As you can see from the new chocolate e-book I’ve been doing quite a lot of *research* into chocolate and chocolate-flavoured drinks and beer is no exception.
Sometimes it’s the malts that makes them taste chocolatey but others have real chocolate in the form of cacao nibs added.
You might think that would make them especially good with chocolate or chocolate cake but funnily enough that’s not the case. The actual chocolate tends to strip out the chocolate flavour in the beer. They’re better with something contrasting like a chocolate chip cookie or - and this is match no 98 in the book - a slice of banana bread. With chocolate chips if you insist.
Hawkshead Tiramisu imperial Stout, Cumbria 10%
Brewed in collaboration with Cigar City Brewery of Tampa Bay Florida this is brewed with coffee beans, cacao nibs and 8 varieties of malt. You get a really good coffee hit as well as the chocolate. Out of stock at the time of writing on the Hawkshead website but if you’re lucky you’ll pick up a bottle in a specialist offie
Wild Beer Co Wildebeest, Somerset 11%
A similar vibe from the irrepressible Wild Beer Co who describe their Imperial espresso chocolate vanilla stout as "the liquid equivalent of the lotus position". I think of it more as an after-dinner bevvy - it’s brewed with Valrhona cocoa nibs, Columbian coffee and vanilla. £5 a bottle from the WBC website
Wiper and True Hard Shake Imperial Milk Stout, Bristol 10.7%
This may actually be my favourite of the three brewed with chocolate malts, vanilla and cocoa nibs - no coffee this time. REALLY smooth, deep and chocolatey. They very helpfully list all the outlets where you can find their beers - as you'd expect it's widely distributed around Bristol. Expect to pay about £3 a 330ml bottle (retail)
To download a copy of my chocolate ebook 101 Great Ways to Enjoy Chocolate and Wine (and other delicious drinks) click here