Strong citrusy bitterness is the first thing to hit the plate, making this brew very reminiscent of a classic American IPA. Through the middle there is a smooth, silky, slightly sweet stout taste of roasted barley and a quick kick of coffee flavor. As it finishes, there's a dank resiny character that brings the palate back full circle to the original hoppy character, but this time it's piney instead of citrusy. The aftertaste is surprisingly clean even though this beer has both big-time hops (60 IBU) and coffee in it.
What was most surprising was that it had been bottled nine months earlier yet the hops had not faded at all. In fact, the coffee and stronger stout qualities may have succumbed a bit to age. There was a layer of goo at the bottom of the bottle, so perhaps this beer is bottle-conditioned; this could partially explain why it kept so well for so long.
This brew has pretty much the perfect amount of mouthfeel and drinking experience for a beer of this nature. Not thick and viscous and far from water, Troegs Java Head has a medium body and a perfect carbonation level. It's not quite velvety but closer to silky, and it goes down extremely smooth. At 7.5% ABV it's not nearly as heavy as that number would indicate. Most drinkers could put away two 12-ounce bottles or a single 22-ounce bomber by themselves without any trouble.
Review originally printed in the Handbook of Porters and Stouts