Dave’s Coffee, which is not to be confused with Dave’s Market or Dave’s Bar & Grill or Dave & Busters or Dave, the Kevin Kline movie about a president’s look-a-like, is a well-known local coffee company that you can usually find in Dave’s Market. Well, now you can also find it in Grey Sail’s Dave’s Coffee Stout. Apparently we had to make absolutely sure there was that differentiation between all the other Dave’s and all the other Coffee Stouts.
I’ll never turn down a coffee stout of any kind, unless it’s very late and I’ve already been up for three days, which is about when the hallucinations set in. I was tempted to make a comment about the insane prevalence of dark coffee beers, and it would by hypocritical not to considering I’ve beat the drum about IPAs and hop palate fatigue so often that Guitar Center won’t let me through the doors anymore. So I’ll say this: There are a lot of coffee stouts. I love them. Not everyone does. It’s not an original or novel idea anymore, and it is in danger of becoming cliché. Now that we’ve addressed the elephant in the room, let’s move on.
Seeing local favorite brewery Grey Sail team up with local favorite coffee company Dave’s to make my favorite kind of beer was a wonderful surprise. Once I obtained a sample and a little peace and quiet to try it, I poured a glass and prepared to enjoy what was almost certainly a solid brew.
And it indeed was. The nose is largely one of dark chocolate with a warm coffee roast wafting through. It put me in mind of chocolate-covered espresso beans. It’s very dark, as it should be, with a hint of translucency at the edges, making me think of an actual cup of coffee. This stout is rich and thick, almost chewy, like a good stout should be. The flavor is very coffee-forward with a grittiness often missing from these sorts of hybrid beers. It’s a warm, welcoming beer reminiscent of dark roast, but mixed with a dry Irish stout, combining the best elements of each and producing something wholly new.
The caffeine content seems fairly low, and the label didn’t give away the ABV, but if I had to guess, I’d say this beer wasn’t much stronger than 6% at most. Probably closer to 5%. This makes it sessionable for those of us who can drink stouts as session beers. So while your typical lite-weight might consider this to be a little too heavy, those of us who only slow down when it comes to Russian imperials will find this to be a very nice, pleasing dark beauty.
So while this beer might have a very generic-sounding name, don’t be fooled — this is an excellent example of the style. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to bed… Oh, dammit. I have made an error.