Friday, 9 March 2012

REVIEW #61: Heartless Chocolate Stout (Red Willow Brewery)

Pours what looks like black but is probably more of a deep mahogany, or indeed very dark chocolate. The head is, unfortunately, a non-event (I made sure to use a clean, soap-free glass too!). Roast barley and chocolate-coated digestive biscuit aroma. Rich dark chocolate and cherry come across overtly up front; sweet, rich and bitter; very decadent... A cocoa-dusted, bitter, but not especially dry finish follows. Its nice to sense a bitterness coming not just from hops but from roast malt and dark chocolate too, all seemingly in equal proportion. This makes for a very well balanced beer. The mouthfeel is reminiscent of their Oyster Stout insomuch as it's remarkably oily and velvety-smooth.

See my head-to-head #2 for a comparison of Red Willow's Fathomless and Smokeless. Red Willow now have a website up and running, before they just had a blog. Heartless feels like one of those decadent, almost guilty pleasures. Both oats and 85% cocoa chocolate are incorporated into its recipe, producing the sort of thing champagne should/would/could be if it was in the same league as beer. To that end Heartless feels like the champagne of stout; not in terms of expense but in terms of luxuriance. An opulent beer indeed.
  • MALTS: includes oat and malted wheat
  • HOPS: ?
  • IBU: ?
  • ABV: 4.9%`

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