Quick Take: Arcadia Cocoa Loco

Since their wares have been more prevalent in the three-one-five area code, I have been picking up more of the offerings from Arcadia Brewing. Their outrageously-priced Hop Rocket also happens to be outrageously delicious, their IPA is a resiny delight, and their Whitsun is a summery treat.

One of their beers that I had sampled at Clark’s Ale House long ago stuck with me, their Cocoa Loco, a big, milky stout with all sorts of oily chocolate flavors. I found a 22 oz. bottle of it at Hannaford in Glenville, NY (nice get, Hannaford!) and brought it home.

When you pour it, it’s thick light-brown head looks more like pudding than foam. And the color itself is so dark brown it’s practically black.

The nose is rich truffles, oily milk chocolates with a kick of alcohol. A hint of dark cherry. Almost has the aroma of Kahula, or Sambuca without all the licorice. Once it mellows a bit, the malt eases into a nice bready, nutty aroma with just a hint of mocha. It is terrifically inviting.

The first sip is bitter mocha malts; very very dark. But the finish is a mild, hazelnut flavor on the aftertaste. The combination of the dry, bready flavors and the sharp bitter ones is a perfect tug-of-war. Of course there is chocolate, with the overtones of breakfast blend coffee. The texture is also perfect, lending a milky, smooth, oily feel. It’s slick and sticky on the tongue, and absolutely dead-on for this style.

Is is heavy? Yes, although at only 7% abv it’s not as heavy as it feels. But it’s got the sweet, dry, bitter, nutty and challenging. One note: I had my first sample of it out of a regular nonic pint glass, but the second sample from a tulip glass, and the stemware really brings out more of the aromas and flavors, although you don’t feel like as much of a man drinking it.

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~ by William H on June 22, 2009.

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