Southern Tier Choklat Stout

I have had disappointing chocolate stouts, but I have also had excellent versions of the same beer. Souther Tier has been no stranger to this blog, and the results have been pretty positive overall. So, I am expecting great things from this specimen. Okay, I seem to always have high expectations, but I'm an optimist. Forgive me.

A ruby redness hides in the dark heart of the beer as it sits on my table (on a coaster, obviously, I'm not an animal) and allows the head to re-absorb back into the beer leaving a good amount of lacing on the sides to witness that the foam was there and sturdy while it lasted. A paper-thin film remains across the top, but it can't hide the very chocolate, cherry, and sweet malt aroma.

First sip is not as simple as I had expected. While I thought the beer would be a heap of chocolate sauce, it has a lot of rough edges. The coffee taste of the malt is very distinct, and the chocolate gives it a taste along the lines of a Starbuck's drink. It's full of rich bits that blend together to make a satisfying sip, but a sip is like getting a trailer for a movie instead of watching the whole thing. A proper swig, however...

Tip-in is mostly chocolate and the smokey embers of a dying fire. The middle turns smooth, with hints of the bitterness of the hops and a watery chocolate and cherry coffee with nuts and earth backing their play. When the finish starts, the bitterness whips at the roof of the mouth with a vengeance. A very chocolate bitterness hits and fades with the coffee taste remaining on the lips well after the drink is gone.

Bottom Line: A delightful beverage with a unique and complicated character.

4.25/5

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