Moon Dog Chocolate Salty Balls

Total Score: 7.6/10 Chocolate1 Coffee1 Wood1 Tulipglass1

Moon Dog are at it again – their crazy-beer-madness thing, this time in the form of a South Park reference [RIP Isaac “Chef” Hayes], and a Stout to boot! I should also mention those mad Kiwi brew-scientists at Garage Project have also joined in on the mayhem in crafting this chocolate salted treat. What really piqued me about this brew is not the “chocolate” part (I’ve had loads of chocolate beers) but the “salted” aspect. I hope this is one damn salty Stout.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Almost completely black body, with bits of yeast at the bottom of the glass, and a light caramel brown thick 1cm head that says: “Oi! You got a problem ‘ere!? No? I didn’t think so” (with a cockney accent). 8/10.

S: Dark and milk chocolate with a touch of unroasted coffee bean, and a woody/smoky background. No aroma of salt… does salt even have an aroma? I’ll just go check… yes it does. None of that here. Not really a lot to help it stand out amongst the billion+ Imperial Stouts out there. 6/10.

T: First off: Rich and luxurious mouthfeel. I know I’ve jumped the gun, but the mouthfeel really is splendiferous. Dark and milk chocolate mingled with the aforementioned coffee bean, some wood and smoke, and yes; salt makes a bemused appearance. The flavour profile is sweet upfront, then a smidgen of salt pops up with a slightly herbal bitter finish to restrain everything. More “Chocolate Herbal Balls” than “Chocolate Salty Balls” but eh, it’s pretty damn tasty. 8/10.

M: Superb, dense, rich medium-bodied with a velvety creamy carbonation, and if you think I’m laying on the adjectives that’s only because this is one of the best “M’s” I’ve ever experienced. 10/10.

D: Moon Dog collaborating with Garage Project has turned out a wholly sane and drinkable Stout, that at 8.2% ABV is almost too little of a challenge for my buds, I was hoping for a bit more mad scientist and a bit less “Here’s a chocolate Stout. Here’s some salt. Let’s rack it.” Still it is damn smooth, and damn tasty, and (unfortunately) damn expensive. Bring the price down, brew it year-round and you’ve got yourself a winner here folks. 7/10.

Food match: I would like to suggest something other than “after dinner cigars” for an Imperial Stout, so how about pan-seared cured venison with lingonberry sauce, roasted potato, rosemary and grilled Brussel sprouts.

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