Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 125, Troegs Java Head

Hi beer lovers!

Tonight is the start of Troegs Week right on the heels of Philly Beer Week so hopefully I will be attending some events around this great city or even volunteering!

Tonight I am drinking a stout that is in the category of oatmeal stouts so along with a fairly full body, roasted malts tasting of dark chocolate or coffee also expect a surprisingly smooth mouthfeel and a bit of sweetness added by the oats!  This beer is also brewed with coffee beans so that may throw some extra roastiness into the mix but I am betting that it lends a bit of balance to the beer.  Let's give it a try!
I poured this beer into a tulip glass at a fairly cool temperature so I let it cool down a bit.  The beer poured jet black and clear with a full three finger head that receded to a full ring and thin cap which leaves and interesting "hands across America" lacing pattern that falls to polka dots.  WE-EARED!

The aroma is pretty typical of a sweet stout.  Roasted malts take the forefront being sweet and leading to cocoa, vanilla and oat biscuity notes.

The flavour is dominated by roasted malts starting off sweet and then instantly moving towards a coffee bitterness topped with hints of vanilla cream.  The sweetness fades really fast after the vanilla smoothness and the beer finishes amazingly dry.  It's an obvious transition.  If this were a musical piece it would be quite a work of art.  If I get any hops they are more towards the end after the roasted bitterness and a bit earthy.  It also ends slightly peppery.  The high alcohol content is hidden well.

The mouthfeel is on the thin side of medium to full bitter and dry with a quick interlude of sweet somewhere in the beginning of the sip.  There is also a bit of a film on my tongue, but not overly so.  The carbonation is playfully moderate starting off playful then mellowing.  It's a pretty cool transition just as is the sweet to dry thang that it has going on.

Overall I find this beer really super interesting in the transitions that it goes through!  I did find it a little on the roasted bitter side and not as balanced as I had thought.  I also thought it was just a little thinner in body.  These things don't really detract from the beer, but may not fit the style 100%.  But you know, craft beer is all about creativity and this is a VERY creative beer!  There are no off flavours, etc... It's getting a solid 4 or better from me!  I bet this beer is incredible on tap and would get higher scores!

If you love your beer, leave it.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Get out there and play the field!  It's a mighty big field and "free love" is what craft beer is all about!


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