Firestone Walker Coconut Merlin, a variant of the brewery’s popular milk stout, debuts this week.
“Merlin” is Firestone Walker’s signature milk stout – which is simply sensational if you haven’t tried it yet. For this seasonal release, brewmaster Matt Brynildson decided to change up this release with shredded and toasted coconuts.
The coconut is added after the milk stout’s fermentation, allowing the new beer to circulate through the coconut shreds. “We did a trial run on this beer and it was unbelievable,” says Ali Razi, the brewery’s production director. Leading Firestone Walker to make sure this was the next iteration of Merlin.
“The toasting really brings out the best flavors from the coconut, much like toasted and roasted malts deliver rich, complex flavors.” – Matt Brynildson
Firestone Walker Coconut Merlin is available on draft and 12-ounce cans in full distribution as a limited seasonal release.
AleSmith Coconut Rays
Wild Leap Coco Flamingo, a collaboration with Birmingham, Alabama’s Trim Tab Brewing, debuts in late June.
This is the first time these two breweries have collaborated. The base beer is a hazy double India Pale Ale, brewed with toasted coconut, tangerine, and lime.
Wild Leap Coco Flamingo will be available in Georgia by the end of June, Alabama, and Tennessee by the first week of July.
Pontoon Brewing Boats & Gose debuted this week, bringing the fruit and the puns.
Strawberries, lime, and coconut take the lead in this new gose, plus coriander and Fleur de Sel (a French sea salt). As far as the puns go? Anyone who’s seen the movie Stepbrothers, you know what song they are talking about.
12-ounce cans of Pontoon Brewing Boats & Gose are available in the brewery’s taproom, with distribution to follow soon.
Style: Gose (w/ Strawberries. Limes. Coconuts. Sea Salt. Coriander.)
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft. Seasonal Release.
Debut: Early February 2019
Creature Comforts Koko Buni, the brewery’s coveted milk porter, returns to cans again in mid-December.
One of the first seasonals by the Athens, Georgia based brewery, Creature Comforts Koko Buni is a milk porter, aged on toasted coconut and cocoa nibs Condor Chocolates and coffee from nearby 1000 Faces. This late fall season has been overwhelmingly popular since its debut a few years ago. We’ve seen fistfights over Koko cans at retailers.
2018 is the first production run after the brewery brought their new production facility online, so fans should expect a little more “Buni” to go around this year.
“We decided not to be traditional with the beer and add some ingredients that play well with the already roasty and chocolatey flavors of darker beers.” -Co-Founder and Head Brewer David Stein.
Coffee lovers will find a home here. Koko Buni starts heavy on the 1000 Faces coffee, and turns chocolatey mid-sip, finishing with a wisp of coconut.
Creature Comforts Koko Buni will be a seasonal draft and 12-ounce can offering, available at the brewery and Georgia retailers again in mid-December, 2018.
Koko means coconut in Papiamento, a common language in parts of the Carribean, while Buni means coffee in Swahili, a common language in southeastern Africa.
Image: Beer Street Journal
In the world of imperial stouts filled with various dessert-like additions, Epic Quadruple Barrel Big Bad Baptist stands alone. This big bottle of ridiculous is how you make a decadent pastry stout.
Big Bad Baptist was supposed to be released under another name – Jack Mormon Imperial Stout, back in 2011. Epic Brewing made a barrel-aged imperial stout brewed with Jack Mormon roasters coffee. Unfortunately, the state of Utah rejected the “Mormon” name, even though it was a homage to their coffee roaster.
Brewery co-founder Dave Cole is a California Baptist and decided to integrate his real-life “Big Bad Baptist” roots into the name.
In that first year, Big Bad Baptist scored a 100 on RateBeer.com, and still maintains that high mark today.
Since the launch, variants of this coveted imperial stout have been released, including a Double Barrel, Triple Barrel, and Big Bad Baptista Imperial Stout. Each one takes a creative step forward. Now there’s Epic Quadruple Barrel Baptist and it really is the best Baptist we’ve ever had.
The brewers at Epic racked their imperial stout to both whiskey and rum barrels. Meanwhile, the team barrel-aged their own coffee beans, coconuts, and almonds. Basically, the only thing that’s not barrel-aged is the cocoa nibs. You might read all that and think, there’s just too much going on here.
You’re not wrong. There are some imperial stouts out there that are packed with chocolate, vanilla, strawberries, lactose, even cookies, and cereal. Some taste great. Some of these coveted imperial stouts are just muddled in flavor. That’s how Epic got this beer right. Scroll up and read everything the brewery put in the beer. Now read the next paragraph.
Every flavor is present in every sip. Your first taste starts with this rich, chocolaty imperial stout which gives way to a balance of subtle almond, coffee, and coconuts that finishes with a mix of vanilla oak and toasted rum sugar. That’s what blew us away. All these flavors are very much there in a beautiful balance, from start to finish. To us, that’s the crossroad of imagination and brewing talent. Epic didn’t just throw all the buzz-worthy additions to a barrel-aged imperial stout and expect a line outside. This is a symphony of barrel blending, and we were some morose tipsy folks when the bottle ran dry.
Epic Quadruple Barrel Big Bad Baptist is available in 22-ounce bottles – an extremely limited release hitting distribution now.
Hops: Nugget, Chinook, Cascade.
Malts: Muntons Maris Otter Malt, Briess 2-Row Brewers Malt, Crystal Muntons, Weyermann Light Munich Malt I, 2-Row Chocolate Malt 2-Row Black Malt, Roasted Barley.
Availability: 22oz Bottles. Extremely Limited Release.
Debut: Late Oct/Nov 2018
Oskar Blues Death by Coconut has been canned and is headed to shelves again soon. At one point it was only sold at the taprooms in Colorado and North Carolina. Now it’s a national hit.
Oskar Blues Death By Coconut was first introduced during Colorado Craft Beer Week in March of 2014. The beer is a collaboration with Oskar Blue’s Jason Buehler, and Shamrock Brewing Co.’s Keith Hefley. The base beer is an Irish porter, aged on dried coconut and dark chocolate.
IF YOU CRAVE COCONUT BEER, IT’S HERE. We’re talking creamy coconut flavors, that finish with a touch of dark chocolate. Oskar Blues Death By Coconut tastes like an alcoholic Almond Joy candy bar. Everything from the smell to the taste is over the top, and we love every last drop we can get. As fall rolls in, so do the coconuts by Oskar. This is your annual heads up.
Oskar Blues Death By Coconut is available in 12-ounce cans, and draft nationally for a limited time.
Images: Beer Street Journal