Engine House No. 9 | Frambuesa Moka
Sour styles in any incarnation were my beers of the summer and although I love stouts, the transition into the colder, rainier reality of stout season has been harsh this year. That’s why I was so excited to find the perfect middle ground: the Frambuesa Moka, a tart, dark potion from Engine House No. 9 in Tacoma, Washington.
Engine House No. 9 (E9) boasts the title of being Tacoma’s first craft brewery. It is well-loved for its creative brews, elevated bar food and unique setting in an old fire station. E9 was named “Mid-sized Brewery of the Year” at the Washington Beer Awards in both 2016 and 2017, and with its steady production of inventive brews, it’s hard to imagine a more deserving brewery. One such beer is the focus of today’s review: the Frambuesa Moka Whiskey Barrel-Aged Sour Choco-Raspberry Stout.
As beautiful as the description is, the color profile of the Frambuesa Moka manages to live up to expectations. It pours a deep, thick chocolate hue, like a cup of strong-brewed black coffee. Hints of red shimmer on the rim of the beer as it hits the light, in a node to the strong raspberry presence. The head is tan and thin. It dissipates quickly and paves the way for a heavy mouthfeel. The mouthfeel is heavy for a sour, but relatively light for a stout. Medium carbonation balances the tang of the sour style with the weight that comes from a high-ABV stout.
The nose is sour, with a strong raspberry presence and faint hints of the whiskey barrels it was aged in. The flavors follow the nose, with a strong tart raspberry tingle balanced by chocolate and coffee notes that are stronger in the taste than the smell. The finish is pleasantly dry, with slight bitter coffee notes and acidity from the fruit as well as roasted malts to balance out the beverage.
The elegant mix of the puckering tartness of sour raspberries and smooth decadence of chocolate makes the Frambuesa Moka a must-try this fall. West-coasters can find information on E9’s distribution here.