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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Peak Organic Brewing Company-Oak Aged Mocha Stout

I've been on a bit of a "stout binge" of late. It's gotta be the cold weather, it makes me crave thicker, more substantial beers. When I saw this one on the shelf and read the label, it seemed an obvious must buy- a beer that is brewed with both coffee and chocolate? And its organic? Gotta give this beer a taste drive. Brewed with chocolate from Taza, and coffee from Coffee by Design, this beer has all the high quality/local ingredients you'd expect from Peak Organic Brewing.

Oak Aged Mocha Stout
Peak Organic Brewing Company, Portland, Maine
8.2 % ABV, 22 IBU's

This beer pours beautifully- jet black, with a a good half inch of dense brown head that leaves a substantial ring on the glass. It has an almost Guinness like cascade as the beer settles into the glass.

Nose is rather malty, with a subtle notes of bitter chocolate and wisps of wood.

Mouthfeel is smooth and rich, and it creates a tingling sensation on the tongue that I often notice with oak aged beers.

Taste is pronounced wood up front, obviously a product of the oak aging. Vanilla and smoke follow, rounded out by a bitter/sour finish that leaves you with notes of bitter chocolate and bitter coffee, and not much more.

I found this beer to be a tad too bitter for my taste (yes, I am aware its only 22 IBU's, but it tastes like a lot more). I prefer a smooth finish on my stouts, and I really didn't get any "mocha" flavor from this beer. It was much more smokey malts and wood flavors, as the coffee and chocolate just got overwhelmed and lost. I'm not sure if it's from the wood aging mellowing and thereby muddying the fine flavors of the specific high quality ingredients, but this beer just didn't work for me. I think it's a case of too much great stuff in one bottle all competing for your taste buds attention.

This beer is not recommended, but Peak Organic makes many other excellent brews, so give them a try.

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