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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

131 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 131
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 20
Gots: 14 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 131 | Reviews: 60 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thehyperduck
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of MaxwellSchaefer
2.9/5  rDev -25.3%
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.

Photo of mjacquard
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of CSFerrier
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of FEUO
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of GoHabsGo
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of sbarre
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of EgadBananas
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
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!

Photo of sliverX
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of mjrtchie
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -22.7%

Photo of Tarks
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of Molson2000
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of jmathis
2/5  rDev -48.5%

Photo of Coastal_Brew
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of KrisDLSmith
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of ZorPrime
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of korguy123
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011/2012 release into Muskoka tulip.

A- Dark brown/black pour with a light tan two finger head. Lacing is excellent.

S- Bakers chocolate, slight coffee and cranberry sauce (thanksgiving style) Sweet chocolate syrup. Almost reminiscent of a chocolate strawberry sundae.

T- Chocolate syrup galore! The cranberry reminds me more of strawberry jam in the taste. I can remember last years batch having a malt taste and feel (similar to hot chocolate powder. This one is much more refined in my opinion.

M- Full bodied, slightly creamy with a low but satisfying carbonation.

O- Excellent bottle/batch this year. I bought this bottle for a trade that fell through and really had no interest to drink it. I'm glad I did. The malt taste/feel last year was a real put off but that has been remedied!

Photo of TerryW
3.35/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark walnut pour under a fairly substantial brown head. Looks good out of the bottle. The head is quickly disappeared, no lace.

Aroma is primarily chocolate, coffee, some fruit. Flavour is lots of chocolate. Coffee and malt as well. There is also the characteristic tart-sweetness of cranberries that really noticeably comes across as fruitiness. Makes it a little bit different from a typical stout. Gentle carbonation.

Tasty, but almost a novelty stout.

Photo of MattPS
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of BGDrock
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
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

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
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

Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of oldp0rt
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of SebD
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice pitch black color to it. It has a nice thick mocha head that formed from a cascade effect and dies down slowly and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of dark chocolate, dark fruit (possibly the cranberries), roasted malts and a hint of caramel.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice dark chocolate character, nice roasty malts, slight black licorice notes and a sweet cranberry note at the end. Slight bitterness coming from the chocolate witch is nice. The 8% ABV is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

Muskoka Winter Beard (Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout) from Muskoka Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 131 ratings.