Review Date 4/4/2010
The trend in beer these days seems to be collaboration, with small brewers joining other small brewers to make a special beer. You'll never see this type of joint effort between Budweiser and Miller, I expect, but that's ok. We'll just keep enjoying the stuff the little guys crank out.
Athens, Georgia's Terrapin Brewery has partnered with Colorado's Left hand Brewery to release a once-a-year cooperative brew that they call the "Midnight Project". Their first release in 2008 was a delightfully spicy and delicious German-style Schwarzbier (or black lager) made with generous quantities of rye called Terra-Rye-ze'd Black Rye Lager. I was greatly impressed by the beer, and so expected a lot from 2009's sequel, Depth Charge Espresso Milk Stout.
I was not disappointed. Depth Charge Espresso Milk Stout is an amazingly complex beer, one that combines the creamy sweetness of a soft milk stout with the assertive roastiness of real espresso beans. In a sense, this is really the work of three rather than two, since Georgia's own Jittery Joe's coffee also helped out by providing the coffee the beer was brewed with.
The beer was released in 22-ounce bottles and on draft in September of 2009. It's a bit pricey at $7.99 per bottle, but well worth the expense in my book. I'm on my second bomber in April 2010 as I type, and the beer has lost none of it's charm six months after release. Wouldn't it be even nicer if one or both breweries decided to do this on a regular basis?
Terrapin Midnight Project Depth Charge Espresso Milk Stout pours to a jet black color with a light creamy tan head formation and a sinfully rich nose of roasty espresso. The palate is delightfully smooth and creamy, and floats across the palate like a solitary cloud drifting aimlessly across an otherwise blue sky. I love the layers of this beer. You can easily taste the chocolaty, slightly sweet milk stout underneath it all. On top of that, the deep, dark, and delicious roasty espresso tinged with a hint of chicory comes through, along with some fruity green olive and grassy hops in the finish.
At 7% alcohol by volume, this is stronger than average but still won't beat you over the head. Late in the game I know, but I've still seen it floating around; pick some up if you see it. A perfect match for a slice of Tiramisu.
And here's looking forward to the 2010 Midnight Project, which will I'm sure be just as good as the first two.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.