Stir Stick Stout - Half Pints Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Stir Stick StoutStir Stick Stout

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BA SCORE
87
very good

89 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 89
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 9.82%
Wants: 6
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Half Pints Brewing Company visit their website
Manitoba, Canada

Style | ABV
American Stout |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Our Stir Stick Stout is robust with ruby highlights and a generous addition of locally roasted fair trade, organic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee.The beans lend a distinct chocolate aroma and flavour that blends well with the roasted barley and malty sweetness.A woody bitterness rounds out this ale and makes it the perfect match for barbequed buffalo burgers, sweet desserts like chocolate lava cake or with vanilla ice cream as a decadent beer float.

35 IBU

(Beer added by: fisherman34 on 08-19-2006)
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Ratings: 89 | Reviews: 59 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A big bottle of roasted coffee, thanks to Blair for bringing back. Dark with strong coffee aroma and characteristics. Harh on the stomach as so much coffee will do. Bitter but somewhat balanced with malt. Somewhat smooth, multiple sharing recommended.
3.5 years later bottle- solid stout and I have upgraded it.

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of nmann08
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle, pours dark brown with a little tan head.

The smell is coffee, brown sugar, chocolate, a little smoke and wood. The flavor is lots of dry coffee and dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa powder. The coffee really dominates here. Nice roasty finish with a little bitterness to it.

Overall, this is good, but not special.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Piscator34: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium foamy dark head with average retention. Aroma of roasted coffee is dominating with some noticeable roasted malt. Taste is also dominated by the coffee flavour and quite enjoyable even though I’m probably not the most avid fan of coffee stout. Body is a bit light for the style and carbonation is about right. Great coffee stout and IMHO would have been better if some chocolate malt had been added.

Photo of womencantsail
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is dark brown in color with a rather sizable brown head on it.

S: Somewhat acidic on the nose with a big roasted malt character. A hint of char to go along with it and maybe a little bit of licorice. Certainly some dark chocolate and coffee notes in there too.

T: Roasted malts are the dominate flavor of the beer. There's a mild bitterness with a definite licorice flavor. Some dark chocolate and coffee. The carbonation is very high which lends an acidic flavor.

M: Medium in body with a very high carbonation.

O: Fairly underwhelming. I wasn't a huge fan of this one at all.

Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very, very, very dark brown chocolate hue, with mahogany edges, and two fingers of foamy beige head, which leaves a few specks of random lace around the glass as it recedes. It smells of bitter cappuccino, and some sweet roasted caramel malt. The taste is coffee grounds, bittersweet chocolate, and caramel malt. The carbonation is on the low side, the body close to full, smooth, and creamy. It finishes still quite in the coffee/chocolate vein, with a drying bitter earthy hoppiness.

Wow, what a tasty stout, like chocolate milk, good coffee, and beer all rolled up in a freakishly stellar hybrid. I know that I keep saying this, but I do not drink any manner of coffee, but when done up like this, it is very enjoyable.

Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Thanks go to Deuane for hooking me up with a 4-pack of these Half Pint brews from a recent trip.

Pours a very deep brown/almost black, with nearly 2 fingers of mocha colored foamy head. Creamy looking thin layer of retention fires up magnificantly, leaving back a great looking cascade of lace that hangs in thick swathes. Espresso and roast just dominate the aroma, with chocolate and toffee mixing in to create a sharp roasty and bready tang in the nose. Just a solid pop in the nostrils here.

The taste is black roast and coffee darkness up front, which just levels a pleasant crunchy bitterness on the profile. This is balanced by a chewy underlayer of chocolate and toffee, which leaves just about as big of an impact as the darker flavors did. The finish is actually a bit cleaner than I would have thought, with a bit of dry lingering bitterness and that's it. The mouthfeel is medium-fuller bodied overall, but has an overall mellower (and slicker from the espresso) feel to it. Some pricklier carbonation comes out towards the back of the swallow, giving this some extra presence.

Another well done Half Pints beer here. Nice intermingling of roast, coffee, and sticky malt flavors makes for a great fix that any Stout lover would enjoy.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Highly carbonated. Dark brown body, big, fluffy, cocoa'tan head, nicely frothed.

Rich espresso nose, very earthy, nutty, a little chocolate, nougat...yeah, nice, and intriguing....ah, yes, it's the Ethiopian coffee beans sticking out, now that I read the label...

Generously flavored, robust body, big mouthfeel, but smooth and easy-going.
Rich, roasted malt, licorice and dry toasty coffee flavor, minor cocoa...fading off, and finishing neat and dry-ish.

An interesting stout. Well-done, solid, refreshing, drinkable, downable, and rearding. Might be my favorite from the four beers Dave was so kind to drop off for me, all the way from Winnipeg. Much luck to this little, plucky brewery, they're headed in the right direction!

Photo of smakawhat
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Caramel wax on bottle.

A very dark walnut black/brown body, some see thru quality around the head. Head is a uniform nice tan color, good collared lacing. Real nice.

