Cappuccino Stout - Lagunitas Brewing Company, Petaluma
I've pretty much sworn off Lagunitas. Well, more-or-less sworn off... With the exception of Hop Stoopid I have not enjoyed any of their beers. After the third or fourth "Pale Ale" from Lagunitas I bought that tasted exactly like the last Lagunitas beer I had before, I got a little burnt out on this brewery. I like their stoner ethic and approach to making beer, but I don't like how each beer in their lineup is essentially the same as the last, just with more hops. Hop Stoopid was a great beer and I continue to drink it when I'm out and looking for a cheap bomber. I've heard Cappuccino Stout is similarly different and even more enjoyable.
I picked up this bomber of Cappuccino Stout partly because it's a limited release and I heard it wouldn't be around for long, and partly because I was told it was the best Coffee Stout available. As someone who doesn't generally like Lagunitas OR Coffee Stouts, I'm not expecting to fall in love with this beer.
Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout pours dark, but not black, with rich mahogany highlights around the sides of the glass. It has a medium sized light tan colored head. The aroma of the Cappuccino Stout is earthy and a little dirty, it reminds me a lot of Founders Breakfast Stout. This beer isn't nearly as complex but it smells like they've used similar coffee in both beers.
What I like least about Coffee Stouts is the coffee itself and how it only compounds the bitterness of the malts used in the base Stout. Knowing Lagunitas as a brewery who loves bitter beers, I was hesitant to try this beer. What I found in the Cappuccino Stout was the most well balanced Coffee Stout I've had yet. This beer has a bitterness that doesn't overpower the Stout or the Cappuccino, it's a compliment rather than a main feature. The Cappuccino isn't subtle but it's not in your face. This beer is undeniably a Coffee Stout, but it keeps its flavors in balance much more than other beers I've had that are the same style.
As someone who doesn't like coffee, I really liked the Cappuccino Stout from Lagunitas. This is a beer I'd order again and recommend to anyone trying to get into beer brewed with coffee.