Espresso Stout | Dark Star Brewing Company Limited

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Espresso StoutEspresso Stout
46 Ratings
Espresso StoutEspresso Stout

Brewed by:
Dark Star Brewing Company Limited
England, United Kingdom

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

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Ratings: 46 |  Reviews: 34
Photo of TGS
3.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of FatsoSvuLLo
3.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jroof1
3.76/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of LantGladstone
1.62/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

no BBE 4.2% ABV 500ml bottle from ales by mail

Appearance (Look) = 6%
brown black. persistent head

Smell = 24%
like instant coffee.

Taste = 40%
like carbonated instant coffee. bitter. nothing else.

Mouthfeel (Feel) = 10%

Overall = 20%
not good. I couldn't detect the beer here. I generally like coffee stouts. dumped it.

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Photo of chickenm
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kojevergas
3.39/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BOTTLE: 500ml. Brown glass. Branded pry-off crown cap.

Reviewed live as a coffee beer per the label. Served cold into a mason jar. Expectations are average; I haven't really encountered this brewery. Purchased at a Prisma supermarket in Kuopio, Finland.

4.2% ABV.

HEAD: ~3 inches wide. Nice khaki colour. Creamy and frothy, with nice thickness and fullness. Robust, with a good overall consistency. Appears soft and inviting. Retention is quite good - ~8 minutes. Leaves light lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Opaque dark black. No yeast particles can be seen.

It's a nice looking coffee beer. Definitely seems like a stout.

AROMA: Lovely roast - both from espresso/coffee/java and roasted barley. Cream helps tame any harshness or bitterness you'd normally get from coffee. Hints at dark malts, but overall it suggests such a drinkable beer that it doesn't "feel" dark - or at least it doesn't seem heavy.

A very pleasant aroma which nails the titular espresso. I'm really looking forward to trying it.

Aromatic intensity is average.

TASTE/TEXTURE: It's simple and a little shallow, sure, but it nails the eponymous espresso note, and the balancing creaminess is lovely. The malt backbone is pretty timid, and I would like some more chocolate malt presence, but by deemphasizing the malts, the espresso is allowed to shine. It doesn't quite bring the roast as much as would be ideal, and more roasted barley in the grain bill could only help. Milk sugars are present, but it's not too Whopper-y and never comes off too sweet.

Smooth, wet, well-carbonated, medium-bodied, and aptly (moderately) thick. Soft and approachable, with a pleasing presence on the palate. The creaminess of the mouthfeel accents the espresso nicely, running counterpoint to it.

A gestalt build, though it leaves a lot of room for further intricacy and nuance. The fantastic balance alone makes this beer work, and the complementary texture is a bonus. Well put together, and very likable. I find no overt flaws - just opportunities for improvement.

As it warms, more and more milk chocolate emerges, making it still more appealing without ever being too sweet.

OVERALL: Highly drinkable for a coffee ale. This quality beer will please the discerning drinker by sheer virtue of its remarkable balance, but its wanting complexity and shallowness will prevent it from impressing. Well worth trying, and a beer I'll enjoy finishing.

B- (3.39)

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Photo of skywizzard
3.69/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of atrocity
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of FLima
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

One of the blackest beers I have ever seen. Poured practically no head.
Predominant aroma of roasted coffee.
Flavor of fresh roasted coffee, earthy and herbal hops with a spicy kick from its Challenger hops. Hints of cocoa powder. Quite dry and bitter aftertaste with its residual taste.
Medium body with low carbonation.
Very assertive beer, go straight to the point as promised: coffee, and fortunately non sweet. You could even drink it at breakfast; it has low alcohol content and it sure can substitute your fresh iced coffee.

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Photo of flyingpig
3.72/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle from Peckham's, Glasgow (£2.39):
Black with a 2cm foamy head that is a medium to dark tan in colour and holds pretty well.

Coffee & roasted malts too. The espresso is very apparent and there is a dryness to the beer with some milky cocoa coming through as well. There is some barley too and a touch of bitterness.

Coffee & espresso upfront but there is more milkiness than from the nose, Medium strength chocolate & some roasted malts with some bitterness follow. Some faint background fruits make an appearance towards the end too.

A dry taste with medium bitterness and a medium body. Carbonation is light medium and there is a nice, well balanced bitterness to the finish.

Strong coffee & espresso flavours that thankfully don't overpower too much. Surprisingly well balanced and enjoyable offering. Quite a nice beer overall.

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Photo of AnotherImperial
2/5  rDev -42.7%

Photo of JohnQVD
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of pin
2.5/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of Dracook
4.5/5  rDev +28.9%

Photo of MatJones
4.25/5  rDev +21.8%

Photo of eat
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The body looks to be on the thin side for a stout and is pretty much black in colour. A wispy, bubbly cover of beige head is maintained for the duration of the session.

The coffee scent found here is more of the drip-brewed variety than of a fine espresso. Smells like your standard cup of convenience store stuff along with some thin dark malt, muscovado, slight minerals and a hint of smoke. Not bad necessarily, just a little disappointing when you're expecting espresso (as advertised).

I don't think I would be let down at all here if they would have just called it coffee beer. I can't really make any comparisons to espresso here, though the coffee flavour isn't of too bad a quality. Quite a lot of cherry jumps out at me, a pleasant if unexpected finding. For my taste it is on the thin side flavour-wise but this stuff does only weigh in at 4.2% ABV, and adjusted to scale it's not all that bad. Decently balanced, coming off as neither too sweet nor too bitter. Soily hops take over on the finish, leaving more drying than would be expected. Minerals blend in well amongst a lightly sparkling carbonation. Malt could be beefed up a bit; but then it wouldn't seem as English, would it? A bit bland but decent nonetheless.

