Not too long ago I wrote, unknowingly, one of my most popular posts to date, Beer Batter Pancakes: The Ongoing Experiment. I was not lying about the “ongoing experiment” part. Because 1) I love pancakes. 2) I love beer. 3) I know how to do math! I’ve been hesitant to spend money this week after paying bills, but after yesterday’s good news of a promotion at work, I felt it time to celebrate. Like any smart twenty-something-year-old, I celebrate with alcohol. I stopped at Whole Foods, but unlike last time, I knew which beer I wanted: Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. Being the beer addict that I am, I did not even flinch when I noticed Well’s Banana Bread Beer (same brewery) on the shelf below. Expect a post on that batch next week. Question to the readers: Adding actual bananas with the beer, yay or nay? Will it be too overpowering? Thoughts welcome.
I’d also like to mention I snatched a bottle of Southern Tier Pumpking. Whole Foods had a tantalizing display! Haven’t had it? Read the review!
Onto the pancakes! I followed the same formula as last time. I opted for 1/4 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of beer, not wanting to make the pancakes with too much liquid. I’m curious to try 2% or whole milk instead of 1%. More fattening, yes, but I’m making pancakes with beer. Are we really counting calories?! I added chocolate chips to sweeten the deal, and also because I don’t do pancakes without chocolate chips. Period. The end result? Delicious, to say the least. The roommate can confirm. The chocolate chips and my new favorite syrup culminated in the perfect blend of sweet without it inducing a cavity. The beer was not overwhelming in the least, and naturally the pancakes were made even better with a swig of the leftover brew. It’s a tasty option for people who like chocolate but may not necessarily love chocolate. Subtle and sweet, just the way I like it!
The batch was a success! The experiment for pancake/beer perfection continues!
There’s a reason sayings exist, because they’re true! Once I turned myself onto (that’s what she said?) the darker side of beer, there was no going back. I love a lot of beer and I embrace all styles, but my heart lies with porters and stouts. How could you not enjoy chocolate and coffee flavored beers?
Despite separate names, Porters and Stouts are basically the same. They’re the identical twins of beer. They look the same yet have subtle personality differences. But they’re not creepy like those twins in The Shining. Instead, they’re delicious! Porters received their name due to their popularity among river porters in London during the 18th century. Porters are made from dark roasted malts, but flavors vary from beer to beer. Stronger versions used to be distinguished by Strong Porter, Extra Porter, Double Porter, and Stout Porter. Porter was eventually dropped from Stout Porter and most will argue that Stouts are stronger than Porters. But the only ones arguing are true beer geeks.
This isn’t the first time I’ve sipped on this wonderful delight and it certainly won’t be the last. Wells & Young Brewery is located in England and according to their website, they are the largest private brewing company in the UK. They have quite a few English ales, lagers, and stouts. The chocolate stout lives up to its name and is completely worth the $5 for a 16 oz. bottle at my distributor.
Appearance: Nice tan/brown head. The beer itself is black. You don’t see much carbonation unless you hold it up to the light and look towards the bottom of the glass.
Smell: Strong scents of malt, chocolate, and coffee/cappuccino/espresso. In other words, it smells incredibly delicious and inviting.
Taste: It takes exactly how it smells. You get a very strong coffee flavor and dark chocolate. It has that bitter bite you expect from a rich dark chocolate bar. Despite the fact that I’m not a huge fan of dark chocolate, I love the taste of this beer. You get that extra zap of bitterness right at the end. Coffee and chocolate lovers will fall in love with this beer.
Mouthfeel: Despite that you couldn’t see the carbonation, you could definitely feel it on your tongue, but it’s not too much. It goes down very smooth and the beer is creamy. Despite being a stout, I didn’t think it was very thick.
Drinkability: As I mentioned before, I love this beer. It’s one of my favorites and I enjoy it more than Rogue’s Chocolate Stout. You might want to stop after 1 though because it is such a dark and bitter beer. If the idea of a chocolate beer excites you, this is the chocolate stout to drink.