Friday, December 12, 2008

I figured with a title based on this movie, I would be sure to score way higher on the gender analyzer, just for kicks.

I did pick the title, though, based on this week's selection: Ommegang's Chocolate Indulgence Stout.

I had been eyeballing this beer for some time at my local beer mecca, and decided to buy a bottle for a dessert drink after the Thanksgiving gorge-fest a few weeks ago. The cashier, who was not one of the ones I recognized as one of the true gurus of the mecca, told me it was "more chocolate than beer" so I figured maybe it'd be a hit for those at dinner who might be skeptical of a beer like this.

Served corked-and-caged in a 750 mL bottle, it definitely got some interested looks from those willing to try it out.

The beer itself poured a dark brown, just edging towards black. I poured it slowly and evenly into several glasses so as not to disturb the yeast. Each glass yielded a thin but persistent tan head. So far, so good.

The aroma was weaker than what I expected. I barely detected any chocolate at all, quite counter to the bottles' promise. In fact, I didn't smell much of anything, which was disappointing. As the beer warned, all I really got was a hint of roastiness. I shook the glass, I raised the head a bit more, I did what I could, but still, nothing but a bit of roastiness. Certainly for a beer entitled "indulgence" I thought I should be getting a much broader array of aroma.

The taste was...fine. For a dubble. Imagine a Belgian dubbel with a bit more roastiness than usual, and then you'd have this stout. And again, I am using the term "stout" loosely. Mind you, this beer isn't bad, it's more just a different kind of beer than a stout. Finally, that hint of chocolate came through in the taste. It was there, in the background, subservient to the roasty flavor, which were also pretty mild for a stout. The sweet Belgian chocolate combined with the Belgian ale yeast to make a sort of interesting sweet-and-sour combination, but really, when I get more chocolate out of Founders Breakfast Stout than I do out of a beer called Chocolate Indulgence...something is awry.

The mouthfeel was a bit light-bodied for a stout, in part due to the higher carbonation. A tint of hop bitterness, and an unfortunate metallic taste that persisted throughout the beer. At 7% abv, I honestly didn't notice any alcohol warmth, aromas or flavors.

For the price, the on-bottle boasts, and word of the cashier, this beer was a disappointment. I wasn't a bad beer; nothing was horrid. It was just mediocre. It got some nods from the non-beer crowd at dinner, but the beer drinkers were left wanting. It was neither chocolate nor really very indulgent, unless you consider inflated prices for average products a form of indulgence.

My advice: spend less money and get Rogue Chocolate Stout or Young's Double Chocolate Stout. You'll get a stout for sure, and Young's has enough chocolate to be considered indulgent.


Sopor 12:16 PM  

Hmmmm, that sounds... very disappointing. I was hoping to hear "chocolate bomb" at least once in that review (and the word bomb might have helped you gender analyzer score, which I'll let you go see ;-))

This is kind of a shame. Ommegang does such good stuff normally, and if their pushing the "indulgence" side of this, I was hoping you'd be able to pour it into a cake pan and bake it like chocolate cake...

Smitty 1:16 PM  

I was really hoping for the same, Sopor. This beer is a victim of marketing, I am afraid.

Smitty 3:15 PM  

By the way, 73% female.

Mike 2:02 PM  

Spot-on review, Smitty. Same reaction I had: I was very excited, I enjoyed it good enough, and I haven't had it once since that time.

Should be better; is not.

Stone Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout though? Now we're talking.

Bob 8:49 AM  

I would think I would enjoy something with a hint of chocolate more than something indulgent.

That said, this beer lost me here:
"...a sort of interesting sweet-and-sour combination..." Yuk.

Had New Holland's Dragon's Milk the other day. Really enjoyed it.

Sopor 10:59 AM  

"Had New Holland's Dragon's Milk the other day. Really enjoyed it."

Dragon's Milk may be, IMO, one of the best beers brewed in Michigan. This and Pilgrim's Dole solidified New Holland's place as one of my all time favorite breweries. And their old Pale Ale, Paleooza, was one of the best Pales I've ever had. I was upset when they discontinued it!

Rickey Henderson 5:14 PM  

I poured it slowly and evenly into several glasses so as not to disturb the yeast

Statements like this make Rickey wonder, where exactly are you doing your beer sampling? In the Batcave? Some sort of sterile environment similiar to the rooms Intel builds its chip in?

Do decent chocolate beers even exist? Rickey has a tough time fathoming it....

Smitty 5:29 PM  

where exactly are you doing your beer sampling

I do not mean to say that I do not want to disturb the yeast like I don't want to disturb a sleeping infant. I mean I do not simply want to unceremoniously dump said beer into buckets. Kicking-up yeast sediments sometimes, in some beers, leads to horrid flavors and lots and lots of the most rancid farts ever.

Do decent chocolate beers even exist

Oh yes. Rogue Chocolate Stout. Stone Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout. Young's Double Chocolate Stout. Just to name a few...

Rickey Henderson 10:28 PM  

Good to know, because Rickey is still woefully in the dark respecting candy flavored beer. (pardon Rickey's jibes, it's all in good fun).

Smitty 9:33 AM  

pardon Rickey's jibes, it's all in good fun

We know this well and have taken nothing personally. Yet.

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