It is coming up on time to brew another batch of Curly’s Milk Stout, my flagship beer. After Ales for ALS I was down to a half dozen bottles. I have been hoarding the chocolate and coffee variants since I ended up with about eight bottles of each. Overall I am happy with how both came out.
The coffee in the aroma of the coffee is dominant. It is earthy with notes of fresh pot soil. The velvety dark chocolate aroma in the chocolate variant plays a supporting role with the other aromas from the base beer.
The chocolate has an frothy, off-white head with fair retention. The coffee has fizzy, a soda-like tan head that disappears almost immediately.
The chocolate version doesn’t have an overpowering chocolate flavor. It compliments and enhances the chocolate notes from the base beer. If I wanted more chocolate flavor I might try to add more chocolate at the end of the boil, during primary fermentation, as well as secondary fermentation as I did during this batch. That of course would require brewing a separate, chocolate-only batch. For a split batch I could add some chocolate extract at bottling. I think the beer is perfect as it is. The level of chocolate flavor is a matter of preference.
As the aroma and appearance would suggest, the coffee flavor is dominant in the coffee version. Adding an extra scoop of coffee may not have been the best idea. The beer is good, especially if you enjoy rich, black coffee. Jennie preferred the coffee version. Again, it’s a matter of personal preference. Next time I probably would dial back the amount of coffee just a little.
After drinking both side-by-side I blended the dregs from the bottles together. I blended approximately one part coffee, two parts chocolate into a tasting glass. This mocha blend was quite good. The bitterness from the coffee was muted, but there was still plenty of coffee and chocolate flavor.
For my next batch I think I am going to tweak the coffee and chocolate variants. I think I’ll use less coffee and more chocolate to compare with this batch.
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