Barrel Theory Beer Company
Black Lotus Milk Stout with Coconut
Its tricky brewing a beer with nuts. The oil in nuts can ruin the beer's head and getting the oil out and getting the proper roast on the nuts without ruining the nut's flavor and aroma can be tricky. Too much nut character becomes cloying and makes the beer a mess. Barrel Theory Black Lotus Milk Stout with Coconut (6.9% alcohol by volume) has me a little nervous because the crowler is 6 weeks old. A reassuring pour produces a massive light brown cap with a very fine bead that takes up nearly half the glass and has good retention. It perches above the bright, deep dark brown beer and leaves a light line of lace to mark each drink. A quick sniff and a taste assures that the beer does not have any stale or oxidized character. It smells of nuts, coconut, mild roast and some light chocolate notes that all work together. Hop aromas are low and the fermentation character behind the malt and coconut works with the malt and coconut and does not interfere. Delightfully creamy and rich, an initial sweetness and some chocolate introduce the flavors and then the coconut blasts in – almost like a coconut chocolate confection. Hops are low compared to everything else. The roast in the malt, the lactose and the coconut balance superbly. The roast in the malt and the chocolate notes find some toastiness in the coconut and bring it forward. It walks a fine line between cloying and not cloying and the flavors are layered and complex. Its sweet but the roasted malts and a dash of bitterness from the hops along with the chocolate notes from the malt allow the brewer to pull this off magnificently. It has a delightfully luscious soft, creamy, chewy full body with medium carbonation. The beer is like eating a box of chocolates - one is richly satisfying and two in one sitting might be too much but it is a beer you will return to often when you need to savor the rich, well balanced flavors. I rate it 88.