Dallas has few diversions other than eating, drinking and shopping.....and shopping does not interest us.
So we spend our time hopping from restaurant to restaurant and to every pub that we can find in search of the perfect meal and the perfect beer.

We randomly review restaurants and bars, dishes and beers at whim and give our brutally honest opinions of our findings. And while we concentrate on Dallas, we travel far and wide to sample cuisine from all regions of the country and beyond.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Battle of the Beers Part I - Chocolate Ales

Boulevard Chocolate Ale, 9.10% ABV
Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence Stout - 7% ABV

If you have never been to a chocolate and beer pairing you may be (or may not be) quite surprised to find out that beer and chocolate compliment each other quite nicely.  So the Snobs thought that it may be fun to sample a couple of beers with chocolate added to them and then took on the task of comparing these two to see which we thought was better.

You have to hand it Boulevard, they brew lots of different beers of which some are superb and some are, well, not so superb.  Stubborn too, those Boulevard guys.  They brewed up a tank of the ale, bottled it up and released it, then they recalled it because it was funky.  So they brewed up a second batch, bottled it and released it, then recalled it because it too was funky.  So they brewed up a third batch, bottled it and released it, and this is the attempt that we tested.  Famed Kansas City chocolatier Christopher Elbow supplied the chocolate that was added to Boulevard's malty, strong ale.  The chocolate nibs that they used in the process were a famous bean from the Dominican Republic. 

The smell was richly of chocolate, vanilla and the ethers from the substantial alcohol content.  The low carbonation alludes to the creamy mouthfeel that reminds you of the texture of chocolate milk.  The finished product reminds you more of a milk chocolate than the dark that they were attempting.  You will notice the chocolate (duh), caramel, vanilla and espresso as you drink, but then the bitterness of the hops as you swallow kind if makes you think more of semi-sweet chocolate. They probably could have used a bit more malts and a bit less hops, but the brew was interesting nonetheless.

Ommegang began brewing their Chocolate Indulgence in 2007 as special treat on their 10th anniversary.  It was so popular that they continued making the beer and release it yearly as a seasonal.  Whereas Boulevard used cocoa beans and the the raw ingredients that are used to make chocolate, Ommegang used cocoa powder added to a traditional stout.  It poured with quite a large head that took a bit to dissapate and the aroma of cocoa is quite prevalent and a bit of dark fruitiness in the background.  The flavor is quite chocolatey with dark fruits coming through stronger as the beer warms.  Slight coffee flavor finished the quaff and the odd mix of Belgian yeasts with the stout.

I was quite surprised to find that the Snobs liked neither of these beers very much, but when forced to choose they chose the Ommegang Chocolate Seduction 4:1.  There was, however, a unanimous request that I never spring either of these beers on them ever again.  So let it be written, so let it be done.

No comments:

Post a Comment