Now that I’m nearly through the keg I figured it’s time to post some tasting notes for my Amarillo Coffee Blonde that I brewed a while ago. It’s not quite as coffee-y as I wanted but it’s still a mighty tasty beer so here are my thoughts broken down by sense:
Appearance: Golden with a fluffy white head and gorgeous lacing. Slightly hazy, maybe from oils from the beans.
Smell: Lighter peachy aroma with undertones of toffee/caramel and some spiciness. Presumably the fruitiness is from the Amarillo while the toffee/caramel is from the coffee, although if I recall correctly Stumptown did mention “peach” as one of the descriptions of the coffee. I’ve never tasted peach in my coffee, but maybe that’s the source here…
I do think that the coffee’s largest contribution to the beer is in the smell, at least in this beer. Switching coffees could also probably make this beer entirely different – I’d imagine most would be good choices, but I think it would be challenging to make this exact beer again without these exact beans.
Taste: A very slight roasty nutty flavor reminiscent of toasted almonds. Again, the coffee is definitely there but not as forward as I’d have expected or hoped.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Coats the mouth a bit, but it’s definitely drinkable.
Overall: I wish it had a bit more coffee and was a bit hoppier. I’ll try this again and back off on the crystal, and double the coffee. I’ll also probably dry hop with 0.5oz amarillo hops just to see how much I can add on the hoppy side without overwhelming the coffee.
Edit 2016: I rebrewed this in Dec 2015 but with a small amount of amarillo as a dry hop. I would highly recommend NOT doing this. It clashes with the coffee in a bad way. It’s still a perfectly fine beer, but not nearly as tasty as version 1.