Beer of the Week: Mocha Stout From Big Bear Brewing Co.
For those who don't know, Big Bear Brewing Co. is Broward's only independently owned and operated brewpub, a place where inventive beers are handcrafted in house by Brewmaster Matt Cox. Well, just this past week, Cox unveiled his latest creation, a Mocha Stout he'd been working on for more than a month.
So what makes this pint of black so special? To start with, Cox used some roasty chocolate malts to build a rich base. He went light on the hops (but at 30 IBUs, not too light) so that they wouldn't interfere with the bitter flavors of chocolate and coffee. Then, after fermentation, he let the beer sit on 30 pounds of dark chocolate nibs for a week, soaking up all that wonderfully deep cocoa. About ten pots of Jamaican Blue Mountain espresso later, the mocha stout was born.
Now, I frequently preach about the bad-assitude of Big Bear's beers. But, my God, this stout is special. It pours like a vat of molten chocolate syrup. Thick clouds of burnished bronze swirl and bubble up as it sets into a head as thick as whipped cream. The body too is creamy thanks to a dose of lactose in the brew. It's not overly oily or syrupy; rather, the coffee provides just enough slickness to make it drinkable without weighing it down.
What it tastes like is something resembling a piece of molten chocolate cake made potable, only here there's so much more backbone instead of just unrelenting sweetness. And at 7 percent alcohol, it's big enough to let you know it's not a kid's beer without knocking you from the barstool.
The only thing I can say is run out to Big Bear and get a taste of this bad boy while it's on. You don't want to miss it.