Beer Review 0076: Young’s Double Chocolate Stout

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout is brewed by Wells Young’s Brewing Company, the United Kingdom’s largest family owned brewery. Founded in 1875 by Charles Wells, things got off to a cracking start when Mr. Wells purchased a brewery and along with it, thirty-two pubs at auction.

By 1890, Wells had expanded to 80 pubs and was brewing 12,552 barrels of beer per year. Wells had lots of children, so the company stayed in the family, which is somewhat of a rarity these days.

In the early 1900’s, it was decided that the brewery would sink a well to provide water for all the beer, a well which is still in use today. The water used to brew this beer and all the other Wells Young’s concoctions is 100% natural mineral water, water that could be bottled and sold on its own.

A merger happened in 2006 between Wells and Young and Co. of Wandsworth, creating Wells and Young’s Brewing Company.

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout is brewed to deliver a satisfying, indulgent taste without being overly sweet. The beer is brewed with a host of malts, special sugars, and real dark chocolate, and has been the recipient of numerous beer awards over the last decade. For a Stout, this beer comes in at a somewhat low ABV (alcohol by volume) — 5.2% — but it is meant to be full flavored.

I decided to review the canned version of this beer — it does come in bottles, too — because it features a nitro widget. I’ll leave it to you to do some research on what a nitro widget is, but the simple explanation is that it manages characteristics of the beer’s head.

The pour produces a very dark tawny brawn liquid, which has ruby edges when held to the light. The head cascades from the bottom of the glass to the top, leaving a large amount of extremely creamy foam atop the beverage that not only lasts for a long time, but lasts for the entire length of the drink. The body of the beer is clear, with no particles or sediment left behind. Lacing is excellent. This is a gorgeous beer, and quite frankly, you should go get some of this beer just to look at it. Forget everything else. And be sure to get it in the can, because the bottles don’t have the nitro widget.

Patience, my friend. You’ll want to use it when drinking this one. It says on the side of the can to serve cool, not cold; but here are how the aromatics stack up at three different temperature levels. Right out of the can, there isn’t much on offer but a burnt malty note, which is actually almost unpleasant. Let it warm up for about ten minutes, and you discover that this stout opens up with some definite chocolate notes, backgrounded by a huge hit of caramel and some faint coffee. Then, after about thirty minutes in the glass, the chocolate dominates, switching between both milk and dark. The initial burnt aroma completely disappears, and what is left is very nice.

Unfortunately, on the palate, this beer is thick but a little watery in flavor. There’s not much there while the beer is swirling around the mouth, other than a burnt caramel, but the finish is where things shine. All that “double chocolate” promised comes through, with layer upon layer of rich goodness that produces a long lasting finish. The goal of not being too sweet is definitely accomplished. And as the finish finally concludes, the drinker is treated to fading notes of toffee and coffee.

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout gets better and better as it warms, so remember that. And remember to get the can so you can be visually rewarded, as well. For a mass produced Stout, this is pretty damn good.

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, 90 points. Price: $2.79 US for one 14.9 ounce can.


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