This is a slightly disappointing limited release from Big Sky Brewing Company. It's not a bad ale, but as far as a porter goes, we had expected just a bit more from the great Missoula brewers.
It pours jet black, with minimal lacing and a fairly foamy head. A quick sniff reveals where the beer got its name from -- there's a kick of coffee (and probably cowboy) straight from the start. In other words, if you like your coffee, things are instantly promising. If you don't... Well... You probably picked up the wrong six pack at the store.
The coffee dominates the flavor too, although not as nicely as the Olde Bongwater. I don't mind the "beer in my coffee" syndrome one bit, but the coffee here just doesn't have that nice rounded DOMA flavor. That's not to say Big Sky doesn't use a good coffee -- I don't know what brewer they went with -- it's more that it doesn't meld with the beer as well as I had hoped.
It could be the issue is the mouthfeel, which is surprisingly thin and doesn't feel very porter-like.
Big Sky makes a lot of great beer, and Cowboy Coffee doesn't quite live up to that reputation. It's worth trying if you're a coffee drinker, just don't expect to be mindblown.