Nitro beer in a can…what can be better? The question isn’t actually rhetorical.
Samuel Adams released three new, nitrogen-infused beers last January that are part of what they have dubbed “The Nitro Project. The brewmasters over at Sam Adams announced the project late last year after endless hours of ingredient experimentation, rigorous taste testing and hard work overall.
According to Jim Koch, founder of the Boston-based brewery, the company has been dabbling with nitro since the mid-1990s, creating more than 50 styles with more than 200 ingredients. Incidentally, only three selections made it to prime time.
First up, Sam Adams’ Nitro Coffee Stout.
HOT: The coffee flavor is robust, and really gives the beer a palatable flavor profile.
NOT: Though flavorful, it has a hard time separating itself from the likes of stout heavyweights like Guinness or Murphy’s in terms of overall composition.
Sam Adams Coffee Nitro Stout First Splash
There is something magical about nitrogen and stouts. Actually, there’s nothing magical about it–coffee and cream go together. That’s about as sensible as you can get.
Moving along, the first sip of this stout immediately gives you a diner coffee experience. No, not that burnt cigarette taste from a day old pot of joe. That rich, roasted coffee seed taste is what you get. And it is indeed pleasant.
The nitro adds a nice, creamy head that feels velvety on the tongue. There isn’t a whole lot of texture, but it also isn’t just a load of foam in your mouth.
The body is deep and has flavor. It’s full, like any stout would be.
Although it is pleasant to drink, there just isn’t whole lot of substance to go on about. Like I mentioned earlier, this beer is not that discernible from other well-known stouts. Not exactly a carbon copy, but not exactly unique either. The malt profile is also not as prominent as I’d expect a stout to have.
There is room for improvement, that is for sure.
The beauty of stouts is that they are a chocolate lover’s dream in terms of food pairings. The richer the chocolate, the bigger the flavor echo. Pair it with dark chocolate desserts, grilled meats (preferably with considerable char and caramelization) and oysters.
Fresh fruit dishes also go well with this dish, like custards and pies. Tarts are good too, but this stout does very well with vanilla and/or fruit flavors.
Is Sam Adams Coffee Nitro Stout a Year-Round Drinker?
Sure, it is. It has enough stout character to enjoy it on any given Sunday, but with all of the other rich, chocolaty coffee porters and stouts on the market, it’s hard not to pass this up for one of those.
Beer BB’s Hoptastic Rating: 3.7/5