Samuel Adams Black & Brew
Sam Adams Black & Brew
- Coffee and cocoa
- Mild bitterness, subtly sweet coffee, chocolate overtones
- Sweet and mild
Seasonal available in the 2011 Samuel Adams Winter Collection
Coffee in beer isn’t as odd as it may initially seem. I initially dismissed the idea of it when it was presented in The Drew Carey Show as Buzz Beer, possibly the first popularization of a micro/craft brew on television. At that time, I felt that adding caffeine to beer was a recipe for disaster as it would make drinkers feel more awake while being just as sloshed. Of course, now in the days of Four Loko, the idea of adding coffee to beer seems quaint.But more than caffeine in beer, coffee is often an ester-created flavor in stout beers anyway. A beer like Magic Hat Howl may have no coffee beans amongst its ingredients, but surely the flavor can be described as coffee-like. Oddly, many beers with coffee don’t actually have a very strong coffee flavor, but Samuel Adams Black & Brew keeps its label’s promise. It smells and tastes like coffee, sweet coffee at that. There are significant cocoa notes, too, which would make the stout a mocha-flavored brew.
The stout is rich and dark and has slight bitter tones, which would be expected from both a stout and coffee, but Samuel Adams makes Black & Brew easily palatable, and the bitter is mild. Like their Chocolate Bock, more of the flavor comes out when it is served a bit warmer than the fridge will make it, so it may be beneficial to keep it out a half-an-hour or so before pouring. Also like their Chocolate Bock, Black & Brew is a seasonal beer, and is currently available only in the Winter Collection 12-pack. To add the Black & Brew, Samuel Adams removed something that I can’t remember. Possibly the White Ale, which is no longer in this collection? I don’t remember, but the Black & Brew is definitely a winner, so I think we’ve gained on this season’s collection.