Let's be real for a second. It is still winter. For those of us in the Northeast, the weather generally teeters on the edge of spring for a while and makes sure to hammer us with some really intense cold before spring finally comes. While I am a firm believer of drinking whatever beer you like, whenever you like, I do think that certain beers are winter beers, while others are summer beers. A quick way to determine if a beer is a winter beer: if the brewery only releases it in the winter, odds are that it is a winter beer. These beers are generally heavy, strong, and usually have very malty flavors. The intention is to warm you up on a cold day and to keep you full and comfortable on a winter night.
Today's beer is a wonderful, strong, flavorful stout made by Brooklyn Brewery: The 2011-2012 release of the Black Chocolate Stout.
The BCS is an Imperial Stout. One thing that is common with imperial stouts is a high alcohol content. The BCS does not disappoint, sitting at 10% ABV. It is really one of those "meal in a glass" type beers. Some people steer away from chocolate stouts because they are concerned with the beer being too sweet. This isn't really an issue with the BCS. The chocolate actually provides a bitter flavor to the beer. Much like with chocolate, with dark, bitter chocolate considered to be more refined, the BCS can be considered to be a much more refined chocolate stout. This being said, it is still a dessert beer in my mind. Something to relax and drink by the fire on a winter night. Though it is high in alcohol, the alcohol isn't overly prevalent in the flavor.
Apart from these basics, I don't want to delve too much into the flavors because they are way to complex and I could write way too much on the subject. Instead, I will leave some vague discriptors that I think show up in the flavor: nutty, dark fruit (nose), bitter chocolate, carmel, toffee. Basically, you can't really be told what this beer is like. Just go try some for yourself.
Glassware: Snifter, pint glass.
Synonym Beer: Old Rasputin Imperial Stout
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