This year's winter variety pack from Sam Adams includes the standards—Holiday Porter, Old Fezziwig, Winter Lager, and Chocolate Bock, plus a new coffee stout made with Sumatran coffee beans. It's certainly not the richest, roastiest stout you'll find, but it's pleasantly mouthfilling (with much more body than a Guinness) and offers a a nice coffee-and-cocoa flavor. We're not sure how caffeinated it is, but you can definitely taste the coffee. "I like that it tastes like espresso," noted one of our tasters, "and not like coffee sludge."
Don't go planning to use this in a beer affogato though—this isn't a sweet beer, and it's far from dessertlike. It's not super-hoppy, but the East Kent Goldings make their presence known, and the beer has a sourness that some might find a little offputting. Pair it with a Christmas ham (or a Christmas ham sandwich), or try it with barbecue or Peking duck.
Do you buy Sam Adams winter beer variety packs? Which is your favorite bottle in the bunch?
Disclosure: Sample provided for review consideration.