Coffee Stout - Upright Brewing Company
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Ratings: 26 | Reviews: 11 | Display Reviews Only:
2.96/5 rDev -15.4%
Do you like stouts? Check!
Do you like coffee? Check!
Do you like Upright? Check!
Do you like red wine? Sometimes?
Do you like to mix all of those together in a bottle with a great design without mentioning that there is a red wine taste to the beautiful new "Barrel Aged Coffee Stout" that you just paid way too much for? Well, Upright did.
I am sure there are people that would just eat this up, but I did not want a wine barrel aged coffee stout. This was not mentioned on the label and the flavor profile is something that simply does not work well together for me.
It's disappointing, because I can smell and taste a great coffee stout under all of this red wine flavor.
07-03-2014 04:38:25 | More by tylerstravis
4.19/5 rDev +19.7%
I feel compelled to review this due to the low ratings;it's simply a misunderstood beer. If you think coffee stout and immediately imagine a thick, slightly bitter, chocolatey, roasted brew, maybe even barrel aged, then this will not satisfy you.
But, if one were to look at the world of coffee that perception conforms to a very narrow range of the flavors that coffee has to offer. The traditional dark roasted South / Central American and / or Indonesian blends that defined the better version of coffee from the late nineties to the mid-2000s. Why shouldn't coffee beers take advantage of all the advancements in sourcing and roasting - single farm lots, light roasts, wet processed / dry processed, etc?
This beer strikes me as a profitable collaboration between a great coffee roaster, Coava, and an culinarily adventurous brewer. Is it slightly sour? Yes. Is it fruity - cherry, berries ... maybe over-ripe bluebery - with a fermented fruit note? Yes. Is it vinous? Yes ... probably as much from the wine barrel aging (reviewers - you did note this, right?) and from the coffee varietal. Is this common to dark roast coffee? No. Is it common to Ethiopian coffees, particularly the explosively fragrant wet processed Yirgacheffe? Yes. I wouldn't be surprised if this was brewed with an Ethiopian varietal.
I realize this is less a review of this particular beer than a plea to open your mind and palate to beers that don't conform to your expectations.Upright is one of my favorite breweries for a few reasons - their refusal to conform to stylistic expectations (though it is probably not that much of a conscious rejection) and their culinary sensibilities. This is a beer that I think chefs and coffee professionals may appreciate more than craft beer fans.
06-30-2014 06:00:40 | More by Kurmaraja
3.58/5 rDev +2.3%
Big thanks to AnotherJoe for hooking me up with this. 750ml poured into a tulip. The brew appears black in color with a huge brown head 4 fingers that fades leaving spotty lace on the glass.
The aroma is vinous with minerals, wood, raw oak, earth roast and very faint coffee aspects. The taste is tart and vinous. Earthy and mineral-filled with some citrus and slight coffee notes. Almost briney at times and while very subtle, the coffee only emerges as the brew goes beyond ideal temperature.
This is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. I am surprised to see this as a "coffee stout" its like a tart dark farmhouse ale with huge wine barrel aspects. It is quite good in that sense...but mot really a coffee nor stout brew by any regard other than color. I could easily drink an entire 750ml of this myself knowing what to expect. The people I shared it with were expecting a coffee stout and they ended up hating this for its lack of coffee stout character.
04-23-2014 13:46:30 | More by stakem
4.04/5 rDev +15.4%
Bottle opened on 1.31.14
A - Pours a very dark brown with an active brown-dark tan head that fades fairly quickly.
S - Coffee and some malty breadiness.
T - Coffee, then some tartness, more acidic wood barrel.
D - Good carbonation with a light body.
O - Lots of coffee and lots of barrel presence. Not bad at all.
04-22-2014 04:38:58 | More by HuskyinPDX
2.96/5 rDev -15.4%
As other reviewers have commented, this has some sour qualities to it. Not knowing this, I went in expecting a roasty, coffee stout. Instead, what I got was a coffee stout with some slight sour notes. The appearance is fine. Jet black with a fine brown head. Smells like coffee. The taste is sweet and definitely picks up notes from the wine barrel and funky bacteria. That being said, it doesn't totally work. I've had sour stouts from Cascade and The Bruery which have been fine, but this one falls short. It's like it can't decide quite what it wants to be. This kills me because I absolutely love Upright, but this and Billy the Mountain are very big disappointments
04-19-2014 21:55:25 | More by UnknownKoger
2.28/5 rDev -34.9%
I think I may be a little biased here because, like everyone else who had this beer, it really doesn't sell the fact that it's aged in wine barrels and was really not what I was expecting. I wanted a nice thick hearty coffee stout so the initial smell made me wonder if I grabbed the wrong bottle and the taste made me wonder if beers can have the same problem with being corked that wine does. All that aside (as much as I can), it poured dark as molasses with a smell that did remind me of a nice warm espresso but the taste was just not the most pleasant combination I can think of - it was like they poured coffee into a sour beer. I was very eager to get it out of my mouth and realize I need to be more careful about reading labels before I get a beer but just overall wouldn't recommend this one.
02-21-2014 03:40:01 | More by SteveTheDog
3.95/5 rDev +12.9%
Appearance- Pours up a pretty good amount of head which looks to have decent retention as well. The head is a medium beige while the body is an opaque, dark chocolate black. The lacing, at the moment, looks as if it is mostly sheeting.
