Here’s another unique offering from Goose Island’s Barrel House line. Café De Olla Stout was crafted in partnership with Intelligentsia Coffee and inspired by the traditional Mexican spiced coffee. It takes the Original Bourbon County Stout, ages it with coffee beans and cold coffee, and enhances things further with cassia bark, orange peel, and panela sugar (raw sugar). Sounds different! Let’s check it out.
This one pours a dark, dark chocolate brown with a thin, espresso-colored head. The aroma is phenomenal. Notes of chicory, chocolate covered espresso beans, Belgian dark chocolate, Manner Wafers, and candied orange peel are rich and creamy and elegantly layered. I’ve never wanted to inhale a beer as much as I do this one. The palate is a little lighter than I want it to be, but things thicken as the beer reaches its ideal drinking temp (I’m too impatient). There’s an outsized cinnamon stick note that really takes center stage and never leaves it. Some chocolate cocoa, dulce de leche, and dark roast coffee aren’t far behind. The addition of panela sugar has actually helped to alter the sweetness usually found in these barrel-aged beers, giving it more of a molasses quality. That combined with the cassia bark gives this one more of an earthy palate, punctuated by a pulpy, slightly sour citrus note. Definitely one of the more unique barrel-aged beers I’ve encountered.
A- / $20 per 500ml bottle / gooseisland.com