Thomas Hooker Chocolate Truffle Stout
6-pack bottles, $9.49, 5.9% ABV
Purchased at London Bottle Shoppe, West Hartford
Usually when I think about truffles I think about the fungus instead of the chocolate treat. Call me old school or continental or whatever, but I really do almost always think of pigs rooting around French forest floors rather than kindly old ladies in hairnets making candy.
Funny thing is, I think I’ve only had actual (mushroom) truffles once in my life. I’ve probably thrown away more chocolate truffles than I’ve eaten.
And while I’m thinking about it, in this age of wacky beers, you know someone will dream up a mushroom beer. Earthy, bitter with a hint of caramelized sweetness, try our Mushroom Stout! Seriously, it’ll happen. (Brewers: Please don’t.)
Alas, our local Bloomfield boys up at Hooker haven’t taken that leap (yet) and have merely teamed up with Connecticut chocolate icons, Munsons, to make (yet another) chocolate stout. As you probably know, chocolate stouts are (yet another) popular style these days. But, as opposed to pumpkins and rye, I’m in favor of more well-crafted choco stouts. Done right, they are wonderful.
And Hooker pretty much nails this bad boy. They’ve nailed it so much that this, their “Spring seasonal” came out in early December in 2012, a couple weeks before winter even started. And that’s a GOOD thing, because chocolate stout is MEANT to be had in the winter.
In my mind anyway.
Our sweet stout is made in collaboration with Connecticut’s favorite chocolatier, Munson’s Chocolate. Copious amounts of oat malt produce a silky, full bodied beer laced with hints of roast and chocolate derived from dark malts. Each sip ends with a mild chocolate bitterness from Munson’s proprietary cocoa powder, added generously to the brew. To round out this beer, we add several pounds of cocoa nibs at the end of fermentation to provide a fresh chocolate aroma.
First of all, this is a straight up cool idea. Munson’s has been making top-notch chocolate in Connecticut since 1946. They have been headquartered in Bolton (Bolton!) for most of that time and have become Connecticut’s largest retail chocolate manufacturer. Hooker has been our state’s biggest brewery for over a decade now as well.
Of course, “big” here is a relative term. I don’t know how far Munson’s reach extends, but it’s probably similar to Hooker’s. So we’re not talking Nestle teaming up with AB-InBev here. Quite the opposite.
And you want to know what’s really cool? This partnership is a two-way street. Munson’s has created something called Beer Brittle that uses Hooker beer.
What do you get when you combine our founders original recipe for peanut brittle with beer? The best beer brittle you have ever tasted! We use a micro brewed lager, Spanish peanuts and a hint of salt to create this taste sensation. Munson’s Chocolates is proud to source local ingredients in the manufacturing of its products. Our Beer Brittle is made exclusively with lager from the Thomas Hooker Brewery in Bloomfield, CT. Two great Connecticut companies joined together to produce one sinfully, crunchy confection. After one bite, you will surely be Hooked!
Get it? “Hooked!” As you can see from my picture, I am a thorough reporter. I made the effort to get to my local Munson’s store and plunked down the $12.75 for the Beer Brittle. That’s more than a dollar an ounce. The lady at the store assured me it was worth it.
I don’t know the current price points of candy, so what do I know? I do know it’s delicious. Oh, and the beer? It’s not too sweet at all and while it’s most assuredly a chocolate beer, it’s a stout first and then a chocolate stout – and that, to me, is why it’s really good.
Which brings up the question… If Hooker makes this excellent chocoloate stout with actual chocolate in it, why do they make overly-sweet seasonals in the summer (Watermelon Ale) and winter ( Nor’Easter)?
Overall Rating: A-
Rating vs. Similar style: A