Nose- The nose from the bottle differs greatly from that of the glass. The bottle shows a big front of coffee notes that have a slight, burnt roasted malt quality to them. Some sourness, even a hint of cherries. The glass is much more subdued and shows weak roasted malts and slight hints of cream. Swirling shows hints of cherries and roasted malts. The cherry or dark fruit character I'm getting must be coming from the wine barrels.
Taste- There is no doubt that this was aged in wine barrels. It starts off with the coffee of the nose and then you are hit with a solid, red wine flavor. Maybe Beaujolais or Cotes du Rhone- think a fruity, simple French wine. Maybe a little bit of Cabernet Sauvignon. But maybe...also advertise that this was aged in wine barrels. While it's not a bad beer, it would not have been purchased with that knowledge. The combination works pretty well but not 15 dollars a bottle well. I was prepared for a bourbon barrel offering but perhaps I should have known better with Upright. For the most part, the two flavor profiles work together but at the end they seem to fray. The red wine dominates the larger part of the palate while the slightly bitter finish of the coffee seems somewhat incongruous as it ends mostly alone. There are some medicinal to herbal notes on the end that in tandem with a dry finish which keep this beer intact and from seeming too messy. Still not sure what I think of this beer. I wonder if wine barrels were used to preempt the slightly off tartness and sourness you get from a lot of coffee beers. The fruitiness of this beer however seems quite natural and is growing on me as I write. Some chalk, a little bit of ash. Some mild vanilla on the edges from the oak. The balance and integration are quite amazing and I don't think I would want much more complexity or presence. Good, solid beer to really good beer. Pretty much in between. Hints at mint and licorice. Very much a wine drinker's beer. The more I drink it, the more I think it's just a really good beer. Not indication of greatness, however.
Mouthfeel- Around medium bodied but it's hard to tell with the overwhelming vinosity of this beer. Some syrup. Very light carbonation. Works well with the overall structure of the beer.
Drinkability- Goes down like a charm. I don't drink coffee- I like it but caffeine isn't my drug. I used to drink wine but I never found anything that really wowed me like a great beer does. This is in the middle but has both worlds, which makes it a win. There is the matter of the 15 dollar price tag which pretty much guarantees I will never drink this beer again. But who knows?
Overall- Really good beer that grows on you. At first, the notion of a wine barrel-aged coffee stout didn't seem that appealing but it really does work. If they work more with this recipe, they could have a world class beer on their hands. Definitely worth a shot- just try not to think about the price.
02-06-2014 05:00:31 | More by artoolemomo
2.05/5 rDev -41.4%
Though the label clearly says coffee stout, the bottle I have is barrel aged and the ABV says 7%, not matching this beer's description.
I had high hopes for this beer, but I think I may have gotten an infected bottle. I wished this the same coffee stout the other high reviews have claimed.
I pop it open and pour it into a small snifter.
Appearance - very nice, pours out thin and black with a short tan laced head. Promising so far.
Aroma - the smell is very strong like coffee, chocolate, toffee, and earth. It smells incredible.
Taste - I let it hit my lips and take a small swig. I am immediately met with a vinegar-metallic sour, not like that of lacto, pedio, or brett. At first I thought they may have put the beans in the boil until I read the side say cold pressed coffee. It follows very bitter, but not even close to chocolate, including unsweetened bakers' chocolate. Even cold pressed black coffee doesn't taste like this.
Overall - I am very saddened by this because I heard both good reviews and I love Upright as a brewery. It's a sad day for me, but I'd be willing to try it again if someone were to swear they enjoyed a good bottle.
01-18-2014 04:02:06 | More by jdanyeur
4/5 rDev +14.3%
Pouring a very dark brown with a dense, crema colored head with good retention and nice lacing. The nose is intense. An incredible amount of coffee is present, fresh, robust and fruity, along with what seems like a red wine character. Medium dark chocolate, a fruity red wine note, some spicy oak are present. The coffee is just ridiculously clean. Bright, fresh, fruity, floral and moderately roasty, this is great!
The palate opens with a big coffee flavor with moderate acidity and a blend of black raspberry, hibiscus, dark chocolate and a little bit of citrus brightness. The mid palate has some roast, an earthy bitterness and some earthy hoppiness as well. Barrel character is mild here, so much so that I can't really say that it was barrel aged to start with! No bourbon is present, though the fruitiness makes me think red wine, and the delicate, spicy oak note makes me wonder if this was aged in neutral barrels. Medium in body with moderate carbonation, this really is like a carbonated cold brew coffee - not that that's a bad thing. Finishing with a definite coffee acidity, one that makes me wonder if a genuinely different coffee was used. the way that the spice, fruit and acidity come together really reminds me of some small batch Kenyan and Ethiopian coffees I've had. Good stiff, but I think their oat stout was bettEr executed.
01-06-2014 06:40:19 | More by DefenCorps
British Columbia (Canada)
4.3/5 rDev +22.9%
Was very happy to see this on tap at St Augustines. A top-notch coffee stout that is pure caffeine roasty notes with the strong stout underpinnings. The coffee is smooth and pronounced but melds with the stout. A perfect Brunch beer as it works well with food and the finish is not cloying so is very drinkable
03-22-2011 01:11:44 | More by canucklehead
Coffee Stout from Upright Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 26 ratings.