Saturday, 5 May 2012

Mikkeller In May
5. Mikkeller Koppi Tomahawk & Guji Natural Coffee IPA 6.9%

Another coffee IPAbut this one has a long title,so with a little background preamble, I'll break it down before the main event - the beer itself.
Koppi, the name you can see under Mikkeller on the label are a Swedish coffee roasters of some pedigree, sourcing the best and unique coffee. You can find a link to their page and more about them here.
Tomahawk is the trade name for the Columbus hop. They impart a slightly woody, citrus and pine qualities, and are high in resiny oils making them good for bittering.
Guji is region of Sidoma in southern Ethiopa, along the Mora Mora River and this produces coffee trees that grow wild, often called 'forest coffee'. The coffee is renowned for it's floral, spice and chocolate tones.
If you can imagine all that together in a glass then you're pretty close to the beer itself.
It pours a darker amber with a small amount of cloudiness and a light but highly carbonated beige head. Orange, lemon, grapefruit and soapy pine are very much in evidence in the aroma but there's no hint of chocolate or coffee. Over the tongue it's both astringent and smooth then the milk chocolate roast coffee flavour kicks in hard. This quickly melts away, via a liquid chocolate orange, into a citrussy caramel. The finish has a dry citrus pine bitterness you would associate with a hop heavy IPA.
The coffee in this beer is not an aromatic espresso or other strong coffee that you would normally expect to find in a coffee IPA keen to emphasise the coffee element, but rather milder, more subtle variety and I think this makes it much more balanced than others I have tried. The way it segues effortlessly into the IPA is also worthy of note. A very accomplished beer.

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