Review: Drekker Coffee Rudder Coffee Irish Red

Thanks Dan for this beer!

I've been meaning to do a weekend road trip down to Grand Forks and Fargo for about two and a half years now, but being someone who doesn't own a vehicle it's damned near impossible because there's no direct way to get there without renting a car or getting friends to go with me.

Fargo's Drekker Brewing is one of North Dakota's most popular breweries and I still remember the first time I tried their beer, it was Wheez the Juice NEIPA.. which I feel was one of the best examples of NEIPAs I had at the time, absolutely solid and tasty.

Today I'm checking out their Coffee Rudder, a Coffee Irish Red Ale. Coffee Rudder is a unique coffee infused variation of the brewery's flagship Irish Red Ale, Broken Rudder. This beer pairs Broken Rudder's toasted caramel and honey sweetness with the vibrant and robust beans from the expert roasters at 20 below.

Appearance: This pours like your typical every day Irish Red Ale - it has a vibrant red body with a moderate amount of clarity to it, a light to moderate amount of carbonation to it, and a thick amount of light beige head on top that quickly fizzes away to leave behind a light amount of lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma: The first thing that this beer reminded me of was the spiciness of Stone's Xocoveza Stout, it has a moderately spicy aroma with a good amount of a nice roasted coffee presence to it. The coffee is nowhere near overwhelming compared to most ales with coffee added to it, it's a light bitterness that's aromatic and pleasant to the nostrils. The beer has a moderate caramel aroma to it, as well as a bit of a bit of a toasted bread presence as well. For an Irish Red, this is quite lighter than I expected so far but still pretty aromatic.

Taste: The taste profile is definitely a lot more powerful than the aroma - I get the taste of cold brew right from the beginning - it's a bitter roasted coffee with a bit of a peppery spice profile to it, as well as a rich caramel sweetness and a bit of a creaminess to give it a bit of some sort of caramel macchiato or something like that. The bitterness of the coffee lingers for a bit, but it intermingles with the caramel a great deal so you get a bit of the coffee and caramel in every single sip for this beer. The aftertaste is a slight bitterness from the coffee, but fairly light.

Overall Thoughts: This Irish Red Ale with the addition of coffee to it has a bit of a dessert sort of vibe to it, or even a 4 o'clock coffee break vibe to it.. that is if you are able to consume beer at your workplace, which is damned near unlikely. The Irish Red pops out decently in this beer, as does the coffee notes. Neither the coffee or caramel sweetness seems to be the dominating profile in this beer, rather they both seem to compliment each other. I'm not a big fan of Irish Red Ales, but with St Patrick's Day only 18 days away, it made sense to review this beer now. I think I'd like the beer more if the coffee was part of an Irish-style stout instead, the heaviness of the beer, plus all the creaminess would compliment the notes of coffee even more.

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