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Chocolate Stout Shout-Out

December 18, 2011

When the holiday rush starts to wear me down, all it takes for me to remind myself that I actually love the holiday season is to imagine that I am surrounded by friends and family, lounging next to a toasty fire, and sipping on a tall, frosty glass of Chocolate Stout. The fire warms me from the outside while the stout warms from within; drawing me into is darkly seductive depth. 

While out with some friends at a pub in Cambridge recently I ordered a Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout, a highly sought-after product at the liquor store and a personal favorite of my own for its ability to help take the edge off those dark winter months.  One of my cohorts thought the brew sounded like the perfect choice to finish off the cold night, but was shocked by how thick and intense it was (and by the 10% abv).

If you tuck into this beer expecting a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar in a glass, you’re going to be surprised when you find how wonderfully rich, dark, and exotically luscious it actually is.  This is a beautiful example of an Imperial Stout, a style once brewed exclusively for Catherine the Great, herself; and this beer fit for greatness is a seasonal release from Brooklyn, so give it a try before it’s all gone!

Another knock-out Chocolate is Southern Tier’s Choklat Stout, an Imperial Chocolate Stout which traces its roots to an ancient Mayan beverage of the gods called xocoatl (ch-co-atle).  Available in 22oz bombers and 1/6 kegs upon special request, this gem from western New York is sure to wash away even the worst case of the winter blues.  Weighing in at 10% abv and pouring a deep dark black in the glass, this brew will turn even the most adamant hater of flavored beer into a believer with its rich chocolate and caramel malts.

Afraid of the dark?  If these deep dark stouts are making you shake in your winter boots, never fear! Sam Adams Chocolate Bock is here!  While sadly not available in 6 packs (only available in the winter variety 12 pack), this creamy chocolate charmer is a real delight that appeals to the milk chocolate lover in all of us.  Slightly lighter and sweeter than the stouts, the chocolate bock manages to strike a delicate balance between strength and finesse making it an impeccable wintry nightcap.  And if you’re in the mood to try something really different, check out Sam Adam’s new Chocolate Chili Bock “The Vixen,”  brewed with cinnamon, chilies, and cocoa nibs (available in single pints.)

Chocolate stouts (and bocks!) pair perfectly with a wide variety of deserts including cheesecake, fruit pies and tarts, ice cream, and anything chocolate-based.  Or, try sipping a chocolate brew alongside your favorite strong cheeses and watch it work its magic!

Whether you’re trimming the tree, sitting by a fire waiting for the electricity to kick back on, enjoying desert with loved ones, or just craving a nice refreshing something to sip on, chocolate brews are surprisingly versatile and satisfying.  They have a way of mesmerizing me with their decadence; They found their way into my heart and–if you let them–they could warm your’s this winter, too.

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