Black and Brew (Samuel Adams)
Purchased at Raley’s ($12.99/12-pack) and poured into pint glasses.
Black and Brew is a new edition to Sam Adams’ Winter Classics Variety Pack, and easily the worst of a relatively mediocre bunch. It pours a murky, black-brown color with a thick, cola fizz-colored head. Coffee bean aromas dominate, albeit with faint traces of milky chocolate. Any chocolate on the tongue is completely obliterated by the coffee taste, thanks to the fresh beans directly added during brewing. There is more coffee than beer on the palette, although it has the faint backbone of an ale (more than a stout, as advertised). The coffee/beer taste combination leaves a tongue-curling bitterness that isn’t entirely pleasant, although the more beer-like qualities become more evident on the aftertaste. Black and Brew is drinkable enough, but it barely even attempts to skirt novelty status.
2 1/2 Toasts