Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Black Dawn x4

Those that know me well know I drink three beverages: coffee, water and beer. If it was an option, I’d happily swap out my morning coffee for a nice coffee beer some days but…well…the current employment situation would frown upon that. So instead, it’s straight up hot, black caffeine in the morning with the cold, hoppy (sometimes) caffeine once I’m off the clock. That said, I am a huge fan of the brews that can combine two of my three beverages (all three I suppose if you factor in the water content of both coffee and beer) into a product that is greater than the sum of its parts.

When I got the notice from Lompoc last week that they were not only releasing Black Dawn III, but three versions of it AND would be pouring Black Dawn II and 2009 Pre-Dawn Imperial Stout I was pretty excited. I wasn’t able to make it the day of the release so I missed out on the Pre-Dawn (described as a “coffee-less imperial stout”), leaving me with four coffee beers to try.

Each of the four poured with a great, creamy head and beautiful black color. I couldn’t wait to start in on them.

Black Dawn II – Beaumont Blend
-         This beer had the most aroma (once it warmed), was full in body and in flavor without any coffee or chocolate malt bitterness.
Black Dawn III – Beaumont Blend, El Salvadoran beans and Peruvian beans
-         The aroma was of bitter coffee, with a more pronounced chocolate flavor than BD II yet still resisting any bitterness in the flavor.
Black Dawn III – El Salvadoran beans only
-         This beer was more stout than coffee but exceptionally good and drinkable.
Black Dawn III – Peruvian beans only
-         Initially this had the most pronounced coffee aroma (which faded as it warmed) but strangely, the weakest coffee flavor. While providing excellent mouthfeel, the coffee flavor that there was carried the most bitterness of the four.

In my book, all four were solid, drinkable coffee beers. As for which one I’d recommend, that depends on how you like your coffee and how you like your beer. If you want more beer than coffee, either the El Salvadoran (if you’re feeling stout-y) or the Peruvian (if you want a smooth, light body). If you want a greater coffee kick to your beer without bitterness the Black Dawn II or the triple blend (if you want more pronounced chocolate) will serve you well. I’d quite happily take any of the four set in front of me.

1 comment:

  1. We are on the same page when it comes to coffee beers. I have a mug of coffee in front of me right now as I often do throughout the day and I can't help but wish it was more the coffee beer variety. I'd be happy with the 4 of them too. Have a great week!