Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

If I’m beer shopping in the presence of my wife, she’s certain to encourage me to buy something I’ve never thought of trying before. She knows me too well. Left to my own devices, I’m sure to purchase something I’ve had six million times before. Even if I buy a “new” beer, it’s probably going to be something predictable like a porter or a pale lager. Tami is not a beer drinker, so I can’t say for sure what her beer selection criteria might be. All I know is that her record is impressive. She’s never steered me wrong. She can walk through the colossal domestic craft brew section at The Andersons and magically pick out some of the finest beers on the shelf. The Dark Horse Reserve Special, Bell’s Hell Hath No Fury, and Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown Ale were all picks of hers the last time we hit T-Town. She’s like the Nostradamus of beer. We were at Wegmans on Saturday night, and I got myself a six-pack of Troegenator double bock. Tami suggested I get something else as well. She almost went with Stone Levitation Ale but ultimately convinced me to try the Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. Holy crap! Did she ever hit that one out of the park!

So I’m supposed to be Mr. Black Beer. I’m all over stouts and porters. How in the hell did I never have a Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout before?!!!! I’ve had a lot of stouts – and this is easily in my top three or four. Triple-mashed and made from six varieties of black, chocolate, and roasted malts, the Black Chocolate Stout is complex enough for any beer geek yet smooth enough for the average Joe. For a Russian imperial stout, it’s unbelievably smooth. It is what its name says it is – black and chocolate-y, with a delicious roasted coffee flavor and just a touch of hop bitterness. Imperial stouts, first made in the 18th Century in Britain for export to Catherine the Great, are typically big, strong beers (they had to be to in order to keep from freezing en route to Russia!). And while the Black Chocolate Stout surely is big and strong (10 percent alcohol), it’s remarkably accessible for the style. I don’t really taste all that alcohol. What I do taste are the dark unsweetened chocolate and the dark roasted coffee. It’s a rich and roasty stout – not as sweet as you might think, but incredibly tasty and remarkably easy to drink. This beer is so freaking good that I get a little sad once my glass is emptied. But at 300 calories per bottle and 10 percent ABV, drinking more than one at a time could be highly hazardous to my health! No worries, though. All the finest things in life are best enjoyed in moderation. And although the Black Chocolate Stout is only available in the winter, there’s still plenty of winter remaining. I wonder if it’s too late to ask Santa for a couple of 4-packs of this stuff.

A lot of the time when we run to the beer store, Tami waits in the car while I go in and choose a few beers to buy. The way she's been picking 'em, I'm starting to think it should be the other way around!

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