SS Yirgacheffe | Carton Brewing Company

18 Reviews
SS YirgacheffeSS Yirgacheffe

Brewed by:
Carton Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
While playing coffee games last winter, even though they didn’t work for that project, we found ourselves attracted to the bitter lemony notes of cold brewed Ethiopian Yirgacheffe from our partners at Fair Mountain Coffee Roasters. While playing our usual hoppy games recently we were similarly inspired by the lemony bitterness of the new "Lemon Drop" hop from our friends at Hopsteiner. With "SS 2014 Yirgacheffe" we bridge our “Need A Bigger Boat” recipe from 2012 to these flavors with the helping hand of the lemon notes of Sorachi Ace hops. Drink SS 2014 Yirgacheffe (Need A Bigger Boat) because we only turn 3 once.

Added by SadMachine on 08-17-2014

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Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 129
Photo of woemad
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16oz can from SammyJaxxx’s unprovoked ninja attack. There’s no obvious freshness date on the can, just the promotional paragraph that has been reproduced here.

Poured into a Mad Bomber IPA glass, this was a chill-hazed orangey amber color, almost burnt orange, with a big, fluffy beige colored head that took several minutes to drop and left lots of lace on the sides of the glass.

The aroma is of lightly citrusy hops with a roast coffee edge to it. The hops definitely come through more than the coffee, but those coffee notes are definitely alongside.

I find that the coffee seems to be leading the charge in the flavor department, but the hops are right there as well. The hoppiness is a little more lemony, grassy, herbal in nature as compared to the grapefruity-piney hoppiness I’m accustomed to, but it works well here. As it warms, the coffee flavor becomes more prominent at the hops expense, but it’s not a massive, overbearing coffee presence even then. Things are really well balanced. The finish is dry, but not bone-shatteringly so. No sign of the relatively high alcohol level, by the way.

Medium bodied, with a more creamy mouthfeel than I would expect for an IPA, and correspondingly less oily and resiny.

I’m not familiar with the type of coffee used here (I’m more of a dark roast kind of guy), but it’s apparently supposed to impart fruity, lemon like flavors, so I’m finding it’s pretty hard to tell where the coffee flavor ends and the hops begin, which is probably the whole point. The balance is superb. I think I want to have this again, and try more coffee IPAs. Given the level of coffee fanaticism in the PNW, maybe this will soon be a thing around here. Thanks to SammyJaxxx for this tasty and fascinating beer!

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Photo of DerekCarruth
2.6/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm not sure if I just got an old can or what, but I did not like the initial taste (very malty to me) and the after taste was a little funky. As much as I love 077XX, I am a little upset as I was expecting this to be great. I'll try again another time to see if indeed this was just an old can.

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Photo of 2beerdogs
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to NJ Beer Ambassador @Sammyjaxxxx for this one.
Well I thought this one sounded, well, uh, interesting.
But we need to be open to new experiences.
Poured a golden to amber hue. Off white head bursting with lemony citrus and yes, hints of fruity coffee.
Taste is really a fine blend of lemon zest and lite roast coffee. It is nothing I ever expected to enjoy, but it's quite good.

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Photo of RVA_BDK
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great balance between the coffee and the hops. I was a little skeptical of this beer at first but it over delivered. I couldn't have more than one in a sitting but would certainly look for this again.

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Photo of Jason
4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can, sample from the brewery.

Tiny bubbled lacing, nearly clear amber hue. Smells of light citrusy hops, faint fresh ground coffee, bready malt, & dried pear-like fruitiness. The cold brewed coffee is in there, lots of lemon zest and pith all of which balances out the big malt back bone. Lots of flavor mingling around yet it all works together, warming in the finish but still quite drinkable for the size. A lot of fun to knock this one back.

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Photo of gopens44
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Carton has this coffee thing down. Seriously. Nose carries certainly a nice coffee aroma most prominently but the taste captures the coffee flavor masterfully balanced against a slightly fruity hop bitterness. Beer rounds out with a slightly hot aggressive bitter. This one is for real.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.77/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks goes out to SammyJaxxxx for this brew.

16 oz. Can

Pours a very nice dark golden yellow color, with some very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger plus off-white head, which leaves some very nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, malty, with some coffee notes, slightly roasty. The taste is pretty nice hoppy, malty, with some roasty/coffee notes. Medium body, with a slightly bitter finish. Overall, never thought about putting coffee into a DIPA before, not bad, but not really for me.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Settles into the glass as a murky tarnish-orange body, with a soapy bone-white head. Aroma is big in coffee grounds, piney hops and toasted malts. Flavor fits the bill; piney hops balanced out by bitter coffee. Feel is medium, with medium carbonation. Full flavored, but easy drinking. A really solid IIPA brewed with coffee.

