10% Chocolate Stout brewed by Twisted Wheel Brew Co. based in Standish, North West England. Described as a decadent chocolate stout with an explosion of flavour and velvety smooth texture.
Branding: Simple, clean, and effective. Lovely blue contrast with the black and blue can and light blue beer name this is an excellent looking beer. As a potential consumer, I can see clearly the beer style, the beer name and the brewery and ABV, everything you need to stand out in a bottle shop. Enough literature to entice you in but they also leave enough to the imagination. Is this a Northern Monk or a Turning Point? No. But it’s stylish, effective and a bit of font work and this would be a neat brand. 13/20
Aroma: Really punchy coffee and chocolate aroma, everything you’d expect from the description. Good depth from just over 10cm away from the nose; get the nose in deep and this gives you dark chocolate, vanilla and lovely coffee notes. 17/20
Taste: The taste itself is warming, rich and chocolatey. It’s more Sam Smith’s Chocolate Stout than an insanely hopped newer style stout and I like that. The chocolate and coffee dominate thanks to the chocolate malt and the use of Bramling Cross really allows this to shine. Where this beer is let down though unfortunately is in the mouth-feel. With flaked oats and lactose I expected this to be thick, chewy and dessert-like, but it’s quite thin and almost too drinkable for 10%. I wanted decadence and velvety chocolate but instead I got a chocolate stout, full on flavour but one that didn’t quite deliver on texture. Impressive brewing to make a 10% stout so drinkable but not what I was expecting. 13/20
“Does what it says on the tin rating”: So where this is let down again, is the claim of decadence and “velvety smooth”. It ticks the boxes on flavour and is full of chocolate, but unfortunately this doesn’t tick that decadence box, a pretty big box missing. 8/20
Originality: This is a beer that’s hard to be original. Chocolate stouts have been around some time so brewing one that’s different is always going to be a challenge. There are some unique notes here and the Bramling Cross gives it an edge that you’d expect from a more christmassy stout. Otherwise though this is a straight up, big chocolate stout that’s got a good flavour. 9/20
Brewery: Twisted Barrel Brew Co.
Hops: Bramling Cross
Overall rating: 60 /100