Thought I'd post a quick review of a phenomenal beer I had last night. I have had some mixed results with Mikkeller beers in the past. Some are amazing, some not so much. I will give them credit for trying a ton of unusual ingredients and methods, as well as brewing at various breweries, but sometimes they do not hit the mark. Beer Geek Brunch Weasel is a direct hit!
This beer is made with the Civet Cat coffee beans. The most ripe and perfect beans are eaten by the Civet cat, (actually more of a weasel,) and then pooped out. Apparently enzymes in the cat's digestive system change the beans and add an unusual flavor and smoothness. Workers then gather and wash the beans, followed by roasting. Yup, weasel poop coffee. Because of its rarity this is one of the most expensive and sought-after coffees in the world. And Mikkeller put it in a beer.
This is listed as an American Double/Imperial Stout and certainly has all the character one would expect from the style. The aroma is fantastic with dark fruit, sweet malt, a hint of alcohol and coffee of course. Color is black as sin with a fine head that fades quickly. It has a firm bitterness to back up the sweetness and high alcohol. Flavors are complex with dark fruit (plum, black cherry, and a bit of tart apple,) chocolate and dark roast coffee flavors are also dominant. Some alcohol warming and a bit of tannic astringency is noted on mouthfeel.
This version of the beer is aged in Calvados barrels which adds some interesting character and booziness to the brew. I've aged Barleywine on this apple brandy before with good results, but thought it would get overwhelmed in a RIS. Guess I was wrong! They make a bourbon and cognac version I'd love to get my paws on. It also comes in little 10 oz bottles, for about 12-14 bucks a bottle. Worth it! And really, Sj and I can split one of these and it is just about the right amount for an after-dinner desert drink.