It wouldn’t be a Double Barley beer without a funky, hand-drawn sketch and an even funkier, if not borderline insane, story printed on the label. Sparkky’s Coffee Chocolate Milk Stout checks the first box with the illustration of a cauldron-sized coffee cup wrapped in sheet music. Picture the dwellings of a bard turned barista who practices witchcraft on the weekends.
Now for the second box… The two-paragraph beer label story is a run-on list of inside chokes and shenanigans. To summarize, this beer is named after Sparkky: an individual with whom the brewers trek into the forest and jam out to wicked tunes. Sparkky requested this stout as payment for a pecan pig chopping board.
While this story may be the best thing I’ve ever read on a beer label, or anywhere for that matter, I’m left with many questions :
(You may need to pick up a bottle for yourself to understand this)
1) Where can I find the referenced “pork chop in a can”?
2) Is the chopping board shaped like a pig, made for chopping pig, or both?
3) How does one perform the “Sparkky Jig” ?
I figure the best thing to do while pondering these questions is to enjoy the beverage that is at the center of this epic.
Sparkky’s pours a deep, dark brown with a thick, beige head that has some serious lasting power. The aroma is on par for the title with strong coffee and chocolate aromatics. There is also a heavy presence of dark fruit that gives it a wine-like quality.
The coffee/espresso flavor of this stout is extremely robust, almost as if someone ran a porter through a French press. This is accompanied by heavy dark chocolate and dark fruit characteristics that are mellowed out by a rich creamy flavor and texture. Hidden beneath this maelstrom of coffee and chocolate are bright notes of hoppy citrus. This makes it feel even more like a porter on steroids.
Double Barley (with an assist from Full Bloom Coffee Roasters) delivers the total package once again with Sparkky’s Stout. Great beer, interesting label art, crazy story… what more could you ask for?! These aspects give their beers an endearing, genuine quality that really differentiates them in a saturated craft beer market. Needless to say, I’m a fan. Cheers Double Barley! Keep up the good work!
- Appearance: Dark Brown, Thick Head
- Aroma: Coffee, Chocolate, Dark Fruit
- Flavor: Espresso, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Dark Fruit, Hoppy Citrus
- Mouthfeel: Medium Plus
- ABV: 11.5%
- Size/Price: 22 oz. / $10-$12
- Score: 88