It is definitely starting to feel like winter on this Friday morning, so it seems fitting to provide you all with a segment of Tasting Notes covering a delicious Stout from Highland Brewing Company (Asheville, North Carolina) that goes by the name of Black Watch Double Chocolate Milk Stout.
I first brought you news of Black Watch Double Chocolate Milk Stout back in October (click here for full description and details about the beer), and I am happy to report that this limited offering from Highland Brewing is finally on shelves. I am going to cut this portion of the post short because I am doing something a bit different today with this edition of Tasting Notes. I decided to have guest reviewers start joining me occasionally to provide a different perspective and change things up a bit. Naturally, my first guest is Tara Woolfolk, my wife who has a great love for all things Stouts and has an amazing talent of describing beers in incredibly unique ways (You will see. Also, you will see that the description may first sound crazy, but suddenly make almost too much sense). We did a silent review and did not share notes during the session, but it is amazing to see how similar our descriptions came out at times. I hope you enjoy:
Tasting Notes on Black Watch Double Chocolate Milk Stout from Highland Brewing Company
Tara Woolfolk (TW) – The beer is extremely dark and opaque, but slightly brown on the edges when held to the light. It has one and a half fingers of light mocha-colored head when poured. There are tiny carbonation bubbles bouncing around in the glass like a small fish tank aerator. Foamy bubbles cling to the glass as it empties.
Guillermo Woolfolk (GW) – Black Watch pours an opaque, inky black in color with a finger of mocha-colored foam. The head retention is good once the cap finally settles at a quarter finger. Held to the light, the body does lighten a bit on the edges with chocolate brown hues attempting to push through. Spotty lacing dots the glass throughout the experience.
TW – Smells like campfire-toasted marshmallow fluff meets a microwave s’more. Oaty. It then develops notes that remind me of undercooked brownies or homemade chocolate icing when it is warm.
GW – Bitter cocoa and semisweet chocolate billow from the glass right off the bat. Roasted malts, molasses and brown sugar follow closely behind and then it shifts to a note of slightly charred marshmallows over a campfire. As it warms, the beer develops an aroma that is unmistakably chocolate milk. Smells fantastic.
TW – I am getting milk chocolate, dark maple syrup, copper, bourbon, burnt wood, and it ends like a good piece of really dark chocolate (bordering on 100% dark cocoa).
GW – Dark, bitter chocolate starts things off along with a big roasted malt presence. Brown sugar and molasses return here along with notes of cream, caramel and toffee. It reminds me of a dark chocolate turtle brownie with a touch of roasty smokiness lurking within somehow. Crazy tasty and indulgent.
TW – It is creamy and bubbly all at once. The beer coats the mouth, leaving lingering flavors on the rear edges of the tongue. Tiny carbonation bubbles make flavors more intense (almost too much so, but not quite).
GW – Full-bodied with a light to medium carbonation level. This Stout easily coats the mouth with a silken, creamy texture. This slowly fades through each sip, but sweet notes do linger and stick to the palate. The 8% ABV is nicely hidden. It shows no presence in the flavor, but it does provide a slight warmth in the belly. The aftertaste is all dark chocolate and molasses.
TW – Yum! It’s a drunken s’more! It smells like a candle from a 90’s teen girl’s collection of “fluffy” smelling flavors, but it tastes like really good dark chocolate and has those tiny bubbles on your tongue that pleasantly intensify flavors.
GW – Black Watch is a lovely, big Stout that just forces you to settle in and savor it as a decadent dessert brew. Although the flavors are big, this beer was wonderfully crafted to avoid being too sweet or hot with alcohol. This is a fantastic beer and we both agree that it is easily one of the best Stouts we have had the pleasure to drink this year. This offering from Highland Brewing will definitely be revisited and enjoyed again on another chilly evening. If you are a fan of Stouts at all, you need to track down some Black Watch Double Chocolate Milk Stout immediately before it disappears. Seriously . . . go now. Prost!