Chocarrubica | Grado Plato

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81 Ratings

Brewed by:
Grado Plato

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
With its unusual brewing process and ingredients - malted barley, oats, cocoa beans, carob beans, hops and yeast- this beer is not easy to categorise. Despite many doubts about how best to create a beer with cocoa, this beer was finally developed with the idea coming to the brewer having watching a documentary about the American landing in Sicily in World War Two. The documentary showed american soldiers handing out bars of chocolate to children who had
only ever known carob beans and this gave rise to the concept of a marriage between the “poor” sweetness of carob and the “rich” sweetness of cocoa.

This marriage also influenced the name of the beer, as you might have guessed. The significant challenges associated with the fine-tuning of the recipe and with production itself, given the nature of the raw materials chosen, were only overcome after long hours of hard work This is a beer with a powerful body and relatively high alcohol content (7% a/v) which imparts a velvety texture in the mouth. Its licorice tones are well balanced with flavors of cocoa and carob intermingling pleasantly depending on the serving temperature.

Well matched with chocolate- or coffee-based deserts, Chocarrubica has received numerous awards: first prize in its category the 2007 Italian Craft Beer competition; 5 stars in the Slow Food “Guide to Italian Beers”; Platinum Medal at Mondial del la Bière, Strasbourg (France) in 2010.

Added by Georgiabeer on 01-09-2008

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 81 |  Reviews: 61
Reviews by Beer-A-Lot:
Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.37/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Birch.

A - Classic stout color, with a nice foamy head.

S - Yum. Nice aromas, alcohol smell in the background.

T - Not real smoky, and all so smooth.

M - Just a little weak and watery in the feel, but it doesn't detract from the taste.

O - A very high-quality stout, in the same league as Samuel Smith. The Italians continue to impress.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Giovannilucano
5/5  rDev +44.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, indeed I am confused as to how it tasted like manure to the one before me, but this was a GREAT beer unlike any I had ever had. I tasted a great candy taste with a licore taste, and for me a hint of caramel.

As for the price, it is very much a personal choice to spend money on quality taste. you only live once, or twice if you believe in other lifes, and we should not hesitate to spend money which is pittle. And no I do not make that much! hehe

I would pay anyone from this forum mulitiple rounds to celebrate a great beer!


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Photo of nofussruss
3.37/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice deep rich brown color but the head dissipates quickly. Not the thick black color I like when pouring my stouts, but still ok, none the less.

S: Not too much a fan of the nose. Some coffee notes, hint of cocao, but their is a unappealing aroma that comes through with every swirl of my glass. This stink fades after the swirl which makes the sip more approachable.

T: On the palate though some nice flavors. Roasted coffee and cocoa seems to dominate here. Not too sweet and the flavor lingers on the finish.

M: Nice soft mouth-feel. Not overly carbonated.

O: I have mixed feelings on this beer. Not what I expected in a stout and the strange smell in the nose put me off, yet the nice flavors of the stout and the soft texture make for quite an enjoyable brew. Would not go crazy about this beer, but would suggest that others try it just for its uniqueness.

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Photo of Stigs
2.21/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

big bottle, split 6 ways...served in some "glass" (plastic)

A - hugely frothy, bit of a gusher...slightly clingy lacing. beer is very dark brown, root beer colored.

S - smells a bit sour, maybe infected. nothing else gets past.

T - following the nose, slightly sour/tart...some dark fruits, cinnamon, faint bitter chocolate.

M - very carbonated, drying. distracting.

D - pretty bad. not sure about the age, but the owner said this was leaking a bit after purchase. nothing appealing.

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Photo of daftafne
3.77/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter glass at Rich O's tonight in New Albany, IN. Had a rather large amount of tan head with a cascading effect. Dark chocolate color liquid. Smelled of candied sugar, chocolate, and bread. Tasted precisely as it smelled with a little bitterness and the chocolate was very apparent. Smooth, lightly creamy, and a little watered down. Really, a pretty good beer. Now I just have to wait for the chocolate beer that dogfish head is coming out with in a few months - theobroma.

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Photo of ElGordo
2.6/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from the 500ml swing-top bottle into a snifter. Body is a deep dark chocolate brown color, flecked with some lighter-colored suspended particles. A huge, foamy tan head bubbles up on the pour, but subsides to a reasonable crown after a couple of minutes.
Aroma of dark fruit, carob, and a faint whiff of chocolate, along with some complex, spicy yeast. Palate is tangy up front, with carob and prune being the dominant flavor notes. A slightly soapy undertone is detectable on the back of the mouth. Finish is a lingering mix of prune, carob, and antiseptic.
The mouthfeel is lively and just a little creamy, but also very much medicinal and antiseptic. While not as full a disappointment as some other reviewers have noted, this is still not exactly up to snuff. Something went wrong in this process, and the result isn't pretty.

