343. Charleville Vineyards & Microbrewery – Box of Chocolate

Charleville Vineyard and Microbrewery Box of ChocolateAs I mentioned in my review of 2nd Shift’s Wheat Freak, my wife and I are out with Joe and his wife. After dinner, we decided to head over to Bailey’s Chocolate Bar in Lafayette Square for desserts and drinks.  Fortunately for me (and Joe), a couple local breweries brew beers specifically for this bar.  Joe recommended this one, so that’s what I started with.

Location: On tap at Bailey’s Chocolate Bar in St. Louis, MO.

Numbers: 10.5% ABV, ~ 310 Calories

Appearance & Aroma: The lighting was low, but it appeared to be a deep, dark, brown/black color with a very thick brown, creamy head on it.  There was an obvious milk chocolate and cocoa aroma.

Taste & Feel: The big creamy head, gave it a smooth and creamy mouthfeel.  Up front, the flavor was sweet and milk chocolaty, tasting almost artificial at first.  That was followed by a richer chocolate flavor with cocoa and dark chocolate flavors.  In the finish, the dark chocolate flavors mixed with the high alcohol to provide a rich warmth.  However, the aftertaste left only the milk chocolaty flavor in my mouth.

Food Pairing: The obvious food pairing for this beer would be something chocolaty.  Since it’s very high in alcohol, I’d recommend going with something lighter, like a chocolate cake, which would complement the flavors and help to soak up some of this big beer.

Overall Impression: I’d love to find out how they get the chocolate flavor in this beer.  On my first sip, it tasted a bit artificial, reminding me of the chocolate flavor in O’Fallon’s Cherry Chocolate beer, but after a couple of sips, I started to enjoy the rich and complex chocolate and cocoa flavors.  Surprisingly, the beer really lived up to its name, with a complex mix of chocolate flavors that reminded me of a box of chocolates.  While this isn’t an every day beer, it is a great dessert beer, that I’d recommend after a nice meal.

My Rating: ★★★½☆

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Author: Kevin

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