Hotbox Coffee Porter is a collaboration between Oskar Blues and Hotbox Roasters. The resulting porter (utilizing two varietals of cold-brewed coffee from Burundi and Ethiopia) has a thick mouth feel and an assertive coffee finish that goes down incredibly easy. The beer pours with a dark brown coloration and a thick, slow to dissipate beige-ish head. The lacing sticks stubbornly to the glass as one begins to experience the effort. Hints of dark chocolate, caramel and a smaller amount of bitterness make for a well-balanced beer; the 6.5% ABV of this effort ensures that the alcoholic bite hides perfectly among the bold flavor profile of the porter.As Hotbox Coffee Porter continues to warm, hints of dark fruit (prunes, plums) and cream become dominante. Hints of licorice and toasted malt are discerned in sips during the latter half of the effort, providing additional depth and complexity. What results here is something that will keep imbibers interested from the beginning to the end of a can, while veering away from becoming monotonic as one threatens to polish off a can. Hotbox Coffee Porter is eminently drinkable and may be the perfect beer to keep one warm through the chilly days of winter.
We have reviewed a number of Oskar Blues’ beers in the past; Death By Coconut closed 2015 with a bang, Pinner IPA is a high-water mark for session IPAs while OB’s IPA will appease with a strong hop presence and balanced approach, while Dale’s Pale Ale refreshes while representing a good midpoint between the two. Oskar Blues’ Hotbox Coffee Porter is available in the brewery’s normal distribution footprint from November to January. I would personally like to see Oskar Blues attempt Hotbox with different coffees on subsequent releases to allow different aspects of the porter to be highlighted.