Muskoka Winter Beard (Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout) - Muskoka Brewery
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Ratings: 122 | Reviews: 59 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ThinkAgain:
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3.93/5 rDev +1.6%
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!
12-08-2010 04:34:27 | More by JohnnyBarman
3.9/5 rDev +0.8%
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
03-25-2012 14:32:42 | More by BGDrock
4/5 rDev +3.4%
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.
01-08-2012 05:12:31 | More by biboergosum
3.8/5 rDev -1.8%
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.
08-07-2011 05:32:35 | More by mintjellie
3.48/5 rDev -10.1%
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.
12-28-2010 01:57:25 | More by Sammy
3.95/5 rDev +2.1%
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.
01-22-2012 04:36:26 | More by CanuckRover
3.6/5 rDev -7%
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
03-18-2012 03:11:09 | More by joemcgrath27
3.68/5 rDev -4.9%
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.
11-26-2011 19:32:11 | More by heebes
4.1/5 rDev +5.9%
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.
03-17-2011 04:46:48 | More by eat
British Columbia (Canada)
3.74/5 rDev -3.4%
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.
03-16-2014 05:09:47 | More by souvenirs
4.25/5 rDev +9.8%
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.
11-11-2011 23:19:01 | More by Stocean1
British Columbia (Canada)
4.01/5 rDev +3.6%
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.
07-24-2013 00:18:40 | More by Rutager
4.2/5 rDev +8.5%
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.
01-09-2011 03:29:58 | More by Phyl21ca
3.73/5 rDev -3.6%
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
01-03-2011 02:40:59 | More by TheSevenDuffs
3.93/5 rDev +1.6%
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.
12-16-2012 01:46:09 | More by EgadBananas
3.7/5 rDev -4.4%
This beer was sent to me in a recent trade with Liam. Thanks and cheers.
The beer is dark black with a nice brown head on top of it. Nice looking. The aroma is dominated by dark chocolate with some cacao. Pretty simple in the aroma. Chocolate. The taste is similar. It's chocolate domination. Not bad, but it would gain if I was able to distinguish the cranberries. It is very big in the mouth. Voluptuous. I like it. This is a dessert in a bottle. A nice beer but I was expecting more complexities from an imperial stout. Try it out for yourself.
05-20-2012 17:30:12 | More by ZorPrime
Muskoka Winter Beard (Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout) from Muskoka Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 122 ratings.