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Chicagoist's Beer of the Week: Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout

By Jason Baldacci in Food on Feb 6, 2015 10:30PM

Now that we've officially had our blizzard this winter, and our streets are littered with folding chairs, milk crates, and other various household items, we can confidently recommend a truly appropriate winter beer.

Lagunitas Brewing Co. bills their Cappuccino Stout as an Ale Brewed with Coffee, but we bill it as one of our favorite beers they make throughout the year. It pours a very dark brown color in the glass, with frothy, tan foam and apparent aromas of fresh roasted coffee. On the palate, there's a pleasant, malty sweetness which hits right up front that is balanced with a touch of bitterness from both the coffee and the dark malts. The malt profile is very well rounded overall, and lends a silky texture to the beer that makes this one dangerously easy to drink. While the coffee does shine through in the end and linger for a while on the finish, it's anything but overwhelming. At 8.9 percent alcohol content, Cappuccino Stout is a considerable sipper for a cold evening.

A lot of breweries are making coffee beers these days, but all coffee beers are far from equal. What we love about Cappuccino Stout and a handful of others is how well the coffee is incorporated into and balanced against the rest of the recipe. Think about drinking a bad cup of coffee: it's too bitter, acidic, stale, over-extracted. The same thing can happen to beers that are brewed with coffee if they're not done well, and over-extraction tends to be the most common thing that we see happening today. When the coffee totally overpowers the rest of the beer, and makes things so acidic that you feel the need to pop an antacid after the first couple sips, we'd say it's safe to assume that the brewer went a little overboard.

Cappuccino Stout is available on draft and in 22-ounce bomber bottles all over town. Check to see where you can score some this weekend.