Today was set to be a big day for Black Mesa Brewing Co. and Oklahoma City’s Elemental Coffee Roasters. Black Mesa was to unveil its newest beer — a coffee collaboration called Red Badger Stout — at an invitation-only release party at Elemental.
Then came along our friend Old Man Winter, forcing Black Mesa to reschedule the party to Feb. 20. Although the snow and cold postponed the unveiling party, it shouldn’t postpone your chance to get the beer.
Black Mesa sales and marketing director Brad Stumph stopped by the Thirsty Beagle video studio yesterday and told me that the beer is scheduled for delivery to liquor stores as early as Friday. Stumph also talked about Black Mesa’s goal to get brewing operations back to Oklahoma and their plans for a barrel-aged beer later this fall. (You can check all that out in the video above.)
So you want to know more about Red Badger Stout? Last night I was able to sample the beer and wanted to pass along a little review.
For starters, the beer checks in at 8% ABV and is packaged in 22 oz. bottles. It had a deep, dark-brown-to-black color. It had a nice head and good lacing. Watching the beer settle as I poured it reminded me a little bit of the way a Guinness settles into the glass. The coffee was evident in the aroma, although not overwhelming. One of the most impressive things about the beer was the mouthfeel — rich, creamy and velvety — I really liked that part of it. At first taste, I detected a light sweetness and warmness up front and what I thought was just the slightest hint of bourbony character. The coffee flavor — never overwhelming but definitely evident — really came through the longer I let the beer work into my palate, and the more the beer’s temperature climbed. I would recommend not drinking this beer at an ice-cold temperature. Once I let it breath and warm a bit, the coffee established its presence and lingered quite pleasantly.
Overall, I’m a big fan of coffee beers, and this one did not disappoint. I thought it was tasty and accessible and that the coffee was deftly incorporated. Definitely worth grabbing a bottle, and maybe two, as I’d be curious to see how it ages as well.