Brewtality (Midnight Sun Brewing Co.)

Earlier this year I was on a big Euro Dark Lager/Black Lager/Schwarzbier kick. The problem being the fact that it’s not the most popular or common style and it’s often hard to find beers that meet my needs. What’s better than finding a beer to fill those cravings? Finding a beer that fills those cravings and that you’ve never heard of.

Brewtality labelBREWTALITY is a Schwarzbier brewed with espresso. This seasonal beer is release in November and has a lovely 9.7% ABV.

BrewtalityBREWTALITY Espresso Black Beer brings jet black color, silky smooth texture and comforting coffee characteristics to your mug. Dark roasted malts and espresso coffee beans present profound flavors without bitterness. A long lager and a lot of love result in a beautiful beer that really isn’t so brutal at all.Go ahead. “Punish” yourself.

The beer pours so brown it’s almost black. Head begins as a ring of foam that very quickly dissipates. Tiny bubbles can be seen near the bottom of the glass, but they’re quickly swallowed up by the darkness of the brew. A wash of bubbles briefly appear after each sip, but no real lacing is present.

With the word “espresso” appearing in several places on the label I was fully prepared for espresso/coffee notes in the nose. And lo and behold, they are there. Along with the coffee notes there was a surprising amount of milk chocolate aromas. Hints of roasted malts and dark chocolate are also detectable. The chocolate and coffee notes were constantly fighting for position: one sniff it’d be coffee than chocolate, the next would be chocolate then coffee, repeat.

The taste starts with sweet chocolate (milk with a touch of dark). At this point the carbonation became very apparent as my mouth was filled with bubbles. Notes of roasted malts, sourdough, and black licorice pop up in the middle of the sip, finishing with the expected espresso/coffee flavors. The espresso wasn’t as big as at first as I was expecting, but it did become more noticeable as the beer warmed up.

Mouthfeel was light-to-medium and mildly smooth. The carbonation and high(ish) ABV gave my gums a nice little boozy tingle as each sip went down. This feeling would stick around long after the liquid itself was gone.

I bought this beer several months after its initial release, so I think that may have negatively impacted the espresso flavors. Even though the coffee notes weren’t as big as I had hoped the chocolate and toasty flavors were enough to more than fulfill my needs. This is the type of beer that I feel would age smashingly in a bourbon barrel.

Overall: 8.5 out of 10

As a SCHWARZBIER: 9 out of 10

FOR FANS OF: Duck-Rabbit SCHWARZBIER, Kulmbacher Brauerei MÖNCHSHOF SCHWARZBIER, Grand Teton 5 O’CLOCK SHADOW 

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