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Photo of thampel09
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

First off let's say this nose is fantastic! Great aroma of coffee and hops melds so well together. On the pallet it's straight hoppy coffee with alight lemon undertones. Well done!

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Photo of thatoneguymike
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Another great coffee blonde beer from Carton.

The color is very similar to Regular Coffee, a blonde color which completely hides what is to come.

The IPA just reeks of coffee, in a good way if that's your thing.

Taste is a great play on an coffee-IPA and this is just a wonderful beer.

I loved it.

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Photo of agreenman19
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

L - pours a crystal clear color just like unsweetened iced tea! Nostalgic!

S - not sure what this is. I get coffee, but it's not the typical coffee you'd smell in a stout. I suspect the hops are contributing! More caramel like a brown ale.

T - more of that initial caramel forward taste, but a stringent bitterness pervades. There's a lot of different sensations and flavors going on in this one. An avant-garde beer for sure. Cold-brewed coffee, some slight hop citrus. Hint of lemon. Strange balance, but works for this beer. Despite all the bitterness in the middle, it finishes smooth. Dries the mouth ever so slightly.

F - packs a punch. Prickly, but also a little thin. Accentuates the hop bite.

O - a strange beer! Not used to the bitterness from my coffee coming from something other than, well... coffee!

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Photo of jebenavid
4.99/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fantastic coffee ale by Carton Brewing. Can't think of something that would make this beer better. Poured into a 16oz Carton 077XX IIPA glass.

Look: A clear, light amber colored pale ale with plenty of carbonation, with a generous pour resulting in a couple of inches of a pale cream colored head, with little lacing left behind

Smell: Smells of straight freshly roasted morning coffee in the foreground, with a light hop element and lemon smell in the background.

Taste: A pale ale done right. A burst of lemony, citrusy flavor with a hoppy undertone, followed by the big roasted flavor of coffee, rounding the corner with an ultra smooth and non-bitter finish.

Feel: As mentioned, smooth as silk. Clocks in around 8%abv yet feels as if it is ultra drinkable. Definitely dangerous as I drank 3 cans in a 2 hour sitting.

Overall: I hope Carton maintains this route because this coffee pale ale was fantastic. Brought me back to the Goose Island Fulton Street Coffee blend, but I do believe Carton leaped a large hurdle over it! Definitely seek it out and try it.

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Photo of DrStiffington
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very tasty non-stout coffee beer. I missed it the first time around, so I was psyched to get a bunch this year. Very coffee forward on the nose, with the taste following suit. Don't get a lot of lemon flavor, but overall a treat.

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Photo of HopBomb515
4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Hazy golden touch toward the orange side, small head fades fast, alcohol legs but not much of any lacing. Smells of coffee, lemon, hoppy, touch of caramel sweetness. Amazing aroma but it lacks that pop out of the glass. The way the coffee, lemon and caramel flavors meld together is amazing. Bitterness from the coffee and hops finishes pleasingly bitter with a nice citrus touch. Mouthfeel has some initial carbonation on a full end of medium body that turns creamy and finishes slightly sticky and drys out in a flash at the end. This is a world class beer with truly unique flavors and Carton just nails another one.

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Photo of brianmandell
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Comes in a waxed and capped growler. This is a nice IPA that is more of a coffee beer than an IPA. The coffee is very present in aroma and flavor and well integrated with the base beer. Very well balanced. Creamy carbonation with great mouthfeel. Nicely done, Carton.

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Photo of Tobes181
4.99/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer has the perfect balance between coffee and hops! They compliment eachother so well in this beer. The aroma and taste both start with the dank hops and then finishes with some fresh coffee! The 8.2% alcohol is hidden very well. no alcohol burn.

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Photo of mikeburd1128
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Re-reviewed on 12/11/15. From a can that is probably about 2 weeks old.

A - Pours a hazy golden color with a finger of head that recedes quickly. Solid lacing though.

S - Nose seems pretty straightforward. Light roast coffee with cream and sugar and some lemon. The nose is so sweet.

T - The coffee just explodes in the beginning. Light, smooth coffee. And the bitterness from the coffee transitions beautifully to the hop bitterness. A lot of lemon on the back end.

M - Creamy feel to it. Moderate carbonation. Very nice.

O - Ultimately the coffee and hops work real well together. The coffee is just so absurdly sweet. After a few sips I felt like I needed to brush my teeth cuz they're coated in sugar. Lingers on the palate forever afterwards too. I think it's a good beer given the circumstances. I guess I just think it could be VASTLY improved.

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Photo of Fezzik1970
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

It is a sum of it's parts. The coffee smells very good and the taste is there but not too much. The hops are good bitterness and their aroma runs right along the coffee. Both are very good, but together they just work so well.

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SS Yirgacheffe from Carton Brewing Company
4.16 out of 5 based on 129 ratings.
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