We first encountered our friend the Foreign Gentleman a few years ago. A lonesome drifter with a mysterious past, a swarthy look, and an unidentifiable accent, the Gent has been known to make brief appearances here at Proper between his stints abroad, and each visit reveals new facets of sophistication that can only be gained through his worldly travels and taste for places unexplored. Those who are also of the jet-set persuasion will relate to his insistence on the importance of traveling light and maintaining a smooth demeanor, but despite his seeming reticence, the Foreign Gentleman is quick to reveal the complexities of his character run deeper than one may have suspected. . .
A dry Irish stout brewed with fruit-forward Belgian yeast and cold infused with Latin American coffee beans, the Foreign Gentleman is a truly cosmopolitan combination of styles and flavors. While the roasty notes of the dark malts used in this beer are a natural companion for the darker flavors found in many coffees, we specifically hand-select batches of coffee beans from local Utah roasters La Barba to complement the character of our Abbey ale yeast. Because of this, each batch we release is unique! The Foreign Gentleman is also served on Nitro for a soft, smooth mouthfeel and that scintillating “Guinness” shimmer.
A few weeks ago, brewers Rio Connelly, Matt Sargent, and Jack Kern (along with yours truly, Director of Arts and Letters Eleanor Lewis) took the opportunity to sit down with La Barba’s Joe Evans at their new Gateway location for a cupping and the inevitable humbling reminder that as much as we may just be “the nerdiest brewery in Utah”, we are incredibly lucky to be surrounded by friends and colleagues who are just as crazy-obsessive about their own craft as we are—and honestly, this is one of the most exciting things about what we do. Joe blew us away with his detailed knowledge of coffee sourcing, cultivation, roasting, and coffee brewing technique, and was able to help us select the perfect beans to create the effect we wanted for the latest iteration of the Foreign Gentleman.
Rather than settling for “roasty malt bill + also coffee is roasted = coffee stout”, we wanted to explore the nuances of the coffees themselves. For this newest release, we used three specific coffees: one Mexican (Oaxaca Sochiapam) and two Guatemalans (Manos de Mujer and Finca el Carpintero) that blend beautifully for aromatic and flavor notes of stonefruit like Rainier cherries and plum, tropical fruit, and a combination of graham cracker and cacao nibs reminiscent of a s’more minus the sticky sweetness of your multinational conglomerate-issue jet-puffed confection. The full, rounded nature of the varieties Joe recommended works well in combination with our expressive-yet-not-particularly-aggressive Abbey ale yeast, and also helps balance the dry and light nature of this draft-strength stout.
Have you met this tall, dark, and handsome stranger yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!