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Redhook Double Black Stout - Redhook Ale Brewery

Not Rated.
Redhook Double Black StoutRedhook Double Black Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

280 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 280
Hads: 344
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 25
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Redhook Ale Brewery
New Hampshire, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout | 7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 12-10-1998

Brewed with coffee.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 280 | Hads: 344
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very decent single stout. Coffee aroma and taste, at a quite acceptable level of drinkability. Pours black with massive white head.Above average mouthfeel. First is bitterness, then malt, then coffee, add second helping and repeat. Very and decent coffee.

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Photo of t0rin0
2.99/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I found this beer to be very unimaginative. Just coffee and little else. 22oz bottle.

Poured black, opaque, bubbly with a tall tan head that lasts. Good lacing.

Aroma was of coffee and a touch of roasted malt. Also a hint of alcohol.

Flavor was coffee, coffee, and roasted malt. Maybe a touch of chocolate. Booze was well hidden but at 7% that makes sense. The flavor was boring. I could steep an oz of black patent malt in a pot of Folgers and get the same result.

Body was thin, correct for the style that this should be classified under (some kind of dry stout and not double/imperial) but too thin for imperial in my opinion. Good CO2 levels, very drinkable for anyone that likes coffee. I'll point out here that while I hate coffee, the other 4 people that tried it are all both coffee and stout lovers and they agreed with my opinion on the flavor, aroma, and body.

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Photo of GRG1313
2.7/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours black with a dark tan head. A malt/simple coffee nose. Not much in the mouthfeel or flavor department on this one - medium simple coffee flavors, although with a nice hop character. Short finish of simple coffee. A bit thin all around - nothing special.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed a bottle of this beer while watching WALL-E at the house. Makes for a nice winter Friday evening with the girlfriend and lap dogs on, where else, the lap.

The beer opens with a firm stout-like appearance of nearly opaque very dark brown to black with good head retention that lasted mostly the session.

Aromas of coffee and bitter cocoa are evident in the nose. Malty, caramel, toffee, anise notes are there, but take a distant backseat to the roasted character.

The dark, roast coffee, cocoa, and char dominate the beer with the sweeter malty, fruity ester notes taking a further backseat than even the aroma suggests. An acidic, astringent taste follows, much in the same way that burned espresso can.

Texutes are firm, but weakens a bit late which makes the beer more drinkable, but waivers a bit in the malty, rich fullness. Still an astringency from the grains gives a sharpness to the throat and makes the beer somewhat bite-ey.

Finishes with a firm roast grain, coffee, and cocoa note but I just can't get over the over-sparged grain astringency and light sourness.

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Photo of largadeer
3.06/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear but dark auburn color, opaque dark brown in the glass with a substantial light tan head, plenty of lace and good head retention. Solid.

Smell: The faintest hint of coffee, a bit chalky. Where's the aroma? I'm not getting much of anything, good or bad.

Taste & mouthfeel: Charred bread and coffee beans. Plenty of roasted malt flavor, but lacking in body and depth. A bit thin on the palate, one-dimensional and lacking in that one dimension. Could use more malt and more coffee - Founders Breakfast Stout this ain't. Roasty bitterness in the finish along with a trace of bittering hops. Decent stuff I suppose, but I wouldn't go out of my way to try it again.

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Photo of zeff80
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a small, creamy, bubbly, tan head. It soapy trails of lace on the glass.

S - Really a nice aroma. It smelled of coffee beans, chocolate and some hints of toffee.

T - It tasted of expresso with some bitter grassy hops. Also, some good chocolate and caramel flavors.

M - It was soft and very smooth. A medium-bodied brew that was surprisingly easy drinking.

D - This is a nice stout with coffee. Pretty affordable, too, for a bomber.

