Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Youngs Double Chocolate Stout review

Youngs Double Chocolate StoutThere's only a few more days of winter left and I'm still sticking to my stouts as long as possible. Tonight I decided to cross the big pond and pull a bottle from the UK. I spied a nice looking bottle from the Wells & Young's Brewing Company of Bedford, UK labeled Young's Double Chocolate Stout. This brew was supposedly boosted in chocolate flavor yet weighed in at only 5.2% ABV - practically a session brew strength. Several of the bloggers I follow recommended this brew so I was anxious to try it for myself.

This brew poured dark like a cola, mostly brown with some slight ruby edges to it. I was pleased to see a nice thick brown head on this beer that lasted for several minutes. Being so dark, it was hard to tell if it was carbonated but a nice "hiss" while popping the cap left me little to doubt.

Instantly upon opening the unique 16.9 oz bottle I was filled with the wonderful aroma of chocolate. This wasn't just chocolate malt but rather cocoa powder and semi-sweet chocolate. It was a simply delightful smell that was very inviting. There was also just a hint of hoppiness in the air surrounding my pint glass.

As I took a first sip, the chocolate aroma filled my nose and I felt a slight drying effect from the brew. It was creamy but modestly bodied. For a stout, I felt that it could have used a bit more viscosity. It was adequately carbonated as well.

Young's Double Chocolate Stout certainly had a chocolaty taste yet it wasn't as dry and roasty as other stouts I've had. Most stouts seem to emphasize the coffee in the roasted malts but this one scaled back the coffee bitterness a bit and left you with a choco-infusion instead. It was nicely balanced between the sweetness of the chocolate and the bitterness of the hops and brew.

Having this brew at a lower alcohol level avoided introducing that usual alcohol bite that many of the imperial stouts have. That was a nice change of pace. No need to slow drink this stout.

Lately, it seems that it takes me a good 2/3rds of a glass to get the full sensation of a beer and this beer was no exception. Later in the tasting even more of the chocolate flavor came out. I enjoyed this brew but felt as if I have had better. A while back I had tried a Double Chocolate Stout on nitro tap from the Fort Collins Brewery and really enjoyed that. The Young's was very similar and had even more chocolate aroma and taste but was less bodied.

I also poured quite a bit of this over some vanilla ice cream. While it was satisfying, it didn't really mix too well with the ice cream. Some stouts bubble up quite a bit when poured over ice cream but this brew simply poured down the sides and didn't bubble at all. Perhaps the ice cream had been a bit too long in the freezer.

I'm going to give this beer a rating good enough for a repeat buy. It was good but perhaps I'd grade it a bit lower than what I've seen on the rating sites due to it's thinner body. The aroma is certainly to die for and that alone is most of the experience right there. Nicely done. I'd love to brew up something like this someday.

Related articles:
- Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale review.
- Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock review.
- Fort Collins Double Chocolate Stout (Tap Room).

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