Redhook Double Black Stout | Redhook Ale Brewery

Redhook Double Black StoutRedhook Double Black Stout
Liked This Beer
3.86 w/ 345 ratings
Redhook Double Black StoutRedhook Double Black Stout

Brewed by:
Redhook Ale Brewery
New Hampshire, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with coffee.

Added by Todd on 12-10-1998

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Ratings: 345 |  Reviews: 280
Photo of cvstrickland
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A cellar-cool 22-ounce bomber bottle poured into a small snifter yields an inky blackish-brown body with a quickly-receding layer of fine-bubbled mocha foam. A few webs of dissolving lacing melting inside the glass marks the passing of the drink. Additional pours to the same snifter puff up a much heartier crop of foam that retains better than the first glass and leaves more lacing, representing a marked improvement over my first impression and a half-point bump-up for my appearance grade.

The smell is not as big as I would like, but what there is of it is pretty good. The aroma is dark and roasty with a sharp note of dry black coffee, plus sweetly malty warm dark chocolate and a touch of licorice.

The taste is dark and roasty with mild bitter chocolate and lots of black coffee. It's quite like a semisweet mocha drink, sprinkled with a fat pinch of espresso-ground dark roast and dusted with dry hot cocoa mix.

The body is surprisingly light, more like an Irish Dry Stout in character than what I'd expect in one labeled as an "Imperial". Whatever the case, Double Black is a tasty brew, nicely carbonated and extremely drinkable for its intended style, especially so given its relatively mild 7% abv.

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The story goes that Redhook first brewed a collaborative ale with their good friends at Starbucks back in 1995. I'm trying to think whether that placed them in Woodinville then, or if they were still at the old trolley house. I'll guess Woodinville, but before they were traded on NASDAQ. The beer was freakishly experimental then, and somewhat ahead of its time. Redhook produced their coffee stout in limited quantities for five years then mothballed the idea in the new century.

As with many things that were once ahead of their time, Double Black's time eventually arrived. Redhook's roster is otherwise depressingly mundane and this imperial coffee stout serves as something of an antidote to alleviate symptoms of corporate blandness. It delivers a modest, yet alluring molasses-in-coffee aroma with a pitted head of espresso-like froth. Its flavor is of sharp coffee with a robust measure of roast barley and hops bittering offsetting a modest, carbonized edge. The color appears as black as you might expect, but a flashlight beam will coax some rays of ruby. Before long, the head recedes and carbonation lapses, leaving a smooth glassiness to the mouthfeel.

It's nice to see Redhook step out and take a risk now and again and I'm quite satisfied that this one pays off. It's not the extreme beer today as it might have been back in the 90s, but it finishes clean and works quite nicely with a dish of chocolate ice cream.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Beer had big taste which was super hoppy. flavor could have used much more coffee. I could really dig this beer in say six months from now, in early spring. I feel redhook always just misses with their beer's, but they are always very drinkable. Just a little off, this one is no different.

High % (7.0%). Beware.

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Photo of peabody
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a really black brew with one finger of very creamy brown suds. Bug bubbles are popping up all around the glass. Slight lacing.
Smell is dark roasted coffee and sugary toasted malts. Some dried fruit but mostly coffee.
Taste is quite nice even though this is an inexpensive beer. Less than 5 bucks for the bomber. Coffee and sugary malts but not too sweet. Pretty nice mix.
Mouthfeel is very clean for a stout and mabey it should leave a bit more lingering bitterness it still finishes very clean and dry with very little sugary leftovers.
Drinkability is high here cause #1, I can get this anytime and #2, it's cheap.

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Photo of nick76
2.7/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The aroma is fantastic with coffee, chocolate, and toasted malt. The appearance is dark brown with a nice foamy head. The taste is not exactly like the aroma there are the same elements but it's burnt and bitter. The palate is almost thin for an Imperial Stout. Overall it's not that good to me.

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Photo of tpd975
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was one of my gateway beers from my college days. When I saw that it was being brewed I begged the local beer guy to go after it. He looked at me like I had 3 eyes as he does not like to stock RedHook brews. I said please get at least one case, if it don't sell I will buy it.

He bought 5 and it is selling like hotcakes. He plans to order more.

A: Pours a nice dark black hue with a nice foamy head. The retention is not great but it does manage some big streaks of lace.