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Photo of oberon
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Didnt care for the smell,somewhat mineraly,nice chocolaty head though.Was expecting a little more rich flavor though,wasnt to bad but wouldnt seek it out again.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black coffee black with generous coppery orange edges. Although the beer is opaque, it certainly isn't a black hole. Sandstone colored foam sits up top and has a decent enough texture. It's light and airy rather than creamy, and is tacky enough to lay down a bit of lace. Pretty good, but not a sock-knocker-off-er.

The nose is solid because it pays equal attention to both sides of its personality. Roasted malt delivers plenty of dark chocolate, while coffee delivers... uh... fresh-brewed coffee. If enough barley was used, this should be delicious, drinkable beer.

First of all, forget this double/Imperial nonsense. Redhook uses the words 'Imperial Stout' on the label, but Double Black is nothing more (and nothing less) than a good old American stout. There's no sense building up unreasonable expectations when flavor, mouthfeel and ABV don't measure up to the bigger style. None of that means the beer isn't any good... because it is.

The base beer is a roasted malty, lightly charred, bittersweet chocolate-like stout that is wonderfully balanced in terms of sweet and bitter. The latter is undoubtedly due to hops that provide minimal flavor and moderate alpha acids (to the tune of 47 IBUs). Somewhat surprisingly, coffee doesn't overwhelm the taste buds. Actually, it makes the beer more drinkable for those of us who aren't java bean fiends.

Mouthfeel is a tough call. It's nowhere near big enough for the stated style, and it even falls a whisker short for a 7.0% American stout. Nicely calibrated carbonation isn't quite enough to earn the higher score.

Double Black Stout (with Coffee) isn't 'the only beer of its kind in the world' as Redhook would like us to believe. It is, however, a more than capable example of an increasingly popular sub-style. It's also right up there with Winterhook Winter Ale and Late Harvest Autumn Ale as this brewery's best.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stopped into Greens on my way home last night and was shocked to seethese sitting on the shelf. Grabbed some right away and headed back home. Used it for an after dinner sipper on Turkey day. Served chilled and poured into an oversized wine glass, this one was consumed on 11.27.2008.

The pour was very nice, rich dark brown in color with a nice two inch head of off white foam coloring the top, melded into the liquid nicely as it settled down with a good overall look to it.

The aroma was loaded with coffee and sweet, sugary malts. Hints of raosted tones, nice caramel and a touch of bitter coffee notes dominated. As it warmed some notes of chocolate took over and blended in very nicely. The flavor was much better, smooth and delicous, the coffee coming through quite nicely, thought not totally dominating. Hints of chocolate, roasted malts, and sweet notes prevail, even a touch of light hops in the finish, before a long drawn out coffee note closes the session. Nice carbonation and a smooth abd very even feel finished out the session quite nicely.

Overall a wonderful coffee stout here. Not too big, just enough to be a solid after dinner drink. I would go with this one again any day.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a pitch black body with a medium-sized, frothy, light tan head. Fairly diminishing head with only a thin smattering of lacing.

Smell: Roasted grains in the nose with mild notes of chocolate, pine tree saplings, prunes, and a tall cup of breakfast blend coffee.

Taste: Roasty maltiness with light touches of unsweetened chocolate and coffee. Touch of scorched cream, maybe some burnt grains. Light fruitiness, with the tiniest sour kick. Piney hop character, which, along with the roastiness, delivers a medium-high bitterness. Finishes roasty with a faint lingering pine needle taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Acceptable. While not the best coffee stout I've downed in my many long years, it's not the worst. It could benefit from a heft in sweetness and body. I'll be sure to give the rest of the proposed Redhook Limited Release line-up a try.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a few of these up at the Portsmouth brewery last month. 22 oz bottle into an over sized snifter.

Pours a dense black with a finger of foamy mocha colored tan head. Retains with some big creamy bunching around the edges and some thin wisps in the center. This flares up nicely, leaving a creamy cascade of streaky lacing behind. The aroma is rich with dark roasted coffee that seems to dominate the nose with some additional roasted malt character, chocolate sweetness, and a touch of dark fruit tang in the back.

