Like most beer nerds I make trips to the bottle shop on a way too regular basis, a statement my wife emphatically agrees with. These trips generally fall under one of two categories. I am either picking up a couple of big bottles for sharing or going the affordable route and picking up some “six-pack” beer. When it comes to the six-pack beer, I always love trying new beers but more times than not I end up going with a few rotating regulars. I am looking for the balance of deliciousness and affordability. It is really easy to drop $20+ on a four pack of cans to get something exciting but when trying to keep it in the $10 range the choices get a bit slimmer.
Mikkeller Windy Hill, Pizza Port Swammis and Bitburger pilsner are on the list of regulars but Modern Times tend to be the winner of my hard-earned money quite often as well. I find myself enjoying most of the seasonal releases and I can get them at a dozen different spots between my work and home. Anytime I come across a new release from Modern Times I almost always end up with it in my cart.
A few weeks I picked up a few cans of Black House with Coffee, Coconut and Chocolate on Nitro. Nitro beer tend to be more miss than hit for me but at $10 it is hard to go wrong. I enjoy the standard Black House Modern Times puts out on a year-round basis and I love chocolate and coconut so it seems like a no brainer.
I get the cans home and crack one open. After an aggressive vertical pour to maximize the nitro I got about a finger of cascading head that faded to a ring by the time I was ready to take a sip. The beer pours a rich dark brown with deep mahogany edges when held to the light.
A few whiffs of the beer and it smells exactly like what you would expect from the description on the can. Roasted unsweetened Coconut and coffee play the biggest part followed by dark chocolate. The bouquet is not overly sweet as one might expect based on the ingredient and today’s stout landscape and there is even a touch of roasted malt.
The first thing that jumps out after my first sip is the lack of carbonation. Obviously, I was not expecting prickly bubbles as this is a nitro beer but it goes down like water. A couple of sips in and I really start picking it apart. The roasted coffee is the most dominant characteristic along with some bakers’ chocolate burnt toffee. The coconut arrives in the finish but it is accompanied by a combination of bitter dark chocolate, roasted malts and an overall drying bitterness that lingers for a while. It is not a high alcohol beer coming in at only 5.8 percent ABV but I detect zero alcohol as I drink this.