Beer Review: Rhinelander Brewing Company Thirsty Miner Chocolate Stout

ThirstyMinerTop

Brewery: Rhinelander Brewing Company
Beer: Thirsty Miner Chocolate Stout
Style: American Stout
ABV: 5.5%
Character: Brewed with cocoa powder
Ratings: BeerAdvocate: 3.47/5 | Untappd: 3.09/5
Metal Connection: MORBID SAINT – Crying for Death

BeerMetal Rating: 3/5

21-ThirstyMiner-WMWow, it has been over a year since my last written out beer review on this site. Too busy focusing on the podcast. Remember BeerMetal viewers, it is just little ‘ol me, all by my lonesome doing this whole god damn thing. 

Rhinelander Brewing Company is based out of Rhinelander, Wisconsin. I am not sure exactly how long this brewery has been distributed here to San Antonio, TX, but I have seen a few of their cans available here the past few times I have gone beer shopping, so I decided to just dive right in and buy a can or two. This Thirsty Miner Chocolate Stout is my very first encounter with them. The story of this brewery is a wild one. Now with me being from Texas, I never knew about this brewery, even though after reading their story, I should have at least heard of it, but honestly I never have until the day I saw their cans at out local Total Wine. 

So the story of Rhinelander Brewing Company began back in 1882, but the original location burnt down in 1897. It was rebuilt though, and during the prohibition era, they closed their operations, but reopened in 1933, after prohibition ended. Financial difficulties arose, and they closed their doors in 1967. The Joseph Huber Brewing Company (which later became Minhas Craft Brewery) purchased the Rhinelander brands and their recipes and began producing Rhinelander beer in Monroe, WI. Another interesting fact is that they patented the 7-ounce “shorty” bottle. 

In 2009, Calgary Canada born craft beer lover Ms. Jyoti Auluck acquired  the Rhinelander brands, and all related assets of the company. For many years, it looks like the beers were still being brewed at the Monroe, WI location under a contract brewing situation. Finally in 2018 this brewery opened up their own brewery, taproom, and gift shop in downtown Rhinelander. This facility is also home to the Rhinelander Brewery Museum. So yeah, what a fuckin’ story. It kept me interested the whole time doing this research. 

Let’s get into this beer. First up… the label. This beer comes to us in a 12 oz. can and the label is printed directly to the can, which of course I have stated before has some flaws, cause the details do get a bit lost in the artwork and such. The can is all brown and the artwork features a large fist bursting out of the ground with a group of miner workers standing at it’s base all raising their fist as well in solidarity. Thirsty Miner seems to be a series of beer which also includes an American IPA and a Double IPA as well. Those others have the same design but the cans are in different colors each. OK, here is my review…

Appearance: An opaque dark brown, almost black color with a large foamy tan colored head. Sadly there is no lacing left behind on the glass as I drank this one.

Aroma: Roasted and toasted malts are heavy here, with a bit of caramel, dark bread and a nice burst of sweet milk chocolate and cocoa powder. A bit of cold brew coffee as well as some herbal notes. It also reminds me of a dark cola.

Taste: All the same flavors as the aroma. Roasted and toasted malts, caramel and dark bread are the flavors I pick up right away followed by the sweet milk chocolate and cocoa powder. The coffee, cola and herbal flavors hit the palate mid drink. The aftertaste is dark bread and cocoa powder.

Body/Mouthfeel: Here is where I have a problem with this one. The body is very thin which for me, doesn’t quite match up with this beer’s flavor profile. I have had some thin stouts before that I quite enjoy, but this one just felt like something was lacking. The mouthfeel was also watery and thin. Mild carbonation reminding me of a flat soda.

Overall: As I enjoyed the aroma and taste of this beer, the body and mouthfeel of this one was the downfall here. Now I know I’m not alone when I say that a lot of beers from a brewery with such a long history usually tend to have this quality. I don’t know what it is, but after reading the history of this brewery, I already knew what I was getting myself into with this beer. I am sure their lagers and “regular” beer offerings are solid for what they are, but beers like IPA’s, Double IPA’s or flavored Stouts usually lack body or flavor. In this case, it was the body that was lacking, like I said. So my Untappd rating on this beer is a 3/5. I didn’t completely hate it, so maybe one day I will give this one another try.

MorbidSaint1Metal Connection: I could not find a good song with the words Thirsty or Miner in the title, so I went with the next option. I based my selection on the location of the band to the brewery. Morbid Saint is an old school Thrash Metal band formed in Sheboygan, WI. I know that is about 200 miles away from Rhinelander, but fuck it, it’s still Wisconsin, right?

Morbid Saint released one demo, Lock up your Children, in 1988, before releasing their classic debut full length album, Spectrum of Death in 1990. This album was originally released through Avanzada Metálica, a record label out of Mexico. This album saw a number of re-releases including Century Media Records, and most notably through Relapse Records in 2012, which made the band reform in 2010 to record a couple of new songs for that reissue. You see, Morbid Saint had originally broke up in 1994 after two more demos were released after their debut album. It is said that the band is still active, and I do believe I have seen event flyers in recent times with their name on it. Guitarist, Jay Visser is the only original member in the band to this day. In 2015, Weird Face Productions released the finished version of Destruction System that was supposed to be released in 1992. Anything this band has released is great for collectors out there. So let’s go back to 1990 for the Spectrum of Death album. Click the video below for the Metal Connection song I chose, “Crying for Death.”

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