Monday, February 25

Beer: Chocarrubica

The latest buzz in the brewing world? Italian microbreweries. Yes, the Italians are branching out from wine, Limoncello, and Amaretto (those are my favorites anyhow) and taking the brewing world by storm. One such brewery, Birrificio Grado Plato, recently dazzled me with their oatmeal stout, Chocarrubica.

This beer boasts a light-to-medium body and smooth, quaffable character. When making an oatmeal stout, the brewers actually add oats to the mash, contributing a velvety texture that tends to lightly coat the mouth. In this instance, 30% of the mash is oats (the other 70% comprised of the traditional malted barley), which is pretty darn high. In addition, those stereotypically-voluptuous Italians add Venezuelan cacao and Sicilian carob. Yes -- carob. In a beer. There's talk of hints of Brettanomyces yeast strains as well, as the beer finishes with a sharp, slightly bitter pungency. Italians do like bitters. Chocarrubica displays notes of banana and tropical fruits on the nose, and a surprisingly subtle chocolate profile, perhaps tempered by the slightly more savory carob. I find the carbonation pleasantly present without interrupting the smooth character of the beer.

The nice folks over at Beer Advocate gave Chocarrubica a dismal D-, claiming it smelled of cheese and tasted flat. One reviewer called it "simply undrinkable." Are we drinking the same beer here? Most of my coworkers seem to enjoy Chocarrubica, and I hope most of our customers do, too.

1 comment:

jd said...

Oooh - I love all of your reviews! In fact, I especially like the beer ones.

(My bf & I are in the process of getting our beer blog up & running, so yours will definitely be a great reference!)

I also like that segment on your blog of "Upcoming Attractions." It's such a good idea that I might have to steal it for myself :)

By the way, thanks for the nice comment on my blog. I'm happy to have found your blog through it!


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