2/22/19: MadTree Brewing Company's Local Blend Cincinnati - Deeper Roots Coffee

3:10 PM

This is the first in a series of four posts devoted to Local Blend, a collaboration series of coffee porters MadTree recently released. 

I've had Deeper Roots coffee before. For my birthday last year, which was, coincidentally, celebrated at MadTree, my brother gave me a bag of Deeper Roots' Community Blend. It's really good stuff, and I can't wait to find out what Deeper Roots coffee adds to a beer such as a porter.

You see, last month MadTree dropped Local Blend, a group of four porters brewed in collaboration with four coffee roasters around Ohio. Each can represents a different city: Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, and Cleveland. I'm impressed with the sheer scope of this collaboration series, and, after sitting on my cans since I grabbed them on January 5th, I'm finally breaking into them one-by-one here on the blog. The goal is to review them individually, see how they stack up against each other, and give the overall Local Blend series a rating.

So, here we go. MadTree's Local Blend. First up: Cincinnati - Deeper Roots Coffee.

Since I've written about MadTree so many times, I'll forego telling you about what is, most likely, my favorite area brewery. I will, however, give you this link to their About MadTree page. Instead, I'd like to focus on the individual coffee companies for this section of my Local Blend posts.

Deeper Roots, as you may have guessed from the city represented by today's can, is from Cincinnati. Officially launched in 2012, their history goes back nine years before that, as a local cafe with an interest in working with Central American coffee farmers. Rohs Street Cafe led to Cincinnati non-profits the Espresso Guild and Deeper Roots Development, both of which aimed to support Guatemalan coffee farmers.

Local Blend Cincinnati (the information for which I'm pulling from its Untappd page), is a 5.9% ABV porter--I'll note here that my can boasts 6% ABV--brewed with Deeper Roots coffee and lactose. So, roasty, creamy, with strong coffee notes. I'm fine with all of that.

The nose is all coffee. The good stuff, mind you. Earthy and dark, with subtle hints of sticky rice and a wee bit of pine. Your typical roasty porter bouquet is here, but it isn't the star of the show; Deeper Roots' coffee is. It's a bolstering aroma and, wouldn't you know, Purrl enjoys it as much as I do. She gave my can a hearty twelve whiffs.

Local Brew Cincinnati's flavors match perfectly with its nose. Everything here is dark and earthy. There's a surge of coffee up front that's closely tailed by a beany flavor--literally talking legumes here--that's borderline pea in the finish. Beyond that, it's roasty with with a slight dark chocolate sweetness. Every flavor here compliments the others exceptionally well and, although this might not be what one imagines upon hearing the term "coffee porter" (looking at you, pea-tasting finish), MadTree's pulled it all together and made an brew that's great and distinctly MadTree.

This is a creamy beer. Like a coffee with creamer added, that's the level of creaminess here. And, you know what? It fits. It all fits.

Do you have those little daily pleasures that get you through? You know, something you take joy in that most people wouldn't find the time or patience to do? One of mine is summer morning coffee. On weekdays during the warmer months, I get up around the same time the sun does. I walk into the kitchen and get coffee brewing before hopping into the shower.

After washing myself down, I make breakfast (usually eggs and toast) and pour myself a mug of joe. I then take my plate and my mug onto our porch, where I sit at the cheap wrought-iron table we bought on clearance and enjoy my meal while the rest of the world wakes up around me. Birds sing, insects buzz, and it's warm and it's peaceful.

MadTree's Local Blend collaboration with Deeper Roots sets a high bar for the rest of the series. It's coffee, earthy, and vegetative. I'm giving it a 9.5/10. So far, I'd say it's worth picking up a Local Blend pack for this wonder alone. We'll see how the other three entries fare in my next three posts.

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  1. Municipal Brew Works up in Hamilton has a True West coffee porter, True West is our local coffee shop. True West also uses Deeper Roots as their bean source. I know one of the owners and I want to ask him if he's thought about adding Lactose to a run, as that is the main difference between the two. The Lactose makes it so sweet.

    1. I've never been! Next time I'm up that way, I'll swing in and grab a pint. Thanks for the suggestion, and I'll keep my fingers crossed that they take you up on that lactose idea.


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