Beer Profile: Hitachino Espresso Stout

Image courtesy

Kiuchi Brewery, Ibaraki, Japan

Profile by Ken Carman

An over abundance of head greeted the glass and lasted a while. There was a distinct coffee/espresso aroma which follows through to the mouthfeel and the taste. Pitch black, as one would expect.

Espresso rules the roost here; in fact so much it’s just too one-dimensional. There is just a bit of sweet that clings to the roof of the mouth, but not much else. Needs to have more depth, malt-wise. Carbonated espresso is simply not that interesting. Pull back on the espresso and add malt complexity would be my advice.

Hops? What hops? Of course, style-wise, not necessary, but a tad might add to the complexity.

Millie, my wife, thought at first it was not that espresso-y, but as it warmed she said it started to dominate along with a dark chocolate-sense. I would agree but the dark, bitter, almost sugarless stuff one uses in cooking, doesn’t eat straight, and dare not feed to the dog because it will kill him. The taste buds tend to not like it straight either.

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