Early morning tailgating before Hawkeye home games can be a challenge for us night owls. Groggy and perhaps a teensy bit hung over from Friday evening activities, when the 11 a.m. kickoff rolls around on Saturday morning, I thank god for coffee stout.
Steroid Stout, a coffee/chocolate stout brewed by Kalona Brewing Company, is tasty, roasted, espresso-like goodness that is highly drinkable and provides a little caffeine boost that is much appreciated at 9 a.m. on game days. Weighing it at 7.6 percent ABV and packaged in 32-ounce mini-growlers, it should be shared (or consumed over the course of the game).
Pour into a favorite pint glass. The color is opaque black and two fingers of dense, tan, buttery head will dissipate slowly, leaving a frothy cap, a thick ring around the edge and lacing stuck to the glass. Roasted malts are the most prominent aspect of Steroid Stout’s aroma; they impart the pleasing and invigorating smell of espresso. Dark chocolate is also in the background, and oats give the aroma an enticing richness.
The mouthfeel of Steroid Stout is smooth and velvety, reminiscent of an oatmeal stout. “Coffee, coffee, coffee” is how the brewery describes the flavor, and it is a spot-on description. The flavor of roasted malt is most prominent, mirroring the espresso-like characteristics in the aroma, and a lasting bitterness coats the mouth after each sip. Dark chocolate, hints of dark fruit and a little caramel and toffee are also noticeable. Despite the higher ABV, the taste of alcohol is completely masked.
Serving temperature: 50-55ºF
Alcohol content: 7.6 percent ABV
Food pairings: Match the robust roasted aroma and flavor with roasted, smoked or barbecued food. Steroid Stout also pairs well with chocolate truffles, brownies and coffee cake.
Where to buy: Steroid Stout is available at most major retailers. It can also be found on tap at Kalona Brewing Company (405 B Ave., Kalona) and a number of fine local establishments.
Price: $10 per 32-ounce “gentleman’s forty”