12 October 2016
Back in May 2015 we brought you the first Tugboat Coffee collaboration beer…the beer was called Big Red Tugboat Coffee-Infused IPA and it was a collaboration between RAM Brewery and Tugboat Coffee….and yes it was really unique and really good. So naturally I was excited when a new collaboration brew arrived from Tugboat Coffee.
For those unfamiliar,
Tugboat Coffee is a small batch direct-trade coffee roaster from Addison, IL that features some really unique coffees and blends. This time, Tugboat Coffee is collaborating with Mikerphone Brewing, a brewery known for creating craft beers inspired by music.
The beer is called Magical Mystery Kind and once again Tugboat has hit on a unique twist on coffee beer. Before we start sampling, I should mention the great artwork on the bottle created by Alyssa Cornett and Nick Segura. The semi-psychedelic colors look great on the big 750ml bottle and I think it will get your attention when you see it.
As you can imagine, I’ve sampled more than my fair share of coffee beers, and while I’m not a coffee expert, I can certainly tell you when a beer works….and of course this one does. Magical Mystery Kind is a saison that is brewed with Tugboat Coffee cold-brewed Cascara and Ethiopian Natural Guji coffee. Cascara is also known as “coffee cherry tea” and the term loosely translates to “husk” as in the husk of the coffee beans (before the beans are removed.) The husks are dried and used as a sort of tea to create Cascara. Guji is a city in the Sidama region of Ethiopia, and their coffee is know for it’s complexity and rich fruit flavors. I’m sure you’re wondering how well this all works together…so off we go.
Magical Mystery Kind pours a much lighter orange color than you’d expect from a coffee beer, and at it’s core, it’s a saison…but a really unique saison. The beer is loaded with coffee aroma, but there’s also some yeasty saison aromas as well as some cranberry and cherry notes. You can’t miss the coffee in this beer, but after a sip or two you’ll realize this is a really complex beer and not just a coffee beer. Magical Mystery Kind has some plum, banana, dark fruit, cranberry and even cherry flavors that I attributed to the Guji, but the coffee flavor itself still resonates on your pallate with some late earthy flavors as well. The mouthfeel seems to have lower carbonation, which helps to further push the coffee flavors out front; and as the beer warmed I found some additional fruit flavors and some interesting (yet traditional) saison spicy flavors. All in all this is a really interesting, unique and complex coffee beer.
Mikerphone brewing / Tugboat Coffee Magical Mystery Kind is packaged in 750ml bottles at Une Annee Brewery in Chicago, and the beer swings in at 6.5%-AbV so be sure to try it for yourself…
and when you do, be sure to let us know what YOU think.