Beer Advent Calendar – Day 31: Shipyard Mint Chocolate Stout presented by Carla Companion
To celebrate the Holiday Season, 2Beerguys.com and Seacoastbeveragelab.com have teamed up with beer bloggers around the country to host the third annual beer bloggers advent calendar. This is the season of sharing and we intend to share our love of beer with you. 31 Bloggers Blogging – click here for the running list of beers/bloggers.
Let’s see who is spreading holiday cheer today!
Blogger: Carla Companion
Blog Name: The Beer Babe
Twitter/Facebook/Untappd: @beerbabe (Twitter) facebook.com/thebeerbabe, thebeerbabe on Untappd
Beer: Shipyard Mint Chocolate Stout
Brewery: Shipyard Brewing Company, Portland, ME
- Style: Stout
- ABV: 9%
- ABV: 54
Mint Chocolate Stout is a dark, silky beer with aromas of chocolate and licorice. Smooth chocolate and coffee flavors upfront lead to a subtle spearmint finish. To fully enjoy all of the flavors of this ale, it is best drunk at 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Why I selected the Shipyard Brewing Mint Chocolate Stout:
When a well-loved Maine Brewery releases a new beer in their Pugsley Signature Series, I usually take notice. This time, the unorthodox combination of ingredients – including the use of spearmint instead of peppermint to compliment a dark winter stout – intrigued me, and lead me to bring a bottle of it home. I was wondering if it could be a nice fit with the winter holiday season, which seems to come all too early and last a little too long for my taste here in Maine. I do like mint (and stouts) so I thought it was an interesting attempt to twist on a classic combination of mint and chocolate. My hopes were that it would taste something like a Girl Scout Cookie.
The initial licorice aroma let me know that a Thin Mint – like brew was probably not in the cards here. The aroma was inviting, but not altogether minty or chocolately. It was enigmatically just slightly medicinal, and reminded me a little of the anise-flavored cookies that I make each christmas.
Upon having a sip, I was initially happy to not be overwhelmed by mint. My initial impression, however, was short lived. While chocolatey, smooth and well-executed, the stout base of the stout was not revolutionary, but was pleasant. It was what happened after I swallowed that I wasn’t necessarily expecting.
The commercial description of this beer includes the phrase, “subtle spearmint finish.” I would like to politely disagree. There is nothing subtle about that last wash of mint that coats the inside of your mouth and tongue.
The mintiness, though not offensive, was forward – and reminded me a little of the taste of mint leftover from brushing one’s teeth. It wasn’t that the mint flavor wasn’t pleasant, it was just that when the stout beer left – all that remained was a quite literal and non-subtle mint coating.
That being said, it could be compared to a strongly mint hot chocolate – where the flavoring is obvious and assertive – but festive and fun to drink. If you are expecting subtlety and harmony, however, you might have to find that in another Christmas brew.
About The Beer Babe:
Carla Companion is a beer blogger for the Portland Press Herald and the Beer Babe.com. She has been writing about craft beer since 2007.
For more information, please visit: http://www.thebeerbabe.com/
About Shipyard Brewing Company:
The Shipyard Brewing Company began in 1992 at Federal Jack’s Restaurant and Brew Pub in Kennebunk. Demand for Shipyard ales soon outpaced the small operation and, to keep up with orders for their fine hand-crafted ales, in 1994 Fred Forsley and Alan Pugsley opened the Shipyard Brewing Company on the historic waterfront in Portland. All Shipyard’s beer is hand-brewed from recipes developed by Master Brewer Alan Pugsley, who apprenticed at the world-famous Ringwood Brewery in Hampshire, England under the tutelage of renowned Master Brewer Peter Austin.
For more information, please visit: http://www.shipyard.com