Mismatch Chocolate Stout

Total Score: 6.5/10 Chocolate1Smoke1Coffee1Nonicpint1

Another Mismatch? Seems like they only just bought out their Evil Archie’s Red IPA and that was rather tasty… their tastiest brew so far IMO. This one is a Chocolate Stout as well… doesn’t say if it’s got actual chocolate or just Chocolate malt, I’m going to assume the latter. What is Chocolate malt you ask? It’s a roasted barley malt that gives off chocolate/cocoa flavours when added to the beer wort. Interestingly Chocolate malt (like other roasted malts) contain no enzymes, which means they have no diastatic power and ergo the sugars don’t ferment so another malt needs to be used as a base malt such as: Stout malt or Pale malt. This fact is brought to you by Wikipedia – the most reliable font of knowledge on Earth.

Poured from a 375ml can into a nonic pint.

A: Deep brown/cola, almost opaque black, body with a nice 1 centimetre tan cappuccino foam head that slowly drops back leaving some OK lace on the side of the glass. Decent head, shows off a good amount of proteins in the lace, should be alright this. 8/10.

S: Roasted notes, dark chocolate, hint of espresso coffee, pretty standard really [Dr. Evil voice]. Smells a bit watery and thin though [oh no!]. Other than that it’s an average/typical Chocolate Stout aroma, nothing mind-blowing, sorry Mismatch. 6/10.

T: Commonplace Stout: Confirmed. The right flavours are all there: Roasted notes, dark chocolate, espresso coffee, touch of smoke, medium espresso bitterness in the finish… but it is what it is without being amazing or bringing anything new to the table. Still there’s nothing wrong with being typical, following the style guidelines accurately, it just makes for a 6/10 beer, whereas if Mismatch had given this a bit more balance and complexity it would push it to the next level. 6/10.

M: Not as watery as the aroma suggested – mid to light, borderline medium, bodied with a light but dense carbonation. Not bad at all – the 5.6% ABV gives this the body it needs. 8/10.

D: Bit of a mixed bag – overall this is a good Stout, nonetheless it’s a bit ordinary (like several of Mismatch’s brews, Evil Archie’s is definitely a standout brew). The good news is: They have all the fundamentals down, they just need to push the envelope a little. In the case of Chocolate Stout: Better sweet/bitter balance, more complexity in the flavour. The groundwork is there though. PS: Nitro this. 7/10.

Food match: Steak and Guinness pie would go a treat here.

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Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout

Total Score: 8.75/10 Chocolate1 Coconut1 Vanilla1 Nonicpint1

Samuel Smith: Those magnificent bastards! I didn’t read their book (I don’t think they’ve written one*) but I am continuously impressed whenever I crack open a bottle of Mr. Smith’s Good Time Juice, aka all of their beers that I have tried. Today’s Sam Smith brew is their Organic Chocolate Stout [where have you been all my life?] or, as I often have to do with a Samuel Smith review, I’ve initialised the beer name to SSOCS to save on word space… hmmm, SSOCS… sort of like socks, I like it.

Poured from a generous almost-a-pint-but-not 550ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Looks like a glass of a certain ™ popular cola beverage… with a khaki-coloured 2 cm head on top – how very un-cokelike of this brew to have a head. The head soon reduces to a centimetre, that’s more cokelike of it. 8/10.

S: Full cocoa on the nose, which takes on a hint of coconut character (as cocoa can do sometimes, I think it’s the oil in the cocoa bean) with hints of cream and a solid Stout note of chocolate and a touch of vanilla. Chocolate milkshake in a beer in a pint glass – superb! 10/10.

T: Wow, this is one sweet beer… literally! This beer is aimed squarely at chocolate lovers with the above flavour characters of: Cocoa, coconut, milk chocolate and that hint of vanilla. Finish is skewed towards sweetness but it does contain a hint of cacao bitterness and mild astringency. 9/10.

M: Medium, but slightly watery bodied with a thin to flat classic UK pub carbonation. The wateriness pulls it back from greatness as this beer could definitely have benefited from its Oatmeal Stout cousin’s bag of flaked oats, oh well. 7/10.

D: This is too singular on the sweet tooth side for most beer drinkers I suspect… however I’m enjoying the break from hops – not every beer needs to be a see-saw balance between sweet/bitter – sometimes it is nice to indulge in a decadent chocolate dessert and this beer is the perfect complement to that experience, even if it is incomplete as a true beer experience. Final word: This is the best example of a “Chocolate Stout” I’ve had thus far, if you’re crossing off some sort of chocolate-flavoured beer bucket list this one should be at or near the top. 8/10.

Food match: Chocolate cake, something Black Forest-y, or a torte – stick with desserts for this brew, trust me.

*A shiny new donkey for whomever gets that film reference – AND – brings me the head of Colonel Montoya.

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Rogue Chocolate Stout

Total Score: 8.9/10 Chocolate1 Biscuit1 Vanilla1 Nonicpint1

Wow, there’s a Chocolate Stout from Rogue I haven’t tried yet… I’m sure it was merely an oversight on my behalf, I love Chocolate Stouts, in fact the name of my beer review blog was almost going to be ILCS (I Love Chocolate Stouts) however I Hate Macros seemed a bit of a better fit – it encompassed brews that weren’t specifically Chocolate Stouts and also increased my hits with web users that hate MS Office [you’ll have to think about that one for a moment dear reader]. In any case Rogue, what can I say about them that hasn’t already been said by others? They’re a brewer with more craft pedigree than you can poke a stick at, and one of the few brewers that experiment with weird/wonderful ingredients*, they got moxy.

Poured from a 650ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: “Welcome to the dark side of the beer” I think to myself with Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars’s voice in my head. A delicious inky black body with a 1cm mocha head… and the prize goes to: Rogue! 9/10.

S: Milk chocolate upfront, as it damn well should be, with a solid biscuit malt base, oats, a touch of earthiness, along with some choc-chip cookie for good measure – “I’m going to enjoy this!” (Freddy Quimby from The Simpsons). 9/10.

T: Yep, a solid Chocolate Stout FTW! This is one tasty chocolate brew, though I would recommend letting it warm a little as I drank this fairly chilled and it was muted as a result, but damn: the flavours are there and they’re great; milk chocolate, biscuit malts, oats, cookie, vanilla and a slight roasted/light bitter character towards the end – this is one Stout that spoils you like a kid at Easter. 9/10.

M: Medium bodied with a slightly gassy carbonation. I had a burp, and I shouldn’t with a Stout. This is the only smudge against an otherwise awesome brew. 8/10.

D: Certainly a brew I will be getting again… and again… and again… and possibly again… but after that no more for a while… then just as I think I won’t get it again – I get it again. Rogue Chocolate Stout is up there with Amager Bryghus & Cigar City’s Xiquic as one of my favourite chocolate beers, and praise well-earned that is and indeed high, mmm [I’m doing a Yoda voice now]. 9/10.

Food match: Chocolate pie, if indeed such a thing exists, with Chantilly cream (if indeed such a thing exists).

*Check out my tasty review of their Voodoo Doughnut Pretzel, Raspberry & Chocolate Ale on BeerAdvocate and hopefully one day: this blog.

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