Young’s Double Chocolate Stout Review

My buddy grabbed a case of this, we’ve been tasting it extensively. He’s a chocolate-stout-head like some people are hop-heads. His opinion on the stuff is that it’s the nectar of the gods. My take was that it lacked depth, but it was fantastic for the style.

Appearance – We never got a good head out of a single bottle of the stuff. His glassware, my glassware, whatever, it never took a head nor left any lace. What head it did take was thick, full bubbles of brown. My suggestion for improvement would have been smaller bubbles.

Smell – Like chocolate. This is where the “lack of depth” becomes a problem. Something called ‘double chocolate stout’, you expect it to smell like chocolate. But once you get saturated with the chocolate, what’s left? Stout. Except the stout isn’t there. Not even a hit of hops. It’s like some kind of malty chocolate drink, but not in a bad way.

Taste – Like chocolate. See above. Not a ton of depth but certainly not a bad, if singleminded effort.

Mouthfeel – This is where it really pisses away points. The Standard I use is Rogue Stout, or Guinness. The style should have a silky mouthfeel either from nitrobubbles or oats. The lack of complexity (and oats wouldn’t have hurt this beer flavor-wise) leads to a lack of refinement in the mouthfeel. They would be really, really onto something if they did better with “silky”, but it’s not. It’s not bad, and certainly they avoided “oily”, but it’s not fantastic either. Not impressed.

Drinkability – good for a session beer if only because it’s not complex enough to savor and base enough most people will like it.

Not bad, but not the best I’ve had either. If they had simply said “double chocolate ale” it would be easier to forgive the faults.

Serving type: bottle

Vanilla Chocolate Irish Stout

The basis for this beer was a Mountmellick Irish Stout kit. It’s a no-boil kit which comes pre-hopped. I know the readership is going to groan at the idea of using a pre-hopped no boil kit, so in advance: Fuck you.

Alright, now that we’ve got that out of the way, lets get on to the specifics:

  • 1 can of Mountmellick Irish Stout
  • 1 lbs of crushed chocolate malt steeped at 155F for one half hour
  • 2 tbsp hershey’s coca (not hot chocolate)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla flavoring

Warm up the stout can in warm water while preparing your grains. Since the yeast is freeze dried, take a cup of warm water, add table sugar, and shake the yeast in. The malt will come to a boil and the hot break won’t be obvious since chocolate malt has a lot of trub to keep the bubbles thick. Do your best. At the end of a half hour, fire up the stove for an hour boil and pull the grains at 170F. Once the boil is done, cool wort and add the stout kit. Use warm wort to wash out stout can. Stir thoroughly. Pour into fermenter. Add cold water (I use a brita filter to get the crap out and soften things up a bit) to the fermenter until you hit just a hair over 5 gallons. Add yeast. Attach airlock.

The adventure here came soon enough: The krausening action was so intense it blew foam out of the airlock. I let it ferment for 10 days and cleaned out the airlock twice more. I use rum and water in the airlock to keep it sterile. After the OG of 1.070 dropped to the FG of 1.025 and seemed to hold, I bottled it. When bottling, add the vanilla and coca to taste, and then add priming sugar and bottle as usual. Mmmm, if it’s as good as it was bottling, this beer is going to be fantastic.