Long Trail Brewmaster Series Coffee Stout is the last of the Brewmaster Series for me to try. Or at least I thought it was! On my last trip to Vermont, I saw a new Brewmaster Series beer (the name and style escape me) but it was a type of Red Ale that celebrated the anniversary of Vermont’s ‘Long Trail’. I also noticed that this new brew was cloaked in a new black and silver label. Perhaps a new look for the Brewmaster Series?
Needless to say, I passed on that beer for now, but I was really looking forward to the coffee stout. Its just a beer style that really clicks for me, on top of the fact that the other Brewmaster Series beers like the Winter White and Imperial Porter have been well received by yours truly. Actually, I expected this to be my favorite of the bunch,, but as we’ll see it was not meant to be.
Long Trail Brewmaster Series Coffee Stout started off well enough. It poured an almost black color into my glass, and created a fantastic-looking head with impressive retention and thickness. Its hard to tell from the picture, but this brown beauty looked like pillowy foam on top. Quite nice actually.
The aroma was nice too. They use Vermont Coffee Roasters coffee in the brew, and while I’m not famaliar with that outfit, the beer smelled nicely of roasted, bitter coffee. There was some subtle malty sweetness too, but mostly coffee and not much on the hop front here.
I was really happy until I got to the taste. While good, I thought that the alcohol flavors came through a little more that needed, and the alcohol flavors lingered a bit on my tongue after each sip. Not a bad thing necessarily, it just stood out to me as a little unbalanced. Keep in mind that this is an 8% ABV brew, so some alcohol flavors shouldn’t be a surprise. What’s my point? Who knows. I did enjoy the mild warming created by this beer going down the hatch. Good stuff for Winters in Jersey, that’s for sure!
The other slight turnoff with this beer was the body ans mouthfeel. I let this brew warm up a bit before diving in, but I found that the beer was more thin than I would have preferred it to be. Much thinner than I expected, but not a dealbreaker.
So, what do I think? I think that the Brewmaster Series Coffee Stout is a great looking beer, and certainly a good looker and the taste/body/mouthfeel were acceptable. I think if the other Brewmaster Series brews were not so damn good, this beer would have been rated a little higher, but in that light it just wasn’t as good, but still good enough for a solid 3-stars here on The Brew Club!
Still, you should do yourself a favor and pick up any of the Brewmaster Series beers that you see and give them a try! I got my bottle for around $4 which is amazing for a 22oz bottle of quality craft beer. Long Trail is a good value I think, and the beer usually exceeds the expectation of the price. The coffee stout just came up a little short, but its still a winner at three stars.