Let’s just state this up top: Café is not as good a Fähä and contains half as many äccênted vøwels. That being noted, this is still a very good coffee stout. Things progressed as distressingly as I predicted for the last Three Chiefs release. In the misty petroleum twilight, under the sticky Chevron fog a cadre of folding chairs assembled to snag those 100 bottles of Coconut goodness. The bottles immediately started moving in the $700 realm and everyone went through the usual feigning dismay. Florida in particular was characteristically shitty, worrying that California oilyboiz were going to unseat their deep seated bottle flipping industry as the absolute worst. Be still my heart. It’s almost adorable to watch CA traders try to stumble through the foreign world of max profits dipshits, like a rural farmer who struck figurative and literal oil. Southern California hasn’t had anything remotely Whaley since like Chez Monus, so they have been content in their “poverty” just drinking their browdabbing spread of fantastic local options. Sucks to be them.
So now Three Chiefs is flooding the streets with 120 bottles once again and people are wondering just how many bottles are being held back. What manner of Wakefieldian economics throttles the BJCP collar this controllingly? I would be remiss to speculate. Thankfully, unlike many many landlocked hoodwinks or peninsular scams: this is a legitimately tasty beer. Aesthetically and aromatically the sheer heft of this beer reminds me a lot of those 1.050 finishing gravity THICCC stouts like BA Affogato.
The coating on this is substantial but tempered by a massive coffee presence with low acidity but medium roast, like a Kenyan meets aeropress extraction. Here’s the rub though: there is too much god damn coffee presence. It’s like a dragonforce song where grinding guitar beans is mastered all the way up over the barrel aged vocals. Alesmith used to run into these issues and you wonder if it’s a question of priority or saturation. I don’t know the casking time but even an ultra-oaked beer would have a tough time dominating the fantastic espresso profile. The barrel presence exists as a light ribbon of praline dryness with wispy caramel hints on the swallow. Thankfully, the maple is a support character and does its best to stay out of the way. It provides window dressing and tempers the oak vs. coffee dispute with a loving IHOP hand.
The nose on this beer is absolutely spectacular and it is easily the best part of those beer. The polar ends of maple cruller sweetness and 14micron grinds, with wafty wafflecone is something to behold. As it warmed, the coffee subsided into a macaroon and bear claw interplay that I could huff under an overpass like the world’s classiest indigent barista.
When you let this beer open up to 60 degrees it improves a lot, the coffee settles down and it adopts a Maple Mocha Frap aspect and despite the intense coating, I licked the batter bowl and finished the entire bottle, chocotacoolship notwithstanding. Also, I got this bottle for free and didn’t stand in any lines so forgive me if I don’t have a dog in this fight or if my impressions aren’t tinted with oil-soaked goggles.
If you love coffee driven beers that are delicious and substantial, albeit not cask driven, this is the beer for you.
So is this worth the $700 that it will inevitably sell for? I don’t have your w-2, what am I supposed to say. For that secondary price you can blame insecure gatekeeping dipshits who thrive on exclusivity by way of consumption. When you have a “culture” obsessed with excising every last dime to respond to equally rapacious/predatory peers, then hey enjoy your beer scene.