Closer to a dry Irish Stout than a sweet lactose milk stout with its dark chocolate-y cocoa nibs assault, black malted Blackstrap molasses bittering and dark-roast hop char taking hold. Espresso-foamed day-old coffee remnant and ashen Brazil nut sear deepen the mocha bitterness while wispy blackberry, black cherry and blackcurrant illusions wander below.
Dewy peat-smoked grist sweetens pumpernickel rye toasting of mossy wee heavy. Below the wet grain surface, sugared pastry malts lag alongside desiccated prune, apricot and orange slivers.
HILLSBOROUGH, NEW JERSEY
In the process of moving to a nearby farmhouse (pictured above), FLOUNDER BREWING COMPANY opened its doors in 2013 at a rustic overhead doored warehouse my wife and I sojourned to late February ’21.
Readied for an April ’21 move to the aforementioned red barnyard, Flounder will operate a spacious 15 barrel system that easily dwarves its initial nano tanked setup. The new brewhouse will include plenty of outside seating and and ample indoor space.
Already familiar with several impressive Flounder offerings such as Hefeweizen, Fred The IPA, For Peats Sake, Breakfast Ale and Sticky Pancakes (fully reviewed in Beer Index), this afternoon’s selection included one Belgian blond and two brunets.
Flounders initial flagship brew, easygoing Belgian-styled Hill Street Blonde Ale seeped orange blossom honeyed lemondrop tartness into mild candi-sugared citrus spicing and delicate crystal malting, curbing its herb-tinged grassy hop astringency in a fizzy mix.
Lightly beechwood seared brown ale, Smoked Colonial, let peaty cornmeal-floured Colonial yeast, toasted rye breading and nutty tobacco-roasted cocoa coalesce.
Smooth java-bound Espresso Brown Ale brought light-roast coffee tones to milked espresso serenity for fine breakfast fodder.
Easygoing moderation with persuasive floral-daubed yellow grapefruit spicing, delicate lemon-limed zesting and resinous pine needling receives lightly creamed crystal malt sweetness.
Ambitiously perplexing pale-toned breakfast buffet conditioned on cinnamon and milk-sugared coffee remains weirdly chameleonic hodgepodge. Somehow connecting cold-brewed coffee overtones with smoky cinnamon bark spicing, powdered sugar marshmallow fluffing and pancake-battered maple syruping, its spritzy lemon twist rims the light-roast java stead but the limey cologne waver sometimes clutters the spiced coffee finish. An intriguingly offbeat cinnamon coffee cake elixir.
Creamy banana-clove insistence gains strength against zesty lemon pith bittering, herbal Belgian-like yeast phenols, nectarous rum sugaring and starchy plantain snip to secure bolder stylistic urgency.
Wispily bourbon barrel-aged stout needs richer resolve although brown-sugared maple syruping glides above light-roast coffee tones and vanilla pastry creaming with great ease. Pancake breakfast treat retains doughy powdered sugar buttermilk intrigue as distant dry bourbon, dark cherry and grape jam illusions graze latent burnt-toast hop char.
Politely creamed vanilla sugaring gains toffee-spiced brown chocolate sweetness and Blackstrap molasses coffee tones above mild hop-charred pine tarring for efficiently integrated dark ale.
On tap at Tapastre, summery New Zealand-hopped wheat ale lets subtle fruited tropicalia override wet-grained sourdough wheat breading and slight herbal musk. A delicately tangy passionfruit-guava-soured moderation.