Young’s Double Chocolate Stout
Wells and Young’s Brewing Company, Bedford, England
As everyone’s favorite Let’s-Eat-Chocolate holiday approaches there’s no reason beer aficionados should miss the fun. Winter is a good time for stouts; stouts go well with chocolate anyway, so why not mix the two?
A reasonably long list of excellent chocolate stouts can now be drawn up, from the likes of Rogue, Brooklyn Brewing, New Belgium, Southern Tier, Samuel Smith (a new organic entry) and the ever-provocative Sexual Chocolate from Foothills Brewing in North Carolina.
Not all of these use actual chocolate, but summon the flavor through the use of chocolate malts and other highly kilned malts. Others heave actual chocolate right into the brewing mix.
There’s no question about the chocolate credentials in Young’s double whammy, which is available nationwide on tap, in bottles and cans, the latter packing a nitro widget to contribute extra creaminess to the brew.
The chocolate aroma is unmistakable, dominating the palate as well. Yet it’s always an appealingly balanced stout, neither too sweet nor too bitter, with a variety of other flavors and a mild roastiness at play.
If one’s partner is leery of stouts, think red for Valentine’s Day and start blending: begin with a few ounces of a fruit lambic, like Lindeman’s Framboise from Belgium. Then fill the glass with the Young’s. The tangy sweetness of the fruit beer enveloped in the creamy stout becomes the beer-lover’s equivalent of a chocolate-covered raspberry. Emphasis on the love.