Beer Review 0234: Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast Oatmeal Stout
I made sure to save what I hope is a special beer for the special occasion of the 2012 Harvest Moon. The day of the Harvest Moon is one of my favorite days of the year; it’s akin to a holiday to me. And I’m sure this offering from the gypsies at Mikkeller (based in Vesterbro, Copenhagen) will live up to the occasion, because all of their beers I’ve had so far have been top-notch.
Founded by Mikkel Borg Bjergsø and his friend Kristian Keller as the result of kitchen homebrewing experiments, Mikkeller experienced a breakthrough with their Beer Geek Breakfast, an Oatmeal Stout brewed with French press coffee. Voted the best stout on ratebeer.com at one time, Mikkeller signed a distribution deal in 2006 with Shelton Brothers, which made their beer available in the United States. Keller left the beer business in 2007, but Mikkel continues to operate Mikkeller today.
As previously mentioned, Beer Geek Breakfast is an Oatmeal Stout that comes in at 7.5% ABV (alcohol by volume). The malts used are Pils, Oat, Smoked, Caramunich, Brown, Pale Chocolate, and Chocolate, while this is hopped with Centennial and Cascade.
Pouring this highly acclaimed beer made for a large, deeply tan head, creamy in texture and long lasting. The head was composed of small bubbles tightly arranged atop the drink. The beer itself was pitch dark black, completely opaque and quintessential Stout. Since the beer was so dark, I had no idea about particles or sediment, other than the bottle showed a significant amount of yeast at the bottom when held to the light. The body of the beer was muddy as I poured, and the lacing left behind was killer; lovely creamy sticky sheets.
The aromatics present a simple but delicious picture: coffee, coffee, and coffee. Along with the black freshly roasted coffee, there are hints of dark chocolate, caramel, and deep in the drink, a subtle pine note that adds some bitterness. This is a sweet scent, and while I know you can’t smell texture, very creamy-like as well. By the aroma, you could totally sample this with some pancakes and bacon.
On the taste, there’s coffee and dark chocolate up front, with the roasted black coffee dominating all throughout the sip. It’s a wonderful coffee, too; robust and bordering on espresso. The dark color of this beer exactly matches what goes on in the mouth. All throughout the taste, there’s a strong acidic note from the coffee, which couples with the bitterness and really zaps any sweetness there is to be found. The finish unwinds with mostly bitterness, but a very small note of sweetness, perhaps some milk chocolate and caramel. The mouthfeel was surprisingly just medium, but with a creamy, smooth texture.
Alright, so the obvious comparison here, at least in my mind, is my current king of breakfast beers, Founders Breakfast Stout. I gave that beer 100 points — simply put, it’s awesome, and if you can get it, you should (it is in season right now). Is Beer Geek Breakfast on the same level? I don’t think so — but it doesn’t miss by much. While the flavors here are intense, tasty, and damn good, I thought the sweetness in Founders Breakfast Stout played better with the coffee flavored beer. Beer Geek Breakfast carries a sharp acidic note, which is true to the taste of coffee, but when coupled with whatever they hopped this with, it becomes a touch too acidic and bitter.
That being said, this is totally a world class beer and you need to try it! Seek it out — it was worth my long wait (I can never seem to find this) to have.
Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast Oatmeal Stout, 97 points. Price: $9.99 US for one 500 ml bottle.