The taste is a nice bitter mix of dark roasted malts and zippy coffee character that leaves a good lingering bitterness in the mouth. This is evened out by chocolate and caramel sweetness, as well as a touch of dark fruits and citric tang. The mouthfeel si medium bodied with a moderately creamy carbonation. The overall feel could probably go a bit deeper but this drinks very well for the size.

I kept my expectations in check with this one and was pleasantly surprised. Like some other reviewers have noted, this feels more like Double Stout territory to me, as opposed to Imperial Stout but this packed enough coffee and dark roasted character to keep me thoroughly interested while I partook in the glass. I'm looking forward to a couple more bottles of this over the course of the winter.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's not like me to dismiss a beer, but I'm going to do it in this case. Firstly because the beer itself just doesn't seem to shine in any way at all, and secondly, because of the specialty nature of this bottling it should be much better. Thirdly, with a connection between Starbucks and Redhook (however thin it may be), I think that the coffee flavor should be much more dominant.

It poured a typical appearance for a stout. Nice light tan head. Fairly good retention. Average lacing.

The aroma was somewhat roasty, but non-descript. I didn't really pick up coffee. The best I could say is that it was kind of like weak black coffee.

The aroma had me guessing, but the mouthfeel made me look at the bottle. "Double" black? It didn't appear to be double anything. It had a medium body with an average carbonation level.

The flavor really got me guessing. It seemed thin and lacking in flavor. It didn't seem "Imperial" or "Double", nor did it seem coffee-like. There was some dark malt acidity; but it wasn't particularly roasty either. It tasted more like coffee in the finish than it did in the mouth. I didn't find any hops, and I didn't find much malt. I was expecting at least deep caramel and nuttiness (as in a schwarzbier or Munich dunkel), but even that level of maltiness was missing. What I got was more like scorched sugar.

Overall, I thought it was OK to drink - it didn't taste bad - but there was nothing enticing about it. But there was nothing that satisfied me in the flavor or the aroma, and at that point there's no point in drinking it unless you're just looking for the alcohol. Perhaps a different label would help. Something a little less leading.

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Photo of Jason
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber with a freshness date. Blueline series label.

Stout black color, decent tan lacing. Fresh brewed ice coffee, roasted grain, burnt bread, mild molasses and a hint of dark fruit and alcohol in the aroma. Deep smoothness and a little creamy, big roasted flavor open up with each sip. Coffee is layered throughout with hints of dark chocolate and with a hint of alcohol it is almost reminiscent of a tiramisu flavor. Modest hopping, hint of dried dark fruit and charred wood. Finishes roasty with coffee tone, lands semi-dry.

Almost a cup a joe, well done Redhook ... would love to have this brew once in a while when I am hankering for a coffee beer.

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Photo of russpowell
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black, with a finger of tan. Superior lacing & head retention

S; Coffee & a bit of leafy hops

T: Coffee, roasted malt, & dryness. Dark chocolate, iron. Cocoa, a bit of singed grains. Dry finish, leafy hops & chicory also there, almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Rich, chewy, light carbonation

Drinks easy for the ABV & style, a bit on the light side, but enjoyable. I would out this up against the old school star bucks version...

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Photo of smcolw
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Solid three-finger beige head with thick and chunky lace. Rocky settling. The color is near black where no light shows through.

Very dark aroma of coffee and burnt sugar. Lots of black patent and dark, roasted unmalted barley. No cream in this stout.

This is perhaps the most bitter-malted beer I've ever had. Think burnt toast (without butter). No need for hops, the over roasted malts take care of that. The only negative is the thin body.

This is stoutiest of stouts, the kind that will grow hair on your chest even if you have two X chromosomes. This is not for the wimpy, strong burnt malt sugars are present from sip to long after the swallow. In some ways, it's a one-dimensional beer, but the flavor won me over.

