Braxton Graeter's Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip Milk Stout

Is this what I've become? Am I the guy who orders a black raspberry chocolate milk stout at the bar because the regular raspberry chocolate milk stout is so passé. Let's go ahead and assume that the brewers in Covington, KY have won over enough people to get their beer canned and then distributed, so maybe they are onto something I don't know about.

She's a very dark beer with a bit of that raspberry purple/red coming through. The head took a bit of coaxing to come out to play, and it fizzles down to a lumpy patch in the middle and a requisite ring around the sides. The aroma is quite potent, and it conveys chocolate, scorched wood, vanilla, and a little sweetness. I'm kind of surprised that we don't have berries in the smell, but I guess it'll be in there when I taste it.

First sip says very loudly, "There are raspberries in here!" Mind you, there is chocolate and even a bit of the charring, but I don't really taste the wood that I thought I smelled. Those raspberries, though; they are a force to be tamed, and the sip does not have them tamed. I feel like I just had a jam sandwich with raspberry jam, and I'm starting to wonder if I have a peanut butter beer to go with this (not that I would mix them... probably).

Tip-in sweet raspberries with a smoky mist clinging to them like they were pan seared or something, but there is a highlight of vanilla. The middle is very smooth, but it has a bitterness that definitely spikes in the middle and starts to fade, but when the finish comes on, the bitterness comes back with coffee and chocolate, more raspberries, and a little trail-off smoke.

Bottom Line: Well, they went outside the box, and I certainly don't hate it. The smooth center really helps the beer out.



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