Modern Times Black House Nitro Review

Modern Times Black House Nitro Review: Does Nitro Make It Better? 9 comments



Modern Times Black House NitroHow will Modern Times Black House Nitro stack up compared to the others in their Black House series?

Being from Cincinnati, I have access to some great craft beer. There is never a shortage of something new to try whether be in a can/bottle or at the local taprooms. But I can’t help but be tempted by the craft beer of other areas.

San Diego is one of those areas. I have some friends from the Southern California area and actually have visited San Diego once a few years ago. It is a great area that has an amazing craft beer community. One of the breweries I got to visit was Modern Times. They have a great reputation and I wasn’t disappointed during my short visit.

Once of the beers I got to try there was their Black House which is an coffee oatmeal stout. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Then last year, a friend brought a bottle of their Mega Black house, Imperial version of the same beer, to a bottle share.  This was a complete coffee bomb and I will go on record saying it had more coffee than any beer I’ve had. Needless to say; I am a fan of this series.

So you can understand my excitement when a co-worker brought me a can of Modern Times Black House Nitro w/ Coffee, Coconut and Cocoa. I just knew right away that this would have to be my next review.


What Is Modern Times Black House Nitro?

Black House Nitro w/ Coffee, Coconut and Cocoa is quite a name but as you will read below, every aspect of the name is necessary.

It comes in at 5.8% ABV and 40 IBU which is just about where I would expect it to be since it’s an oatmeal stout. Their official description reads like this:

This is Black House-our beloved oatmeal coffee stout-nitrogenated and packed to the gills with coconut & cocoa nibs. The result is a decadent symphony of chocolate and coffee laced with luscious notes of coconut and a mouthfeel so luxurious it’s like drinking a velvet painting. It’s a stunning display of liquid elegance best enjoyed while wearing your sauciest smoking jacket. Pour hard for a proper head.

Modern Times Black House NitroIn addition, the back of the can offers some additional information as you can see in the picture. It uses 75% Ethiopia Hambela and 25% Sumatra Mandheling coffee. I am not a coffee expert but those sound pretty fancy. Furthermore, you can also see a breakdown of the malts used in this oatmeal stout.

This craft beer comes in a 16oz can and uses nitrogen instead of carbonation. The nitrogen creates smaller bubbles that lead to a creamier mouthfeel and taste. It also has a great cascading effect when poured; just remember to pour hard (invert can completely) to achieve best results. Many will be familiar with nitro from their experiences with Guinness.


My Review of Modern Times Black House Nitro

Initial Thoughts

It seems like everyone is moving to canning these days and I am a fan of it. As more and more can, it also seems like more are offering canned nitro beers. There are different opinions regarding if nitro makes the beer any better but I will say it definitely changes the taste and feel of the beer. Since this is a stout, I felt positive that the experience would be good.

The beer was poured hard into a pint glass and the amazing cascading commenced. It only lasts a few seconds, but watching the nitrogenized bubbles move to the top of the pour never gets old. The head was dense and light tan. The aroma was evident as soon as I lifted the glass; it definitely was definitely a coffee beer so I was prepared to at least taste that but was hoping that the coconut and cocoa were just as strong.

Tasting Notes

Modern Times Black House NitroThe Modern Times Black House Nitro didn’t let me down. Just like in the aroma, the strongest flavor was the coffee. They heavily promote this as a coffee beer so there is not surprise there. After that, I got a good amount of chocolate but it wasn’t bitter like in many stouts. It was closer to the sweet side. Fianlly, the coconut came through just enough to ensure that it was noticed and gave it something interesting.

Overall, it provided a lot more flavor that I expected. After having Mega Black House, I wasn’t sure if this would live up to that expectation but it did.

Being a nitro beer really added to the drinkability of it as well. The mouthfeel was full and rich without being heavy. They describe it as “drinking a velvet painting” which is accurate. The coffee, coconut and cocoa all stand alone but work together and I have to credit some of that to the nitrogen silkiness body. In some cases, 16oz of a stout can be borderline too much but I don’t think that is the case with this one.

The one thing I did notice is that the flavors seemed to fade as the beer warmed up. I took a little too long drinking it and by the time I finished it, it was lacking to say the least.  So my tip is to drink it while it is still cold. I didn’t track the exact starting / ending temperature but I would think it started out in the low 40’s and got up to high 50’s(Fahrenheit).

Final Thoughts

Anyone that enjoys stouts, coffee, coconut or cocoa should try Modern Times Black House Nitro. The flavor of the beer is exactly what you expect it to be and being on nitro only adds to it. Those on Untappd agree and give is a 4.04 out of 5 which is really respectable score. End your day with this beer and a slice of chocolate cake; you won’t be disappointed.


If you get the chance, definitely give this beer a try. I think you will find that it packs a ton of flavors, delivers what it promises and does it in a smooth nitro kinda way.

Have you tried  Modern Times Black House Nitro?

 



9 thoughts on “Modern Times Black House Nitro Review: Does Nitro Make It Better?

  • Brew_babes1026

    Great beer!! Love stouts on nitro!! IPAs and hoppy beers not so much bc it takes from the flavors I feel. But definitely love nitro stouts!! And this is a great one

    • Craft Beer Joe Post author

      I agree; the few other styles that I’ve had on nitro were not nearly as good as the stouts. I have heard that Founders Rubeaus on nitro is really good; I may need to try it if I find it on tap.

  • tylerhoppydudes

    I’m also a fan of everyone moving to canning. I think it’s better for the beer as well because no light gets into it right? Also, makes for nicer pictures in my opinion! A lot of people aren’t fan of nitro beers because it makes it taste a little flat which I agree with but I am such a sucker for a nice nitro pour! Love the tasty

    • Craft Beer Joe Post author

      I found that this one tasted a little flat as it warmed up but was excellent cold. Also, I hope to do some posts about canning in the future. It is definitely the direction of the industry and I am a fan.

  • Jamie Baker

    I really want to try this but it’s impossible to get hold of this in the UK. With the exception of guinness you just don’t get much nitro stuff on the uk

    • Craft Beer Joe Post author

      Modern Times is hard enough to get in most of the US; I can only imagine how hard it is to get there. Hopefully the nitro trend gets your way because it’s a great way to enjoy stouts.

  • indiveswetrust

    I LOVE Modern times and I LOVE Stouts so I definitely need to try this. Another great review – I never knew you got the best cascade effect with a nitro if you hold the can directly upside-down!

    • Craft Beer Joe Post author

      We all get to learn something new every day. A great nitro stout is Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout; I think it’s available in most areas.

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