St. Louis, Missouri really knows how to brew stouts. Yes, technically, these breweries are the closest to my current home (until I can sell this house in Illinois!) and some people equate familiarity with having blinders on. Yes, I’m a big fan of Perennial, Side Project, and 4 Hands. They all do stouts differently yet uniquely. So, no blinders on for this review, baby! Let’s get to it.
The Devil’s Invention is a 7.2% ABV coffee stout. The brewery calls it “a full-bodied stout brewed with coffee. Inspired by one of the early nicknames for coffee ‘the bitter Invention of Satan’ this stout has a bold, chocolatey aroma with complex notes of coffee and a smooth, sweet finish. The Devil’s Invention pours black in color with a tan head.”
So, let’s see if their self-assessment is true. This beer indeed pours deep brown to black with a thick tan head. Coffee on the nose, but it’s not as pronounced as either of the V. Latte variants I reviewed earlier (links below) nor as Sump Coffee Stout by Perennial. Those beers are easily thicker than The Devil’s Invention. Admittedly, those are all very different beers as well. V. Latte has chocolate and lactose with the coffee, which makes that beer smooth and in some ways sweet. Sump has some sweetness to it as well and a savory bitterness that is almost pleasing on the tongue. The Devil’s Invention is straight up coffee and beer. If you like coffee, bitter black coffee (no creamer here!), then you will love this beer. I don’t taste any sweetness on the back end, and I’m not sure why they would think there would be. It’s all about the bitter coffee. Unfortunately, 4 Hands doesn’t share the brand of coffee used in this beer. I’d be curious to find out what kind of bean they’re using. What I love about 4 Hands beers is that they often share food pairings on the can. I want to be the guy that gets to test out all this food with their beers! The Devil’s Invention, according to the brewery, pairs well with chocolate cake. Damn, I would like to test this pairing!
The Devil’s Invention is not for everyone. It’s a coffee lover’s dream. It’s bitter, mildly thick and full of coffee. I’ve drunk this beer many times over the years and now that I’m having it again after a year or so away from it, my tastes have changed. I like this beer, but I don’t love this beer. I think I wish it was a tad sweeter…but that’s not 4 Hands’ intention. Their goal was to make a full throttle coffee stout. They’ve done that successfully. Pick it up!
- ABV: 7.2 %
- Untappd Rating: 4.00