Winter is coming, and with it comes a variety of rich, complex beers to try. From pitch black and highly alcoholic stouts to spiced winter warmers, winter beer is full of creativity and bold flavors. Join us as we trek through a variety of offerings this season!
Jahva – Southern Tier Brewing Co – Lakewood, NY – 10.6% ABV
It’s finals week, and that means lots and lots of coffee. And for this week’s beer review, it means Southern Tier’s Jahva – an imperial stout brewed with Jamaican coffee.
Southern Tier, based in Lakewood, NY, does a fantastic job at making exotic-flavored beers. From Pumking, a thick, syrupy beer that actually tastes like pumpkin pie, to Choklat, which is like a bar of Hershey’s in a glass, this brewery excels at single-focus beers.
Like all of the other stouts we’ve tried this season, Jahva pours a pitch-black color with a thin off-white head. Bright fresh coffee grounds, milk caramel, and dark nutty aromas surround the glass, although the coffee notes are more balanced and less dominant than we expected.
As to the taste, Javha definitely doesn’t disappoint. An initial wave of intense bitterness moves towards dark fruits, milk chocolate and plenty of coffee. Even the coffee taste is layered, beginning with the astringency of an espresso shot, evolving into the more well-rounded taste of a premium slow drip coffee, and finishing with the sweet, rich flavor of a cappuccino.
What about caffeine? While the brewers have confirmed that Jahva has caffeine in it, none of us felt especially jittery or awake after our tasting, so we'd have to guess that its content is pretty minimal. Sorry, 4Loko nostalgics, but you'll probably have to stick to Red Bull and vodka.
Our only complaint here is Jahva’s mouthfeel, which was a bit thin for such an alcoholic beer, but perhaps the fact that it's coffee themed means that we shouldn't scrutinize so much. All-in-all, Jahva is a solid choice for anyone looking to try a flavored stout, or anyone looking to take a break from actual coffee during this busy finals week.
Score: 4 out of 5 pints.
As always, Gavel Media reminds its readers to drink legally and responsibly.