S: Aromas are of dark roasted grains with a blast of bitter coffee. A touch of cream peeks thru as well.

T: Not the best coffee stout, but it is solid. If the receipe has not changed this one has held up well over time. The flavors start out big on coffee. Bold roast with a blast of bitter. Hints of chocolate come thru with a nice flavor of roasted malt. You know the kind you wanna eat like cocoa rice krispies.

M: On the thin side of medium in body, smooth with good carbonation.

D: Like the beer, love the price. Will be drinking this one all winter long.

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

22 oz bottle poured into a UK pint glass

appearance: pitch black perhaps a bit of a dark brownish hue and dark coffee colored creamy head.

Aroma: surprisingly mild aroma, bit of coffee of course and some sweetish esters, lactose?

Taste: Super rich and bold, dark dark and bitter espresso with no cream and a bit of sugar. Kind of soapy actually.

Overall: This a a big time raw coffee brew. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy and this beer is pretty rough around the edges with just brewed espresso flavor. Definitely worth a try, split one is my recommendation or you will be drinking this for a really long time, which I guess wouldnt be too bad

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

Bottle from Green's, Ponce location, Atlanta, GA. Poured into a cervoise.

Appearance: Pours a deep, slightly hazy brown which seems to intensity as it pours - it's ultimately completely transparent. A tan, one-finger head rises from the mucky muck and has average staying power, leaving columns of sticky, delicate-looking lacing after it recedes.

Aroma: Out of the dark morass rises a single note - earthy, rich, medium-roast coffee, Indonesian, perhaps from Sulawesi? It's pleasant, decently pungent, and perhaps lightly sweetened by a few surrounding malty notes. After a few sips, I can return here, because I notice now that a lot of that earthiness is probably a result of the coffee's interaction with the assertive hopping, which adds a nice "green" note to everything. Plus one-half.

Taste: A well-hopped, flavorful stout, this one. There's plenty of coffee, similar to the nose, but also a nice array of other malty notes, most well toasted, but a few lighter, milkier, sweeter ones. There's also an assertive, active amount of hop bitterness and green, leafy hoppiness, which interacts well with the coffee - almost makes it seem like a lighter roast than it really is, or at the very least adds an interesting layer of complexity to everything.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, but well-carbonated, yielding a big, pillowy, perhaps too-well-carbonated "mouth"head.

Drinkability: A solid, solid beer with nice lacing, a pleasant aroma, and an interesting, hoppy mouth. Alcohol is well hidden and actually pretty low for the style, enhancing drinkability. Glad they unretired this one - welcome back, Double Black!!

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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 rudylaw
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours like you would expect something called double black to pour. Thin, tan head just about stays with the beer all the way through.

I get plenty of coffee and roasted malts upon first sniff.

I taste the above with plenty of chocolate abound. This is pretty good... it's not Starbucks good, but this is not bad at all.

Very thin and light compared to a lot of other coffee stouts out there. Very drinkable.

I used to drink Redhook quite a bit, and I vaguely remember this one all those years ago. I gave up on this brewery a long time ago but thought I should revisit this one in respect to my fresh out of college memories. I'm glad I did and I hope they continue to make this. The $5 price tag is much appreciated as well.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 0z. bomber > Fat snifter

Lookin' deep black, bubbly around the edges, showing off it's carboantion well. A clumpy, high-rising mocha stained head has moderate to slow dissipation with a bunch of sticky lacing everywhere. classic.

The aroma is really nice, right off, it reminds me of the beautiful KTG and Courage IRS with deep whiff's of baker's chocolate, mild and creamy, rich vanilla, peanutbutter brownies but also a spicey, herbal hop underneath all that malt stuff. A very well-rounded aroma, later, comes blackberries from the slightly fruity hops. Chocolate covered coffee beans, not a big coffee aroma really, actually pretty subtle.

AH, the flavor has much more of a coffee kick, not dark-roast but more medium, a rather smooth, subtle coffee, but very effective within the creamy malt complexity, which is pretty high. The herbal, bitter hop kick is very robust and up-front, the balance is very unique with this medium bodied malty feel, and crisp, fresh hops. A semi-bitter chocolate malt pops out with oats and a deeper, roastie coffee edge as the liquid rises in temperature. The 7% abv is hardly noticed, very well-hidden...maybe a bit too mellow for taste. not much warmth to be felt from this double stout.

