Monday, April 8, 2013

Coffee / Hop Experiment Gone Bad

I love coffee and I love IPAs.   One is a great start to a day, the other a relaxing finish.    A mixture of coffee and hops should therefore be a serendipitous combination, right?  After drinking the Dayman Coffee IPA collaboration between Stone Brewing /  Aleman / Two Brothers I know that each needs to stay in its own orbit - as far away from each other as possible.    Dayman is a cloying IPA dominated by the coffee not the hops.   Every taste reminded me in an unpleasant way of coffee ice cream - and I love coffee ice cream.   As the beer warmed the coffee flavor and sweetness intensified, making it harder and harder to drink.  (I finished the bottle, so I'm either a dedicated trooper or a shameless boozer, or maybe I just didn't want to offend the drain.)  I scoured the fridge after drinking Dayman searching for something - anything - hoppy to cleanse my palate.  Compared to Dayman, week-old growler dregs didn't taste half-bad.

Dayman is not a black IPA, and its clear, ruby appearance is its best attribute.   Its aroma is all coffee.  There is enough body and hop presence to give a long, bitter finish, but it's marked by the awkward coffee/hop flavor dissonance, making me wish the beer was thinner.  Coffee and hops are both bitter, but bitter in their own way, and mixing the two just didn't work for me.  Dayman's ABV is nearly 9%, but it's not boozy, or high enough in alcohol, which is unfortunate because self-lobotomy is the only thing that could have improved my opinion of this beer.  

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