I admit it. I don’t like coffee. Or I should say, I don’t like coffee in the traditional sense. Hot coffee just doesn’t appeal to me at all. I find it bitter, astringent, and unenjoyable. However, I do really love the smell of coffee beans, and I actually like cold brewed coffee. But what I really like is coffee flavors in beer. And that brings me to today’s beer review.
In keeping with the Louisiana Craft Brewers Week theme, I’m going with a coffee vanilla porter from Mandeville’s Chafunkta Brewing. This was one of Chafunkta’s first two flagship beers when they debuted in the spring of 2013, and has been on tap around south Louisiana since then. But only recently have they bottled it, and boy, am I glad they did. Here’s what Chafunkta has to say about Old 504:
Old 504 is a Coffee & Vanilla Infused Robust Porter that uses real Coffee & Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla beans, both imported by 2 local companies in the “new” 504, Orleans Coffee Exchange & Ronald Reginald’s Vanillas. Named after the original “old” Louisiana statewide area code, unlike many other Porters, Old 504 is a dark, yet light bodied Porter full of flavor that is enjoyable year round.
That last sentence is a spot on description of this beer. Old 504 pours a deep brown with ruby edges when held up to the light. The head doesn’t stick around terribly long on this one, but that’s OK. The aroma strikes a wonderful balance between dark roasted coffee beans and sweet vanilla. The vanilla comes through a bit more than the coffee in the flavor, but it’s still well balanced, and truly enjoyable. At 6% ABV and with a light body and mouthfeel, this one is super easy to drink, even in the warmer months. I believe that you could give this to someone who proclaims to not like “dark beers” and it would definitely change their mind.
I’m stoked that Chafunkta is finally bottling this beer. It’s sold in 4-packs and can be found in most bottle shops and specialty grocers around south Louisiana. I think it also can be found in north Louisiana now, as well. Give this one a try, and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.