Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Mikkeller ApS - Beer Geek Brunch Weasel

By now, I think most people have heard of Kopi Luwak coffee. In case you haven't, here's the scoop: It's coffee made from weasel poo. More specifically, it's coffee that is made from beans harvested from the droppings of the Asian Palm Civet. The idea behind it (theoretically) is that the civets instinctively choose the choicest coffee beans to eat and the digestive tracts of the animals imparts a unique flavor on the beans and removes unwelcome impurities. Because of the obviously difficult (and I'm sure unpleasant) extraction, scarcity of Asian Palm Civets, rarity of the product (sound familiar, beer fans?), and flat out weirdness of it all, Kopi Luwak coffee can fetch up to $30 for a single cup.

While I'd love to try an actual cup of Kopi Luwak (or it's Vietnamese counterpart, ca phe chon, which I actually prefer because the name literally translates to "Civet Feces Coffee"), I'm not sure that I've reached the point where spending $30 for a cup of coffee is really feasible. However, there's another way to try the coffee and it might just be more enjoyable than the real thing: beer. A number of breweries have experimented with Kopi Luwak coffee in beer. One of the first was the Danish gypsy brewery, Mikkeller. Their Beer Geek Brunch Weasel beer is currently sitting at #141 on the Top 250 List, so let's see what all the fuss is about.

Beer Geek Brunch Weasel pours a viscous black color with an intensely thick chestnut colored head. The retention was solid and each sip left some nice tracks of lace down my glass. I was expecting loads of tasty coffee in this beer and the smell was just that. Right away, I was met with loads of rich espresso and dark roasted coffee notes. Dark chocolate, fudge and some leafy hops lingered in the background.

The coffee hit with full force again in the flavor, with a rich and creamy hit of espresso leading the charge. The coffee really overpowers everything else in this beer. And normally that would be a problem, but when the coffee flavor is this good, it's a very, very good thing. This coffee is far from one dimensional, with mingling notes of dark chocolate, blackberry and a touch of char. I couldn't get enough of it. The finish mixed things up a bit, with some burnt coffee grounds and a touch of earthy hops. Overall, this was a fantastic beer. Maybe someday I'll get to try actual Kopi Luwak, but for now, I'm completely content with drinking this. Keep doing your thing, civets. You make some damn tasty beer.

Final Grade: A

Top 250 Beers Tasted: 129

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