Jan 172011


When travelling it is always fun to visit the local grocery store to see what kind of micro brews they carry. After checking into the hotel in Twin Falls, I headed over to Fred Meyers. Freddy’s always seems to have a better selection than any other grocery store. Sure enough, Looking through the selection I found one I had not noticed before, Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout. The 22 oz. bomber bottle was priced at $4.19 so into the cart it went (along with a Ninkasi Believer Double Red Ale, Ninkasi Oatis Oatmeal Stout, and a case of Session Black).

The Cappuccino Stout is Lagunitas’ December 2010 seasonal. Their list of Seasonal Ales describes it as:

Big, Dark and Scary Imperial-esque Stout Brewed With Plenty of Dark Malts and Roast Barley And Loads of Sebastopol’s Hardcore Coffee for Even Bigger Roasty Flavors and that Extra Krunk.
ABV: 9.2%

That list of Lagunitas seasonals has a couple of others I hope to check out sometime just because of their name, Hairy Eyeball Ale and Brown Shugga.

I looked forward to opening the bottle in the hotel room after a long day in the car but I was going to have to work for this. The hotel room did not have a bottle opener, a call to the desk was unfruitful and, since we were driving my wife’s car, my trusty opener was on the key ring I had left at home. Time to improvise. I worked the bottle cap open using a pair of tweezers, lol.

Pouring the dark beverage into the hotel glass, the coffee aroma was evident but not overpowering. The light tan head dissolved into nice lacing as I drank the first glass. The drink had a great taste, the beer and coffee working together yet the mouth feel was more of an ale than what I expect in a stout. Disappointed? How could I be disappointed with such a great tasting beer.  Will definitely keep an eye out for this to try again, with a bottle opener and a proper beer glass.

Lagunitas is located about 40 miles north of San Francisco in Petaluma, California and they seem to have a great sense of humor:

From our earliest days of striving to make consistently good beer, and instead making beer that ranged from vile, to barely drinkable, to wonderful, to elegant, to questionable-at-best. From being castigated by our West Marin neighbors to finally suffering an ‘eviction’ by our West Marin septic system. From landing in the welcoming arms of Petaluma, and actually getting our beer into bottles, onto the streets, and into the hands of sympathetic beer geeks, to steadily losing less money each month. From all this and more, Lagunitas Brewing Company is emerging as a battle-tested brewery capable of making great beer out of goat’s milk, brambles, and asphalt on the surface of the Moon, if need be.

As the poet once said, ‘Where, but for the grace of God and the kindness of strangers, go I’. Where go we indeed, whatever that means.

Sep 072010

Sheaf Stout

I picked up this 750ml bottle of Sheaf Stout at Albertson’s on Clearwater Ave. in Kennewick this weekend. Albertson’s has this beer priced at a very respectable $2.79 for the 25oz. bottle with an above average 5.70% ABV. Sheaf Stout is an Australian import from a subsidiary of Foster’s Group.

The company website says Sheaf Stout “is a classic Australian stout with a tantalizing dry finish and a medium body.” BearAdvocate.com labels this stout as a Milk/Sweet Stout, which, according to Wikipedia is “a stout containing lactose, a sugar derived from milk. Because lactose is unfermentable by beer yeast, it adds sweetness, body, and calories to the finished beer.”


Appearance – Pours a nice dark black with a full frothy head that lingers for a couple minutes, finally dissipating to a layer of bubbles across the top that clung to the side of the glass as it emptied.

Smell – I could only catch a hint of chocolate in the aroma.

Taste – I was surprised by the hoppy taste of this stout. Tasted more like a heavy lager than I would have expected for a milk stout. Taste seemed to improve as either the beer warmed or as I consumed more. Guess I will have to try it again and let it approach room temperature before drinking it.

Mouthfeel – Nice feel in the mouth. Carbonation kept it alive but not overly so.

Drinkability – I look for a smoother taste in a stout, especially a milk stout. This might be good at a bbq where you have strong taste of grilled meat and salty chips.

Sep 062010

Yakima Craft Brewing - Stout

This begins my first beer review. I do not pretend to be a beer snob but hope that by writing out my thoughts, not only will I become more discriminating in my taste but will enjoy the different varieties of beers. I will use the BeerAdvocate.com format for reviews and hope I will be able to start tasting some of the subtle flavors as I gain experience.

I picked up (Stout) from Albertson’s on Clearwater Ave. in Kennewick. They store it in the walk-in fridge along with a wide selection of other craft brews. Albertson’s has this beer priced at $5.39 for the 22oz. bomber bottle. (Stout) is a seasonal label bottled by Yakima Craft Brewing Co. in Yakima, WA since February 2010. The website also says “(STOUT) is made with honey and features a classic dark-grain taste. Built to enjoy, this is a sessionable semi-sweet seasonal.” The bottle does not say what the alcohol level is, but according to the company’s website it is 6.3% by volume.


Appearance – The beer poured from the bottle with very little head which dissipated quite quickly. The beer is very dark, almost black.

Smell – I could smell a dark roasted smell almost of coffee.

Taste – The beer had a roasted taste that has some initial flavor but then seems to fall flat. I did not notice the honey mentioned by the website.

Mouthfeel – Sat well on the palate. Not too heavy but would like to have had some more flavor come to life.

Drinkability – Although the beer starts well, there is no finish. I would never turn it down but would look for something better if given the opportunity.