Though there is no doubt that Oskar Blues Brewery’s Death By Coconut is a mighty fine beer, it’s a bit confusing to me. It’s an Irish Porter leaning towards a Baltic with coconut flavors and the mouthfeel of a cream stout with a roasted malt and hop punch reminiscent of the finish of a Barleywine but the lower ABV of a standard Porter. Whatever it is; it’s wonderful.
Death By Coconut pours a midnight black with a dense tan head. When held to the light, the beer’s opaqueness is noticeably greater than standard porters, but there is the typical ruby red sheen.
The nose is almost overpowered by the aroma of coconut, but as you dig deep, you can find aromas of bitter and powdered chocolate. The slightest hint of roasted malt also comes through.
The mouthfeel was a pleasant and unexpected surprise. Creamy, thick, and more towards the heavy end of the spectrum than anticipated; especially knowing the ABV is 6.5%.
The nose predicted a heavy coconut flavor, but this was not the case. Initially the tongue is hit with a burn from the carbonation, but soon picks up flavors of dark, bitter chocolate and heavily roasted malt. The coconut, though more pronounced as the beer warms, is slow to develop and most noticeable on the middle of the tongue. Though arriving a bit late; it’s in no hurry to leave. It interplays with the finishing flavors of dark roasted malts with a bit of smokiness. There is also a reappearance of the bitter chocolate flavors which pair nicely with a late hop bite. The roasted malt flavor outlasts them all in the aftertaste with its closest competitor being a coconut sweetness.
The beer is somewhat difficult to find out here. It should be available in six packs of trail friendly cans, but my local store was only selling individual cans. It pairs well with Salted Caramel, Maple Bacon, and Espresso Gu; so pack one for you next big-ride break. Or do like me and pack one in each jersey pocket and share with two friends who are sharing some suffering with you.
Death by Coconut is absolutely perfect for those cold days when you’re craving a big, dark beer but don’t necessarily want the high ABV (or associated calories) of an Imperial Stout or Baltic Porter. This beer has a style all its own making it difficult to categorize; so perhaps we shouldn’t. Let’s just call it delicious.
Bikepacker Friendliness (they can so you can)…..9/10
Aroma (pronounced coconut and hints of chocolate.)…..8/10
Flavor (coconut nicely mixed with roasted malt and hop bite)…..9/10
Style-Appropriateness (I thought we weren’t going to do that ☺ )…..N/A
Alex writes a beer review every other Friday. Two weeks ago he reviewed the New Belgium Citradelic Tangerine IPA