Brewer: Southern Tier Brewing Company
Style: American Double/Imperial Stout
Description: Southern Tier’s Choklat pours the blackest of black with a tan head that does not hang around too long, but leaves a nice lacing on the glass. The aroma can be summarized with one word: chocolate. The taste backs up the nose completely and is dominated by chocolate. There is a perfect balance within the chocolate, though, so that it does not become too bittersweet and instead manages to be extremely smooth and easy-drinking. The body is full, extremely smooth, and also manages to hide the 10 percent ABV. A word of warning: this is definitely a sipper! Southern Tier Choklat is certainly as deep, rich, and decadent as any box of chocolate.
Food pairing: Upon your first whiff of this beer, let alone sip, it is quite obvious that this is one heavy-hitting dessert brew! Choklat is a beer that you really should hang onto until the final course and crack open to share with the heaviest and creamiest of sweets, as it certainly has enough heft to hold up to all of them. If you are looking for a simple yet elegant pairing, try having Choklat with fresh cannolis. The fresher and creamier the better, as the mascarpone cheese adds another layer of flavor and body to the beer while the beer seamlessly blends into the cheese and leaves the palate refreshed and ready for more. Also try pairing this with rich and creamy strawberry shortcake – the heavier the cream the better. However, if you are looking for a straightforward pairing, here’s what to do: get a pint of your favorite organic vanilla bean ice cream and put one scoop into a glass of Choklat. That’s it, and you can thank me later!
The final word: Southern Tier’s Choklat truly is a beer that has something for everyone. It is smooth and heavy enough on the chocolate that even the casual beer drinker could sit and sip this one for hours, but it is also very rich and complex and leaves the craft beer enthusiast satisfied. The incredibly smooth characteristic of this beer is what makes it so highly drinkable, not to mention the over-the-top chocolate goodness! Southern Tier has really carved out a niche for themselves by not only creating imperial versions of many beers but, more importantly, creating imperial versions that are phenomenal. Choklat is a fantastic stout to have on hand this Valentine’s Day, but is also just a great stout to have on hand any time of the year.
Rating: W W W W W
Where can I get it? Currently available in 22 oz. bottles at: J & H Beer, Wilkes-Barre; Backyard Ale House, Scranton; Wegmans, Wilkes-Barre; Exit 190 Beer Deli, Dickson City; and Arena Bar and Grill, Wilkes-Barre. Available on draft at Backyard Ale House, Scranton.
Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!
-Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour on 102.3 FM Saturdays at 10 a.m.