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Photo of mothman
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Color is a dark brown, almost black. Think tan head that leaves the best lace I have ever seen. There was rings for each drink I drank.

Smell is of carmel and dark chocolate. Taste is similiar. The carmel comes out a little more, with a hint of coffee. Also, some dry toasted malts.

Overall, an easy to drink stout, but I was expecting a little bit more from, this beer. Still a very great beer!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Double Black is back! Once a big favorite of mine, before this latest, greatest era of American craft brewing unfolded, I'm excited to check out this newest version of the first coffee stout I ever tried.

Super-black, with faint crimson glimmers, with a slim, cola-tinted head holding forth on top.

Rich, roasty aroma, ...perfect espresso nose, with notes of vanilla and toast. Wonderful!

Boards the mouth full of coffee flavor, but doesn't come off as thick and viscous as I remember. Especially ironic, now that the label calls it an Imperial Stout, or, more accurately, "A smooth, Imperial Stout enhanced by coffee and dark malts with a big, roasty flavor." An abv of 7% isn't enough to call it Imperial, and a heartier mouthfeel is needed as well. Maybe Imperials weren't so hot back then...

A sweetness grips the lips, matched with bittersweet coffee tones. Dark fruit, berries, jump on the palate, and get with the cocoa and coffee flavors.

I consulted an old label I have laying around. "Redhook Doubleblack Stout is the only beer of it's kind in the world. Making the most of two well-known Northwest products, this extraordinary brew marries the sweet, smoothness of classic stout with the rich complexity of fine coffee. The recipe is a closely guarded secret."

It was the only beer of it's kind, back then, in, what, 1996-2000? Loved the stuff then, have fond memories of it, but the category has been reinvigorated over and over again. I'm compelled to wonder if my memory of this beer wishes it were bigger, thicker, richer than it is (it hardly matches the full mouthfeel of Bell's Java Stout), or if it was always like this, or if my expectations have changed.

Love the look of this new bottle, love that RedHook is returning to beers like this, but sad that it's not stout enough, nor coffee enough to impress me anymore. Don't get me wrong, plenty flavorful, a decent stout with coffee flavoring...but nowhere as good as other versions that have surpassed the original.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11/16/08- Purchased at Ledger's in Berkeley, CA. $4.99 price tag.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with a born on date imprinted on the label. Poured into my Stone Ruination mug.

Appearance- Off black colored pour. Good sized one inch plus a bit dirty head which is slow receeding. Leaves a slight rim and also leaves some small wisps and patches of lace.

Smell- Deeper roasted malt with a light campfire smoke scent. Mild bitter hop fumes and some coffee grounds.

Taste- About the body and flavor expected from the abv. Lots of coffee notes. Mostly grounds and coffee that has been sitting on the burner a bit long. Mild dark chocolate base. Light cola flavoring.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with a bit overcarbonated feel. Calms down a bit towards the end of the bottle. Nice coffee bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- Not bad at all. Definitely worth the $5 for a try. Not saying I will buy it again, but it was quite nice.

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Photo of WesWes
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thick and creamy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a bitter, roasted, black malt scent. It's dry with a distinct coffee aroma. The taste is decent. It is a extremely dry with loads of black malt flavor. It's a little over the top, especially with the coffee added. It goes down slow and easy with a silky smooth finish. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an interesting beer, but it's not overly drinkable. It's just black malts with coffee piled on.

