It has been a long time since I drank any stout, so I picked up a bomber of Cappuccino Stout, brewed by the Lagunitas Brewing Company, of Petaluma, California.
The color is opaque black. Two fingers of dense, bubbly, tan-colored head dissipate slowly, leaving trails of lacing stuck to the glass. The aroma is deep and roasty, very coffee-like. The coffee aroma dominates, though a scent of dark chocolate is also noticeable. The first sip is interesting: it is roasted but off-putting with a green plant flavor. On subsequent sips, the green plant evolves into the taste of dried branches and then moldy grass clippings. Besides the roast and the clippings are flavors of dark chocolate, black licorice, and alcohol. Cocoa nibs come to mind, too. It is a very weird, unpleasant experience; it is definitely far from pleasing. The green plant and grass flavors fade as the beer continues to warm (after a half hour or more), but the roasted bitterness continues to work the taste buds. The alcohol becomes more prominent as the beer warms, too.
Fun facts about Cappuccino Stout:
• Style: Imperial stout.
• Price: $4.49 per 22-ounce bottle at the New Pioneer Food Co-op in Iowa City.
• Alcohol content: 9.1 percent.
• IBU: 29.5.
• Introduced in 1994, Cappuccino Stout is a season that is only available in January and February.
The Quiet Man’s grade: C.