Good sweet and milky coffee nose. Simple creamy and sweet front, light roasty body. Simple and solid. Perhaps some dark bitter chocolate.

Bitter action of hop first, a sense of astringency with coffee angle being burried slightly. Roasty action on the finish. Light bodied coffee angle, feels more coffee than beer in the mouthfeel, but a little fizzy.

Overall a simple solid coffee beer, quite light in feel even for its character.

Photo of biegaman
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like a giant glass of molasses, the beer sits lifeless, opaque and without any real foam atop it. Its marble-like complexion and stark contrast between the black body and eggshell lace gives it a distinctly sleek look. Swirling produces a thick, frothy trim that has a rusty tone to it; it is this that transforms the beer's appearance from handsome to downright wicked.

What struck me first was not the coffee but the malts, and that sits well with me. Cookie dough, dark caramel and chocolate chips, even a pinch of dark fruit, all amalgamate well into the smokey, rich aura of the coffee. Most importantly, they aren't drowned out by it! It has a ton of roasty mocha character that it isn't shy about either. Yum.

If I wanted coffee I'd just as well drink coffee, no? It always frustrates me when brewers are too heavy-handed with the beans and not heavy-handed enough with the grains; if you're going to add coffee to your beer make sure you've provided enough malt so that the flavours can counterbalance one another. That's exactly what this brewer has done...

Its flavours are intense but harmonize well and come across the palate with balance and good collation. I remember finding the first few batches of this beer to be overly liberal with the coffee - my notes state that it was "like drinking cold, flat espresso" - but by now they've figured out to be more diligent with the coffee and more generous with malts.

And it doesn't end with flavour, either. I've had many coffee beers that are plagued with the astringent, acrid texture of coffee grinds. Generally speaking, I don't want the smoky bitterness of the coffee to override the sweet, toastiness of the malts. With this one, however, we appreciate roasted coffee and sweet, doughie maltiness all in one.

I wish this beer also came in solid-form; 'Stir Stick cake' or 'Stir Stick cookies' would make heavenly desserts and I'm hardly kidding when I say that I'd kill for the recipes. Hell, this has flavours of cookie dough, espresso, pecans and macadamia nuts, tiramisu, creme brulee, chocolate chips and toffee brittle... come to think of it, it is a dessert already! Maybe I'll just buy more of the beer and save myself the trouble of baking ;)

Photo of Viggo
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Biergotter Club Brew marathon tasting. Zithal provided this sample.

Pours an opaque brown/black, thick off white (almost tan) head forms, lots of nice lacing, good retention. Smell is sweet, some caramel, citrus, light roast, chocolate and coffee, not wowing me. Taste is licorice, roast, caramel, some coffee/chocolate, not much flavour, seems a bit thin. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation, pretty slick. Not bad, but I didn't get much of the coffee in this, think I need to get my hands on another bottle. Thanks Rob!

Photo of DrJay
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Zithal shared this one at the Biergotter group brewday 2007. Thanks Rob!
Clear, dark brown with a ruby hue and sticky tan foam composed of fine bubbles. Good head retention with some nice lacing. The aroma was fairly hoppy, but was still dominated by roasted barley and coffee grounds. Mild bitterness with coffee grounds and roast up front, malty sweetness and dry cocoa, with a bit of licorice as well. Quite dry with lightish body and carbonation, decent texture. A pretty good stout with roastiness well-integrated into the flavour. Tasty.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to kjyost for this beer.
Poured in to tulip glass

A - Dark black with one finger of bubbly light brown head and a lot of visible carbonation.

S - Dark roasted malts with a lot of sweetness. Some coffee and chocolate notes.

T - Dark roasted malts with some coffee and chocolate notes and a significant sweetness. A slightly dry finish.

M - Light body for a stout; somewhat watery at times. Moderate carbonation - a little too much for my liking.

Photo of wordemupg
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

341ml bottle poured into Creemore glass nov9 2009

A not quite jet black but quite dark with a two finger head that sticks around for a few minuets and leaves a few patches of lace

S this is beer right? It smells very strong of fresh coffee grind and that's about it. I keep bringing it back to my nose and I'm wondering if I'm going to catch a buzz (a caffeine buzz of course)

T coffee is fully in charge here but it's friend cocoa is playing a small part

M not as thick as I would hope for and it's a little flat but still above average

D add it all up and you get a pretty nice beer drinking experience. I will be drinking this again and you should too

I am truly impressed by this brewery, I have yet too have anything by Half Pints that disappointed me in any way.
keep it up guys (and girls)

Photo of tbeckett
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the brewery in a trade with Dave. Thanks!

A - Cap of beige goes away pretty quick. Not opaque but extremely dark brown/ruby.

S - Lot's of dark roast coffee, some chocolate as well but the majority of the aroma is coffee.

T - Coffee! Some sweet matls as well after the initial coffee flavours. Tastes a little like cola to me.

