The week is coming to an end and proving to be a cold one, so let’s warm up with some coffee and a segment of Tasting Notes featuring Little Red RooStarr Coffee Cream Stout from Starr Hill Brewery (Crozet, Virginia).
Before we dive directly into the beer in the glass, we should probably cover some background information on Little Red RooStarr. This All Access Series offering from Starr Hill Brewery is a 6.0% ABV Cream Stout brewed with high quality coffee from Red Rooster Coffee Roasters in Floyd, Virginia. A recipe of four malts and Willamette hops join the coffee to create a delightful and satisfying Coffee Stout that is a perfect pairing for the cooler temperatures we are experiencing here in the Southeast. Little Red RooStarr is available now through March, and you can track this limited offering down on draft and in four-packs of 12 oz. bottles in Alabama and throughout Starr Hill’s distribution area. Now that we have that information out of the way, let’s get to some Tasting Notes!
Tasting Notes for Little Red RooStarr Coffee Cream Stout from Starr Hill Brewery
Appearance: Little Red RooStarr fills the glass as a seemingly opaque, inky black in color. Held to direct light, a dark cola brown pushes through just a touch at the base of the glass. The pour produced three fingers of rich, mocha colored foam. Head retention is great, falling incredibly slowly to an eventual finger of frothy cream that easily notches the glass with lace throughout the experience. The beer simply shines with that glossy black presentation and beckons you to return for each sip.
Aroma: A huge roasty presence is just poppin’ from the glass, and it is obvious that both the coffee and malts are responsible for that goodness. The coffee comes through as a dark, heavily roasted note and it is big in presence. Toasted caramel and just a touch of cocoa slides right into the profile to further complement the roast in the coffee. A lactose note comes through as well, but it does come across just a touch artificial here. This rounds things off to create the aromatic illusion of smelling fresh brewed dark roast with just a touch of cream.
Taste: Surprisingly, I get a burst of burnt caramel up front, and then that is quickly overtaken by that heavily roasted, dark coffee note. Seriously . . . this is straight coffee awesomeness in here. Earthy hops actually make a slight but graceful appearance to tame the coffee a bit. The lactose provides a more quality cream note here than what was coming across in the aroma. There is a wisp of vanilla in here as well. This brings everything together to create an experience that is reminiscent of a nice caramel macchiato. Beautiful.
Mouthfeel: This brew is medium in body with a medium to light carbonation level. This combo creates a silky smooth, creamy texture that is ridiculously enjoyable. The coffee is a touch aggressive at times, and that translates here with a bit of acidity turning up on the palate and in the throat. The 6% ABV is nicely hidden and further helps in creating the illusion that this could easily be a really good cup of iced/cold coffee in front of you. Aftertaste is all roasty, toasty coffee.
Final Thoughts: Simply put, all aspects of this beer come together wonderfully to create an incredibly solid coffee brew. The only gripe I can possibly cite is that touch of acidic bite from the coffee in the feel, but that is honestly just coffee being coffee. I cannot really ask for more from this beer, and the creamy texture on this brew is absolutely divine. If you are a fan of Stouts and/or the cold-pressed coffee movement that has been becoming more popular these days, Little Red RooStarr needs to make your beer run shopping list immediately. Grab some while you can and treat yourself to this roasted coffee goodness. Prost!