The feel is a big medium body, not heavy, with a soft, long finish.

Back in 1998 this was my first ever "double" stout, The flavor had much more of a coffee kick with the Startbuck's coffee and it seemed like a real BEAST of a beer back then. seems a bit tame now, but It's one of Redhooks finest beers.

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Photo of bbothen
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

Told my wife it's okay to have this beer before noon PST. It's got coffee in it. Was called an idiot.

Pours a pitch black with a thick, frothy tan colored head. Looks really nice & inviting. Lots of sticky lacing & webbing left on glass.

Smells of roasted coffee, sweet malt, nice toasted aromas, mild smokiness, slight chocolate.

Bitter coffee, Sweet maltiness, roasted/toasted malts, slight hoppiness, nuttiness, dry & sweet in the finish. The coffee is not overwhelming, but rather a nice touch to go along with the other stout characteristics.

Medium bodied, bitter, smooth, moderate carbonation.

Drinks nicely. I typically find the majority of coffee stouts overpowering in the coffee area. This has a nice balance.

I remember drinking this one back when they made it with Starbuck's. Enjoyed this quite abit. Recommended. Nicely priced as well. Would buy again.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a Delerium Tremens snifter - an odd combination, perhaps, but it worked out alright. A nice black pour with a creamy light brown head that leaves behind strips of lace as if to leave markers for each sip taken.

S: Coffee aromas are not as rich and full as some of the coffee stouts I've enjoyed. They are certainly still there, though... just subtle and more delicate, paired with a roasted maltiness.

T: Like the aroma, a modest flavour of coffee and roasted malts, balanced together quite nicely. It finishes with a nice touch of bitterness.

M: Good carbonation... for being a little heavier in body, it's remarkably crisp and smooth.

D: I never had the opportunity to try this beer when it was originally released, with Starbucks coffee. What they have come up with now is quite a tasty beer, though, and one of the better values in term of cost. No complaints there. I'll be revisiting this a few times, most certainly.

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Photo of ironbike1
4.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First time trying this. Must start off by saying why dont they brew this on a regular basis. Excellent stout.

Color is dark black, with a dark brown head, very thin that laces all the way through this beer. Mouth feel is on the lighter side for a stout but that is why I rate it so high on drinkability, extremyl smooth. Very easy to drink with a great array of flavors. Has just a hint of coffee which makes it perfect. Smell is wonderfully hinted with coffee aswell as fruit & licorice scents.

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Photo of likestoswallow
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

650 ml bottle from Beverages4less in santee. Pours an opaque black color with an ample tan head that has good retention and leaves plenty of lacing. The aroma is rich with dark chocolate, mocha coffee, and anise. The flavor features a good dose of black licorice in the forefront with dark fruits and coffee rounding out the sides. The mouthfeel is full and smooth, full almost to the point of being chewy. The finish is long with lingering anise. This is by far and away the best offering yet from Redhook. Recommended try.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was kind of a rare find in a podunk little liquor store in a very small town in Wyoming. I bought the last two for $3 a piece.

A: pours a deep brown with an off white head, about half an inch thick, reduces down to a film with spotty patches of carbonation leaving somewhat of an impression of mold. mostly opaque with a few brown accents towards the sides. very small bubbles are left in the lacing.

S: the coffee is very present in the nose on this beer, a very dark roast, some burnt malt smells as well, deeper down there are some dark chocolate scents in there with a few hoppy accents as well. hops are somewhat hidden, but are piney and clean in character, but the coffee is the overwhelming character in the nose.

T: the first thing on the tongue is a nice dark chocolate, with a few hints of vanilla as well, that is quickly pushed out of the way by dark roasted coffee which dominates the flavor throughout the rest of the beer, nice hoppy kick at the end, pretty piney, it comes out nicely as the beer warms.

M: a little thin in the mouth compared to other imperial stouts, but not bad, a fair bit of carbonation, pretty smooth, and very little alcohol burn.

D: hands down the most sessionable imperial stout i've ever tried, relatively low alcohol, nice smooth character. this beer is really nice i wish i could have picked up a few more and let them age. nice beer.

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

pours a dark black with a slight red tint, medium size tan head, good lacing.

smell of coffee, sour malt.

taste is of strong coffee, sour malt, dark and bitter chocolate, touch of vanilla, end is dry and nicely bitter.

overall a good beer, better than most from redhook.

