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Muskoka Winter Beard (Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout)
- Muskoka Brewery
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Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout
Our Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout is rich and sturdy with roasted dark chocolate malts, real cocoa, 70% dark chocolate, and freshly harvested local cranberries. Pair that with a slightly higher alcohol content and you'll find yourself sharing this bottle of joy all winter long.
(Beer added by: mrnobody on 12-05-2010)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 57 | Show All Ratings:
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
750ml pot-stopper bottle, love these new bottles that Muskoka is using. Pours a dark dark brew, just a thin line of mahogany around the edges. Two fingers of mocha head quickly recede to a thin foam and then to a fine collar.
Nose is dusty cocoa and some dark chocolate, hint of a sweeter caramel and touch of fruitiness.
Interesting offering. Loads of dusty cocoa and baker's chocolate, a real dry quality to the chocolate. A light roastiness adds further to this. The cranberry is subtle, a light bitterness and tastes more like dried cranberries, subtly integrated. A light sweetness, hides the ABV well but the body is thinner than I would choose for the weight. Quite dry and a little too one dimensional which by the end of the bottle starts to wear, could use some more weight and a more rounded body and character to suit the style and perhaps highlight the cranberry better.
I like the direction Muskoka is taking with these seasonal offerings, this and the harvest ale were both heads above their regular offerings. This is a solid offering.
Serving type: bottle
12-21-2010 02:37:37 |
More by ritzkiss
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
On tap at Volo, poured into a snifter.
Dense black body appears in the glass, with little head formed. What was formed quickly fell to a tiny collar, with no lace. Aroma is dominated by cocoa, giving a real sense of hot chocolate. Hints to the cranberry tartness, but I really had to dig for that one. Red berries are tasted from the get go, but not clear that it was cranberry. Some tartness/sweetness helps confirm the cranberries, leading right into the rich cocoa/milk chocolate base of this beer. On the sweeter side on the whole, a brief flash of alcohol in the finish, but drinks smooth and velvety. Easy going down overall, and in terms of Ontario brewers, this is one of the better stouts to have come out of here.
Serving type: on-tap
12-14-2010 16:36:47 |
More by liamt07
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Part of my last haul at the LC where I managed to pick up nearly every one of their winter seasonals I thought were worthy of purchase. A bit pricey, but I didn't mind dishing out the money to support a local brewery. I'm a big fan of these fancy 750's.
Its completely opaque ink black body is crowned by two fingers of frothy and rich mocha brown head that holds itself nicely. Poured into my snifter, this looks like a fine stout.
Generous portions of cocoa powder, bakers chocolate, and coffee grinds greet the nose immediately. I actually get hints of the cranberries as well, but I think I served this at bit higher than its recommended serving temperature, which based on other reviews, is where the berry notes begin to come out. A nice touch to a sweet and sturdy man of a beer.
Sweet and roasty are the first characterstics that come to mind. Big bakers chocolate and dry cocoa go nicely with the roasted malts, both of which impart a dry feel where pleasantly bitter coffee notes assert themselves. The cranberries do make their way in the finish, asserting their semi-tart character towards the back of the palate.
For the style of beer and ABV that goes along with it, I expected a bit more weight in the body; my only real qualm with this offering. Rich, balanced, and easily drinkable. The only hint of alcohol I get is a subtle warming feel in the back of my throat; the kind of alcohol presence that I enjoy, suiting the season perfectly as well.
Overall, a good AIS and a strong seasonal offering from Ontario. I really liked their fall seasonal and I'd say this one is on par. When breweries list an ingredient that they used on the label, I expect it to be well pronounced in the beer itself. For this beer however, this isn't case. The cranberries added a subtle tart character in both the nose and taste that furthered its complexity rather than being the star of the show. No complaints here, seeing how they did this well. The $9.95 price tag will probably keep me from buying many more bottles of this, put it's worth a try for sure!
Serving type: bottle
12-10-2010 03:21:34 |
More by ludachris
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
750ml bottle from the LCBO's winter release, shared with my wife. I've been happy with Muskoka's other seasonals, especially their harvest ale, so this should be a treat. The hinged opener was a bit tricky, in that I somehow managed to rip the whole thing off, but fortunately the contents were still intact. Lovely bottle design.
Poured into a Chimay goblet. A rich, dark brew, with only the faintest chocolate hue around the upper echelons. Left behind about a half inch of dark mocha head that receded into a thin, sturdy ring. A few flakes of lacing.
Nose was a lovely blast of salted milk chocolate, cream, mild coffee and toasted malts. No berries here, but all goodness thus far.
Allowed to warm up to around 11C before consuming. Creamy, with lovely notes of milk chocolate and caramel. Slightly sour and dry to the finish. A bit of air and warmth did wonders for this brew, as towards the end of the bottle the cranberry-raspberry flavor finally snuck in, providing just a touch of puckery holiday goodness. The cranberry is very slight, and certainly isn't the brew's defining feature, but it's enjoyable nevertheless.
The body is a bit thinner than I'd like, but it coats the tongue nicely enough and has decent mild carbonation.
Very enjoyable brew on a blustery winter's night, especially when putting up Christmas decorations! I'm liking Muskoka's tall-bottle approach, and even though the price point is quite high (9 bucks a pop), the taste is certainly well worth it. A fuller body and a bit more depth would have really sent this brew into the stratosphere. Great stuff!
