Top Tastings 2008. A shorter version appeared on facebook January 2008.
As the name of this beer suggests, Danish-based but itinerant cult brewer Mikkel Borg Bjergsø is well aware of the enthusiast market and unsurprisingly the denizens of ratebeer.com and the like have taken very well to his products. I also tried Mikkel’s strong, hoppy brown ale Jackie Brown in 2008 and rated it very highly, but I’ve limited myself to one beer per brewer for the Top Tastings and this just pips the post. It’s a superb oatmeal and coffee stout with a lengthy ingredients list — Pils, smoked, caramunich, brown, pale chocolate and chocolate barley malts, malted oats, roast barley, oat flakes, Centennial and Cascade hops and a dose of Rico’s Coffee Barn gourmet coffee. I’m assuming the batch I tried was brewed at Norwegian brewer Nøgne-Ø as it’s in similar bottles to their output, but the recipe has also been cooked up elsewhere.
This near black beer has a thick and deep fawn head and a fruity, malty, chaffy and chocolatey aroma with a slightly acidic sharpness and a relatively restrained coffee note. A very complex dry and dark malty palate has sophisticated dried fruit flavours, with red grape tannins, raisins and raspberries as well as coffee and a wash of brown sugar reminiscent more of a Belgian dubbel. Maltiness reasserts itself on the finish, turning marmitey as the coffee turns black, with some late ground black pepper developing. Cult status well deserved.
Read more about this beer at ratebeer.com: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/mikkeller-beer-geek-breakfast/53853/