Joseph Formanek's picture

Judge's Review: 91 Rating - Cold Press Black by Bent Paddle Brewing Co.

June, 2018
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
36 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Cold Press Black by Bent Paddle Brewing Co is a bit of an anachronism. While having the strength of an IPA and comes off similar to a Black IPA, it is actually a Coffee Ale due to the addition of locally-sourced cold pressed coffee. Due to this, this beer is being evaluated as a Category 30A Spice Herb and Vegetable beer as per the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines. While there is no base style noted, I am assuming it is an 18B American ale.

Coffee character dominates in the nose, coming through as would a cold cup of a strong black coffee. Very little hop nor base malt character is evident. The beer is a deep black color with a subtle, off-white, small-bubbled head that dissipates rather quickly. The lack of head is probably due to the coffee.   

The same coffee character from the aroma also dominates the flavor. From start to finish, a rather complex moderately smooth black coffee flavor makes itself very well known, with a touch of chocolate and perhaps a light caramel note complementing the coffee flavor. Very little hop or base malt character is noted, which, if there, is masked by the dark flavors. The middle and finish retains the same flavor characteristics, with the coffee character delivering a dry finish.  While I am assuming the base beer is an American Ale, very little of that character, if any, is evident. The fermentation is very clean with little in the way of fermentation-derived notes making themselves known.

Overall, this brew is as the label suggests – a can of cold pressed black coffee ale. It is actually quite refreshing! Perfect for a real coffee fan. Cheers and enjoy!