Review: Schlafly Raspberry Coffee Stout – Culinaria

In Beer Reviews by The Guys

Schlafly says:

“”We at Schlafly Beer, Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Company and Culinaria, a Schnucks Market, are proud to share with you our latest collaborative effort: Oatmeal Stout brewed with raspberry puree and cold-toddy Colombia Monserrate Coffee.”

Schlafly Raspberry Coffee Stout – Culinaria
Stout, 7% ABV

Sayeth the Guys:

Karl: When Ryan floated the concept and potential of this beer past me, I got excited.  When I found out that he stumbled onto some, I got eager.  When I had the Raspberry Coffee Stout, I was…pretty okay with it.  If that sounds like damning with faint praise, it’s not exactly like that, but let’s examine further.

Promise me something crazy like raspberry plus coffee, and I want huge followthrough.  What I got from this beer is a well balanced, proportioned offering tempered with oatmeal-y goodness and general restraint.

With raspberry puree and coffee flavors added to their oatmeal stout, I might have seen this coming, but my brain got ahead of my mouth and built in a whole lot of stuff that wasn’t gonna be there.  Perhaps unfair on my part, but having experienced huge flavors of fruit and stout in the Bitches Brew, I knew it was possible.  Was it also unfair for a beer to impress the way the Dogfish Head did? Maybe that wasn’t cool of me.

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Anyways.  The first flavor you roll across here is the up-front fruitness of the raspberry with a lack of tart, just that fruit sense, and into the coffee and oatmeal rolling over it.  The base of the beer almost overwhelms the other flavors, but not quite – it allows the notes of flavor to poke out from here but not to sing too loudly.

The Raspberry Coffee Stout seems to say to me that you can indeed have it all, but not too much of any of it.  As it opens up, the scents and almost all of the flavors of fruit and coffee have backed off leaving just standard stout, so power through this as best you can, which could be tough since it’s a 750 ml bottle.  Share among friends and get the best you can out of this beer.

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Ryan: It seems I may have had an advantage over Karl coming in to this tasting.  I have had a number of Schlafly’s beers before including their oatmeal stout, which is the base of this beer.  Actually, Schlafly’s Oatmeal Stout is one of my favorite, all-time, oatmeal stouts.  I’ve been a fan for years.  It was part of my first foray into craft beers way-back-when.

While I knew what to expect from the nuts and bolts of this beer I didn’t know how the raspberry and coffee would blend with it.  Would it be too strong and overpowering like so many other beers of its kind?  Or would the flavors meld together like in the aforementioned Bitches Brew?  Allow me to answer that with one word; perfect.

This was a fantastically, well balanced stout that had the characteristics of an all-star oatmeal stout, the subtleties of raspberries and a delicate hint of coffee.  The raspberry was both light in the nose and on the palate.  In fact, this beer was mostly oatmeal stout up front, then that touch of raspberry and a coffee finish.  And the coffee, it’s almost ideal.  It is not overpowering but there is just enough that you know it’s there.  The only time you don’t is after this beer warms a tad and you get a little German dark chocolate in the finish.

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Maybe I had an idea of what to expect or maybe my expectations weren’t too high, but Karl, I think this was a phenomenal offering from Schlafly.

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Written by many, compiled by one, this is a collaborative post with contributions from at least two writers at Guys Drinking Beer.

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