One of the best things about going to a new town (at least for me) is finding a few beer stores that offer a radically different selection from stores in my hometown. It’s fun to see the local breweries getting shelf space love as well as beers from out of the area that are otherwise impossible to get in Kansas.
Therefore, my craft beer bliss was high last week when my wife and I traveled to Chicago for church-related business. With the church business out of the way, our tourist agenda kicked in and featured (among other things) shopping at a jazz record/CD store and visiting a couple of beer stores. My beer shopping were quite profitable as I returned home with a four pack of Clown Shoes Chocolate Sombrero, a bomber of Lost Abbey Inferno Ale (which promptly went into the cellar), two bottles of Engelszell’s Gregorius, and a four pack beer pictured above — Brooklyn Brewery’s Dark Chocolate Stout.
I’ve wanted to try this beer for a couple of years but, alas, the closest Brooklyn distribution to Kansas is either Illinois or Texas. Ouch! A quick online search of the inventory at the Binny’s Beverage Depot near my Chicago hotel said that they had the beer but, upon arrival, the gentleman behind the counter informed me that they had pulled the Dark Chocolate Stout off of the shelf over the weekend because it was a seasonal and they were gradually phasing out the winter beers to make room for the next season. However, the gentleman also knew where it was located in the stockroom and, after a few minutes wait, returned with a four pack of the Precious.
According to the company’s web site, Black Chocolate Stout is brewed by combining six different malts followed by months of aging. Brooklyn also promises that a properly cellared bottle of this beer will keep for many years. I set one back into my cellar at home, so I’m looking forward to that.
So about the beer. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely! As you can see above, I poured a fairly aggressive pour into a nonic pint glass and was somewhat surprised at how little head the beer produced. The aroma was classic heavy stout — chocolate, coffee, and little bit of cherries. The taste was heavenly and grew even more deliciously complex as the beer warmed in my glass. As with so many good craft beers, it pays to take your time and sip rather than chug and be done.
Brooklyn’s website suggests enjoying this beer alongside “chocolate desserts, cheesecake, ice cream, fine cheeses and roaring fireplaces.” I have nothing to add to their suggestion except a hale and hearty “amen!”
Beer prayer: Gracious God, thank you for the luscious taste of Brooklyn’s Black Chocolate Stout. The combination of chocolate and beer never ceases to amaze and delight. May the tribe of world-class chocolate stouts ever increase. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen!
My Untappd rating for Brooklyn Brewing Black Chocolate Stout: 5/5