At 4.2% ABV I was expecting something on the thin side, so in that sense it's not too far off the mark. Medium-thin body with a strange carbonation which is somehow light and prominent at the same time. Pretty English-feeling.

If you're into it, this would be easily sessionable. I'm not sure I'd pick this one up again, mostly as a result of better, similar options which are readily available. I'd say it's worth a try, though, if this is a style you know you enjoy.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.78/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Caramel-tinged black with lumpy beige head that's loose but holds and trails.
Nose is straight up oily espresso beans.
Burnt sugar, milky hot cocoa, a hint of blackberry and cold strong coffee followed by faint woody hops. Kola finish and tight roasty leave.
Medium, chewy, soft and round.

Coffee is prominent, but there is a solid stout underneath. Very much espresso rather than coffee, so a bit of conceptual thing that way. Far better than cask.

(3.6; 4.00 4.00 3.50 3.50 3.50)
On cask at the Belfast Beer Festival.
Viscous black with a collar of white froth. Pure oily espresso bean nose. Earth, ash and coffee up front, a tight plastic/band aid (but not phenol) hit in the middle, and roastiness to end. Chewy, medium, dry.
Are there any nice beers with coffee added directly? Not a great example of the style (coffee beers, that is. Why this is an American Stout, I have no idea.) and not up to Dark Star's usual standards. This rating is even probably generous, but gotta follow the notes. Disappointed.

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Photo of crusian
2.5/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours black with a large, light tan head.
Nose show overwhelming chilli/capsicum character... wierd. Underneath is dark chocolate malt.
Flavours include unroasted coffee, capsicum and a little roasty character.
Rather light body and carbonation.
Pretty different.

 263 characters

Photo of OldGrowler
4.35/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

With a cheesy name like "Dark Star" Brewery, I expected the worst. Couldn't be more pleasantly surprised. Unique burnt, woody aroma Complex burnt/nutty/malty flavours are muted and balanced to make it as drinkable as any cola. Unlike others in its class, it's distinctly neither bitter nor sweet. Shortfalls are slightly thin, flattens out fast, washing out the complexity, and slight sour aftertaste--which is fleeting. But perfect balance is why I give this super-smooth coffee-style beer a high rating. Drank this one way too fast ...

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Photo of Sammy
3.35/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from LCBO. Yes, expresso in the aroma and in the taste. However as a stout, a style I normally like, I was less than satisfied. I got tired of it quickly. At best average mouthfeel. Good black colour with thick foamy off-white head.You must be a big coffee fan for this one.

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Photo of ludachris
3.72/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black as night with a finger's worth of khaki coloured head being yeilded after an aggressive pour. Thin streams of miniscule bubbles quickly ascend to the top of the glass but fail to provide the head with a good amount of retention.

Freshly ground coffee beans, deep roasted malts, bakers chocolate, and cocoa powder make for a very inviting coffee stout.

The dry and semi-sweet chocolate character the beer gives off seems to take on a more smooth, sweet, and lactic character in the taste, nicely balancing the dry, roasted character that ensues soon after. The finish is nutty and a touch bitter. Flavourful, but lacks complexity.

Medium bodied and a bit filmy with a dry finish. If the body were a bit more assertive and full, I'd enjoy this stout a lot more, but how much more full can it get with a 4.6% ABV. With the lower ABV, this is one quaffer of a stout.

Overall, a flavourful well balanced stout that lacks complexity and a fuller body. But for the most part, I think the latter two are sacrificed with a lower ABV. With the lower ABV, the brewery aims for something else; a tasty and quaffable coffee stout, and they have successfully achieved that.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.07/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours near black with a smallish tan head that quickly becomes a film, emitting only a bit of lace on the glass. The aroma is full of coffee, with a bit of mollasses and cocoa. The taste is also dominated by coffee flavors. Chocolate, and toffee flavors show in the back as does a subdued herbal hop character. The mouthfeel is light bodied and rather sparsely carbonated. The finish is bitter, more so from the generous dose of coffee used than from hops.

I liked this beer, its not the prettiest stout, and it may be a little anemic in the malt department, but it has a great coffee flavor, and is wonderfully dry. I recommend this for any coffee fan.

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Photo of mintjellie
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark Star Espresso Stout is coffee black in colour and topped by thick pile of cappucino froth that sticks thickly to the walls of my glass. It smells intensely and deeply of coffee, and thats about it. Tastes of bitter black coffee, right down to the acidity in the finish. The only counterpoint to it - and it's a welcome one - is a a mild sweetness. A little bit of sugar in your coffee, so to speak. It feels a quite thin for a stout, and I can't help but compare this to Mill Street Coffee Porter in terms of body and mouthfeel. As weird as this might sound, I think it actually has too much flavour for the body to carry. It feels and drinks like a session porter, but has a coffee flavour as heavyhanded as an imperial stout like Peche Mortel. In the end, it just doesn't work for me as a session beer. It tastes pretty good, but tastes good in a way that stops you from wanting another.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.97/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear black color stout with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of medium dry coffee notes is well balance with some roasted malt. Taste is dominated by a nice aromatic coffee with balanced mix between dry and bitter notes. Light black chocolate notes are also noticeable. Body is about average for style with good carbonation. Well done and easily drinkable.

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Espresso Stout from Dark Star Brewing Company Limited
Beer rating: 3.49 out of 5 with 46 ratings