It seems everyone wants to fudge chocolate with everything these days, whether it be chilli, squid, mole curry, or whatever. Ale is nothing new when it comes to chocolate as an ingredient, used as part of a recipe for many a fine ale. But how many can proclaim it as its primary ingredient?
One brewery who can proudly lay claim to that statement is the legendary Saltaire Brewery, who since setting up in Shipley, West Yorkshire, in 2005, have called themselves home to many a fine beverage from years gone by, winning over 50 trade awards for their hand crafted ales. But even I raised eyebrows at the sight of the Triple Chocoholic ale, a drink that on its bottle proclaims it now comes with chocolate, chocolate and MORE CHOCOLATE! Such a bold statement, but would it deliver my expectations, and is there such a thing as too much of a good thing in real ale?
I needn’t have quarrelled myself. The Triple Chocoholic has won two international gold medals and was recently crowned best stout beer at the 2012 Hong Kong International Beer Awards, and upon the first sip, its easy to see why. The chocolatey beer taste is the first thing you’ll notice. How remarkably close it seems to chocolate, yet how it still tastes like a quality ale, full of chocolate syrups and malts. The chocolate flavour you first feel sloshes about before the lively, slightly bitter kick of the hops follows up.
This is, without question, one of the finest ales I have tasted in my lifetime thus far, and as far as chocolate stouts go, this smashes the opposition. Rich, deep, powerful in flavour, not sickly at all. And if there’s any chocolate lovers out there afraid to take the plunge, remember…you can never have enough!