Young’s Double Chocolate Stout

By on September 8, 2008 @ 8 PM (18 Comments)

Father and Son Beer Love start each Thursday morning looking forward to Thursday night, which is when we have our weekly beer review. For this week’s review we each picked up a bottle of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, actually listed on the bottle as Young’s Luxury Double Chocolate Stout. It’s brewed by Wells & Young Brewing Company over in the UK, the same company that brings us one of our other favorite stouts – Young’s Oatmeal Stout. The good news is this one is just as good, if not better, than it’s big brother.

It comes in a 500 ml (1 pint, 0.9 oz) bottle, and that’s a perfect size for this 5.2% ABV beer. For this test we used an English pint glass and got a temperature of 50.9 F. Our initial pour gave us a large 2 1/2″ foamy medium brown head that had a good amount of head lacing as it dissipated slowly. The color is a solid opaque black and we noted a little bit of carbonation.

The aromas come in as surprise – chocolate! Loads and loads of chocolate. There’s also lots of sweet malts. It smells like a great chocolate milk (maybe even a Yoo-hoo). We also get some notes of vanilla, milk, cream and as it warms there’s a hint of alcohol (interesting, considering the relatively average ABV). The taste gives you surprise – chocolate! Gobs and gobs of chocolate. We also get some notes of cream, milk and a touch of coffee. Not terribly complex, but what it does it does really well. The chocolate you get in the smell and taste isn’t really dark chocolate – more like a semi-sweet chocolate.

The initial flavor notes are a moderate sweet that continues on to the finish, where we also get a light bitter. The finish length is short, the mouthfeel is halfway between watery and creamy, the tongue hit is right in the middle of the tongue and there’s a good amount of body lacing. It’s a very clean finish – almost the cleanest finish of any stout we’ve had. On our patented malt to hop scale it comes in about 3 clicks to the left of balanced on the malty side – very malty, but not as malty as it gets. Full BeerFathers disclosure: we love the malts. We’re crazy about the malts.

On our bottom line notes we got a yes to drinkable (what’s one step better than yes? An emphatic yes!), repeatable, balance, harmony, memorable and buy again. The only no we got was for wow factor – we’ve had a better chocolate beer (see Foothills Sexual Chocolate).

Overall this beer has something great that not a lot of chocolate beers have – repeatability. There have been several other chocolate stouts that by the time we got to the end of them we hated. Not the case with Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. It’s sweet, but not too sweet (which is what we hit with a lot of the other chocolate stouts that we start to loathe). It’s definitely a great session beer.

This beer could be a great introduction to stouts for a beer newbie. It’s got a relatively low gravity, it’s not too dry and it’s not hard and complex like a lot of stouts. Father Beer Love called it a “semi-stout” which is a really great descriptive phrase for it. The other great thing about the Young’s Double Chocolate Stout is the drinkability. This is the quickest we’ve drunk any stout thus far. It would go great with vanilla ice cream, pound cake or strawberries (think lighter desserts than heavier). It’s a damn joy to drink and we drank the crap out of it – it’s a gulper! Pick up a few bottles of this next time you find it and you’ll be glad you did.

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout Rating: 8 out of 10 (?)

18 Comments (Add Your Comments)

  1. Aaron says:

    Completely agree with you that this is a great beer to give a friend that has never really tried a “full impact” stout before. Give a macro-drinking friend an Old Yeti or Stone Russian Imperial and he’ll nearly pass out upon the first sip!

  2. monet says:

    I tried this beer at a stout tasting night at my local brewery. Instantly became the most delicious stout I have tasted. I agree with you with the repeatability. Not overly sweet – just delicious.

  3. Xeigrich says:

    I have to agree, as well. I just celebrated my 21st birthday, and I’d never really tried any beers other than cheap junk like Corona and Bud Light (both of which I HATED!). I tried the Young’s on recommendation of the waiter at the pub/restaurant (here in Dallas), and I loved it! It wasn’t overwhelming, and any negative hints it might have had were easily and immediately outweighed by the sheer tastiness. It went well with the Bailey’s Ice Cream I split with my girlfriend for dessert!

