Night Shift Brewing, Bennington Oatmeal Stout, Everett, MA
7% abv. Canned 1/27/17 so this is 7 days old. Pours jet black with a tan head that dissipates quickly. Wonderful coffee and tiramisu aroma. Great full-bodied mouthfeel. Rich chocolate covered espresso bean flavor upfront with just a touch of bourbon vanilla. Oatmeal, cocoa, and very faint maple notes give it a kind of chocolate chip pancakes flavor! Nice hop bite at finish helps to balance it. Some astringency at finish from big malt billing, but it is smooth and drinkable. Wonderful aromas jump out with every sip, this really is a great smelling beer. This is a limited seasonal offering, so if you see it, grab it.
Port Brewing Company, Board Meeting Brown Ale, San Marcos, CA
8.5% abv. brewed with coffee and cocoa nibs. Pours dark brown, almost black with a big tan head that quickly dissipates. God damn this smells like an awesome dessert. Aromas include coffee ice cream, tiramisu, and dark chocolate. First sip is full-bodied milk shake smooth. Wow is the 8.5% alcohol very sneakily hidden. Malt profile and added flavors make it a certainly sweet beer, but it is not overwhelming or cloying in any way. Some mild citrusy hop flavors at finish, but it really is a malt bomb.
Yet again, I am drinking a strong beer way too fast while trying to rate it. That is always a good sign that a good rating is coming. Thankfully it is a 22oz bomber, so I have a full second pour on deck.
Rich, earthy cocoa nib flavor gets more intense with each sip. Complexity increases with chocolate covered almond flavors (one of my favorite snacks) and dark fruit like figs and dates. Gets a little bit boozy toward the end of the bottle, but not in a bad way. A little bit of research reveals that they use fresh roasted coffee from Ryan Brothers and cocoa nibs from TCHO in San Francisco. This is a fantastic strong brown ale. Surprise your friends by pairing it some night with thick, rich brownies or chocolate mousse in dark chocolate cups.