Posted 7 months ago | Beer, Reviews

J. Wakefield Harbinger Hazelnut Coffee Imperial Sweet Stout


I had never really heard of Miami’s J. Wakefield Brewing prior to my running across a few of the company’s bottles on a beer run back in January. Harbinger is one of the two bottles that I purchased that day — cracking it open a few days after. This 12% ABV imperial milk stout is, as you can probably guess from the title, brewed with coffee and hazelnuts. I wish I knew more about the beer itself, but I can tell you that it’s damn tasty.

The hazelnut can have a profound influence on beer, especially one brewed to the style of a sweet or milk stout. I was worried that the big beer would come across too cloyingly sweet like my kid’s Nutella spread — thankfully, it does not. Harbinger actually focuses more on the earthy nuttiness of the nut which pairs wonderfully with the robust coffee influence. There is a moderate sweetness behind it all that only adds to the beer’s smooth body, giving way begrudgingly to a lasting and lightly drying finish. For such a high level of alcohol, the potency is masked dangerously well.

Harbinger not only served as a great introduction to the J. Wakefield Brewing, but is also an excellent beer. It’s moderate sweetness and slightly robust character made it an excellent brew to sip on after dinner. It’s not quite in the dessert beer range and, honestly, that’s not what I was hoping for when I cracked it open. Harbinger’s nuttiness and richness, combined with that smooth feel make for a darn good imperial stout.


A small, dense cap of brown foam falls to a patchy surface cover and a thing ring atop the opaque black stout. It certainly looks the part.

Tags: , , ,

You May Also Like


Coronado Releases Barrel-aged Black Forest Cake

San Diego, CA - October 19, 2017 Coronado Brewing Company is releasing the next beer in its much-anticipated barrel-aged series. Black Forest Cake Imperial Stout is part of the company's Coronado Collection; "We redesigned this series earlier this year, and we're excited for fans to try this next batch;" says…

Read News

Beer Review

Clown Shoes Crasher in the Rye 2017

Clown Shoes Brewing makes some pretty damn good stouts. For the 2017 iteration of their Crasher in the Rye (11.5% ABV), the […]

Read Review

Beer Review

Stone Neapolitan Dynamite Stout

Officially named Paul Bischeri & Patrick Martinez / Abnormal Beer Company / Stone Neapolitan Dynamite, this big imperial stout is the result […]

Read Review

Beer Review

Adroit Theory Port Barrel-Aged B/A/Y/S

My first Adroit Theory brew was their B/A/Y/S back in 2014. In that time, the brewery has released a wide array of […]

Read Review