One Coach, Two Coach, Three Coach, Four
A Review of Coach and Four by Cambridge Brewing Co.
Posted on 10/9/2012 by Chops
                   
Great
In a previous review of the Cambridge Brewing Company, I mentioned that craft beer fans have an unwritten obligation when they visit a new brewery. They have to try three beer types before formulating an opinion: the flagship, a seasonal, and a weirdo. I started my obligation with their Tall Tale Pale Ale, one of CBC's core line and a solid representation of the style. I now move onto a seasonal brew, and being that we are well into the fall months, I was tempted to order up a pumpkin ale or an Oktoberfest. But, an interesting seasonal caught my eye when scanning their beer menu. It's called the Couch and Four, a Belgian Dubbel brewed with Cinderella pumpkins. Who can pass up a concoction like that?

In the glass, this beer has a gorgeous deep red coloration that looks very rich and very thick. It comes with a sudsy light tan head that has good retention. On the nose, you are greeted with a sweet candied malt smell with lots of warming spices and a savory toasted bready note. This was a very interesting aroma to dissect because the pumpkin notes combine with those signature Belgian yeasts to form a sweet pumpkin bread character. Very cool.

It took several sips to get any sort of handle on the complex flavor profile. Couch and Four is very crisp for a Belgian Dubbel and is nowhere near as thick as it looks. It has a very nice hop profile that adds bite to the spices without being overpowering. There is a slight chalkiness to the mouthfeel that is noticeable, but not distracting. For the most part, this beer is smooth and easy drinking. The pumpkin notes compliment the bready base very well and combine much like they do on the aroma, forming a savory pumpkin bread. The warming spices are somewhat muted by the hop profile, but still pepper the mix quite well. The beer finishes with a tangy malty note and leaves a lingering hop bitterness.

Overall, the Cambridge Couch and Four is a scrumptious brew with an amusing personality. It's a very interesting interpretation of the Belgian Dubbel style and is a lot of fun to study. I would imagine that Belgian purists would balk at this brew as an abomination. After all, adding pumpkins to a Dubbel is a bit like adding bacon to champagne. But, that's the beauty of the craft beer movement: an ever changing landscape. Seasoned drinkers will find Couch and Four to be tasty and titillating. Novices can even appreciate this beer as an approachable and flavorful Belgian.

So there you have it, I now have a seasonal brew under my belt at the Cambridge Brewing Company. I have fulfilled two of my three obligations. I can sum up the experience thus far with three words: happy beer fan.

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Coach and Four by Cambridge Brewing Co.
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