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Photo of cjgator3
2.04/5  rDev -41%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

"Dark Ale Brewed with Carob and Cacao Beans"

1 pint 9.4 fl. oz. swing-top bottle. Pours a dark brownish black color with a tan colored head that leaves a decent amount of lacing around the edge of the glass. The aroma dark roasted malts with some cacao beans and an odd mustiness that is slightly sour and pretty much smells like a closet full of old clothes. The taste much like the aroma features a dark roasted maltiness with that same funk/must that was present in the aroma. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy as expected from a beer brewed with oatmeal. Overall, this beer is just a mess with a lot of odd detracting flavors dancing around on the palate. Overall, Chocarrubica is really not my thing, and I would not recommend purchasing. Save your money.

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Photo of Doppelbockulus
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had two good experiences with this beer. First one was out of a 750mL, this one here is out of a .5 Litre.

Pours very dark and cloudy. Hardly any light comes through, just a little around the edges.

Smell includes earthy, dark malt like a heavy stout as well as a light fruity sweetness, including starfruit. Also some pungent, yeasty sweetness present.

Very unexpected refreshing character. Tastes like a huge combination of chocolate, toasty malt, red wine, and creamy coffee.

Feels very juicy, almost no dry character. Light tingle. Very delicate on the tongue, with a little more umfff in the back of the mouth as you swallow.

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Photo of Exbeastiefan2k
3.95/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL flip top bottle.

Pours beautiful with a large khaki head, that never fully fades, which sits atop a black body.

Aroma is slightly sour tropical fruits, seems like a combination of esters and a cool yeast.

Taste is an amalgamation of light roast, light chocolate sweetness and an earthy mineral feel.

Goes down very easy yet full of character. Its well carbonated but a slightly velvet feel as well on the tongue.

Overall a very nice and original brew, very different than a traditional stout and not yeast dominated like a Belgian stout. The sourness on the nose is lovely, not really damn sure where its coming from. 8/4/8/4/16 (2/9/17/4/8)

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Photo of rallison
2.72/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bitter chocolate, chestnut and an off flavor present in the smell. Urinal cake, like another review mentioned? Fair enough description of the off smell.

Semi-astringent chocolate in the taste. The use of cacao and carob probably serve to give it that character, along with a chestnut-like nuttiness.

A rather unique beer, but unique in a bad way. The flavors don't fully meld, the body is a tad thin and astringent, and the smell is just bad. Not recommended, especially for the price you will have to pay.

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Photo of ScaryEd
4.25/5  rDev +22.8%

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is close to being jet black in color—slight traces of reddish brown are visible near the edge of the glass when it is held up to a bright light. It poured with a quarter finger high light tan head that died down, leaving thick wispy lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: The smell is slightly sweet and has light notes of lactose and chocolate.
T: Like the smell, the taste is chocolaty, but the carob beans lighten up the chocolate flavors so that they don't seem as rich as pure cacao beans.
M: It feels a bit under medium-bodied on the palate and is slightly smooth with a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and has a unique blend of carob and cacao flavors.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.89/5  rDev +41.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Kickbacks Gastropub in Jacksonville. Poured into a Unibroue tulip. No head at all. None. Interesting. Liquid is a bit thin, dark, dark ruby, approaching black in color. Thin, clear lacing, not too sticky. Aroma is of chocolate, a touch of coffee and a bit of an aged, old ale background. Again, interesting. Taste is chocolately, not too much so, a bit toasted, a bit of coffee, a bit of malt sweetness and just effing delicious. I glanced at some prior reviews of this beer and I just honestly don't get it. I see mention of funk, sour and other adjectives, there is NONE of that on mine. Maybe this one is too different and out of normal to get good reviews. It's awesome. Straight up. Expensive. But awesome.

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Photo of oline73
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at Churchkey during Zwanze day. Served in a tasting snifter.

Appearance: The beer pours a dark brown color with some light coming through at the edges. There is a ring of off white head.

Smell: I'm getting some dark chocolate and cinnamon with some sweet malt and mild roast. Just a hint of vanilla behind the other stuff.

Taste: Malty up front with some roast and dark chocolate. I'm also getting some cinnamon. The finish is full of bitter roast.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium with smooth, tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I thought this was very interesting. It may be that carob reminds me of cinnamon. Good enough.

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Photo of weeare138
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appears a dark black with dark brown edges when held up to the light. A 2 finger tan head slowly fades into a mild cap that never really goes away.
Smell is of mild tartness, cocoa, orange, raspberries, caramel, very complex with layers of fruit.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with nuts, fruit, and milk chocolate flavors standing out in the flavors.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, tart, cocoa, and sugar lingering.
I didn't know what to think of this one based on the many mixed reviews found online. Honestly though, this one grew on me. It's very different and it seems to strangely come together if given the chance.

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Photo of LooseMoose1978
4.31/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.47/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

so I'm on a beer run and I'm wandering the beer aisle. I've got some good stuff but I'm looking for something interesting and new to me. This bottle stands out first for the shape, second for the description "dark ale brewed with carob and cacao beans".

so I open the bottle with a 22 oz pilsner glass next to the bottle. instant eruption. a full glass of foam and everything is in the sink. 2 pint glasses later I've lost beer on the counter and the sink and I've got 3 glasses of foam slowly changing over to a black beer.

taste is a mild oatmeal stout with hints of bakers chocolate that show up mid whatever was left of the glasses. mouthfeel is a bit watery but once it settles enough it drinks as an average oatmeal stout.

