Chapter 2 in my stint at the beloved Morris Beer store. The temptation that I yielded to was my previously undiscovered liking of porters and stouts. I was fed up on fruit beers, at least for the time being. There was a combination cherry and stout from Bell’s that I’ll probably choose sometime in the near future.
One beer in particular caught my eye. The beer was Young’s Luxury Double Chocolate Stout brewed by Wells & Young’s Brewing Company Ltd. out of Bedford England. Hmm. “Luxury” in a stout with chocolate. What a mashup. I wonder what my wife would think of the taste of this beer.
A number of things came into play. The beer came in a four-pack of cans. Bad. But the label said: This can contains a pressurized insert. Good. There’s a widget inside. I had some great tasting Tetley’s Ale from a widgetized can a while ago. Double chocolate may be bad or may be good depending on how it’s brewed and what kind of chocolate is used. The cans only contained 14.9 ounces. Bad. And cost $9.59 for four beers. Double bad for double chocolate. Maybe it was the “luxury” part that added the extra cost.
My wife lives for chocolate. I joke that when she farts we smell Hershey’s. She’s the quintessential chocolate connoisseur extraordinaire in our household. At any given moment of any day, there’s some sort of chocolate pastry or snackie-poo somewhere. She could easily do a Saturday Night Chocolate Review if she had a chocolate supplier somewhere nearby. It will be interesting to see what the expert thinks of this beer.
On an unfortunate note, right after I took the picture of the four-pack on the motorcycle, one of the cans slipped out of the plastic ring and hit the concrete. Pssss! It started pissing brown foam through a small pinhole halfway up the side of the can. I wrapped the injured beer in a paper towel and ran for a glass. Beer time is upon us whether we’re ready or not. I drank the first beer and took notes which are incorporated below.
I was finally allowed to pop open the second can for myself without the help of gravity. It was the pop of the pull tab, immediately followed by the gurgling of the discharging widget. I decanted the contents into the glass and sat back to watch the show. It has pretty much the same cascade that Guinness has with foamy activity at the top and the descending waves of discharge. After a minute or so, the beer sat there with about a half-inch of rich, thick creamy foam waiting for me to imbibe.
I held the glass up to the fluorescents. Nothing but blackness. I trotted out the (poorly designed) Black & Decker rechargeable (on house current) flashlight and shone it from behind. The liquid was a very dark scarlet in color, almost Goth-like.
The aroma reminded me of that of a dark wine with some malty and chocolate overtones. The sniffage caused my mouth to water to be sure. The first sip had my mouth fill up with a dark, dry taste. The chocolate came as the sip went down, subtle. Very subtle.
The taste is somewhat thin on the palate but the flavors were what held it up. There was a little bit of roastiness and perhaps caramel in there along with the easy chocolate underlying taste. A little bit of coffe/toffee was in there as well. It wasn’t very full bodied but at a shade over 5% ABV that’s probably what one should expect. The taste is not off-putting but rather pleasant.
By the bottom of the first glass, the whole richness and essence of this beer made my mouth quite happy. All the beer’s assets came forward. The chocolate flavor remained in the background but kept the drink going as a bass player enhances music. At each sip the coffee/toffee comes up to greet you but the chocolate makes you feel right at home.
It would be interesting to taste this D.C. stout right next to a regular ol’ Guinness. I’m pretty sure it would be the twinge of chocolate flavors that would push Young’s to edge out Big G. If you’re holdin’ heavy in the financial department, by all means pick up some of this Young’s chocolate stout. It’s quite tasty and even fun to drink. And at 5.2% ABV you might make a session out of it. But at almost 2 1/2 bucks a can, you may want to look elsewhere.
The SixPackTech ratings for Young’s Luxury Double Chocolate Stout are:
Taste: B+ > The subtle chocolate is the essence.
Smoothness: B+ > Like silk going down. All mouthy parts are happy.
Drinkability: B+ > One creamily flows into the next. Each can contains a cascade show.
Bang for the buck: D > To justify this cost, they should add more chocolate taste, increase the ABV by about 1% and sell them in sixpacks of bottles.
Wife’s all-encompassing opinion: (Sip) I don’t really taste chocolate. The foam was sort of creamy. (sip) It just tastes like a really dark beer. (sip)… (sip) When you tell me chocolate, I wanna taste chocolate. Kinda false advertising. (The expert on all-things-chocolate has spoken.)