A Cool Minty Breeze
A Review of Mint Chocolate Stout by Flying Dog Brewing Co.
Posted on 4/16/2014 by Chops
                   
Great
Sometimes a concept is so obvious that it pains you not to have thought of it first. Two flavors that enjoy a harmonious marriage in the beer world are chocolate and stouts. Darkly roasted malts can easily impart notes of chocolate all by themselves, and adding items like cocoa nibs or baker's chocolate can seriously punch up that chocolaty goodness. Brewers have known this since the American craft beer movement took off and today's market is littered with chocolate themed stouts. It seems only obvious that what works for chocolate should also work for chocolate stouts, or at the very least warrant the experiment.

This is why when I came across Flying Dog's Mint Chocolate Stout, a beer from their Brewhouse Rarities line, I couldn't help but slap my forehead in envy. Just think about those girl scout thin mint cookies or that delectable green ice cream and try not to drool on yourself. Brilliant. Well played my aerial canine friends, well played. I wasted no time popping the cap off of this beauty.

In the glass, this beer had a dark brown coloration that was not quite black. It came with a frothy tan head that had good retention. On the nose, I was greeted by a cool breeze of minty chocolate. It was very obvious and direct, just like smelling a freshly opened box of thin mint cookies. Resting underneath was a faint note of roasted malt, but that was it. This beer was conceptually simple and offered up a pleasantly inviting introduction.

The flavor ended up being equally straight forward, but with a slight twist. The first half of the flavor train consisted of cool mint chocolate, almost like drinking a liquefied version of the ice cream. However, the second half saw the mint dissipate as the beer morphed into a solid base stout. This was a pleasant surprise because a lot of dessert-themed beers tend to lose their beery character in favor of an insular flavor punch. This beer retained its stout backbone and was easily identifiable as such. The body was light and easy drinking with a minimal hop presence. The beer had an airy dryness that when coupled with the minty character, gave an effect much like sucking on a peppermint. The finish was light and exited with an airy minty aftertaste.

Overall, I found Flying Dog's Mint Chocolate Stout to be a tasty dessert brew fit for all audiences. It has a high level of accessibility and is conceptually easy to understand, which makes it perfect for novices seeking something new to try. Seasoned beer fans will enjoy this brew as a solid session stout with complementary flavors. And with approachable base stats of 5.7% ABV and 30 IBUs, this is a beer you can enjoy all day long and never grow tired of. It's the kind of beer you bring to a social gathering where you don't know the preference makeup. Craft beer fans will enjoy it, beer novices will adore it, and non-beer drinkers will want to try it. And in the craft beer world, that's one hell of a bridge builder.

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Mint Chocolate Stout by Flying Dog Brewing Co.
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