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Photo of Billolick
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 08-0410, 22 ounce bomber. Pours near black, mocha head, creamy and lasting, leaves plenty of fine lacing, as well as tons of spotty lace upon a gentle swirl. The expected coffee in the nose, also some sweet malts and vanilla come through. Yum yum yum....coffee notes, of course, vanilla, smoke, oak, sweet malts, bananas, tobacco, sweet, smooth, silky in the mouth and over the tongue and thoroughly enjoyable. Great as a starter stouts for newbies, as a cold weather sipper, as a marinade component. I really enjoyed this one, highly recommended.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid black with a big fluffy tan head that sticks around forever. Smells of coffee and roasted grains, little bit of chocolate syrup and a chalky aroma as well. Taste is coffee and chocolate some toffee and butter. Has a bitter hop and roast finish. Mouthfeel is a thin syrup, body is medium to thin, carbonation is low. Not anything spectacular here. I'm not sure I would call this a double or imperial stout, but I would drink this. The only thing holding me back is the 7.99 price tag when there are much better bombers of stout available at that price point or lower.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a dark brown with a firm tan head, good retention and lacing.

S: Coffee grinds, some milk chocolate, burnt toast.

T: Roasted malt and coffee are presented in a good balance. Middle is nutty, almost reminiscent of a brown ale, sweet finish like a milk stout.

M: Would like a bit more body on a big stout, but not bad. Slightly oily, bitter, medium-bodied, low carbonation.

D: This is what I've been waiting for from Redhook. Really good beer, I read about it in Michael Jackson's books, but I haven't gotten a chance to try it until now. Pick it up.

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Photo of Zorro
3.51/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear black beer that is almost light proof, small ruby tint when held up to strong light. Good light brown head forms and falls.

Smell is Coffee and patent malt char. Sweet smell of coffee candy and a little grain. Not the most complex smelling beer.

The taste starts out medium sweet and bitter, like a coffee cough medicine. On the sweet side coffee flavor comes across as candy. Little bit of chocolate and a fairly stiff bitterness on the back end.

Mouthfeel is OK.

I can only call this one an OK beer. A bit on the sweet side this needs s more complex Flavor.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to garlicfire for this beer.

22oz. Bomber
Batch: 08-0410
Oct 09 08

Poured into a chalice a nice black color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger fizzy light tan head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some nice chocolate/coffee notes, slight vanilla, slightly roasty. The taste is malty, sweet, nice chocolate/coffee notes, and some vanilla. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice brew.

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Photo of biegaman
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 'softer' shade of black, one that allows a significant chestnut belt line and the strong-minded belief that the beer cannot possibly be opaque even despite all inspections suggesting otherwise. Its head is forgettable, in the sense that it, the head itself, forgets it should subsist for longer than a minute or two after the pour.

This 'double stout' smells more like a 'singular porter'. It exhibits dry, heavy roasted black malts and procures subtle hints of chocolate and coffee only via the means of suggestion. Even with the warmth, I don't smell as much coffee as I was expecting. In fact, aroma alone could not persuade me that actual coffee was used in the recipe.

The taste, on the other hand, is far more successful in doing so; the dry, bitter flavour of roasted coffee beans is unmistakable. It is not overwhelming, however, and blends very well into the rich, dark, roasty maltiness and its suggestions of biscuits, dark caramel, toffee and milk chocolate.

I enjoy the flavour of coffee in my stouts but as someone who never drinks coffee on its own, a frequent complaint I have with coffee-infused beers is that the roast can be painfully astringent in the mouthfeel. Redhook deserves credit for avoiding such a texture; this mouthfeel is more malty than it is coffee.

(Double?) Black Stout is a nicely done coffee beer that unlike many others won't leave you feeling like you've consumed a small economy sized car worth of alcohol and caffeine fuel. I suppose that can be either a good or bad thing depending on the time of day and occasion. I'd say, overall, it was quite satisfactory for this afternoon.

(This beer was introduced in 1995 and was originally brewed with Starbucks coffee. It was discontinued in 2000 and this limited batch, released November 2008, doesn't seem to have stacked up the same in the minds of those who drank the original, or their memories of it anyhow. I can't say what other changes have been made, but I imagine the beer I'm tasting now would have been pretty riveting back in the mid 1990's.)

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Redhook Double Black Stout from Redhook Ale Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 280 ratings.