Young’s Double Chocolate Stout
Chocolate… Stout?! We’re reminded of that Peter Kaye skit where his father discovers that there are such things as “Cheese Cake” and “Garlic Bread”. However, get past your preconceptions and you’ll find that that this unique brew delivers the same level of indulgent deliciousness as those retro classics.
The beer is made by the famous Wells and Young brewery, a boutique brewer based in the UK with a great collection of high end beers, ales and stouts. Double Chocolate Stout is one of their best known export beers, and has won multiple awards over the last ten plus years.
While it may sound like something an alcoholic five year old would invent, you’d be wrong to think that you’re in for a sickly-sweet or syrupy experience with this one. The inherent bitterness of chocolate lends itself well to the stout, which has a bold taste with notes of roasted coffee and treacle. The mouth-feel is velvety and surprisingly light, with an effervescence not normally associated with traditional stouts like Guinness or Beamish. The finish is dry and satisfying, with the aftertaste carrying the real chocolate flavour.
The beer pours a handsome brown-black, with a small and unassuming dark beige head that, sadly, will likely fade before you’re halfway through. However, while it doesn’t exactly look as photo-finish perfect as a freshly-poured Guinness, you’re not likely to care unless you seem to have forgotten that you’re drinking beer and not enjoying haute cuisine.
The stuff packs a punch at 5.2%, so you’ll certainly feel it if you neck a couple of them in one sitting. Surprisingly, it’s not as heavy as you might think, although the overall richness of the flavour might be too much to handle more than a couple at a time.
It might not be the thing to say these days, but the flavour of the beer lends itself well to being enjoyed with hand-rolled cigarettes, cigars or a pipes. Think the classic coffee and cigarette but, y’know, like a boss.
Overall, the taste and feel of the beer is more akin to that or a rich dark ale or black beer than a stout, although the richness and complexity in flavour make it something truly unique. Any fans of the hard-to-find Sam Adams Black Lager, or even fans of the new Guinness Black Lager, will likely find similar enjoyment in this exotic wee treat.
For some, the asking price is prohibitively expensive, with the beer retailing at €2.99 per 500ml in supermarkets, and sometimes more in off-licenses. However, considering it’s not exactly the kind of thing you pick up eight of for a session, and you’re more likely to enjoy 2 or 3 at most in short-sipped bursts. You could do a lot worse if you’re looking to try something new.
*Photo by DC Lies