Beer Review – Samuel Smith Organic Chocolate Stout

Samuel Smith Organic Chocolate Stout

The other night, I was feeling a little peckish. Rather than grab a box of Oreos, I pulled out a bottle of Chocolate Stout. I am a big fan of Samuel Smith’s (love the Oatmeal Stout and the Winter Welcome; and the Benevolents enjoy the Organic Apricot Ale) and have tried most of their lineup (at least what I can get my hands on at Kress Liquors or Roger Wilco at Eagle Plaza). So, it should come as no surprise that I picked up the Chocolate Stout partly because I like the style but mostly because it was from Samuel Smith. An added plus, the beer is certified organic by the USDA and is registered with the Vegan Society as suitable for vegans and vegetarians. After reading that, I am fairly certain that this means that the Chocolate Stout is good for me and I should drink this more often.

Before we get to my review, here is what Samuel Smith has to say about the Organic Chocolate Stout:

Brewed with well water (the original well, sunk in 1758, is still in use with the hard water is drawn from 85 feet underground), the gently roasted organic chocolate malt and organic cocoa impart a delicious, smooth and creamy character, with inviting deep flavours and a delightful finish – this is the perfect marriage of satisfying stout and luxurious chocolate.

I found the beer to be…

  • Appearance: About a dark a beer as I have ever had with lots of tan foam.
  • Aroma: Sweet malt with a little bit of dough and then a big blast of dark chocolate.
  • Taste: Full-bodied and creamy like a hopped chocolate shake. This is sweet but not overpowering with a full flavor of chocolate that has only a slight hint of bitterness in the finish.
  • ABV: 5%

This might be my new favorite dessert beer. And, I would offer this up in any discussion about dessert beers and food pairings. This would be fantastic with cheesecake or vanilla ice cream. The only drawback; like most dessert beers, it is probably a little too sweet to have more than one. Once again, I say to Samuel Smith – well done!

Beer Review – Harpoon Chocolate Stout

Photo courtesy of Harpoon Brewery

Photo courtesy of Harpoon Brewery

Having recently had Harpoon’s Leviathan Baltic Porter, I went in search of another Harpoon as I filled a mixed six of stout and winter warmers over at Roger Wilco’s Voorhees location. I found a bottle of their Chocolate Stout that sounded like it would be right in my wheelhouse. For those who don’t know Harpoon, they are one of the first craft brewers in New England and date all the back to 1986. That’s over 25 years of production which to craft brewing is like the Stone Age. They have plants in Boston and Windsor, VT and staying true to their craft beer roots are still operated under the watchful eye of founders Rich Doyle and Dan Kenary. Harpoon has six year-round beers (the Harpoon IPA is their best seller), four seasonals, the 100 Barrel Series, the Leviathan Series and some limited releases (like the Chocolate Stout). As of April 2012, Harpoon was the 8th largest craft brewer in the US and the 3rd biggest on the East Coast behind the Boston Beer Co. (Sam Adams) at No. 1 and the Matt Brewing Company (Saranac) at No. 6.

Here is what Harpoon has to say about their Chocolate Stout: Continue reading

Beer Review – Harviestoun Old Engine Oil

Photo courtesy of

I had stopped in to Kress Liquors to check out their assortment of canned beer for an upcoming pool party. Always a sucker for proper merchandising, I wandered over to the import wall and immediately was struck by the Old Engine Oil. I put together a couple of chocolate stouts (incl. Rogue Chocolate and  Young’s Double Chocolate) and added a bottle in for tasting. From the Harviestoun site:

Old Engine Oil is strong and dark but wickedly smooth. Chocolate dominates the palate but is nicely balanced with a hoppy bitterness. Old Engine Oil is a delicious post-prandial beer with a bittersweet aftertaste.

Harviestoun’s founder Ken Brooker spent much of his life crafting wooden design prototypes for Ford. The viscous nature of this Continue reading