Adjuncts in beer can be divisive…but also tasty. Does the beer still taste like beer? That’s the question with additives. Or did that extra something change the profile entirely? Does it taste pure?
Like chocolate, coffee is one of those additives that usually gets a pass from most beer purists, largely because it tends to enhance a beer’s roasted bitterness. You’ll find a lot of coffee stouts out there, but Bent Paddle takes a different route by using cold press from Duluth Coffee Company their Cold Press Black Ale.
The beer pours black like coffee, but more reflective, luminous and effervescent than a cold brew. It’s still only a mid to low carbonation beer, but it shines with far more light than a cup of coffee ever would. With a brown, quickly receding head, it brings a lot of characteristics expected of its style. The bitter coffee first hits the tongue, and the Willamette and CTZ hops interplay with the coffee, minimizing the bite and spotlighting the smooth grain bill within, driven by the addition of oats, which add a soft and even mouthfeel. It finishes with a second coffee wave, but it’s mild and receding with just a hint of vanilla sweetness that rolls off the tongue without any lingering resin one often gets from a black ale. The Cold Press works seamlessly within the black ale’s style guidelines; It’s balance over IBU, depth and character over gimmickry.
In Cold Press Black, Bent Paddle provides a soothing coffee beer to pair with rich foods, a sessionable black ale that can kick off a lazy afternoon, or a perfect beer to go with that morning omelet. Cold Press Black has the feel and build of a beer and an aroma that marries beer and coffee perfectly. What separates it from a cocktail is the feel and complexion: it doesn’t drink like a combination, but a single idea brought to fruition.
Brewery: Bent Paddle Brewing
City: Duluth, MN
Style: Black Ale
Availability: 12 oz. cans, draft