Mikkeller Beer Geek Vanilla Shake

Total Score: 8.8/10 Vanilla1Coffee1Smoke1Tulipglass1

Well here we are: Beer review #700, another milestone another BIG beer – at 13% ABV Mikkeller Beer Geek Vanilla Shake is no slouch, plus I’ve always been a fan of Mikkeller brews – there’s a real feel of Mad Brewer Scientist about the one-man party machine that is Mikkel Borg Bjergsø. Let’s talk about Vanilla Shake, which is from the much vaunted and sought-after Beer Geek series of Mikkeller brews. It’s got several things I love in a beer: Oatmeal, coffee and vanilla bean. Plus it’s Mikkeller, so it’ll be good (if not awesome). Just a note to my readers: I’m taking a short hiatus from reviewing to do up a top 100 list of beers – keep waiting/watching.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Strange: From first pour it looked as if it would have nary a head, like most high ABV brews, but then like the birth of the universe (because I was like there man) the most amazingly dense khaki head I’ve ever seen in a non-nitro beer formed and slowly decayed – how poetic Mikkeller! The body is obsidian black. 9/10.

S: A mad fusion of vanilla bean and cold drip coffee – fully one of the sweetest smelling brews I’ve encountered, which begs the question of whether there will be anything to balance it out with. Hints of powdered chocolate add to the gargantuan dessert-like aroma – I fully thought for a second there that my nose would dive right in to the glass. 8/10.

T: Soooo damn tasty! A syrupy coffee/vanilla concoction that hits the palate with a truckload of vanilla sugar then sweeps it away with bitter roasted coffee… towards the finish a kiss of smoke touches the back palate and lingers on like a dying campfire. Yes, this is one BIG brew, but it’s never chaotically so, it remains throughout a rich decadent and more importantly: harmonious experience. Bravo yet again Mikkeller! [you handsome bastard] 9/10.

M: Mouthfeel is like drinking something with a viscosity akin to honey with a soul-crushingly dense but light carbonation. Another reason why Oats rule man! 9/10.

D: This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime brews that is really quite nice but you wouldn’t have more than one in a sitting because it’s just so damn BIG and syrupy (and ever so slightly more bitter than I like), it’s borderline waaaay too much (like Black Buffalo) but it’s good to have these massive brews on occasion (as long as you don’t have to drive anywhere forever). I found this a fitting way to reach beer #700, and I’m looking forward to doing up my top 100 beers list. 9/10.

Food match: Bernard Black’s luxury pie.

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Wolf Of The Willows Tiramibru GABS 2016

Total Score: 7.85/10 Coffee1RedWine1Chocolate1Tulipglass1

If you ask me what my favourite dessert is the answer will be a clear and concise: Tiramisu… or lemon meringue pie… or profiteroles… or banoffee pie… or gelato… or banana pancakes… anyway the point is: Tiramisu is the first thing I think of when I want my mouth to salivate, and those clever peeps at Wind in the Willows have made a Porter with Muscat port and cold-drip coffee – theoretically this should be the beer of the year for me, but let’s not be too hasty and let the hype train derail itself Doc [as I am want to do].

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Presents with a deep opaque brown body and a decent 1 cm almost tan coloured head that slowly drops back to a lace blanket on top. Looks s’right as far Porters go. Nothing “wow” about the look, just a nice normal Porter. 7/10.

S: At first the aroma is full-on espresso, like damn there’s a lot of coffee in this, but a second whiff reveals slight hints of that Muscat port, although personally I like my Tiramisu with more of a port than a coffee slant. Apart from that it’s hard to detect much else, the coffee notes reminded me of Burleigh’s Black Giraffe for some reason – the quality of the coffee and the method employed smells similar. 7/10.

T: They’ve done well here, aside from light burnt espresso notes that linger on in the aftertaste, this is one cake-like brew. The Muscat port comes through with a nice cloying sweetness – it is a dessert after all – cold-drip coffee throughout the palate with hints of cocoa that come through too. The combination of port and coffee is well defined and as tasty as a Tiramisu. 8/10.

M: Perhaps the best part about this brew is the medium bodied and creamy mouthfeel – cream (or mascarpone cheese) is an ingredient in Tiramisu, and whether or not they intended it Wind in the Willows have brought an element of creaminess to this Tiramibru that makes you think of Tiramisu – well done! 9/10.

D: Lush and decadent coffee and port: Check! This is one beer to savour and enjoy whilst chipmunks sing you Christmas carols in front of a fire roasting chestnuts… or the other way round [who doesn’t love singing chestnuts?]. Anyway if you want a nice Porter that is moreish, slightly cloying (but in a good way), brewed by Wolf of the Willows and also a one-off occurrence for the GABS festival of 2016 – you’ve definitely found your beer! [one might say the only beer to fit these criteria] 8/10.

Food match: Do you even have to ask? Really?! Really?!?! Fine: Tiramisu.

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Mountain Goat Cross Breed Seedy Goat Coffee Porter

Total Score: 7.3/10 Coffee1 Nut1 Earth1 Tulipglass1

Mountain Goat Cross Breed Seedy Goat Coffee Porter or MGCBSGCP for short, sounds like a handful, and here’s hoping it is when it comes to the flavour – I like my Coffee Porters/Stouts big or BIG (Blimey I’m Glorious-right-now-due-to-all-this-awesomeness). Fact: This beer is brewed with both coffee and seedy goats, the type you might find milling around goat-themed video arcades bullying kids [see, another goat reference] out of change so they can play the latest version of Sega Goat Rally… true story.

Poured from a 640ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Deep cloudy brown – same shade as the bottle it came in: that’s a first! with a minimal almost tan head that reminds me overall of an espresso shot with that crema ring on top – once again I’ve found yet another attractive dark beer #ilovedarkbeers. 9/10.

S: The coffee notes are quite bold and fruity with unroasted coffee ‘cherry’, cold drip, nutty, citric characters – I would be forgiven for thinking Ethiopian Yirgacheffe (it must be noted coffee is another passion of mine) but it is in fact Colombian El Desarrollo – err, points for trying? I admire that this brew is so singular in its pursuit of coffee aroma – reminds me of Founders BS, high praise indeed. 8/10.

T: This is one coffee dominated brew, perhaps one of the most singularly coffee driven brews (for better or worse) that I’ve tried, and boy do I try every single one I come across! Flavour is nutty and earthy, roasty and toasty, with a citric and tannic quality to the finish – cold drip coffee has never been better represented in a beer before. Now with all the superlative comments out of the way – it is lacking sweetness. It’s very nutty and earthy, which is great, but a hit of sugar wouldn’t go amiss and wouldn’t overpower the fine work nutty and earthy are doing here. FBS is a good example of the perfect marriage between coffee and sugar, and if I didn’t add a teaspoon of sugar to my coffee this score would be higher for me. 7/10.

M: Mid to light bodied, could use more body, with a dense almost gassy *burps* yes gassy carbonation. 7/10.

D: Final thoughts? Coffee + beer = awesome (if the ratios are done right) and this is a brew that almost gets it spot on but really – I am going to drink a Breakfast Stout after this because I can and I find the balance in FBS sublime so there you have it – A solid effort by MG that could use a bit more sweetness. 7/10.

Food match: A bold H. Upmann No. 2 would go with this nicely (it’s not food I know).

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