Steel & Oak Brewing can consider themselves as one of the models of quality in British Columbia. It is just this that has allowed them the freedom to continuously venture out and make interesting and delicious beers. B.C. Beer Reviews is here today to crack open a can of their First Press Cold Brew Stout and see just how it turned out.
B.C. Beer Reviews: Steel & Oak Brewing – First Press
This beer pours a very, very dark brown colour from the can. It is similar to what you would expect from coffee coming out of a drip. When in the glass it is dark brown to lightly black. It is not jet black, and when held to the light it displays a nice ruby colour.
As soon as you crack the can you are hit in the nostrils with coffee aromas. This displays the quality of Timbertrain Coffee, which is who Steel & Oak Brewing teamed up with to create this beer.
Aside from the general coffee and slightly bitter aromatics, there is a slightly nutty aroma to this beer. This is complimented by a bittersweet chocolate aroma. These all add to the complexity of the coffee aromatic, and therefore makes this a deeper and more complex beer.
It is extremely smooth upfront, with nice coffee notes coming in later. You get a light chocolate note and a very light acrid note that likely comes from the malt/grain bill used in this beer.
The other notes you start to get are a nutty taste reminiscent of hazelnut. It had a touch of sweetness, but that dissipates almost immediately into a bittersweet chocolate finish.
Overall, this beer showcases that coffee can be used in a beer without being overly bitter. This is a fantastically balanced brew and one well worth trying.
The labeling is simplistic, to say the least. It is a matte white label with a 1970’s style design that looks to be vinyl. Steel & Oak Brewing really did keep it simple here.
The head this beer pours is moderate. The retention of that head is equally as average.
This is a fantastic representation of how coffee can be used in a beer without imparting bitterness. You get a very smooth and slightly nutty touch to this beer that leaves you guessing what was imparted by the coffee and what the malt/grain bill gave.
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Main photo by Nic Hendrickson, Lastword Inc., all rights reserved