Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Whale A Week: Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate

This week we try a bottle shared by my friend Rob Wengler, of Limited Release fame.  We had a get-together of some of our old high school bunch (and spouses) recently and tried a few special beers.  I've heard of this beer and have been excited to try it for a while!

Foothills Brewing was established in 2004 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  They have a tasting room in their main brewery facility as well as a brewpub downtown.  For several years they have been doing a special release of a beer called Sexual Chocolate that has developed quite the cult following.  The beer is a Russian Imperial stout infused with cocoa, and the even more rare version from 2014 that we have here is barrel aged for 4 months.  ABV is 9.75%  The beer has a rating of 95 on Beer Advocate and 100 on RateBeer.  People line up to get this! 

Foothills Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate 2014

For this tasting we have a few characters.  Myself (Eric Wentling)--a BJCP judge, lover of all things barrel aged.  Rob--Homebrewer, beer video journalist.  Heather--She's from Denver, need I say more?  Jess--fairly new to the judging thing, but ready to try it out!  Sarajo--my wife and lover of both chocolate and stouts.  We served this up with some of Rob's somewhat suspect gingerbread cookies--made with a mold that was supposed to be a rainbow going into a pot of gold--but, well you get the picture....

Aroma: Sweet smell of success

Eric: Get it on! Sweet maltiness with cocoa and vanilla.  A bit of woodiness or oxidation.
Rob: Hot alcohol.  Dried fruit.  Burnt/toast.  Chocolate.
Heather: Cocoa.  Bourbon.  Baked brown sugar (how come you taste so good?)
Jess: Red Twizzlers.


Eric: Very dark in color.  Fine large deep tan head.  This head just goes on and on and on.
Rob: Interesting chunky head: Thick, Black, Brown.
Heather: French press coffee.
Jess: Dark chestnut color.

Flavor: Tangy!

Eric: Not as sweet as expected from the aroma.  There is strongly flavored wood in my mouth--tannic!  Dark bitter chocolate.  Hint of tart cherry and squishy plums.  Finish fairly tart and dry.  Slight alcohol warming.
Rob: Milky.  Bourbon.  Slightly sour.  Not too sweet. I keep thinking of chocolate milkshakes with cherry.  Decent balance.  Coffee aftertaste.
Heather: Not quite as good as coffee--like chicory on last note.
Jess: Warming alcohol finish.  Vanilla-y bourbon.

Mouthfeel: as dirty as it sounds...

Eric: Thick and mouth-coating at first, but a dry tannic bite at the end.
Rob: Full.  Thick.  Brings me back to this tasting like a milk shake.
Heather: Deep throat burn.

Overall: An innuendo filled glass half full

Eric: Very nice beer, but not as chocolate-y or complex as I expected.  Not super boozy.  Pretty dry and bitter from too much oak--like sucking on a big piece of wood. 4
Rob: Better than I remember.  Wood seems higher but I don't love the tangy-ness.  4.2
Heather: Don't know if you want to spit or swallow...3
Jess: 3.5
Sarajo: Leaves you with a bitter taste in your mouth.  3.5

Overall Score: And I do mean score!  3.64

Writing up this one was fun, but difficult.  Tasting it with this group was a treat in itself!

Cookies for the holidays!

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