On a whim I took a trip to the local alcohol megaplex in search of weird intoxicants. While there were some odd spirits in the place, my low tolerance and infrequent alcohol consumption forced me to steer away from the liquors. The wines were a bit too plentiful to tackle but a few strange brews jumped out at me in the beer section.
The first of my purchases and samplings was Fuel Cafe Beer, an American stout brewed specially for the Fuel Cafe in Milwaukee, WI. And what makes it unique and attractive (particularly to myself)? It has coffee added to the mix. Being a lover of all things coffee, I simply couldn't resist.
Most stouts have a burnt aroma and flavor which is understandable considering the malts are roasted, much like coffee beans, to give them such characteristics along with the dark color. Therefore, the pairing of coffee and stouts seems almost natural. The first I'd heard of such a concoction was from a Kurt Vonnegut memoir where he reveals that adding a bit of coffee to the mix was the secret behind the success of his grandfather's award winning stout.
Using Guinness as a point of comparison, this beer is a little lighter and nowhere near as thick. The coffee and stout aromas mingle quite nicely, the difference being so minor that the distinction is subtle.
Being a slave to the burnt, bitter taste of strong coffee, I found nothing unpleasant about the flavors. Again, the distinction was subtle but there are notes not present in stout alone. Beer-wise, not the best stout I've had but not too shabby either. Despite the addition of coffee, it's unlikely I'll be drinking this with any frequency. But since it was quite enjoyable, I'll probably revisit this oddity once in a while.