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Photo of erosier
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a deep black color with a medium sized and thick tan colored head that laves the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smell is of deep roasted malts, hints of chocolate, and mainly coffee aromas.
T: Tastes a lot like the nose. Deep roasted malts, hints of chocolate, and then a big coffee flavor.
M: This was lighter than it looked, but not a lot lighter. Good amount of carbonation, very warming too.
D: Very drinkable, I liked it very much and it had nice balance of the malt and coffee flavors.

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Photo of czechsaaz
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(New batch, no longer with Starbucks but Lighthouse a local roastery.)

Big roast malt notes almost smokey. Light coffee aroma in the background. A little fruity fermentaion esters too.

Black with a thin tan head that leaves a ton of lacing.

Big rich stout flavors of roast malt and deep fruit like prunes. Nice bitterness level but a good sweet base malt too. Coffee flavor is really light but it is there.

Smooth carbonation level and kind of thick in the mouth which is good for a big stout.

Nice beer. Good approachable stout. Lots of flavors and strength but not a huge sipping beer.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a small, short lived light tan head and good lacing.

Scent of roasted malts, coffee and chocolate. Nothing to really make it stand out, but it is balanced and somewhat strong.

Taste of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and a hint of raisins. Finishes nicely with roasted malts and coffee. A good representation of the style, and very much worth the $3.50 I paid.

Mouthfeel is smooth and somewhat heavy with a nice bite. Good, not overly heavy keeping the drinkability up.

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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 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 djeucalyptus
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, nearing black, glowing a light caramel coffee color at the edges. A two-finger head bubbles up on a vigorous pour and fades quickly, leaving behind some ample yet fairly thin lacing.

Aroma of molasses, caramel, toffee, and some coffee. Smells like molasses inside of a dirty coffee grinder. Some cocoa notes, and a touch of bitter citrus hops rounds it out nicely.

Tastes like a decent stout, heavy on the sweet molasses and dark coffee. Burnt bitter coffee? Not getting as much coffee as I'd hoped... even when warm. As it warms up, the sweetness increases, verging on cloying at moments. Flavor on the whole isn't as powerful as I'd anticipated for a double/imperial.

Mouthfeel is fair with moderate carbonation. It has a smoothness, although a bit thin and the smooth is on the verge of slick. A bit of coffee oiliness lingers, keeping the flavors on the tongue. It's on the lighter side of the strong stout spectrum.

I was a bit underwhelmed. Maybe the hype and excitement had gotten my hopes too high. Or maybe this is just a slightly underwhelming stout. It had decent aroma, descent taste, and a fairly good mouthfeel, but I was hoping for more, stronger, and lots of coffee. It just fell a bit short. If it was a slightly lower price point, I'd probably rate drinkability higher, but there are so many other stouts out there, I'm just not crazy about this one.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Little brown head that fades fast, lacing that is surprisingly persistent. Very little carbonation. Not as thick as I would hope for from a stout.

Strong coffee flavor mingles well with smokey stoutness. Not as much bitterness as I would expect from an "Imperial" stout.

I could drink a couple of these if I didn't need to drive, and a couple more if I didn't have anything to do but sleep in the morning...

Surprise find at a Fred Meyer grocery store in Kirkland, but I guess it's not a total shock, since the Redhook brewery is about five miles away.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I decided to enjoy this one with the new Black Keys DVD tonight. First the beer review...

Pours a very dark brown, not entirely black as there are brown edges but it's close enough. Nice inch or so of off-white head. Retention is fair but lacing is good.

Aroma is sweet and roasty with coffee in the forefront.

Flavor is very well done with dark roasted coffee, mild chocolate, roasted malts, and a touch of bitterness from hops. Nice balance to it with just enough sweetness to balance the dark roasty character.

Mouthfeel is very good, not too heavy, medium plus body, good levels of carbonation, and friendly.

Drinkability is good too in that it's not too overbearing or heavy in alcohol. One can enjoy this beer from start to finish and feel good along the way.

One of the best examples of a coffee stout.

As for the Black Keys, rockin' as always!

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Redhook Double Black Stout from Redhook Ale Brewery
Beer rating: 69.6% out of 100 with 345 ratings
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