If you’re accustomed to drinking only American light lagers, then the following beer may be a bit of a challenge to you. Why? Chances are you think of beer as a drink you can readily enjoy while mowing the lawn or watching a baseball game on a 90+ degree afternoon. There are those beers, of course, but this isn’t one of them. Likewise, you’d probably never associate a beer with dessert either. Just the thought of cracking open a Miller Lite to drink alongside your death by chocolate cake seems a bit …well … sickening, doesn’t it? If you’re this person, I encourage you to think outside the can. Beer is food. And as we all know, some food is better than other food.
Rogue’s Chocolate Stout is truly one of my favorite American-made craft beers. I often enjoy this beer with a big chunk of Belgian dark chocolate, a brownie or that killer chocolate cake you’d only otherwise reserve for a tall glass of milk. But more often than not, I like it all by itself. A finely crafted stout with truly amazing flavors, Rogue’s Chocolate stout is a dessert in and of itself.
Here’s my review:
Poured into a standard pint glass from a 22oz bottle. This beer pours a mostly opaque jet black with deep brown accents. Hot cocoa-colored, thick head. Didn’t last long … reemerges when swirled in the pint, leaving streaks of lacing in the inner rim. The nose is initially not as strong or as robust as I would have expected. Then I realized I hadn’t let this bottle adjust to the proper serving temp before pouring. This beer gets better as it warms. The aromas come to life and entice you to take a sip. Quite simply, this beer smells of dark chocolate … almost as if I were holding a pint full of melted baker’s chocolate. Possibly a hint of hop notes in there somewhere, swimming in a sea of rich cocoa. Honestly, one sip of this offering from Rogue and I am instantly in love with this brew. It is, by far, the very best chocolate stout I have ever been honored to sample. Absolutely sinfully good. I am drinking it as I write and am quite literally overwhelmed with dark chocolate heaven … again, as if I am drinking melted baker’s chocolate in a glass, yet without the cloying effect that would be sure to have. . NOT overly sweet, and I do taste the presence of some hops in there to balance the flavor profile. The Rogue guys have outdone themselves with this one. Almost pure chocolate flavor here … to the point you almost need to remind yourself this is a beer. The mouthfeel is not overly thick, although it does become heavier as the beer warms in my hand. I actually appreciate that this stout doesn’t bruise your palate with overly thick, heavy body that leaves you desiring something that more closely resembles liquid. Not only the very best tasting chocolate stout I’ve ever had, but also clearly the most drinkable. You could drink these all night if given the chance … and oh how I’d like the chance. The more I drink it, the more I’m grateful that this beer isn’t too heavy which would limit how much I could tolerate at a sitting. Drink this one alone at least once, in order to fully appreciate what the Rogue folks have done here. Then, by all means, try it with a rich chocolate dessert, or perhaps some ice cream for a great food pairing. This beer is a MUST DRINK for chocolate lovers and/or stout lovers. You’ll likely be both when you’ve drained your pint. Exceptional beer.
Fortunately, this beer is available in wide distribution as well. Here in Southern Illinois, you can find it at most of the larger beer retailers in the 22oz bomber size. If you’re looking to expand your beer horizons, look no further than Rogue Chocolate Stout. A terrific diversion from the norm …especially if the norm is water-down pale lagers.