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beerSaint Patrick’s Day was yesterday.  I had a great plan.  Eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, toast, and a breakfast beer.  It sounded amazing!IMG_1382

…then I woke up exhausted with a slight headache and decided water was my breakfast.  I’m young enough I could have a couple of drinks on Saint Patrick’s Day and it just didn’t happen.  My heart wasn’t in it.  We did have corn beef and cabbage…pickled cabbage…on rye pumpernickel (because we ate the rye for sliders Sunday night) with Swiss and Thousand Island Dressing.

Yes, for Saint Patrick’s Day, we had reuben sandwiches.  A creation of either a Lithuanian or a German in America.  Hooray…?

Anyway, because I didn’t drink the beer for breakfast Monday, I have it now to review it.

Madhouse Brewing Company Coffee Stout

Appearance: Black like a stout should book.  A mid-brown head (I think that’s the way to describe a brown that isn’t dark or light…).  It reminds me of the head on North Coast Brewing’s Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout.  I guess there is a similarity between the two (more on taste).

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Scent: Dark malts and coffee.  When I say dark, I almost want to say burnt malts.  It isn’t burnt, I know that, but it’s pretty damn close.  Not exactly the most pleasant scent ever but not rancid, either.  I guess I’m not a stout guy today.

Taste: Dark malts and coffee.  I know hops are there but I can’t taste them.  I can taste dark malts and coffee.  The other thing I noticed is it isn’t thick or creamy.  It’s been a couple of years since I had Old Rasputin but it immediately came to mind when I was drinking this.  The major difference to my (flawed) memory is that I almost taste the coffee grains in this, which obviously isn’t part of the Old Rasputin.  At least I highly doubt it…

Quality: The longer I drink beer, and pay for beer, the more I realize I’m not drinking crap that has a low quality scores.  This is no different; the only thing I’m not digging compared to other coffee stouts is the whole tasting coffee grains thing; I’m not sure if this is a quality or taste thing but I’m putting it here because it was distracting enough to feel off, not different.

Drinkability: Never, ever, ever give a new beer drinker a stout.  But if you must, this would be a good option.  It isn’t heavy, it’s dark but doesn’t taste oppressive.  I could drink (and currently am drinking) this pretty quickly.

Overall: I like it.  I may prefer a different coffee stout by a certain brewery in Milwaukee better, but this is really good.

Unbiased Grade: B+.  It’s quality, not a bit of skunk, and really enjoyable.  Again, not quite as good as that brewery that’s a front of a lake in Milwaukee’s variety, but quality none the less.

Biased Grade: A.  Not sure if I can grade unbiased but I like this style of stout a lot over that Irish stout of note.  If you find yourself in a place where you can find a beer from a brewery in Newton, IA, I recommend it if it is your taste.

The Madhouse Brewing Site is only a couple of images, a map, and some text, but here it is.

To good beer.  And to good malt beverages, as I think I’m going to follow this manly coffee stout with a Rock Hard Red…because I’m only kinda manly…

– Robby

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