Island City Brewing Company
Java Stone Circle Coffee Schwarzbier
Island City Brewing Company Java Stone Circle is a Coffee Schwarzbier with 5.4% alcohol by volume. I picked it up at South Lyndale Liquors and the crowler is about 2 months old, which is old for a crowler. Properly filled and refrigerated a crowler will remain stable for a couple of weeks at best. I am also nervous because I like Schwartzbier and its light to moderate roast flavors that approach chocolate but are smooth and never burnt. I question the idea of loading it up with coffee. The coffee aromas lead in the glass of Java Stone Circle with some some roast in the background supported by clean malt notes with some light bread and a clean lager fermentation character. There are no sulfur and no burnt roast aromas. The crowler's age has me worried about staleness or oxidation but I am not catching any of those odors but the aroma is a little muted. The beer pours beautiful brilliant brown with ruby highlights under a persistent light beige head. Rich dark malt flavors lead and then give way to coffee. The rich malt flavors include some bready notes that cut a little off the coffee flavor's edge and the malt and the coffee work well together with neither dominating. The beer has a clean fermentation character. The body and carbonation are medium and the beer is smooth with nothing harsh. The beer is a little past its prime but it is still flavorful and drinkable. I rate it 78.
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.