Tröegs Java Head Coffee Stout – A Beer Review by Lee Salawich
Whenever possible, I buy single bottles of beer. I’d much rather try six different beers, than have six of the same, even if it’s a great beer. If it’s a beer that I really enjoy, I can always buy a multi-pack later. If singles aren’t available, my next favorite is a variety pack.
With the variety pack method, one may sample three, four, or more of one brewery’s products in the comfort of one’s own home! The latest sampler pack I tried is one from Tröegs Brewing Company, in nearby Harrisburg, PA. The pack consists of three each of Dream Weaver Wheat Ale, Hop Back Amber Ale, Java Head Stout, and Pale Ale.
To be honest, the bottle that caught my eye is the first to be reviewed, the Java Head Stout. My beer motto is “the darker the better.” Stouts, porters, yum!
The very artistic label shows a skull comprised of two kettles (eyes) pouring into a coffee cup (the nose), and seven pint glasses (the teeth). According to the neckband, “Java Head Stout passes through a blend of coffee beans and whole flower hops – akin to a French press – releasing cocoa, citrus and java flavors.”
Java Head pours an opaque dark brown color, reminiscent of espresso, with a minimal caramel colored head and good, but rapidly disappearing, carbonation. The aroma is one of coffee. I didn’t get any of the cocoa or citrus scents or flavors, only the java.
Of the coffee stouts I’ve tried, Java Head definitely has more coffee taste than many of the others. There was virtually no lacing as the glass was consumed. I didn’t get an aftertaste when the glass was cold, but, as it warmed to room temperature, a nice floral aftertaste could be detected. Java Head certainly mellows as it warms.
This is also a nice dessert beer; the flavor tasted much better with Sweetzel’s Spiced Wafers, Philadelphia’s original Ginger Snaps, than when paired with other foods. Beer and cookies? That’s two of the four basic food groups! (Add coffee, that’s the third!) This is a beer that grew on me; the first bottle (sampled days before this review was written) seemed bitterer than the second bottle.
Tröegs Java Head is 7.5% ABV, and the alcohol undeniably hits one like the caffeine from an espresso!
I’d rate this a solid 3.5 stars. Definitely worth a try or re-try.