Double Chocolate Cherry Stout

Darcy O'Neil :: June 2, 2007 8:51 PM

Black Oak StoutNow here is a beer that sounds interesting. Enough with the million different pilsners and light beers, we need more experimental beers. We need things that will test our palates and make us go “wow, I never thought that would taste so good!”. I am the type of person that will seek out interesting spirits and beers just to see what they taste like. I rarely ever have the same beer in my fridge from week to week. Life is too short to drink one brand of beer, only rum and coke and eat your steak the same way every time. So, I’m lucky that I live about 90 minutes from Toronto, North America’s fourth largest city, because there are a number of great micro brewers, including Black Oak, making some interesting beers. Double Chocolate Cherry Stout is one of them.

The Belgians have a great beer culture and an outstanding number of beer styles. Some of the smaller Canadian breweries are starting to play around with the almost infinite possibilities of beer. Unibroue is one of the Canadian pioneers in the introduction of unique beers to North America, but there are others. Black Oak brewery out of Oakville has creates some really good traditional styles of beer in the past few years. Their two regular brews are a nice hoppy Pale Ale and a smooth Nut Brown. They offer seasonal beers and the Double Chocolate Cherry Stout is one of them, even though it was released in the wrong season.

Black Oak Double Chocolate Cherry Stout

Colour: Not surprisingly it is black

Aroma: Malty with chocolate aromas and hints of cherry. Kind of what you would expect.

Taste: Smooth stout character with deep flavours of dark chocolate flavour, nice hoppy bitterness and subtle cherry flavour.

The cherry flavour stays mostly in the background, but the chocolate is pleasantly obvious. The hopping is about right, if it had any more bitterness it would throw off the balance. But, the bitterness does play really nicely with the chocolate to give you that dark chocolate flavour. 

As usual I like to experiment with things, so I decided to add some Cherry Marnier to the glass of Chocolate Cherry Stout to see what effect the addition cherry flavour would have. The first notable thing is that the aroma of cherries is now obvious, but complementary. Flavour wise, the Cherry Marnier adds a fair amount of sweetness, but not so much that is unbearable. The cherry flavour is more pronounced and the bitterness is suppressed a bit. It’s not bad, it does make the stout a little sweet, but it seems to bring out the chocolate flavour a little more. My wife likes the addition of the Cherry Marnier better. She agrees that it brings out more of the chocolate flavour.

Overall this a really great beer. It might be a bit warm to be drinking a stout on a patio somewhere, but it is worth it to try it on a cool evening or in a well air conditioned bar.

North America’s four largest cities are: Mexico City, New York, Los Angeles and Toronto.

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