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Chicagoist's "Beer of the Week": Young's Double Chocolate Stout

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Sep 11, 2006 6:00PM

2006_09_dblchoc.jpgOur Saturday night was spent under a mass of clouds at the Windy City Wine Festival, brushing up on varietals with which we were unfamiliar. One of the exhibitor booths was promoting a limited edition beer, "Frederick Miller Classic Chocolate Lager." The surname should have been a dead giveaway that this beer was brewed in all sorts of wrong. But, we had to taste it anyway; certainly we weren't surprised to find that this shite tasted like Miller High Life with a melted Hershey bar added to the mix. Turned out, that's what it was; another cynical offering from Miller Brewing. It reminded us of how much we love our favorite stout.

Young's Double Chocolate Stout has graced the site before, when we wrote of alternatives to Guinness on St. Patrick's Day. Young's is an English brewery. English stouts, in particular, are sweeter and not as dry on the finish as Irish stouts. That's because the English tend to add different flavors to their stouts, like oatmeal and coffee. Young's Double Chocolate is brewed with both chocolate malt and a liberal dose of dark chocolate. It pours dark as oil, with a slight bitterness on the nose reminiscent of coffee or bakers cocoa. The chocolate is dominant on your palate, and becomes more prominent as the beer warms to ambient temperature. It also a lingering, sweet finish.

Some of you reading this might be thinking, "That's got to be a heavy beer." And you'd be right. But it isn't so heavy or sweet that it'll weigh you down as the night progresses. You can't use Young's Double Chocolate stout to make a black-and-tan, or a half-and-half. The gravity of the stout is such that it eventually starts falling to the bottom of the glass. However, you can mix it with a cider to make an interesting take on a snakebite. Or, as some readers pointed out when we named Lindemans PĂȘche Lambic as our "BotW", add some framboise to the stout (or a sweet liqueur like Mathilde framboise or Chambord), and you have nirvana in a glass.

Young's Double Chocolate stout is easy to find. We've seen it on sale at Trader Joe's, at $4.99 for a four-pack (sixteen-ounce cans with the nitrogen balls inside), served at places like Exchequer Pub and Hackney's Printer's Row. In the interest of full disclosure, we need to let you know that this is the stout offering at HotHouse.

So, if you find yourself tempted in the upcoming weeks to pick up a six-pack of Frederick Miller Classic Chocolate Lager Wrong, do yourself a favor and buy Young's Double Chocolate Stout, instead. It's Chicagoist's "Beer of the Week."