Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Welcome to the Chocolate Nightmare Before Xmas!!

First things first.  I need to acknowledge all of our contributors this year:
As I mentioned in the header, each one of these people were excited to join Beer411 this holiday season.  The craft beer scene never ceases to amaze me.  In the last few years, meeting like-minded people out there from coast to coast has shown me time and time again that, "Good People, Drink Good Beer."  Please take a moment and pick up what these guys are throwing down.  Lots of great info, beer/food reviews, and craft beer gifts out there among this crew!

When it came down to the last and final beer review on the 2014 Countdown, I had a few ideas swirling about.  Personally, when it comes down the 1st Day of Xmas, I try and review something new... something that isn't impossible to find... or some crazy one-off-limited-edition-barrel-aged-one-time-only deal... not necessarily something "common" but something that's very enjoyable for those that can track it down.

Luckily, Matt G's Beer Haul strikes again.

But this time, I wanted to bring another beer to the table.

That's right - two for the price of one.  

Welcome to the Chocolate Nightmare Before Xmas.

Our first review is the Cocoa Psycho from BrewDog.  BrewDog is fairly accessible in most places in CT.  However, the Cocoa Psycho is an elusive offering in their lineup. Kudos to Matt for tracking this one down.  

Checking in at 10% abv, this Russian Imperial Stout hails out of the UK.  Their website description reads:

Welcome to the world of Cocoa Psycho, a liquid dimension where pure indulgence reigns. 

Well, this sounds like fun.  Don't mind if I do.

Looking through my glass, there's no light shining through the chocolatey abyss that awaits me.  About 1/2" of dark khaki pillowy head sits on top after an aggressive pour.  On the nose, a sweet blast of maltiness with notes of black roasted coffee.  The taste is right on par with the nose.  Rich black coffee notes dominate with some bitter chocolate hints as well.  There's a bit of heat from the alcohol - oh heeeeey, it's 10% abv.

The mouthfeel and finish give it a pleasant balance of chocolate, coffee, heat and maltiness in my opinion.  It's a dessert beer no doubt so if you ARE able to track this one down, make sure you save room after dinner.  Food pairings?  I say, slide that dining room chair next to a plate of Italian Cookies... or if you grew up with me and my cousins, you'd go for the plate of Aunt Connie's Cookies.

My one drawback?  Be prepared to make it rain for this one... walst DE-licious, this 12oz bottle was about $13.  Woof.  Not sure how many times Matt is going to go back to the store for this one.  But, we all appreciate his impulse buy.  The things we do for research.

NEXT on our Holiday BONANZA Finale is the Boulder Beer Shake Chocolate Porter.  Boulder Beer is out of Colorado where I believe they might know a thing or two about brewing. Just a hunch.  Read it on a napkin once.  ANYWAY, this is their Shake Chocolate Porter, which sits at a comfortable 5.9% abv.  And if we learned anything from our first review, this is not something you start your night our with.  My guess is that you want to save this one for dessert.

As was with the Cocoa Psycho, this beer is also very dark.  Again, I poured aggressively and found myself with about a YETI FINGER of off-white head (shout out to the Beer Coasters and their YETI metrics).  On the n.... oh, oh my.  The Nose.  The freakin nose on this beer... did I just pour myself a legit chocolate shake in a glass or is this a beer??  Ok, still beer.  But WOW, you get what I'm driving at.  The smells that are coming out of this beer are AMAZING.  Let's head down memory lane for a moment... If you're ever helped Mom make brownies or chocolate cake back in the day and she handed you the rubber scraper loaded with the left over batter... that's EXACTLY what this is.  Sugary chocolately sweetness.  Maybe even some hints of coconut.  I can only imagine what this will taste like.

It's surprisingly subdued after the chocolate bomb that just went off in my nose. Matt and I also picked up notes of peanut butter.  The porter style is coming through a bit now on the mouthfeel.  Dry, light, thin.  Not sure if that's true with ALL porters but overall I find that they are lighter or thinner than stouts.  The finish is also dry and almost crisp.

I have to say, this is a SILLY AWESOME beer, especially for chocolate lovers.  I've seen a few Boulder Beers in CT but perhaps I've just overlooked this variety. I encourage you all to seek this one out. Fairly accessible, won't break the bank and it's a treat.  For my food pairing... I guess I'd actually want to pair this with a brownie or some chocolate dessert of some sort.  I know that sounds like a chocolate overload, but with the porter style being as dry and thin as it is, I don't think pairing the two would be too overwhelming.  The sweetness of the dessert would fill in those blanks.

Thank you all for joining us on this Beer411 - 12 Beers of Christmas journey.  Reaching out to a few of my beer friends has been a great experience and I expect future literary collaborations coming to Beer411 in the future.

So from all of us, to all of you... Please drink responsibly, enjoy yourselves, crack that special brew you've been saving and have fun with family and friends.


1 comment:

Sebastian Amado said...

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