Bristol Beer Factory: Mocha (England: Stout: 4.5% ABV)

Visual: Black with large heaped caramel sudden froth head.

Nose: Chocolate. Dusty and dry bitter coffee granules. Roasted coffee beans. Cashew nuts.

Body: Juicy coffee with a hint of tea leaves as well. Kaffir lime leaves. Blueberry pie. Grapes. Bitter touches. Dark malt edges. Lactose.

Finish: Tea leaves and tannins. Coffee. Dry and quite roasted. Fresh lime. Kiwi fruit. Crushed white grapes. Lactose.

Conclusion: This is different, a coffee beer that grasps the rich juicy fruit flavours that a coffee can have.  Not that you would guess from the aroma which is dry dusty and calls more to coffee granules than quality coffee.

The body rectifies all that and comes in with a real shot of quality coffee flavour. You get blueberries, grapes, lime leaves and more all swelling up and even an odd tea and tannin like finish. In fact at times the finish feels closer to tea than coffee. The rich range of flavours is very much a counterpoint to the ultra bitter coffee that is used in many such beers.

This beer lives and dies by how much you enjoy the style of the coffee used. The stout  itself is hints around the edges, milky and slightly sour.  It wraps around the coffee, embracing and enveloping the coffee flavours yet without hiding them in any way.

For me I would say this is an utter treat, and from the 12 stout beer I expected least of.   Instead of a standard coffee stout I found myself with an easy drinking and juicy stout of moderate abv and utterly delicious fruit and understated more traditional coffee flavours.

The aroma is the only real flaw, it doesn’t bring you into the beer as it should. The beer itself is so easy drinking and delicious that it almost demands a second to follow it up. It is just so pleasurable and balanced.

Less showy and less of a beast than a lot of coffee stouts but with agreat and unusual flavour range. This really adds to the base stout and manages to not quite eclipse it. More flavour than many Imperial Stouts but much more easy going .

This is a bloody excellent stout.

Background: Part of the 2012 12 Stout Of Christmas.  This one is made with Hope Project Peaberry Espresso (from  I am not a huge coffee drinker but there are quite a few specialist coffee shops such as Colonna and Small’s in Bath so I have had a chance to try a bit of arrange.  Things are getting a bit chilly in the UK at the moment so a nice heavy stout does me nicely. Thankfully I have a ton of them in my cupboard ready for drinking.