Total Score: 8.7/10
Modus Operandi is 2 years old, hooray! I remember when Modus was a little tyke – I rolled in that first keg of Former Tenant Red IPA at The Durham thinking “Huh, Red IPA, that sounds tasty” – now look where we are 2 years later with Caribbean Queen staring back at me. The label really it sells it though: “A sumptuous Dark Ale brewed with coconut, lactose and milk chocolate. This decadent lady tastes like a lamington and brings the fat child out in all of us”. Damn, there’s about 10 words in that description that excite me as a beer drinker.
Poured from a 500ml can into a Duvel tulip.
A: Rich dark mahogany body with a 1 centimetre beige head that sticks around quite well and leaves some lacing on the side of the glass. Well… this is going to be quite good to say the least. 9/10.
S: Coconut and milk chocolate come to the fore, as advertised. Hints of vanilla and brown sugar, the subtlety of which (you think/know) belies a great big bear-hug of a brew. Other than that not much else… again this gives the impression of a sleeper beer – one that has a muted aroma followed by a sucker punch of flavour. 7/10.
T: This is a chocolate beer for the ages! The greatest impact of this brew being in the mouthfeel due to an obviously large quantity of lactose [we’ll get to that next] but overall it hits home with an exceptional milk chocolate flavour that provides IMO just the right amount of sweetness. Following this with some light vanilla, cacao nibs and brown sugar. Finishes with coconut and a light bitter espresso coffee note which doesn’t distract from the flavour. I want more. 9/10.
M: Mid to heavy bodied with an opulent lactose driven silkiness to the body/carbonation which really puts this brew up there with Founders on mouthfeel – and that is high praise indeed! 10/10.
D: It’s pretty close competition between Russel Brown and Caribbean Queen for my beer of the night but I must say I am a sucker for a decadent chocolate beer and this is pretty close to La Sirène’s Praline for my favourite chocolate beer OAT [work it out for yourselves] so Modus gets that award. Again the same biggest criticism between the 2 beers I just reviewed: They are limited release beers when really they should be brewed… well not year round as they’re winter beers, but at least seasonally and in the very least: Again! Modus has excelled here. 9/10.
Food match: Chateaubriand steak in demi-glace with shallots, sweet potato and Brussels sprouts.