Review: Free Will C.O.B. (Coffee Oatmeal Brown)

Review of Free Will C.O.B. (Coffee Oatmeal Brown) from Free Will Brewing in Perkasie, PA.

Beer Type: Brown Ale  ABV: 8.3%  IBUs: 20  Tried from bottle.

Their Description: “This unique and complex seasonal ale is free will’s best-selling seasonal. This very strong brown ale has a delicious malty backbone with notes of caramel, brown sugar and graham cracker. Aged on a unique and complex bean that provides additional peppery and molasses like flavors in addition to the classic coffee presence in the aroma and on the palate.”

The Reality: This beer pours a deep brown color, and has a heavy sweet malt scent with mild spice and coffee notes. The flavor is the reverse of the scent, with only faint malty sweetness that contains hints of brown sugar that is then followed by a more powerful rich coffee bitterness. This beer is very smooth and not at all heavy. The aftertaste is clean with a little boozy kick. Although the coffee bitterness is the dominant taste, this beer is decently complex and does have a touch of molasses, as they suggest.

Final Verdict: This beer fits in really well as both a Fall Seasonal Beer or a Breakfast Beer. The coffee taste is genuine and there is very little sweetness, which allows for great balance and for all the flavors to shine through. It’s rich without being heavy and it’s smooth without being creamy. It actually has some oak barrel-aged qualities without actually being barrel-aged. This is the first beer I’ve ever had from Free Will Brewing, but after having this it won’t be the last. I wish I could say the same for watching Cleveland Browns football. Once was more than enough…