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Muskoka Winter Beard (Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout) - Muskoka Brewery

Not Rated.
Muskoka Winter Beard (Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout)Muskoka Winter Beard (Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout)

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BA SCORE
87
very good

122 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 122
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 20
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Muskoka Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Our Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout is rich and sturdy with roasted dark chocolate malts, real cocoa, 70% dark chocolate, and freshly harvested local cranberries. Pair that with a slightly higher alcohol content and you'll find yourself sharing this bottle of joy all winter long.

(Beer added by: mrnobody on 12-05-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 122 | Reviews: 59 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by CSFerrier:
Photo of CSFerrier
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

CSFerrier, Jan 04, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of cam477
4/5  rDev +3.4%

cam477, Dec 01, 2013
Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev +3.4%

beerhunter13, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of FadetoBock
4/5  rDev +3.4%

FadetoBock, Feb 18, 2014
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle from the LCBO's winter release, shared with my wife. I've been happy with Muskoka's other seasonals, especially their harvest ale, so this should be a treat. The hinged opener was a bit tricky, in that I somehow managed to rip the whole thing off, but fortunately the contents were still intact. Lovely bottle design.

Poured into a Chimay goblet. A rich, dark brew, with only the faintest chocolate hue around the upper echelons. Left behind about a half inch of dark mocha head that receded into a thin, sturdy ring. A few flakes of lacing.

Nose was a lovely blast of salted milk chocolate, cream, mild coffee and toasted malts. No berries here, but all goodness thus far.

Allowed to warm up to around 11C before consuming. Creamy, with lovely notes of milk chocolate and caramel. Slightly sour and dry to the finish. A bit of air and warmth did wonders for this brew, as towards the end of the bottle the cranberry-raspberry flavor finally snuck in, providing just a touch of puckery holiday goodness. The cranberry is very slight, and certainly isn't the brew's defining feature, but it's enjoyable nevertheless.

The body is a bit thinner than I'd like, but it coats the tongue nicely enough and has decent mild carbonation.

Very enjoyable brew on a blustery winter's night, especially when putting up Christmas decorations! I'm liking Muskoka's tall-bottle approach, and even though the price point is quite high (9 bucks a pop), the taste is certainly well worth it. A fuller body and a bit more depth would have really sent this brew into the stratosphere. Great stuff!

JohnnyBarman, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of SurpriseTruck
4/5  rDev +3.4%

SurpriseTruck, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of BGDrock
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes:

Appearance: deep chocolate; nice head; slight ruby tinge; look is similar reminding me of creme de cacao

Aroma: coffee, a nice roast; not very aromatic; lightly of chocolate

Taste & Mouthfeel: dark, bitter chocolate lingers strongly on the palate (very intense!); clean, medium body, although there's a tinge of powder in the texture; medium carbonation; cranberry is non-existent, possibly over-powered by the chocolate; some creaminess

Overall: fantastic as a chocolate stout, and texture and body make it greatly drinkable, but fails on delivering the promised cranberry flavour

BGDrock, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of Tarks
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Tarks, Sep 23, 2012
Photo of MJ63
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

MJ63, Dec 08, 2013
Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml swing-top bottle. The label projects the image of one weird hybrid of a beaver/old guy in the midst of a winter beard overflow..

This beer pours a solid black, with very slight mahogany edges, and one finger of creamy beige head, which wisps away quite quickly, leaving a low ring of lace around the glass, not much more than a meniscus.

It smells fairly strongly of dense chocolate milk powder, chocolate malt, and well, not chocolate earthy hops. The taste is big chocolate malt, cocoa powder, a bit of cold coffee, a slight indistinct tart fruitiness, some porter-esque sourness, and mild earthy hops. Decent, for sure.

Bubbles form a nice cordon of effervescence, none too strict, with a somewhat hefty medium body, that engenders a quite agreeable smoothness. It finishes with a nice blend of chocolate sweetness, tempered by an inherent dry sourness, and soft berry fruitiness.

Well, the name does say "Double" for the chocolate component, so, um, well, there! The cranberry kind of falls under the wheels of the big cocoa onslaught, and waning sourness, but I'm not judging it too heavily for that. An enjoyable big (oh yeah, the elevated ABV does a hell of a job keeping its head down) stout. The porter sourness is a bit strange, but entirely forgivable.

biboergosum, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of mintjellie
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Black as night. Persistent cappucino-coloured head leaves behind some lace. Milk chocolate and dried fruit aroma. Nothing that will blow you back in terms of intensity, but it's noticeable and it's present. Good chocolate flavour with a zing of acidity and cranberry flavour coming across the midpalate and growing into the aftertaste. Cocoa and roast come in at the finish. This isn't the biggest beer around in terms of flavour, but it has a wonderful balance of sweet, sour, and bitter tastes. Reminds me of chocolate covered cranberries given to me last Christmas. Alcohol is well hidden. Feels a little bit thin in the mouth. Balanced, integrated flavours make this better than the sum of its parts.

mintjellie, Aug 07, 2011
Photo of Sammy
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Bar Volo. Black body with whisp of brown head. Chocolate aromas, with the cranberry in the secondary. The taste is chocolate and roast, with cranberry in the secondary lending some tartness to the dry and sweetish chocolate.Drinkable but not tremendously drinkable.Slightly below average mouthfeel.

Sammy, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of CanuckRover
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours near-black with reddish highlights. Big mocha head off the pour, settles quite slowly. Spotty lacings.

Nice chocolate nose, leans more towards earthy/roasty than sweet.

Big chocolate notes up front, bittersweet. Cranberry contributes in a really nice way. Not fruity at all, but a welcome tartness to counter the dense chocolate.

Nice idea, nicely executed.

