773.  New Belgium & Perennial Artisan Ales – Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout

773.  New Belgium & Perennial Artisan Ales - Salted Belgian Chocolate StoutIt’s Friday, and it’s been a very bizarre day. The best part of it was that my wife passed a test and now we get to go to Boston this fall. We celebrated with a nice dinner out with the kids. After a quick trip to Lowes, to buy some baseboard for my weekend project, I decided to crack open this beer for dessert. I bought it a few weeks ago, because it looked good, and my friend Jonathan is a Brewer at Perennial Artisan Ales in St. Louis. The bottle says “best enjoyed by March 27, 2016.”  On the side it says, “Dessert is best poured, and the brewers at Perennial agree. So we dreamt up a beer that would bring together chocolate sweetness, Belgian yeast, deeply roasted malts and just the right shake of salt to pour a creamy stuff out where the of a cherry on top.”

Location: Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass from the 22oz bomber at my home in Bloomington, IL

Numbers: 9% ABV, ~300 Calories

Appearance & Aroma: It’s extremely black, and even when I held it up to the light, only hints of ruby highlights were seen. It has a very thick, creamy, tan head with incredible retention and lacing. It has a rich, dark chocolate aroma that’s quite decadent.

Taste & Feel: The body is shockingly light given the indicators (i.e. 9% ABV, thick, creamy head, etc.) and the mouthfeel is smooth with some creaminess and oiliness. The flavor up front is a dark chocolate roastiness. In the middle, the dark chocolate flavor really comes out with plenty of sweetness. The finish has a good bit of roasty, dark chocolate bitterness, but the sweetness edges it out. There’s a hint of the Belgian yeast funkiness behind the roasty flavored as well. The aftertaste is mostly dark chocolate flavored with some roasty bitterness.

Food Pairing: This beer is pretty flavorful, and stands on its own as a dessert beer. However, if you were to pair it with a food, I’d go with something sweet and caramelly or dark fruits (raspberry, cherries, etc.) that would play off of the dark chocolate flavors.

Overall Impression: As you’d expect, this beer had a lot of chocolate flavor. However, it was much more of a dark chocolate flavor than milk chocolate, and with that came more roasty and bitter flavors. It was good, but with the “salted” part, I was expecting more milk chocolate flavor, like a milk chocolate stout. Overall, it was a good, solid imperial, dark chocolate stout that I’d try again, but probably not one I’d drop $10 on again.

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Author: Kevin

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