1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 122 | Reviews: 59 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DamageCase76
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

DamageCase76, Nov 04, 2013
Photo of SurpriseTruck
4/5  rDev +3.4%

SurpriseTruck, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of AussieAbroad
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750 mL 2012 Vintage corked bottle

A - Pours a pitch black with a half inch cream head. The head receded to a fine ring, with no lacing.

S - Dark, roasted chocolate malts upfront with an undertone of muted sweetness courtesy of the cranberries

T - Dark chocolate coats the palate with the cranberry notes lightly lingering on the finish. There is no sign of the 8% ABV.

M - Medium, creamy body with little carbonation and smooth, semi dry finish.

O - Reviewing this as I drank it, I found the 8% ABV stealthily crept up on me! The subtle, chocolately smoothness became warming, and satiating to the point of fullness. Everything about this brew is subtle, but very drinkable, and, as the name suggests, perfect for a chilly winter evening. While the early fall might not have been the best time to drink up, I'll definitely be searching out their 2013 offering.

AussieAbroad, Sep 05, 2013
Photo of mick303
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - a viscous oily dark brown with some slight whispy film and lacing. Thick and dark, an initial nice dark tan head on it, quite pretty.

S - a rich chocolate liqueur, jammy cranberry, and dark chocolate, roasty and dark malts come through nicely, a rich and intriguing nose, nicely balanced.

T - a rich mouthfeel, smooth liqueur with slight carbonation, sticky molasses and dark malts that linger heavily on the finish, some tannic cranberry and dark cocoa. Some rich flighty chocolate notes, again with some alcohol spiciness. Rich cranberry notes, some mild earthy and a lot of roasty spice.

M - a thick viscous feel, some interesting vegetal notes on the finish, quite a slick feel to it, some light carbonation on the palate.

This bottle had about 1.5 years on it, and the chocolate and dark roast malt notes mellowed nicely. Drinks nicely, with a nice smooth but not overly heavy body. Characterful and well-constructed, full feel with some residual alcohol heat.

mick303, Jul 31, 2013
Photo of ComradeCanadia
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hadn't had a dessert stout in a while, and this totally scratched that itch.

Appearance is black as tar with a thin mocha head that didn't stay around too long.

Smell isn't particularly strong, but I can certainly pick up the chocolate, deep malts, a bit of hops, and the edge of the cranberries.

Taste is very pleasant and smooth. Not too strong. Earth malt flavours dominate the palate with chocolate, coffee, and a kind of burned edge in there, but just a bit. The chocolate isn't particularly strong, but lingers on the palate for a good while. At the front of the palate lie the cranberries with some lemon and orange flavours.

Mouthfeel - This is smooth and nice to drink with a feisty carbonation I quite like. However there is a bit of a chalky texture which lingers that I'm not fond of.

Overall - This is a nice dessert stout I'd be happy to drink again and its mild, muted flavours would make it a good recommendation to craft beer novices.

ComradeCanadia, Jul 28, 2013
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 KeKeKumba
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

KeKeKumba, Jul 05, 2013
Photo of TheBeeraholic
4/5  rDev +3.4%

TheBeeraholic, Jun 16, 2013
Photo of yabud
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

yabud, Jun 11, 2013
Photo of seinfeldette
4/5  rDev +3.4%

seinfeldette, May 16, 2013
Photo of nullbort
4/5  rDev +3.4%

nullbort, May 04, 2013
Photo of schnarr84
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

schnarr84, Mar 19, 2013
Photo of timiskin
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

timiskin, Mar 12, 2013
Photo of IanSpindler
4/5  rDev +3.4%

IanSpindler, Feb 27, 2013
Photo of DaPan
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

DaPan, Feb 13, 2013
Photo of papat444
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

papat444, Jan 26, 2013
Photo of thehyperduck
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750 mL caged-and-corked bottle from the LCBO (2012 edition). This is the only one of Muskoka's rotating seasonal offerings that I have not yet tried - but given past experience, I expect I'm in for a pretty good couple glasses of beer. Served only slight chilled; poured into a snifter.

Pours an opaque brownish-black colour, topped with one finger of creamy, foamy, beige-coloured head. Retention is decent; it gradually wilts away over the next five minutes or so, leaving behind plenty of sticky lacing, a narrow collar around the edge, and a spotty film on the surface. The aroma is enticing, with lots of cocoa powder and rich chocolate fudge, some mocha, roasted nuts, and a pleasant cranberry tartness to round it all out.

Somehow I doubt they're kidding about the 'double chocolate' part, because this brew's flavour is rife at first with rich dark chocolate and cocoa powder, and the chocolate notes don't really let up from there. Roasted coffee grinds come through as well, followed by dark cherry, anise, baker's chocolate and some light cranberry tartness toward the finish. Roasted, earthy aftertaste with a slight hint of booze and dark chocolate that lingers nicely. Full-bodied and fairly thick, with a slick, almost oily feel left behind on the palate. I must admit, I wasn't expecting an 8% stout to be this full, and it threw me off a little at first, but there's something to be said for its smooth, creamy nature.

Final Grade: 4.04, a solid A-. Muskoka's Winter Beard probably isn't my favourite of their seasonals, but it's still an excellent imperial stout. Surprisingly well-balanced for the style, with the rich sweetness of the chocolate being delicately countered by the roasted character and slightly sour cranberry. It's a brew that's almost too much - but never going overboard or becoming cloying, with just the right amount of warmth from the alcohol to make this into a perfect winter sipper. I really enjoyed this stuff, but at $10.95 a bottle I doubt I'd ever get this more than once a year (although I might get another bottle and crack it next January to see how it develops). Worth a try, but not a worldbeater.

thehyperduck, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of MaxwellSchaefer
2.9/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: Light head, little rention.

Smell: chocolate and coffee notes shine here with undertones of caramel. I was surprised not to detect any cranberry whatsoever.

Taste: Silky mouth feel, almost like crushed chalk without the taste. The carbonation was tough and very strong--maybe thats where the particulate mouthfeel came from. The taste was chocolatey with some burnt coffee notes--I still couldnt really taste the cranberry.

Overall: the beer kind of sparkles in the mouth but feels muddled. For a beer that calls itself a winter warmer it did make me feel kind of warm. Next time I'll grab something else.

MaxwellSchaefer, Jan 11, 2013
Photo of mjacquard
4/5  rDev +3.4%

mjacquard, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of CSFerrier
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

CSFerrier, Jan 04, 2013
Photo of FEUO
4/5  rDev +3.4%

FEUO, Jan 02, 2013
Photo of GoHabsGo
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

GoHabsGo, Dec 26, 2012
Photo of sbarre
4/5  rDev +3.4%

sbarre, Dec 26, 2012
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 sliverX
4/5  rDev +3.4%

sliverX, Dec 02, 2012
Muskoka Winter Beard (Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout) from Muskoka Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 122 ratings.