CanuckRover, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of joemcgrath27
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - classic tar black stout, thumb of head dissipated quickly and nosily, down to a thin covering
S - dominated by big chocolatey and roasty malt aromas, a mild sour aroma reminiscent of a porter
T - starts with dark roastiness and quickly moves to a sour bitter fruit flavour, strong cocoa, with a mild hint of graininess, this one is a bit of a riddle
M - a medium body more like a porter than a stout, sweet and sour with a light smoky and chaulky finish
O - this is a different brew, is has big chocolate and light fruitiness with the character of cranberries, not a great chocolate stout but big props for adding a unique twist

joemcgrath27, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of heebes
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with reddish hues. Fluffy beige head. Nose is roasted malts and dark chocolate and cranberries. Taste is similar with the cranberries coming through only slightly. Body is somewhat lacking against American stouts. Overall nice beer with a cool label "winter beard", may repurchase.

heebes, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of jsnoek
4/5  rDev +3.4%

jsnoek, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of eat
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opaque, black body with a thin cover of beige head and bubbly ring around the glass. Some lacing.

The nose shows lots of whole wheat bread, dusty chocolate, espresso, vanilla, minerals, something sour (cranberries?), toffee. Pretty nice smelling stuff.

Well-balanced and accessible flavour. A good amount of milk chocolate is joined by espresso, vanilla, light roasted malt and a subtle sour cranberry presence. I only wish there was a more intense flavour overall, though its lightness does add to drinkability. The extra alcohol isn't showing itself at all; very smooth stuff. Cocoa pairs with earthy hops to leave a slightly drying finish. Maybe it would be nice to taste some more cranberry, but under-doing is always better than overdoing it when it comes to fruit in beer. It is there, but it's pretty subtle.

Good medium body; slightly creamy even. Low carbonation. Nothing wrong with this.

I'd say this is a deliciously successful attempt at something more challenging than most Ontario brewers are attempting. Had I know this stuff would be this good I would have picked up a few more, even at the high price. Dangerously drinkable at 8% ABV. I'd definitely get more of this if I happen to see it again. One of the better Ontario brews I've had. This would be a great bottle to share but I'm having no problem getting through this on my own. Not sure why the best-before date is listed as March 31, 2011; you should be able to get at least a year out of this one. No sign of going bad two weeks before the deadline.

eat, Mar 17, 2011
Photo of souvenirs
3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Who could resist a beer with a beard on the label? Not this guy.

A: As black as black can be, impenetrable to light, with two fingers of cocoa-coloured head that dissipate fairly quickly without leaving a whole lot behind in the way of lacing.
S: Dark roasted malts, cocoa, coffee. I can't pick up the cranberry.
T: Cocoa! It's a little bit like putting straight cocoa powder in your mouth, with a little bit of sweetness to balance out the bitterness.
F: Lighter body than I expected.

souvenirs, Mar 16, 2014
Photo of Stocean1
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful bottle poured into a pint glass. Massive three finger head (color of caramel) perched atop a near black body. The head is full of big bubbles and is well retained. The lacing is patchy, very nice.

The scent is burnt malt, dark chocolate, vanilla, with a hint of cranberries.

The Taste is malty chocolate up front with a vanilla note, alcohol but nice, cranberries peak out on the finish.

Medium body with a relatively creamy mouthfeel, little carbonation and a nice amount of bitterness.

Overall, anotherbrew that demonstrates muskoka's elevation to the upper tier of craft brewers, bravo.

Stocean1, Nov 11, 2011
Photo of Rutager
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2012 bottle with a big thanks to liamt07.

Appearance. Pours a deep dark brown, almost black in the glass and topped with almost two fingers of light tan head.

Smell. Sweet dark chocolate, red and dark berries, and some dark roasty malts.

Taste. Sweet dark chocolate and dark malts and a little bit of red berries. Fairly mild flavours, no alcohol, and a nice medium level of sweetness.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body, medium-low smooth and creamy carbonation.

Overall. Very nice but I would like to taste the berries a little more.

Rutager, Jul 24, 2013
Photo of mjrtchie
3.25/5  rDev -16%

mjrtchie, Nov 21, 2012
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with an average size off-white foamy head with average retention and no lacing. Aroma of rich black chocolate with light cranberry and minimal sweetness level. Taste is quite enjoyable with notes of rich chocolates and cranberry with very subtle dry coffee notes. Chocolate notes are really smooth with great quality malt being used. Body is about average for style with good carbonation and no signs of alcohol. This brewery seems to amazed me more and more with another quality offering.

Phyl21ca, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasting notes from 12-30-10
Poured in to Duvel Tulip

A - Dark brown/black colour with one finger of light brown head. Neat swing-top bottle.

S - Dark roaste malts, bitter sweet chocolate and light coffee notes.

T - Very chocolaty, somewhat sweet with a nice overall roasted malt bill. No cranberries come through specifically but a nice bitterness/tartness is evident, which nicely rounds out the palate.

M - Medium body, slight chew, light

TheSevenDuffs, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of EgadBananas
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a near pitch black colour, with a tanned, foamy finger of head that leaves some spongy lace. The aroma has plenty of chocolate on the nose, with a big roasted character and a light fruity cranberry sweetness/twang. Very interesting taste. Definitely chocolaty, and there's plenty of tangy sweet cranberry.

It didn't look too viscous, but it had a nice rich creamy texture, low carbonation, and a full body. Quite the unique take on an imperial stout, but a nice deviation, nonetheless.

Thanks Chris!

EgadBananas, Dec 16, 2012
Photo of ThinkAgain
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

ThinkAgain, Jan 31, 2012
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Muskoka Winter Beard (Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout) from Muskoka Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 122 ratings.