Hoppy New Year all your beer nuts! Last year was a great year in beer, with unprecedented growth in many segments, many new breweries in construction, and even more in planning, this promises to be yet another great year for craft beer. To be forward, I wanted to review this beer last year, but we kept waiting, and waiting, and waiting, by the time it was finally delivered it was nearly Christmas and I had all but finalized my publicized reviews for the year. I happily stumbled upon this beer while visiting home in Colorado, it was sitting there on the shelf, rather incognito, I barely caught it out of the corner of my eye, but grabbed it immediately upon registering what I was finally seeing.
The beer in question hails from Oskar Blues, home of the original Crowler, and other favorite beers like Dale’s, Ten FIDY, G’Knight, Mamas, IPA, Old Chub, and countless others. What we’ve finally got our hands on is their new Winter seasonal Irish Porter, Death By Coconut. Brewed with loads of fresh cocoa and plenty of coconut this “…limited release specialty comes around once a year to satisfy that sweet tooth, so get ’em while you can before they disappear.” At 6.5% ABV and 25 IBUs, this choconut goodness will have you yelling “Pass. Dash. Hit.” all winter long. This is the same Death by Coconut that won Silver for Chocolate Beer at the 2014 GABF, the same year that Chuckanut won Gold for their Dunkel.
Beer — Death By Coconut / Irish Porter
Brewery — Oskar Blues / Longmont, CO
ABV / IBU — 6.5% / 25
Price / Availability — $2.99 / Limited Seasonal
*New for this year, all reviews going forward will be following the BJCP Scoresheet, just as beers were ranked for our end of the year rankings. Those who want to play along can do so here*
12oz can poured into 13oz tulip
Appearance (2/3) — Pours a deep dark chocolaty brown hue into the glass, almost looks heavy just draining out of the can. There is a tall dark brown head that forms and leaves some pretty standard and sticky lacing behind it.
Aroma (8/12) — Intense and robust aromas of chocolate dominate the nose initially, huge and deep notes of cocoa powder, dark chocolate covered pretzels, Hershey’s syrup. Leads way to a pungent and sweet note of toasted coconut, shaved coconut, milk sugars, vanilla, caramel cream, espresso. An assaulting array of chocolate and coconut.
Taste (13/20) — Assaultingly sweet loads of sweet chocolate, caramel, cocoa powder, and coconut. Chocolate bark, bitter dark chocolate leads way to a resoundingly sweet milk chocolate profile. There is a ton of coconut packed in here as well, freshly toasted coconut, raw coconut, deathly coconutty. Lacks balance in a good way. There is a lingering sweet aftertaste that oddly leaves you coming back for more.
Mouthfeel (3/5) — Medium bodied with slightly below normal carbonation, no alcohol presence or warmth, smooth and creamy overall, little bit of a sticky sweetness towards the end.
Overall (7/10) — A dominating force of coconut and chocolate, some coconut beers are very mild in their use of coconut, almost neglecting the ingredient entirely. This beer is not, it is full frontal coconut and chocolate, nothing is held back here. Overall much much sweeter than expected, but there is enough dryness and loads of fresh coconut to keep you coming back for more. If this were any sweeter it’d be a candy bar.
Total — 33/50 — VERY GOOD
Cans are available for a limited time and it is currently on-tap at Elizabeth Station if you want to get in on some of this delicious coconut action before it’s gone.