Trae was kind enough to drop off a pre-release bottle of the new batch of FDR for personal consumption, but I decided to just review it in time for the release this week. An interesting brew, they added coffee directly into the boil. I’ve had the opportunity to sample FDR on a few occasions over the years at various events, and there were some strange tangy bitter flavors in some of the previous batches that they seemed to think was due to bitter tannins from boiling the coffee too long. They dialed down the coffee boil time and zeroed in on the perfect blend of dark coffee flavors while avoiding bitterness.
Company: 405 Brewing Company
Location: Norman, OK
Style/Description: Imperial Stout brewed with coffee
Price: $10-ish (750 ml bottle)
Appearance: Pours an inky black, with a slowly dissipating tight tan head.
Nose: The aroma jumps out of the glass, smells like a coffee shop, bready and steamy and espresso. Dark chocolate, coffee and light oak, with some fruit notes, dates, raisins and cherries.
Taste: Dark chocolate and espresso lead the way without overwhelming the taste buds. The chocolate flavors are definitely on the dark side, think a 90% cocoa chocolate bar. Delicate vanilla and caramel sweetness sneak in to help balance out some of the bitterness of the chocolate and coffee. While not as much as in the aroma, there is definitely some dark fruits in here, cherries and raisins. Moderate mouthfeel for a big 11% brew, moderate carb, somewhat creamy on the tongue. Coffee eases up some as it warms and opens.
Finish: Surprise, it’s mostly coffee on the finish, with more dark chocolate and mild roast. There is a light bitter tang on the end, similar to the finish you get on the above mentioned 90% cocoa bar. The coffee lingers, and makes me feel like I just ate a bunch of cookies.
Overall: FDR has been around for a bit with the guys at 405, and finally gets a wide commercial release. I really enjoyed this brew. At 11% it should cellar well, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens to this in a few months when some of the coffee falls out. Make sure you grab yourself a few bottles.
Disclaimer: This product was provided at no cost to Barrels and Mash with no strings attached. In fact, they didn’t even want us to review it but just enjoy it instead, but we are terrible listeners.