4 Hands Zellige Moroccan Coffee Stout
Date: Sept. 26 , 2018
The Story— We sometimes wonder what the guys at the Budweiser Belgian-owned plant in St. Louis think of the craft breweries that are growing up under their not so effective canopy. Schlafly kicked open the foliage door many years ago and several others have joined since. A fair share of these have found national distribution, and 4 Hands seems to be pretty easy to find in the East.
This week seems to be our week to feature beers we shouldn’t like but do. We were overjoyed with the Anchor spiced Christmas ales when they first came out and celebrated the spicing in a series of tasting in the late, lamented, Brickskeller restaurant in Washington. But four or five years into it, most of the possibilities had been exhausted– except for Anchor’s brave new innovations year after year. But for us Pumpkin is passe and we happily pass when we can on many of the spiced ales.
Enter a Moroccan Coffee Stout from 4 Hands. It shouldn’t be this good — but the spices and the coffee blend rather than fight and nothing here seems tired or trite. I still wouldn’t buy this by the case, but a big tip of the hat for brewing a beer I shouldn’t like, but actually covet.
The Beer–Rich, chewy, coffee and chocolate sipper. Cinnamon coffee and chewy malts start with herbs. Chewy chocolate holds well even very late. Ellie could have done without the suggestions of pumpkin, but found the spice delicious: “it all works out well.”
Value — good. Worth it for the interesting take on dark and spicy.
COMING UP – More great American beers. Later, we’ll return to HIGHLIGHTS OF EUROPE 2018– Surprisingly good beer in “bad beer cities.” The best we’ve found in researching our next book – a guide to great beer in European tourist cities. (Planned publication 2019.)
About these posts: We taste and evaluate over a thousand beers every year. The beers posted here rank in the top quarter of those tastings. Values: “fair” is a good beer at an above market price, “good” is worth the money, “very good” is a bargain, and “excellent” is a steal.