The last couple of times I tried coffee-flavored or coffee-accented beers I liked them OK; I’m thinking of IRON SPRINGS COFFEE PORTER and MEANTIME COFFEE PORTER. Both did right by me, neither overwhelming with roasted coffee-bean flavor nor too subdued that the “coffee” moniker was deceptive. I’m always scared these beers are going to taste like the 1995 Starbucks/Red Hook collaboration that was essentially a “depth charge” of coffee dropped into a thin stout. One of the most foul beers I’ve ever tried. Yet I just knew this DARK HORSE PERKULATOR COFFEE DOPPLEBOCK was going to be something special. First, it came highly recommended from someone on the other side of the USofA; Trub Wortwurst of Michigan, to be clear. He sent this bottle – and one more for good measure – to me in a trade we consummated a few weeks ago. I’ve already waxed enthusiastically about this brewery’s TRES BLUEBERRY STOUT twice now; let’s see what else they can do.
DARK HORSE PERKULATOR COFFEE DOPPLEBOCK has a great arty label, already beckoning me to crack it open. Marketing 101, folks – you gotta bring the people in and get them to pick up your product; packaging is at least 50% of the deal. Smooth, and with a decided dark-roasted coffee taste, even a little bitter – yet no more than you’d expect. No head retention at all – very flat, still and smooth. Dark brown, somewhat translucent, and it’s not “coffee” that you’re smelling and drinking per se, it’s espresso. Espresso mixed with a far lighter German-style beer than I was counting on (I was expecting a belly buster, and I got a very drinkable, easy-sipping beer). You know what? This is a great beer. I’d drink it again for sure – and thankfully I’ve got one more so I’m gonna do just that. 8/10.