Mikkeller Koppi Coffee IPA Citra & Simcoe

Total Score: 7.05/10 Lemon1Peach1GreenMelon1Tulipglass1

Didn’t get to this Mikkeller the other night, but I’m back to right wrongs and give this fine brew a good old Doctor Hops “Bruview”, this is Mikkeller’s: Koppi Coffee IPA Citra & Simcoe. Pretty excited about this one, TBH I wasn’t a fan of Coffee IPAs till I tried Stone Mocha IPA, TBH I hadn’t tried a Coffee IPA until I tried Stone Mocha IPA. That’s not really the point, the point is I didn’t think the combination of coffee and IPA flavours would work and I was more than happy for Stone to prove me wrong, THANKS STONE! Stone Mocha IPA weighed in at a meaty (and frankly borderline DIPA) 9% ABV, whereas this Mikkeller is, at 5.4%, much closer to APA territory. What I liked about Mocha IPA was the BIG flavour hit, hopefully Mikkeller can bring it to the table with Koppi Citra & Simcoe (awesome hop choice BTW).

Poured from a 500ml can into a Duvel tulip.

A: Cloudy AF, pleasing orange-tinted yellow body with a billowy titanium white head that rapidly drops back to a thin lace ring. As we all know – I do love cloudy beers, and this brew has a delightful body colour too, nice. 9/10.

S: Top-notch IPA aroma: Lemon [ahhh, Citra my old friend, your busy day is at an end – because I’m going to drink you down right now], floral, peachy, and honeydew melon hop notes round at a brill IPA fragrance. One thing I’m not getting is, you guessed it, coffee. Fear not dear reader – this doesn’t necessarily mean the coffee won’t be present in the flavour, beer aromas can be pretty complex at times, fingers-crossed. 9/10.

T: Nope – barely a hint of coffee in this brew. The overriding flavours are as listed above: Lemon/floral/peachy and honeydew melon hops, an earthy/peppery note, aha! Rye malt in the ingredient list. Still, bit of a disappointment the coffee character is so minuscule, a background whisper. Finishes with a slight citric/melon bitter/sour combo. Flavour-wise it’s also a bit muted, must be the low(ish) ABV. 6/10.

M: Mid to light, almost medium-bodied (thanks for the oat flakes brother!) with a medium/dense carbonation. S’alright. 7/10.

D: Overall the flavour of Koppi Coffee IPA Citra & Simcoe definitely suffers from the middling ABV and lack of coffee character – this is probably one of the blandest beers I’ve had from Mikkeller [I’m looking at you Cream Ale!]. That said there is still a flash of brilliance in the aroma though… TL;DR: Koppi needs more of that koppi goodness, and some malt sweetness, and more ABV. 7/10.

Food match: Something light/fresh and citrus-driven, like a kingfish ceviche.

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Founders Sumatra Mountain Brown

Total Score: 9.1/10 Coffee1BrownSugar1Earth1Tulipglass1

This is it: Founders Breakfast Stout’s (Colorado?) cousin, an instabuy as soon as I laid eyes on it and a beer that I know will be excellent before I’ve even cracked the crown seal: Founders Sumatra Mountain Brown! What do we know about Sumatra Mountain Brown? Well what’s in a name? It’s an American Brown Ale (which tend to be sweeter, stronger and fuller than the original English Brown Ale style), it’s got coffee from Sumatra (Indonesia) which IIRC FBS has Java coffee, and it’s 9% ABV which makes it 0.7% heavier than FBS and one can assume richer in mouthfeel and sweetness. All in all, to quote the title of a Velvet Underground song “We’re Gonna Have a Real Good Time Together” [Indeed!].

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Deep rich molasses almost-opaque brown body with a boisterous tan cappuccino foam head on top that sticks to about 2 centimetres and stays there for a rather long time before slowly dropping back to nice half cm. 8/10.

S: That Sumatra coffee, like in FBS, comes across with a cold drip aroma, mingled with brown sugar, a nice woody/earthy tone and a hint of cinnamon. This is indeed one brown temptress of a brew, smouldering like a classic noir femme fatale: “Ah, now you are dangerous.” – Sam Spade. 8/10.

T: Balance – Founders never seem to have a problem with balance, this is another example – it’s sweet, but right on the border of going too far a nice earthy tobacco leaf character steps in and provides a suitable bitter foil. Flavours are so on the money that it ain’t funny, with notes of: Sumatra cold drip coffee, brown sugar, molasses, the aforementioned earthy tobacco leaf and a woody tone in the aftertaste. The coffee could have easily gotten carried away in this brew but Founders know just how to balance it out with brown sugar, it’s like they’ve got some magic going on inside their brewery! 10/10.

M: Mouthfeel is a bit less “Founders-like” than the other Founders beers I’ve reviewed with a nice enough mid to heavy bodied and a fairly dense carbonation, but it’s not as Marvin Gaye smooth as FBS, more like a Reggie Watts, still pretty damn good though… 8/10.

D: Wow, it’s hard to decide which beer I love more, I mean FBS will always be etched into my heart (I love you man!) but Sumatra Mountain Brown has everything one could ever want in a Brown Ale, it depends on your mood then. 9/10.