M - Light to medium body. Smooth in the mouth. Feels really nice.

D - Nice and drinkable. Rich enough to keep my attention.

Photo of mhaugo
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of canucklehead
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The cool thing about this stout is that it really tastes like a chocolate covered expresso bean ( and smells like one too lol). A very flavourful stout that is low on the carbonation scale and high on the drinkability scale. A lot of coffee stouts kinda lose the focus and taste like an average stout when in fact the coffee component is the key. Good job on keeping the coffee part at the forefront.

Photo of andrenaline
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was quite excited to try this one from Half Pints. Big thanks to my neighbor for hooking me up with a couple bottles from his recent trip home to Winnipeg.

A - Pours pitch black, finger of mocha coloured head with decent retention (2-3 minutes) and no real lacing.

S - Delicious. Quite sweet with milk chocolate and caramelized sugar coming off the top, and finishing with a mild espresso scent. Quite pleasant on the nose, almost mouthwatering.

T - Sweet chocolate at first, with subsequent sips becoming more bitter, but not offensive. Chocolate is still dominant on the finish, but espresso undertones complement it and linger on the tongue. The sweetness on the nose doesn't come through quite as strong in the taste, however, it is still a delectable stout!

M - Perfect carbonation, not overly syropy, nice smooth feel on the tongue, and goes down just as smooth. A lighter stout offering, but I much prefer that feel to a thick chewy stout.

D - Yet another winner from Half Pints. A lovely go-to offering for any stout fan and highly recommended. Mind blowing? Not really. Delicious? Absolutely! Do yourself a favour and grab a 6-er of this stuff, because you won't be disappointed.

Photo of Rutager
4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. Pours a deep chestnut brown, almost black. Three fingers of thick, chocolate head leaving some thick lacing.

Smell. Light coffee, roasty malt and a little earthy, grassy hops.

Taste. Roasty malt, slightly sour coffee, some dark chocolate and maybe a little citrus zest.

Mouthfeel. Lighter body with strong carbonation. Works well.

Overall. Really nice, lighter stout. Could drink a bunch of these.

Photo of bobsy
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Decided to grab a bottle at Volo to finally get an idea about what this great Canadian brewery is up to.

Dark, oaken pour with a frothy mocha head that left some touches of lace as it slowly dissipated. The aroma has to be smelled to be believed... its as if I've plunged my nose into the coffee grinds I use for the morning cup of joe. This is a wonderfully smooth and intense hit, with great notes of cocoa. The flavour is nicely nuanced, and contains a lot of coffee, while also managing to stay balanced, In part this is due to generous notes of chocolate and caramel, which take the edge off the coffee bitterness. Everything is capped by a slightly herbal, dry finish. My only complaint would be the body. Its good for a regular stout, but in an ideal world I would have gone for something bulkier, and played off the breakfast theme by throwing a bit of oatmeal in the mash.

If Half Pints always brew like this I'll be happy, and it sure bodes well for the burly wine that I have at home. I think I need to do a bit more investigating...

Photo of kwjd
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with thick tan head. Head dissipates really slowly and is there most of the way down the glass. Some lacing down the sides. Smell is first of roasted coffee beans with the roasted malt and a hint of chocolate. Lots of bitterness, possibly from the coffee, with some sweet chocolate too. This tastes like a much bigger stout than it is, which is nice for sipping, but I wouldn't want to have several of these in a row.

Photo of IronDjinn
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tall tight spongy beige head that leaves thick gashes of lacing in its wake. Dense, dark brown, yet still slightly translucent when held to direct light, at least it reveals rick oaky highlights.

Robust coffee-like notes are prominant on the nose, a creamy sweetness, roasted and burnt malt, grainy malt.

Coffee is prominent in the flavour too, held up by a decent backbone of roasted and burnt malt, some smokey and woody aspects, astringent bitterness on the finish from the grains, yet a creamy mocha character develops in the aftertaste.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel, light and slick at times, fullness returns on the finish.

An overall great drinker for a stout, the addition of coffee isn't an excessive ingredient or a burden, but blends right in with the malt bill. Would even make a decent stout for a session ale.

Photo of schopenhauerale
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Howlader
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of BigBry
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341 ml brown bottle, allowed to warm slightly, poured into my large dimpled mug.
Poured basically black, some reddish highlights around the edges. Large, solid head of tan foam. Nice retention, sticky lace. Lots of espresso coffee aromas. Also sense some dark chocolate with the roasted malts. Great flavors, dark roast coffee and dark chocolate. There is some bitterness, but balanced out with enough malt sweetness, almost like an espresso with cream. Also find some nuttiness, slightly smoky finish. Earthy hops keep it from being too sweet or sticky. Creamy mouthfeel, medium body, rich balanced flavors. A tasty and very drinkable stout. Great balance of coffee and stout. I could sip this one all night. Definatley one I need to get again.

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Stir Stick Stout from Half Pints Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.