If you live in the Southeastern United States, especially in Virginia, and you have not heard of Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery, get out from under your rock and discover one up and coming brewery that is taking the craft beer scene by storm.
Lickinghole Creek, located in Goochland, Va. is brewing up some notable beers and putting themselves on the map. Situated on a 290-acre farm just a few miles outside of Richmond, Lickinghole grows many of its own hops, barley, herbs and spices that are used in the brewing process, especially for its Estate Series beers. It is a water-conscious brewery as it brews with well water drawn from the local creek. The wastewater is purified on site and returned to the Lickinghole Creek watershed. The brewery’s philanthropy is also noted as they donate $1 for every barrel sold wholesale and $10 for every barrel sold for on premise retail a different charity each month.
The brewery has received many awards including a gold medal in the 2016 Virginia Craft Brewers Cup for its Virginia Black Bear RIS twice, a silver medal in the 2015 GABF in the chili beer category for Heir Apparent and several more.
Today I will review a newer release, Coconut Virginia Black Bear, an unfiltered, bottle-conditioned Russian imperial stout brewed with coconut.
Poured from the 750ml bottle, an amazing pitch black liquid fills the glass, with only slight tinges of dark brown around the edges where the light seeps in. Three fingers of moderately carbonated head quickly appear and takes its time exiting of the brown liquid.
Aroma is bold with immediate coconut, followed by semi-sweet chocolate, light hops, malt, damp grains and charred coffee. The taste mirrors the aroma and is full of untoasted, sweetened coconut, bitter chocolate and caramel candy, just like the Werther’s Caramels I used to enjoy from years past. There is also a bitterness from the hops that is a major player, but not quite enough to ruin the balance which comes around so smoothly with the coconut and chocolate. Carbonation is great for the style. The finish is slightly weak and causes me to wonder where all of the previously enjoyed flavors went.