Food match: Bit of a dessert Brown that would match well with salted caramel tart.

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To Øl Mochaccino Messiah

Total Score: 8.45/10 Coffee1HopFlower1Caramel1Nonicpint1

Flat-White Jesus! Where have you been all my life?! The latest mad creation from those creative chaps (and chapettes!) at Danish brewer To Øl: Mochaccino Messiah. Wait, Danish, that gives me an idea [note to self: Danish-flavoured beer. Not the people, the pastry smart-ass]. To Øl claim inspiration for wanting to substitute “the morning mochaccino coffee with a beer. You get the nicely roasted chocolate malts, some creamy lactose for the milk and a shot of nutty espresso coffee in your mug.” Woo-hoo! To Øl’s own Founders Breakfast Stout! Only it’s a Brown Ale brewed with barley, oats, lactose, hops, and coffee. Sounds like a tasty treat. IMO I think every brewer should do a Breakfast Stout – then I can stop writing about other beers and just have a blog about Breakfast Stouts – I would call it “Doc’s Joe Blog”*.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: NIIIICE! Rich clear seal brown body with a 1 centimetre beige head that leaves a nice encrusted lace on the sides of the glass. That is some protein action in that head right there! All aboard the good ship SS Tasty. 9/10.

S: Wow, coffee bean and cold drip Ethiopian Yirgachefe coffee combine with some rather spiffy and bold hop characters – I just looked at the hop bill: Amarillo and Columbus – those are no slouch hops and it shows here. This aroma actually reminds me of Stone Mocha IPA, only more coffee-centric, and we all know how well that went over with me [TL;DR pretty fucking good!]. Piney-gooey-green-resiny hops hit the nose with aplomb. Shit son! 10/10.

T: Flat-White Jesus just loses it a bit here – there’s a bit of chaos, it’s got the above noted coffee bean and cold drip Ethiopian Yirgachefe providing a nice nutty/roasted centre, with a bit of sweetness coming from a caramel malt base, but then the hops come in a bit too hot and the finish is a mid-to-searing bitterness. The balance starts out great but ends up a touch out of whack, which sucks because it’s hella tasty otherwise. 8/10.

M: Medium, not close to Founders Body™ but nonetheless it’s got enough texture. Carbonation is flat and dense. 8/10.

D: No replacement for FBS (if I can ever get it again!) but still it’s more like Stone Mocha IPA anyway, and Stone has the upper hand over this. 8/10.

Food match: Wakey-wakey eggs and bakey with this brew.

*As long as people promise not to say it several times quickly I’ll be in the clear.

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Nomad Freshie Moka Coffee Gose

Total Score: 7.6/10 Coffee1Nut1Earth1Tulipglass1

Yo, yo, yo… wassup my main G’s? Been a while, yes – I took some time out after review #900 to rest my liv-actually I was just about to lie, I’ve still been drinking beer, just needed a break from writing reviews, you think this stuff just comes natural to me? Well, anyway, here’s another Nomad Gose, this one caught my eye because – coffee in my Gose? That sounds intriguing. I bit into Nomad’s pitch hook, line, sinker. As the label states “In Napoli they add a pinch of salt to their morning espresso”… never knew that, I might have to give it a go sometime. So I’m a sucker for coffee, I love it, and when two things I love come together… well that’s why I love coffee beers so much – it’s the best of both worlds (sometimes!).

Poured from a 330ml can into a Duvel tulip.

A: Easily the darkest Gose I’ve encountered – with a deep black/brown body and a splotchy mocha-coloured blanket on top. The head bubbles look reasonably dense, so the mouthfeel should be decent, cool as brah. 8/10.

S: Roast cold drip coffee mingles with coffee bean, and a nutty/earthy note, hint of salt as well. Some beers don’t even smell like beer to me anymore, and this is one of them – the coffee notes dominate the olfactory senses and we end up with an aroma that could only be described as “coffee soda”… that’s what it reminds me of: Those Asian cans of coffee – Mr. Brown I think it’s called. 7/10.

T: Cold drip coffee front/back/all over with a granular earthy/nutty character, a touch of malt sweetness (like the teaspoon of coconut blossom sugar I add to my morning coffee) with, yep you guessed it – sea salt. The sea salt gives this brew a palate drying effect which works well. Finish finds that fine line between bitter and sweet (and salty). Surprisingly delightful brew this! 8/10.

M: Mid to light – a touch watery – with a very dense (and unfortunately flat) carbonation. Here’s the weakest link of this brew: Lack of body and carbonation, it’s not a game-killer though. 6/10.

D: I liked this. It was slightly sweet, slightly bitter, slightly salty, and coffee all over – if you’re adverse to those things then steer clear, if not this is a tasty brew that I can imagine having as a breakfast beer. As far as Goses go(ses) this is probably one of the best – though it’s the least to style – one that I’ve had. Hopefully Nomad will make more so I can get my coffee/beer fix heading in to summer (which is apparently now in Queensland dammit). 8/10.

Food match: Not sure why but this brew made me want a cannolo… I need help.

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