  4. Gotta agree with the Doc on this review. Young’s is a really nice beer – not overdone in any way at all, as the others have also noted. I’ve also seen it available in a can – I wonder how that is in comparison to what I had in a glass bottle. Its supposed to be amazing on tap!

  5. John says:

    Scott – Father Beer Love and I got a 4 cans of this last time he was in town. I gotta admit – the cans were damn smooth and the creaminess was almost ratcheted up a level from the bottle. We did a session with some toasted multi-grain wheat thins and a nice port salut cheese and it was the absolute perfect complement. Have never had it on tap, but when I find it, watch out. I’ll be taking a cab home that night.

  6. Dogman says:

    The Doctor’s diagnosis is right on. This stout is the best I’ve had. I used to think Stone’s chocolate oatmeal stout was tops…but this one kicks ass. An excellent brew for any occasion. Please enjoy responsibly…no way!!!!

  7. Bob Atkins says:

    I am after a price and Suppliers name for Double Chocolate Stout.
    Thank you

  8. Bob Atkins says:

    Need suppliers name in Australia
    Thanks Bob

  9. Nick O'Neal says:

    I first tried this stout based on this sites recommendation. I instantly fell in love with it! I’ve had it in the 1 pint 9 oz bottle and out of a can. It taste better out of the bottle. Then I went to the Columbus Bar in Columbus IN and was astonished to find it on tap! I’ve been drinking this heavenly stout ever since!

  10. greg campos says:

    i tried this recently and enjoyed the original taste.
    definitely recommend trying the double chocolate stout.
    a luxurious beer experience.

  11. Laurie Blackshear says:

    Well, got the urge for a beer so I went to my local store looking for something different. I like stouts (especially oatmeal) and ales. And then I saw ‘chocolate’ on a label. Sorry, I’m female and chocolate is an automatic hook for me! This store doesn’t carry a large variety in singles but this was one of them. Love it! I’m not an aficionado but I know what I like and I like this one. If the Foothill’s version is better, I will definitely keep my eye out for it.

  12. Joseph says:

    Dear Sir.
    How do you get a devoted “coors light” fan to switch to a full flavor beer like Youngs Double Chocolate Stout? He is missing the flavor. It’s by far my favorite.

  13. Sara says:

    This beer is AMAZING! I am not a big beer drinker, but I choose this over anything when it is available! Thank goodness they carry it on army posts! I can’t find it anywhere else is the town I am stationed!

  14. John says:

    Joseph – Father Beer Love and I are working on a post to answer your question on how to get a rank domestic beer drinker to switch to good craft beer. It’s been a work in progress for a while but one day it will be on the site. In it we’re creating a blueprint that you’ll follow to get someone slowly over to craft beers. Keep an eye out for it!

  15. joe says:

    I just tried the Youngs Double stout Choc.
    Very good,but somewhat overpriced.A four pack of cans at Wegmans cost me like $11.75 US dollars.I won’t buy it again,however.While it is not a chocolate stout….2 beers that are cheaper,taste similar,if not better….Beamish(not available in the USA anymore,but perhaps will be again one day) and Guinness Stout DRAFT…cheaper than Youngs and even smoother with a much better,thicker foamer head.
    Right now,after tasting all types of stouts and Bocks,I have narrowed what i consider the best choc stout money can buy….Samual Adams Choc.Bock(when available every 2 or 3 years)…expensive,but the best.I paid like $16.00 US for a one pint,9oz bottle.Ultra fantastic….and it puts Youngs to absolute shame!
    But overall for the price and quality and drinkability…I’ll have to go with beamish.Unfortunately its not available in the US right now.

  16. John says:

    Joe – you’ve obviously got a high beer IQ and our hats are off to you! We were big Beamish fans as well and were totally bummed out when we found out we couldn’t get it anymore in the US. I think Young’s Double Chocolate fits an interesting category that’s a bit different from the ones you write about. For dry Irish stouts, Murphy’s and Beamish are by far our favorites. Guinness is top notch too, but I’ll take a Murphy’s (and formerly a Beamish) over it any day.

