This is the dark half of my first split 10 gallon batch where I split the malts, hops and yeast. The main mash consisted of primarily base malt; I steeped some chocolate malt on the side, then added it right at flameout to the 5 gallon boil. It worked out well and created two very different beers!
Appearance: Darkest of browns. Tan head with great retention and lacing. Surprisingly clear for a dark ale – ruby highlights when held to the light.
Aroma: Dark chocolate all the way followed by some toasty, doughy malt.
Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation and big, silky smooth body.
Flavor: Cocoa, light roast coffee and chocolate malts up front, with a little smoky, slightly burnt/charred flavor in the finish. In general there’s a very strong resemblance to the sensation of eating a piece of dark cocoa chocolate – slight lingering sweetness and bitterness which really begs for another sip.
Overall: A very enjoyable stout / dark coffee brown ale, depending how you look at it. I’m satisfied with how this turned out but I can’t help but think there’s something missing. It’s a good “base beer” but it needs a little finishing accent. This may seem like a weird observation, but coconut would take this through the roof. It reminds me a lot of Maui Brewing Company’s Coconut Porter, minus the coconut obviously. The milky smooth coconut flavor blends so well with the mocha roasted goodness of the malts.