Thimble Island Coffee Stout
2 glasses at the brewery, 6% ABV
Sampled at the brewery, Branford
(Due to this stout’s excellence, growlers have been purchased since this sampling.)
An amazing thing happened the day I had my first Thimble Island coffee stout. I had driven down the Wilbur Cross to Woodbridge and New England Brewing to pick up a growler of their new coffee stout, the Coup Beans. I had run in, purchased a growler, sampled a bit and hit the road.
It was a new NEBCO beer. Of course it was perfect in every way. I didn’t even think about not purchasing. But as I sampled it and Damian wandered aimlessly at the brewery, I thought to myself, “Y’know. This coffee stout is HARD CORE coffee.” NEBCO loves their java bombs, but whatever, it was a new NEBCO beer and I had a growler of it.
Then I drove through New Haven and over to Branford to Thimble Island Brewery. With only two beers in production, the new brewery is focusing on quality over quantity. I was offered samples of both their American Ale and their brand new coffee stout. Hm, I thought, these guys have some kind of balls brewing and releasing a coffee stout within days of NEBCO doing the same.
After all, NEBCO is only 20 minutes away if you hit green lights through New Haven and get a traffic-free I-95. (So yeah, like 2 hours on a weekday evening.)
Hats off to Thimble for chutzpah. But then I drank it. And drank some more. While the aroma is certainly lacking in coffee, the flavor was perfect. Holy crap, it appeared that I bought the wrong New Haven county coffee stout. Impossible!
It’s a matter of taste. I know several beer folks who prefer the javaliciousness of Coup Beans. And I know a few others who, like me, rather prefer the Thimble Island version. Thimble’s tastes like a great stout with coffee rather than a coffee with stout.
I sat there in their tiny little tasting lobby, mulling over bringing home two growlers of coffee stout. With all the beer choices in the state, I just couldn’t imagine settling on two of the exact same somewhat rare style. So I got another sample, told the guy there I liked it better than New England’s coffee stout (I even offered him some from my growler, but he was too busy) and bought a growler of the American ale.
Apropos of nothing, since “Thimble” kept making me say the “Jack be Nimble” rhyme in my head: Jumping candlesticks was a form of fortune telling and a sport. Good luck was said to be signalled by clearing a candle without extinguishing the flame.
My flame for NEBCO will never be extinguished, but the excellent Thimble stout caused it to flicker ever so slightly.
Overall Rating: A
Rating vs. Similar style: A+