This is my “Hair of the Dog” edition of the Miami Malt Bomb, as I hit Lou’s Beer Garden and the Sandbar a little hard last night and have been stuck with a brutal hangover all day. I didn’t want to drink anything today, but I gotta say…….1) this is working and 2) I am really enjoying this beer.
Mikkeller is a “phantom brewery.” It is not a “brewery” per se as it doesn’t even have a brewhouse; it’s just a couple brothers from Denmark who travel around and brew at their friends’ breweries. This beer, “Rauch Geek Breakfast,” was brewed at Nogne O in Norway. It’s an imperial stout (gee, I’m reviewing another imperial stout, big surprise!) brewed with oatmeal and coffee. Weighs in at 7.5% ABV. The twist is, it’s also a smoked beer, thus the “Rauch” in the name (German for “smoke”). So, we have smoked malt, coffee, and oatmeal. Without further ado, let’s get a good look at it:
Wow, that is dark. What an amazing deep black color, with a little brown near the edges if held to the light. Otherwise, this is a black hole. Dark burnt-cream foam, excellent retention.
Ahh, love this aroma. Burnt chocolate and coffee. Some “campfire,” but not as much as I seem to remember from the first time I had this. Also some of that smell you get when you burn marshmallows. I just love beers that smell like this.
It tastes exactly as you’d expect it to taste based on the aroma. There is no curveball here – it’s intense and roasty, bitter chocolate and coffee abound with some bright citric acidity and just the right amount of mesquite smoke. Earthy volcanic dryness on the back end primes the palate for another sip, making this very drinkable. I also appreciate that it’s “only” 7.5%; I think that’s an appropriate strength; it’s not so big. This also lends it a lightness that I like – who says a nice roasty coffee stout has to be a massive, ponderous beer? This is outstanding, jam packed with flavor without being overbearing in any way.
I’d throw a flourless chocolate torte at this and be glad. This one is not currently available in South Florida. However, we do receive Mikkeller beers from time to time, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that we might eventually see this at Total Wine or Sunset Corners.
Overall Impression 5.0
Weighted Average 4.75
Beer Advocate 3.93