I will be the first to admit that I have a special place in my heart for chocolate. It could be Ghirardelli, Hershey, Cadbury, or Kinder Chocolate (I went to Germany in 2000 and now i’m a fiend for it) and they all make me quite happy. When you throw beer into the mix as well and you’ve completely won me over.
There are a fair amount of chocolate-based beers out there on the market (below are the ones I have tried):
Young’s Double Chocolate Stout
Bison Organic Chocolate Stout
New Belgium Cocoa Mole
Samual Adam’s Chocolate Bock
Most of these I found at random bars or on one of my Whole Foods beer binges that happen once in a blue moon. All of this brings me to the beer I actually am reviewing: Biere de Chocolat from Almanac.
Packing a lovely bouquet that I would describe as a smoky cocoa musk with some hop and caramel, it has stood out above all the previously mentioned beers. As for it’s drinkability as an ‘everyday beer’, I feel that this could be my everyday drink if I was in a chocolate mood. This does come around about once a month for 3-5 days and I am debating on stocking up on a case of this for when that time of the month happens.
Almanac also appeals to that ‘locally sourced’ love that I have for companies that think of where they get their ingredients. For this beer, Almanac uses Dandelion Chocolate (a San Francisco original) with their small batches of beans to create a flavor that is not your ‘kick in the teeth, residual sugar’ chocolate beer you’d expect.
The vanilla really ties the whole experience together and makes this more than a one note deliciousness that I had experienced in the past (I’m looking at you Sam Adam’s Chocolate Bock).
In not wanting this to strictly be a love letter to Almanac, I do wish that it did have a higher ABV than the 5.5% in it’s current version. That would be my only alteration, though this is only a personal preference and other beer lovers may not feel the same.
In closing, I would suggest this to anyone who appreciates a good chocolate beer and can appreciate Almanac’s motto of “farm to bottle”. Some think of this as clever marketing but I feel that the proof in under the bottle cap.
As a side note: I was able to taste Farmer’s Reserve Beer #3 & #4 sours at the most recent Mountain View Beerwalk. I hope to be able to review these once I can get my hands on them.