Stouts have been a bit of a new endeavor for me and I only recently started exploring that avenue. It is a funny story and a tad bit shameful as well. When I first started exploring beer here in Quebec I had a funny conversation with Noah Forrest from Beerism. Back then I was under the impression that all stouts contained traces of coffee. When asking for suggestions and having general discussions about beer with Noah, he laughed in my face over the book of faces, simply because I told him I don’t drink stouts because of the coffee content. I don’t drink caffeine and anything with too much of it will get me wired. It was then through his laughter I had a moment of extreme FOMO, when I realized all the great stouts I never drank, and some which I passed on whilst trading. But no more! I have since then been a stout drinker, and they make me feel warm and giddy.
And now here we are. For a guy who avoids caffeine, the next level up from stouts, is coffee stouts. Generally most coffee stouts do not contain a high amount of coffee, but the affects on individuals who have zero mg of caffeine a day, could lead to some insomnia. But I decided to say f*** it, lets do this. The guys from Matera might recognize this line that went through my head “I’m gonna take it!”
And so I give you Matera S’toutünstout.
Imperial Stout || ABV: 9.4% || IBU: –
There was a little bit of fear as to what this beer might do to me. For those that are like me and do not consume any caffeine, besides chocolate… I love me some chocolate. *drool*. Anyways. For those with a low tolerance for caffeine and an unrelenting urge of wanting to drink stouts with coffee, I say this, f*** it, we’ll do it live! Take the dive and have some work planned to do overnight. Maybe some weekly meal preps, cleaning, or whatever floats your boat at 2am. You may be up for a while before you feel a sharp and intense crash. The effects may vary from person to person. Warning do not consume on a weeknight.
Currently I am impatiently waiting for this beer to warm up. As it glares at me. Sitting, waiting. Even just the label is taunting me. The characters look as though they are having a ball of a time in that barrel in the clouds.
The aroma lends way to a massive explosion of coffee! Matera had a different approach to brewing this beer than normal barrel aged coffee stouts. Rather than brewing a coffee stout and ageing it in bourbon barrels the Team at Matera aged green coffee beans in bourbon barrels from Heaven Hills and Bulleit for three months. This added an interesting taste to the stout. Rather than a bold woody character with a thick body, you get a light body with a bunch of coffee coming through and mixing in with the stout characters. Coffee can be thrown into the brewing process at any step. It can be steeped with the grains, during the boil, in the primary or secondary fermentation or just before bottling. Matera chose to remove the coffee beans and put them through a special torrefaction process to ensure to keep the bourbon aromas and did a cold re circulation on the beer itself for couple hours.
Along with the coffee burst, it has a bold bitterness and a very minor roasty character and just a slight bit of berries. This stout certainly kept me running for a while, but its effects on me we were not as intense as I expected. They were in no way mild, but I was certainly not erratic.
Enjoy this stouty stout at a lower temperature than normal stouts. Do not consume cold, let it sit and warm up a bit and then crack it open!
You can enjoy a new batch of this stout and some of Materas other beers at La Cuveé Hiver from March 1st – March 4th. You can find all the information Here.
Words + Photography by Hopcitizen