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Wednesday, February 13th 2013

(Sixpoint Brewery)

The crew at Brooklyn’s Sixpoint Craft Ales reached double figures in canned brews with the release of 3Beans in January 2013.  Based on some of the commentary out there on some of the social beer drinking websites and apps, some drinkers expected a stout while others thought they were drinking a straightforward coffee porter.  Wrong again folks:  the Mad Scientists at Sixpoint have created yet another brew that defies strict style categorization.  

From the Sixpoint site:

"Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans...and put them into one vessel. The beans of bygone brewers, united with cacao and coffee, to create a trinity of roasted, rich, and savory flavors."

Here we go...

Pour - the pour out of the can is a deep, dark black with a tan, loose, and big-bubbled head.  Aroma is of dark grains, berries, and a wisp of coffee.  Every now and then some soured fruits and alcohol pierce through.  

Aroma - dark fruits, cocoa, faint dark roast coffee grounds, plenty of dark malts.

Taste - First sip impression:  this is very different, and in a very good way.  What starts as a fairly thin bodied, bubbly coffee porter on the palate changes almost immediately to a tongue-coating, medium bodied chocolate-vanilla brew more reminiscent of a stout.  The vanilla was so prevalent on my palate that I was sure it was the 3rd bean that went into the boil (like many free-thinking beer drinkers, I avoid research and reading other reviews until after I’ve reached the bottom of the glass).  According to the 4-pack carrier, it turns out the vanilla is not from a 4th bean – its presence comes from aging on oak.  The chocolate and coffee come from cacao husks and, well, coffee beans.  We must guess that the sudden change in body and mouthfeel is attributed, at least in part, to the Romano beans that joined the malt in the mash.  Yes, Romano beans – the flat Italian beans that you’re much more likely to find in a summer salad than your daily beer.  An interesting fermentable/adjunct to say the least! 

Overall - we’ve mentioned it before in some reviews and this beer cues us to mention again:  good surprises are really good, and bad ones are really bad.  Considering I went into this expecting a fairly standard coffee porter, this was one of those really good surprises. 3Beans is a unique, flavorful and delicious brew. While the coffee flavor is fairly fleeting, the vanilla and chocolate flavors are smooth, rich and warm. The sudden shift in flavor profiles makes every sip an experience, as though you’re drinking two (or three) beers in one. 3Beans is recommended if you like the unique brews from Uncommon Brewers, Brewery Vivant, 21st Amendment, or any other beer that leaves you thinking “what was that?” and “I want another one!”

Note - we’re looking forward to craft can #11 from Sixpoint – Harbinger  – a farmhouse ale (though we suspect they’ll add their usual unique twist to the style) currently slated for release in the spring of 2013.  While we wait for the next great release, check out their well-produced video on the making of 3Beans and how Hurricane Sandy tried to get in the way:


Coffee Scale:
(See All Rated)
Style: Baltic Porter
Brewery: Sixpoint Craft Ales
Brooklyn, New York  
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 9.9%
IBUs: 85
Date: February 13th, 2013

Posted by Trent

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