56 Brewing Dark Territory (5.6% alcohol by volume, 31 International Bittering Units) is an American stout brewed with toasted unsweetened coconut and cocoa nibs. It is also brewed with 6 different malts, flaked oats and milk sugar. For extra flavor, president and head brewer Kale Johnson loads the fermenter with more coconut. I normally avoid coconut beer. I have had a couple such as a macaroon stout that was such a cloying mess I wept. Shortly after 56 Brewing opened, I showed up and Kerry - the Vice President and Kale's wife, handed me a glass, and told me it was her favorite beer. I gritted my teeth, gave it a try and liked it well enough I bought a growler. It pours dense dark brown under a 2" medium tan foam cap with good retention. Streams of slowly rising bubbles continually refresh the cap. It has a big grainy toasty nose with light nuts, some earthiness, chocolate and coconut. The earth, cocoa and malt aromas are fairly evenly balanced. It is chocolaty and nutty on the tongue with no burnt or roast flavors. The chocolate is most forward and the added chocolate works with chocolate notes from the malt in a nice way. The coconut comes in as a general nuttiness and on another layer as coconut. They balance off each other and the roast. It is mildly sweet from the added milk sugar but not cloying and a medium bitterness provides balance. Dark Territory dries slightly on the finish and has a mild tang. this is a well balanced beer with nothing cloying or overstated. It has a super creamy, smooth, velvety texture, medium full body, with a little above average carbonation. It feels almost mousse-like in the mouth. Dark Territory is a delightful, satiating, well balanced stout. I rate it 90.
Go to Spiced, Herb or Vegetable Beers for a brief discussion of the style, food pairings, recommended glassware and links to reviews of similar beers.
Go to American Stout for an introduction to the style, links to book reviews about Stouts, food pairing and glassware recommendations and links to reviews of similar beer.