Friday Tasting Notes time is finally here and we get to bring the week to a close by starting our day with a little coffee and C.R.E.A.M. Coffee Blonde Ale from Sixpoint Brewery (Brooklyn, New York).
As I reported about a month or so ago, C.R.E.A.M. – a.k.a. “Craft Rules Everything Around Me” – Coffee Blonde is the newest offering to join Sixpoint’s Cycliquids series, the brewery’s lineup of “seasonal” beers that routinely sees new formulations either at each year’s release or whenever inspiration hits. C.R.E.A.M. is a lightly sweet, 7.2% ABV Cream Ale that has been finished off by a late addition of high quality coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters. This beer is available for a limited time and on shelves now in six-packs of 12 oz. cans in Alabama and throughout the brewery’s distribution area. With that information covered, let’s go ahead and pour the beer and get to some Tasting Notes!
Tasting Notes for C.R.E.A.M. Coffee Blonde Ale from Sixpoint Brewery
Appearance: C.R.E.A.M. pours up a deep golden body that has a light brown to rust hue to it as well. Held to direct light, those brown aspects melt away to display a vibrant, rich gold that is crystal clear. The pour provided a loose finger of off-white head that is being fed by a fast moving stream of carbonation. Head retention is minimal, falling quickly to a very thin ring that struggles to leave an occasional wisp of lace on the glass from time to time. Head retention aside, this is a pretty beer to look at and it definitely coaxes you easily to pick up that glass.
Aroma: Light grains greet the nose up front with a super clean, pleasant and comforting quality to it. This shifts seamlessly into beautiful coffee notes that are lightly roasty, earthy and spicy. The beer then turns to a soft lactose quality that lives up to the beer’s name. This comes across as a gentle, vanilla-laced cream note that complements that coffee perfectly. Simply fantastic here.
Taste: Yet again, earthy and spicy coffee notes steal the show here. Lightly roasted and toasted qualities to the coffee provide a delightful nuttiness and gracefully controlled bitterness level. Those notes would easily be enough, but they are supported by vanilla, cream and light toffee notes. Bready grains and a touch of hops bring it all together in the background. The coffee presence in this beer is just ridiculously good.
Mouthfeel: A little heavier than one would expect from a Blonde Ale. It comes in at medium in feel, but a bright carbonation level helps create the illusion that it is a bit lighter. The surprising realization that this beer is 7.2% ABV is found printed on the can but it is certainly not located in the glass or on the palate. Creamy in texture, yet still crisp in the finish to aid in overall drinkability. There is a lingering aftertaste of coffee bitterness.
Final Thoughts: The fact that C.R.E.A.M. Coffee Blonde comes across so effortlessly and clearly as fresh roasted coffee in bean, ground and brewed form is incredibly impressive and delicious. I will say that the rich cream presence I was expecting – especially considering the beer’s name – was lacking a bit, but that perfect coffee presence in flavor and aroma more than makes up for that. Easy drinking, big flavors, ABV well hidden, and just a fun beer to sip during any occasion? Yes, yes, yes, and Y.E.S. C.R.E.A.M. has certainly found a place in my fridge moving forward and it should definitely find its way to a glass in front of you as soon as possible. Just think great, cold press coffee and savor each sip of this beauty while doing so. Seriously, coffee lovers . . . get you some. Prost!