    If you’re comparing sweet chocolate stouts, the Sam Adams Chocolate Bock doesn’t fit the category, since it’s technically a lager. But if you’re just comparing chocolate tasting beers, then the Sam Adams holds up well and was a great beer, but for affordability/sessionability/availability it was lacking (okay it sucked in those departments). But the fact that they were able to come as close in taste profile as they did to Young’s Double Chocolate with a lager is super impressive. That’s just hard to do, which may explain the price.

    I just got a 4 pack of Young’s Double Chocolate for $10.29 USD, and while I wish it was closer to $2/can I’m not opposed to around $2.50/can. It’s a tremendous session beer when you want a little bit of the chocolate sweet, but not enough to get pissed off at it. I’ve definitely had better chocolate beers (Sam Adams Chocolate Bock is close, Foothills Sexual Chocolate is tops), but they’ve all been “occasion” beers. I say for a sessionable chocolate beer, it’s tough to beat Young’s and haven’t yet found one that beats it. Most of the other ones we’ve tried have us hating chocolate by the time we’re done with them. Young’s doesn’t do that so it gets our nod. Cheers!

  17. chocolate lover says:

    I read the brewery’s description of their product (on their web site), noted “sugars”, and also caught the terms “milk/sweet” in referring to this beer. A local pub here in Minneapolis made a similar brew, but I had to decline because it contained lactose – a good sweetener to add for a sweet taste because it doesn’t ferment in the process. (It waits til it hits my gut, then it ferments! Highly undesirable effect).
    Wondering whether you know if this one contains lactose too.

  18. John says:

    Chocolate Lover – as far as I know, Young’s Double Chocolate does not contain lactose – it’s technically not a milk stout. Sweet and milk stouts tend to get lumped together, but they’re not the same thing.

    The list of ingredients, probably the same one you saw, is:
    Pale ale and crystal malt, chocolate malt, special blend of sugars, Fuggle and Goldings hops, real dark chocolate and chocolate essence.

    Seems to me they would list lactose if it was in there. Now, some chocolates contain lactose, but those are usually milk chocolate. Dark chocolate is not supposed to contain lactose, but may have traces of it. That said, most of the clone recipes (from homebrewers) I’ve seen for Young’s Double Chocolate do contain lactose.

    I did find one statement from a source at Young’s Brewery that doesn’t mention lactose. This was off a homebrewer’s site – you can tell it’s legit by the way he spells color, flavor and favorite. ;-)

    As it’s name suggests, there is more to this brew than just adding chocolate to the fermenting vessel and I regret that reproducing it at home could be tricky. I am also a keen home brewer (admittedly I prefer brewing wine to beer) and I would not attempt to brew Double Chocolate Stour in my cellar!

    For your information however, the grist is made up with about 3% Roasted Barely, 3% chocolate malt, 8% oats, 9% dark fermenting syrup (of high molasses content) and 77% Pale Ale malt. (figures by extract). We then add a small amount of chocolate to the boil (we tend to use plain-high cocoa solids varieties). After fermentation and filtration we add a small amount of chocolate essence to give aroma.

    As I said this is a complex beer. It’s colour is derived from the dark sugars, roasted barley and chocolate barley, it’s body is helped by the oats in the grist. It’s flavour comes mostly from the chocolate malt which is quite bitter and the overall effect is boosted by the extra chocolate aroma which gives the drinker a heightened sensation of chocolate.

    As I mentioned earlier, re-producing this beer on a domestic scale would be very difficult but luckily you can always rely on Young’s Brewery to keep on supplying your favourite tipple!

    Kind regards

    Young & Co.’s Brewery, P.L.C.
    The Ram Brewery, Wandsworth, London SW18 4JD

    So – I really can’t be sure, but most signs point to no lactose. Even if I was lactose intolerant, I’d probably risk it for a Young’s Double Chocolate. Maybe you could start with a lactase supplement and see how it treats you?

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