If you’ve had an Easter egg fuelled weekend, you might be over chomping on the sweet stuff. The good news is that there are other ways to get your chocolate fix. After a recent chocolate and beer pairing at a Madécasse chocolate event, I decided to hunt down some other combinations of chocolate and beer, but this time I was after the two mixed together.
When it comes to beer, I’m more of a fan of stout and porters than ales. Fortunately most of the chocolate beer concoctions are the former. I therefore set out on a mini pre-Easter mission to seek out some beers. It’s not so easy to find these on the high street. Whole Foods, Waitrose and Hotel Chocolat do stock some options, but the rest I found in independent beer retailers while I was visiting Bristol.
Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout
The Samuel Smith’s stout had a good, creamy head and a sweet scent of drinking chocolate. It also tasted surprisingly sweet, though the taste was quite light given the dark colour. It had a small fizz and was very refreshing.
Meantime Chocolate Porter
Meantime’s deep brown porter was fairly fizzy and had only a small head when poured. It also had a pleasant, soft bitterness with quite a dry aftertaste. The chocolate flavour was very subtle; I’m not sure I would have realised it was a chocolate porter if I hadn’t seen the label.
Hotel Chocolat Cocoa Beer
Hotel Chocolat incorporate the flavours from cocoa shells in their thick, dark ale. The aroma was a mix of deep caramel and more subtle chocolate. This was a much lighter beer compared to the other ones I tried, with a more gentle level of bitterness and the chocolate flavour coming through at the end.
The Five Points Brewing Co Railway Porter
Five Points’ porter is sold as having ‘aromas of chocolate’ (and coffee), so was less overtly chocolatey than some of the others. It was dark, thick and creamy, and strangely the smell reminded me of Peperami. It had a good bitterness, with a blend of caramel and coffee flavours.
Brew By Numbers 08/03 Stout Chocolate & Orange
I was expecting this thick, black stout to be something like Terry’s Chocolate Orange. While it had a sweet citrus smell and a light citrus aftertaste, the chocolate wasn’t so noticeable to me, but I still enjoyed drinking it.
Arbor Breakfast Stout
I’m not sure I could quite justify having this for breakfast, but maybe with the creamy oatmeal and marmite flavours, a little sip mid-morning might be okay. This stout was almost soupy in its thickness, and had a very subtle bitter chocolate flavour.
Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special Reserve 21
Okay, so this one isn’t technically a chocolate brew, but I tried it at the Madécasse event so wanted to see what it was like with another chocolate. I’m not sure I got my chocolate choice quite right as it needed to be slightly sweeter (I had OmNom Madagascar 66%), but this porter is stunning with its blend of whisky and molasses flavours. I’m sure I could also detect a bitter chocolate flavour so am definitely happy to include this one on my list.
Just in case you were wondering, I didn’t sit in and have a big chocolate beer Easter booze up. I shared these over the space of a week with my ever obliging husband. Funnily enough he was very happy to take part in the tasting. The great thing is that unlike Easter eggs, beer isn’t just for Easter, so you can definitely enjoy these chocolate flavours (responsibly) all year round.