Craft Beer: Getting a blast of coffee in Brewdog's nitro co-creation Roaster Coaster
THE widespread reopening of pubs still looks a good bit off but many thirsty punters are getting jittery. Social media, which, let's face it, is really the only measure of how people are feeling that we have at minute, is awash with people at the end of their tether.
Pointing out to them that they can buy all manner of great bottled and canned beers to drink at home is usually met with the retort ‘Ah, but it's not the same, and the pub isn't really about the beer anyway, it's the craic and all that.'
Of course, a freshly pulled pint of stout in a pub has become the Holy Grail for many in Ireland these days and they long to see the bubbles scurry up the inside of the glass as wait for it all to go black.
Call it a clever marketing ploy, but the dance of the nitro stout has come to be synonymous with one particular brand of stout and they've even tried to replicate the experience in can form to give housebound drinkers that pub feel.
Nitro stouts, though, aren't the sole preserve of St James's Gate and many craft brewers have had a stab at making one, including one of the biggest.
A quick perusal of the beer aisle in Tesco will let you know that Brewdog have been busy collaborating with a few other breweries of late, way before social distancing was around to frown on the practice.
One such hook-up saw them work with US-based Danish brewers Evil Twin to create Roaster Coaster, a 9 per cent Vietnamese coffee nitro stout. It'll come as no great surprise that his has quite pronounced coffee tones. They are there in the aroma and immediately apparent once this silky, smooth stout slides down your throat, but there's a whole lot more going on too.
First of all, you'll notice that very familiar settling in the glass as this nitro stout takes a minute or so to fully morph into a jet black beer. It has a thick, slightly off-white head and there are a few whiffs of caramel and coffee before you get the first gulp and a big whack of coffee hits you – a sweet, almost milky coffee, which opens to the door to some milk chocolate and cakey flavours.
Any bitterness there is comes mainly from the roasted malt and, despite its strength, it can be polished off quite easily.