiving. Be careful with this one!
Mouthfeel: This felt sticky and chewy, and had somewhere between a medium and heavy body. There’s a moderate amount of carbonation and it seems to stick around on your tongue for a bit. The finish was a little more bitter than I would have liked. Had this been slightly creamier I would have loved it.
Structure: While the nose and the flavors were there it lacked in mouthfeel what I really wanted from it. I wanted this to be robust smelling and tasting, and then finish with a sweet creamy aftertaste, but it was thinner than I would have liked. Its thinness made it very drinkable, but I would go with other coffee stouts as sippers. For the price, however, this one will make a nice go to when all else fails.
Food Pairing: The coffee flavors in this beer make it a great stout to pair with a dessert. Try a chocolate cake or brownies that have dark fruit mixed in. I could imagine also having this with a vanilla bean or rum raisin ice cream.
Overall Rating Out of 5 Beer Mugs: