Monocacy Brewing Co.

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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #650
Ranked #2,334
4.2 | pDev: 7.38%
Monocacy Brewing Co.
Maryland, United States
Notes: From the shadows of a dark and opulent curtain spring the robust aromas of locally roasted coffee and hardy malt. Deep-seated hop bitterness rallies with these conspirators, delivering a well-balanced thrust of assertive flavor to a bland tyrant. Raise a glass in celebration of liberating taste. Et tu, Brewte?
Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 238 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by ThaneMcC:
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ThaneMcC from Germany

4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an inky black, minimal light brown head. Smells strongly of expresso, cocoa, smokey, roasted malts. Tastes very expresso forward, tempered by sweeter malts, cocoa, and well balanced. Medium bodied, clean finish.
Overall, great coffee imperial stout.

Nov 21, 2015
More User Reviews:
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daliandragon from Maryland

4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The coffee jumps out at you really strong. That's the first thing you notice. Nice lace, a very dark brown head and crazy sweet coffee in the nose are followed by blasting pine laced hops but eventually overwhelmed by roasted malt. Heavy on the tongue and thick in texture. This is a seriously strong effort from Monocacy.

So, full disclosure, I moved to Maryland six months ago from North Carolina, where the beer scene is pretty strong. I have been mostly unimpressed in the local stock since my arrival, but this Brewtus changes the calculus at least a little. Watch Monocacy.

Jan 09, 2017
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Damian from Massachusetts

4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Total Wine & More, McLean, VA
MBC No. 14-001
Served in a snifter

Near pitch black appearance. Oily and viscous. The beer was topped by a small, frothy, saddle brown head that quickly fell to a lasting collar. A few streaks of lacing trickled along the glass after each sip.

Outstanding aroma. Mocha notes dominated. Loads of coffee. Nice mix of sweetened, creamed coffee and earthy coffee grounds. Really fragrant. Dark, fudgey, chocolate notes came through strong. There was an intense cocoa powder note as well. Vanilla was also quite apparent.

The flavor profile was similar to the aroma but not quite as rich or smooth. Roasted malts led things off. Dark chocolate followed. Like the nose, quite fudgey. Loads of cocoa powder. Espresso appeared in the center. Slightly bitter. Hint of vanilla and sweet cream, which nicely offset the bitterness. More roast on the back end and in the finish. A subtle booziness came through as well. Moreso than I anticipated for an 8.6% ABV beer.

The only disappointing aspect of this was the mouthfeel. It was surprisingly light and over carbonated. The beer contained a zippy, aggressive effervescence that made the liquid feel frothy and rather airy. I think if this was classified as a stout rather than an imperial stout, I might have been more forgiving with my score.

Brewtus is an amazing coffee-infused beer that straddles the territory of an American stout and an imperial stout. The fact that this is an affordable, year-round offering that can easily be found throughout the D.C. metro area makes it even more noteworthy.

May 05, 2016
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Smakawhat from Maryland

3.64/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass.

Deep dark walnut brown out of the bottle, good thick viscosity as it fills the glass. Head is quite dark with a big mocha dark brown but only makes about half a finger head. Dissolves to a thin collar, but leaves a good thick leg coating also on the side.

Real big bouquet. Good amounts of ripping bean, but huge notes of peanut butter and dark chocolate. A nice controlled pipping hot warmth as well from the coffee angle, excellently executed with just a hint of mild soft roast quality.

Palate seems to be hitting towards lighter character. Slightly fizzy finish with a mid palate that comes with lots of ripping bean. Slightly oily hop like coating and mild astringency but without any acrid off flavors luckily. Prickly and a bit wet mouthfeel. Good controlled bitter sweetness of dark chocolate on the finish to match with some of the coffee nicely.

It's not bad, but there's room for improvement slightly on the malt angle. The beer for a big imperial comes off a little weak in palate feel and flavor, but a solid decent coffee brewed stout nonetheless with a bizarre aroma to go with it.

Nov 05, 2014
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nhindian from Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Within the glass, Brewtus has all the makings of a beer that looks like a freshly pressed cup of Joe. It is a flat black with an especially frothy head that lasts and lasts - it actually never really seems to completely fade away. This leads to lacing to coats all 360 degrees of the glass in a sexy curtain.

Aroma - One whiff of this beer and it's like I'm back in the office; the amount of coffee coming out of this beer is huge and it mixes seamlessly with a sweet chocolate note. It's not overly roasty, but instead takes on a cold-pressed mocha impression.

Taste - Much like the nose, the taste is all coffee and very smooth. More of the roasted bitterness shows up here, as the chocolate falls back into a bittersweet role. Rounding out the flavor is a subtle toasted nut and oatmeal quality that is very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is beefed-up with a thick, creamy texture that benefits greatly from the addition of oats. It sort of reminds me of a coffee milkshake and is a treat to drink.

Closing Arguments- This was a fantastic introduction to this new-to-me brewery. The coffee is spot-on and reminds me of Founders Breakfast Stout in the way that it integrates with the chocolate notes. I could see this being a favorite in the colder months and I will definitely keep my eyes peeled the next time I find myself near Frederick.

Apr 27, 2015
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cambabeer from New York

4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Heavy pour, molasses looking, pitch black pour into a wine glass. Formed frothy head, dark tan with reddish hues, which settled to a thin ring that's sticking around. Extremely minimal carbonation can be seen. Chocolate raisin at first in the nose followed by espresso with vanilla. Loads of chocolate malts in the taste, loads. Coffee bitterness, just a serious chocolate covered espresso beans. Some hops come in the backbone and aftertaste, but the malt is what's in charge. Still somewhat sweet in the middle, but this is killed by the malt, roasted coffee, and hop bitterness along with the alcohol at the end. Yep, good beer.

Jun 02, 2016
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ThisWangsChung from Maryland

4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a nearly black color. The head is a finger high and tan in shade. Retention isn't very special, but I like the head's creaminess. Minimal lacing sticks to the glass. (3.5)

Smell: This - THIS - is what I like in a coffee stout. Lots of black coffee, counterbalanced by additional roasted malts and dark chocolate. Know what this reminds me of? Founders Breakfast Stout, sans the oatmeal. I also like how there's a nice roastiness beyond just black coffee, and the subtle graham cracker notes, and just about everything else. (4.5)

Taste: Black coffee opens it up nicely. I'll give it about a 6 out of 10 on the coffee intensity scale. It ends with pure dark chocolate, backed by some roasted barley and *maybe* a twinge of hop bitterness. Only thing is, it's not very complex to me - just coffee, roast, and chocolate. Still, those three notes intermingle with one another extremely well. (4)

Mouthfeel: This is NOT creamy like FBS - instead, it's bitter, dry, and a little rough. I could stand to lose some of the latter, but I do like how dry and easy to drink it is (though the finish is still very long). Carbonation is medium, poking through the slightly slender body well. (3.75)

Overall: I've fully accepted the grim reality that Founders will never distribute to Maryland (thanks, Hop & Wine Distributors of Northern Virginia), and as such, I've been looking for that FBS alternative. Wait...this is from Maryland? And it's year-round? Huzzah! In my mind, this can easily hang with FBS in terms of quality and drinkability. Hopefully, this will make its way to the rest of MD, so I can drink the hell out of it. (4.25)

4.12/5: A year-round coffee stout that's genuinely impressive? Done.

May 01, 2015
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Omnium from Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle > Sensory Pils Glass

A - Pitch black with half a finger of tan head, no lacing.
S - Fresh roasted coffee, by far the most potent coffee aroma I've had in any beer to date. Smoke and some light oak kinda wood tone to it, very earthy tones. Outstanding.
T - Massive roasted coffee flavor, roasted malt, burnt wood, lighter mix of earthy hops. Really good, but also very singular.
M - Drier finish, lighter feel despite the alcohol. Not sweet at all either.
O - Really unique coffee brew, by far the most extreme use of coffee I've had, also more of a dry and robust beer than sweeter, which is a great change of pace.

Jun 08, 2014
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JamLand from District of Columbia

3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Apr 09, 2016
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Devman171 from Maryland

4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thick black pour. Big espresso and roasted chocolate nose. Taste is big chocolate and espresso, slight green pepper, but a solid imperial coffee stout.

Oct 25, 2014
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cjgiant from District of Columbia

4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Re-re-visit, 2020 on tap
Long lasting creamy collar that throws some lace across the glass wall.

Nose has a char/smokiness that belies the taste a tad, but has a smoked meat component, roasted malt, and deeper espresso notes.

Taste goes straight to coffee, following it with charred malt and some smoke. The latter brings some acrid notes, but they are mild to my palate. The bitterness of a bold coffee shines through appropriately (in my mind).

Increased rating half a notch overall, I think. Coffee is well-integrated without feeling forced.

Re-visit from bottle 12/2015:
Decent amount of head atop a medium viscous looking pour. Some lacing.
Coffee is a nice medium level in the nose, light smokey wood.
Little bitter roasted malts, wood notes, toasted bread make the backbone. Coffee play dearly and well with the base. Warmth brings a tiny bit of licorice.
Feel is medium in body, nice carbonation, not sticky at all.
Solid brew, one tick up in taste rating - especially from a properly warmed beer.

On cask:
Always feel strange rating on cask, so this will be brief rather than full review:
Appearance is just short of nitro, initially, but fades a tad, still nice foamy edge and lacing.
Nose is coffee with a hint of woodiness, and to a lesser degree, chocolate.
Taste is cocoa, coffee, cola, light bitter woody ending.
Feel is a bit light, but very smooth, low carbonation from cask.
Definitely a decent beer, solid stout; need to see how it seems non-cask.

Mar 23, 2015
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wanderlust389 from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Mar 31, 2015
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kmos27 from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -4.8%

May 17, 2014
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JamieDuncan from Maryland

4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Oct 15, 2016
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jgunther71 from Illinois

4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jul 30, 2015
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Dominic_Decoco from New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jul 25, 2015
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brewduder from North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

May 08, 2015
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raindog814 from Virginia

3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Apr 06, 2016
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Raziel313 from California

4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apr 16, 2015
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dcisco44 from Massachusetts

3.76/5  rDev -10.5%

Sep 02, 2014
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_RL_ from Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Apr 22, 2014
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Moses_Malone from District of Columbia

3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Nov 05, 2014
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dwmulcahy from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Jul 28, 2014
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Shroud0fdoom from Maryland

4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle into a Belgian Tulip.

First off, I've been waiting to try this brew for some time now... Today is my lucky Day! Let's get talking about this brew....tus. Off the Jump this thing Pours Massive Black Body! You know what they say, Blacker the Berry, Sweeter da Juice! This brew was crowned with a Deep Mocha Head, quasi Ten FIDY-ish in appearance. This is a Perfect looking Imperial Stout!

I'm all over this aroma like flies on a Turd. This thing is an IMPERIAL COFFEE STOUT! Huge Coffee roast on top of a Sweet Cocoa Body. Mild nutty Notes with a dap of Molasses. This Aroma is banging in its Richness!

Tasting this Should be a Chore.. First picks up a Balance of Roasted Malt sweetness and Coffee. Second wave of Chocolate and Molasses that are Shaking the Tastebuds with excitement! This thing is like drinking a Candied Coffee Bean! This finishes dry with subtle bitterness balancing the sweetness. Aftertaste is still being dominated by Chocolate, Molasses and a touch of Fruity esters (Pear flavor again). The feel on this is Medium-light body with fizzy Carbonation.

Overall: This brew plays the role in astonishing fashion! No obvious flaws on this brew, except the Feel could be Smashingly Heavy with a Smooth Texture. It lacks in that department, but that's personal preferences talking. The appearance on this brew is something to experience. It has the look of Marshal Zhukov and Ten FIDY that had a Coffee Forward Baby. I don't give out fives but this appearance is exquisite. The aroma and flavor has no Flaws in them, IMO. This brew is definitely belonging of the upper tier Coffee Stouts. This is Less bitter than Peche Mortel but has a weaker feel/finish. This brew is Recommended!

Nov 08, 2015
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Dilbert65 from Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Mar 30, 2014
Brewtus from Monocacy Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 238 ratings