I like my beer how I like my men: tall, dark, and handsome. For me, lighter-colored beers literally pale in comparison to the full-bodied, complex flavor experience offered by porters and stouts. I especially enjoy dark beers that integrate coffee grounds into their brew. Judging by label alone, then, Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout had already checked off all my dark beer boxes when I saw it on display at Total Wine and More. What I found, though, was a beer that even pale ale zealots could love.
The stout tastes like summers spent around a campfire, despite the beer only being available January through March. The immediate smell of coffee and dark chocolate is inviting, like the smell of coffee beans in the morning. While the bitterness of coffee is clearly at the base of the drink, like a cappuccino, a creamy sweetness subdues it. Instead of pure coffee, chocolate notes and a strong, toasted marshmallow flavor comes through. Essentially, it's like drinking a S'more with the perk of a 9.2% ABV.
Beware drinking it ice cold, though. To get that nostalgic campfire tasting experience, you have to drink Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout closer to room temperature than cold. Unlike Bud Light and its cheap beer ilk, many dark beers truly taste better warmer. While cheap beers are served iced cold to mask their lack of flavor and go down your gullet more easily after the ping pong ball lands in your cup, the good people at Lagunitas packed their brew kettles with fresh coffee grounds so that you could savor the stout. So savor the stout!