Tropical Stout is the second beer in our Unafraid of the Dark 2022 beer series. It’s a 7.5% ABV Tropical Stout that’s been brewed with coconut and then heavily dry hopped. The resulting beer features tropical and citrus flavors and aromas, underscored by sweet dark chocolate and subtle coconut, with a roasty coffee finish. Our head brewer Chris detects a lot of real coconut flavors and aromas in the beer, but to us mere mortals who are not super tasters, we get more of a low-key coconut that provides a really nice balance to the citrus / tropical / pine notes of the hops.
Tropical Stouts first originated in the West Indies (most notably the Caribbean) and Africa. This style was actually considered a variation of the foreign extra stout until 2015, when the Beer Judge Certification Program deemed it worthy of standing on its own.
Tropical Stouts, by definition, are dark, noticeably sweet, fruity, moderately strong ales with smooth roasty flavors without a burnt harshness. In other words, they are almost like higher gravity sweet stouts without any lactose undertones and more fruit esters.
To give our Tropical Stout more of an island vibe, we added over 20 lbs of coconut, and then dry hopped the brew with three hops well know for their tropical flavors:
– Meridian: tropical, berry, citrus,
– Sabro: tangerine, coconut, tropical fruit, and stone fruit, and
– Citra: grapefruit, mango, pineapple, papaya, peach, apricot, passion fruit, lime.
Here are our detailed tasting notes:
Appearance– dark caramel / light coffee-colored head. The beer is dark brown in color with a slight haze.
Aroma- chocolate-covered pine, sweet vanilla and coconut, light tropical notes of pineapple and papaya.
Flavor – big initial flavors of chocolate and pine, balanced by sweet vanilla and citrus notes, finishing with flavors of coconut, pineapple, chocolate, and tropical hoppy notes. There is also a mild bitterness at the end that’s reminiscent of black pepper.
Body – The body on this beer is somewhat lighter than you might expect for a stout, but, it is fitting for a lager (which this beer is). Overall, the body is medium and the mouthfeel is quite smooth.