Exceptional beer and food pairings right to your home
August 30, 2012 - Shannon
I will admit that I have never sought out a year round Southern Tier beer, but generally their seasonals make me do cartwheels. If only I were in the mood for a beer the first time I saw Southern Tier’s Imperial Choklat Stout, I may have done more than cartwheels in the bar. Thankfully, several other people at my table had a hankering for a breakfast beer, so I got to try a taste. Then a sip. Then my own serving.
Some of Southern Tier’s seasonals are legendary! Pumpking, anyone? How about Crème Brulee Stout!? That’s right: rich, dark, seasonal beers are their specialty, and a dreary, cold January morning (Ian’s birthday, if you’re keeping track) was the first time I tried this beer.
It pours a robust, inky black with a slight lacy head, that is a dark brown which only a proper stout can produce. The smell is deep, rich, and bitter akin to dark chocolate. By now, the head has dissipated, which makes me think the flavor of this beer will be intense. I know, that’s a big leap in thought, but from my observation a dark beer with a lighter (less dense) taste has a thicker, creamier head.
Keep in mind that this beautiful 22oz. bottle is 10%ABV. That is just about the same as many wines that you will find, and who drinks a whole bottle of wine in a sitting? So I will recommend that you share this beer with a friend or two… but after a sip, you will probably understand why it is difficult to find the motivation to share.
I hate to oversimplify, but after one taste, I can sum up quite simply. Southern Tier’s Imperial Choklat Stout tastes like an impeccable stout mixed with world class dark chocolate. It isn’t sweet or syrupy. It actually feels like the perfect pairing for any dessert you could throw its way. The slight bitterness of the dark chocolate, the richness of the stout, and the hint of real vanilla and desserty attributes make it a perfect accompaniment to any last course.
If dessert beers intimidate you, or sweet beers overwhelm you, then I recommend giving this brew a try. I’ll be honest, I bought a case (one of the few benefits of Pennsylvania beer laws). I use it with my chipotle molten lava cake, butterscotch whiskey cake, chocolate croissants, or almost any other dessert I could throw at it. Even breakfast in bed, with the right Nutella accompaniment will have this beer as a featured pairing. So, if you truly trust my opinion: buy a bottle. Or two. Or as many as you can store, because you will find a good reason to drink this beer. Sometime around the first course of breakfast and the last course of dinner’s dessert or everywhere in between. Have I mentioned that I recommend trying this beer? Trust me- and then tell me what you think @BeerMistress on Twitter.
Southern Tier - Choklat Stout