3/15/19: MadTree Brewing Company's Local Blend Columbus - Stauf's Coffee

1:49 PM

This is the third in a series of four posts devoted to Local Blend, a collaboration series of coffee porters MadTree released in January. I'll be judging each beer individually, comparing it to the others in the series, and, finally, rating Local Blend as a whole.

Today is as good a day for coffee as any. In fact, I've already had a mug. I've also had some tea, for what it's worth. It's cold and cloudy outside my living room window, which stinks because it's been 70˚ the last two days (albeit with a strong chance of tornadoes yesterday). So, I guess you could say that the today's cloudy 40˚ is unpleasant and unwelcome. Couple that with crummy sleep last night and, yeah. Coffee's called for.

However, since I've already had a fair amount of caffeine today, and since I have work tomorrow and definitely need to sleep tonight, I'd rather reach for something that tastes like coffee instead of the actual stuff itself. As such, it's a good day to turn to the next in MadTree's Local Blend series: Columbus, featuring coffee from Stauf's.

Usually I'd talk about the brewery that made the beer I'm drinking here after the intro. But, I've talked about MadTree plenty (if you're interested in learning more about the Oakley-based brewery, hit up their "About MadTree" page). So, instead, let's focus on Stauf's today.

Stauf's Coffee Roasters, as detailed on their "Our Story" page, is Columbus' first micro roaster, having started in 1988. Every small batch of their coffee is roasted by hand on gas-fired drum roasters. In this way, Stauf's gives the level of attention necessary to provide the best flavor and roast possible.

Local Blend Columbus is the same base beer as its seriesmates: A 6% ABV porter brewed with lactose with coffee added. The difference in each beer, of course, comes from that coffee addition. Going into my can, I know it'll be roasty, creamy, and dark, with a hint of sweetness and a wallop of coffee.

I get a heavy roasty bouquet from my can. It's almost like MadTree managed to distill the all the aromas that fill a coffee shop into a singular beer. It's deep and dark, like strong drip coffee. But there're also earthy, vegetable notes from the beans in here, but they take a backseat to the more prominent black coffee punch. The nose doesn't seem to be up only my alley; Purrl gave my can a good six whiffs.

My first swig gives me sweetness (from the lactose) followed immediately by that green beany quality that Stauf's coffee give the porter. After that, a deep coffee flavor crops up--this is something akin to what you'd find a the first pour from a pot of coffee you'd brew for yourself on a Monday morning, hearty and like to wake you up from the taste of it alone. In the incredibly long finish, that earthy vegetable note from the nose lingers on my tongue.

The mouthfeel from Local Blend Columbus is creamy, which is entirely fitting for the style. I always like to splash some milk in my coffee, and that's what the porter's body seems to emulate.

One of the first times I ever had coffee was when Michelle and I were driving to New York for my internship (this was between my junior and senior years at Ohio University). We'd spent the night at her folks' before waking bright and early to load everything into my car. From there to New Paltz, NY--where our apartment for the summer was located--was a nine-hour drive. We weren't going to make it without coffee.

After less than an hour on the road, we pulled off to go through the drive-thru of a certain Canadian coffee/donut chain. I ordered my coffee black (which is how my dad always drinks his). It was something else. Bold, strong, bitter, and hot. It did the trick. I was able to make it the rest of the way without feeling too drowsy. Maybe that's way I appreciate the deep, roasty coffee flavor in the porter so much.

When I reach for a coffee porter, I want something that tastes like MadTree's collaboration with Stauf's Coffee--roasty, dark, bitter, and earthy. This is my favorite of the Local Blend series so far. While I really dug the vegetable quality of Cincinnati, and appreciated the chocolatiness of Dayton, Columbus has that core coffee taste that I crave. I'm giving my can a 9.5/10. Some local grocers still have packs of Local Blend kicking around and, although I can't speak for the Cleveland can yet, you better pick some up when you see it. The three cans I've had are definitely worth the price of admission.

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