Serving type: bottle
12-08-2010 04:34:27 |
More by JohnnyBarman
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5
Its winter time now. We've got snow sitting on the ground, gusts of wind that will knock the warmth from your body, and holiday lights and festive songs are beginning to fill the streets and peoples homes. This is the time for comfy sweaters, warm family moments, and soothing holiday food and drink. This is exactly what the boys at theMuskoka Cottage Brewery had in mind when designing their newest seasonal release; the Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout. "Flavorful and warming" is how Muskoka describes it, which are the perfect characteristics for a seasonal beer up here in Canada.
Muskoka went to work here building a rich and creamy stout with chocolate and cranberry flavors. Chocolate stouts are popular all across the world, and have been fused with many different fruit flavors; but I don't know if I have ever seen cranberry before. It is a perfect fit for Muskoka. Very close to Bracebridge Ontario, where the brewery is located, cranberries are harvested fresh - these cranberries find there way right into the Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout (DCCS); melding together the freshness of the harvest with the sweetness of the season.
The DCCS is 8% and comes in Muskoka's new 750ml swing top bottles. I love the bottle design, but Muskoka really needs to cap or cork these bottles. The swing cap mechanism is not very sturdy, and I opened 2 bottles of the Harvest Ale (bottled the same way) that were totally uncarbonated, most likely due to leakage through the seal. The DCCS is available right now in limited supply at the LCBO for $9.95, making one of the more expensive holiday offerings.
I opened the Stout up cool around 10C (50F) and poured it into a deep snifter glass. The pour was smooth and silky originally building a black beer with no life. Soon though as the beer crept up the sides of the glass a mocha brown head began to build and eventually stood a good inch and a half on top of a glowing black beer. The head showed neatly tight carbonation and a soft almond brown color. At first the beer underneath was just black, but when held into the light obvious beams of golden brown, amber reds and bronze easily peered through. The body seems translucent, and dances with a clean array of blackened colors.
The nose is soft and warming, almost creamy. It shows up with smooth and obvious notes of cocoa and light roast with a hint of malt and sweet fruit. At 8% I wasn't sure if the DCCS would blast out at me or fade into its own. It is definitely not billowing a powerful aroma, but is rich enough to excite my nose, and warm in with bittersweet chocolate and soft malty fruits. Hints of dry hoppiness is gentle noticeable, and leaves an overall clean sensation.
The first sip was smooth and cooling to my tongue, and I instantly left the glass alone to warm up a bit. I could tell right away that this beer needs to be be at cellar temperature closer to 14C so that they flavors can unfold on my palate. Minutes later I went back to the DCCS and a silky and creamy wave of black stout melted soft cocoa and warm, bready malts across my tongue and cheeks. Up in the front, and way in the back is the distinct flavor of cocoa powder, not chocolate, cocoa powder. It has that smooth but dry sensation, and is not sweet but bitter cocoa all the way.
The malt flavors here are smooth and unobtrusive; they don't play a very large role in the beers development on your palate, but rather allow soft roast and hints of coffee beans and cocoa to evolve into your palate. An edge of fruity sweetness that showed up in the nose also comes through now in a gentle sweet aftertaste that makes its way across the top of my mouth towards the end of every sip. Cranberry? Maybe. It is very subtle, but is no doubt a fruity sensation.
The mouthfeel is silky and smooth, but somewhat thin and one sided - this goes for the beers itself also. The flavors that show up are genuinely delicious, but are one dimensional and show little if any complexity or depth. This is me just splitting hairs as a beer geek though, because this is a very nice stout with smooth distinct chocolate flavors and a generous fruity aroma. Enjoy the DCCS alone, or with spicy dishes, roast beef, cheese or chocolate desserts.
Pics at: http://definitionale.com/2010/12/07/tasting-the-muskoka-double-chocolate-cranberry-stout/
Serving type: bottle
12-07-2010 15:33:09 |
More by StephenRich
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Attractive 750ml bottle.
Dark brown pour borders on black, but betrays itself at the edges of the glass. A light tan head briefly liners before dropping to a film and leaving a few spots of lace. Strong cocoa powder aroma mixes with chocolate malt to provide a tempting bouqet, that's only brought down by the occasional bad breath note. While the flavour lacks depth it is well done, with layers of cocoa and light coffee roast. Cranberries and alcohol are notable only by their absence. Medium body and mouthfeel is fine.
A decent effort. I'd probably beef up the body and add some more complexity to take things to the next level, but this is a darn solid beer and a nice step forward for Muskoka.
Serving type: bottle
12-07-2010 02:11:25 |
More by bobsy
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4
750 ml swingtop bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.
A: Pours black with a tan ring of foam, a small amount of lacing.
S: Smells of dark chocolate. Not getting any cranberry.
T: Tastes of chocolate and coffee. Again no cranberry.
M: The mouthfeel seems a little thin and this has fairly lively and fine carbonation (sort of like mineral water?).
D: The drinkability of this is pretty good, the 8% ABV is nowhere to be found.
Overall, I thought this was a pretty good chocolate stout. They should either drop the cranberry or make it so you can taste it and fix the mouthfeel. Otherwise, good job.
Serving type: bottle
12-05-2010 03:15:43 |
More by mrnobody
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Muskoka Winter Beard (Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout) from Muskoka Brewery
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