I can't say I'd recommend this beer based on the price $20+ or the foam over. It didn't taste infected so I'll attribute this bottle to over enthusiastic priming.

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Photo of jneiswender
1.28/5  rDev -63%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Had a pint glass of this from the bottle.

A-tan and spongy head with a black body.

S-slight coco bean smell, very strong barnyard scent.

T-7Up flavor, hints of coco, smokey.


D-all around a very unpleasant beer to drink. Everything just seems way off. I had no idea it was even an oatmeal stout. Whether its a chocolate beer (as advertised) or an oatmeal stout, its just off. I would not drink this beer again.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.25/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Ginger Man in New York City...
An all-around teriffic, exotic Italian example of a great Oatmeal Stout...
Pours a deep, dark-black, ebony hue with a tannish, foamy head that exhibited impressive staying power...
Smell: Intricate, thick aroma replete with roasted malts, barley, and of course, dark chocolate...
Taste: Loaded with chocolate, espresso, dark latte nuances... Intricate, loaded with depth, full-bodied, creamy, and refreshing...
Excellent full-bodied, thick mouthfeel along with a good level of drinkability...
Definitely recommended...

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Photo of Nick3
3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Stone IRS glass. Foam gush when the bottle is opened and I lose 1/3 of the 750. My apartment know smells like chocolate so I guess it could be worse. Beer is a dark, dark brown color and it easily forms a nice 2 inch head. Nose is cocoa, molasses and oatmeal and it's quite pleasant. Taste is light cocoa and a mild bittersweet chocolate. Much lighter taste than I expected given the color and aroma. Beer is easy to drink with a medium body and a silky texture. A bit pricey but a worthy beer.

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Photo of TheBigEast
1.22/5  rDev -64.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Second worst beer I have ever had in my life - I have tasted over 8000 to date. Worst beer ever is Cave Creek Chili beer. I want my money back as well. This beer is not inexpensive. As others have noted, bad cheese, sweat socks, rancid flavors etc. All 5 of my tasting partners tonight had the strongest looks of distaste I have ever seen during a tasting. I cannot imagine this is what was intended. The beer should never have been released or they should do a recall. A couple of others have positive reviews - perhaps a better batch exists than the one I did NOT enjoy. Avoid at all costs.

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Photo of Newsman
3.81/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I would first note that, in looking at the reviews here, they've improved substantially over the course of the last year. I wonder if the first batch sent to the U.S. was perhaps shipped poorly?

At any rate, my interest in this brew was piqued by the New York Times article discussing Northern Italy's craft brewers. ( The author was quite smitten with it. So when I saw it at my local beer store, I opted to pony up the $21.99 for the 1 pint, 9.4 fl.oz. bottle. I've spent more for less, I figured.

Poured into a snifter. Pours a very, very stout-like brown-black, with a nifty tan head that receded pretty quickly. The smell isn't all that great -- some notes of malt and chocolate, a little sour funk in there. It didn't impress, but it didn't detract either.

The taste was very interesting, and very good. Hints of dark malt, chocolate (naturally), a slight hit of hops, and an interesting sour presence that comes in behind -- not overwhelming at all, nor unwelcome. A very complex flavor profile that only gets more interesting as you go.

This is a very drinkable beer for an oatmeal stout derivative, very easily quaffed if you're so inclined, but more fun to savor. Lovely light carbonation, smooth finish.

Me, I'm a savorer, so I put the flip cap back on this one after about 8 ounces or so. Definitely a good after-dinner beer, either with some complimentary chocolate or some tart fruits. Might also go well with some charcuterie beforehand, or with hearty Northern Italian fare.

Again, not sure why this got such poor reviews. It's a very worthy beer, though I'll $21.99, the price is a major problem. I might get it again if I'm doing a tasting or beer dinner, as a bit of a show-off conversation starter. But otherwise, I'll likely pass in favor of cheaper and equally delicious brews.

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Photo of charlzm
1/5  rDev -71.1%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

If you're the sort of person who thinks BAs shouldn't review infected beers, then stop reading. I normally wouldn't, but two consecutive bottles of this EXPENSIVE beer ($20.99) went down the drain so I felt I should record my experience.

Each bottle had been aged at between 40 and 50 degrees F for a period of about 6 months.

When bottles' flip tops were opened, beer GUSHED in a fountain all over (the kitchen first time, requiring a good counter cleaning and a floor mopping). I opened the second one in the shower so it was easier to clean the brown spray up.

Once beer stopped welling up out of bottle, there was about a quarter-liter left to put into my Bruery tulip glass.

Beer is a nearly opaque dark brown with deep garnet highlights. COPIOUS light tan head disappears dishearteningly fast, leaving only a thin skin of foam that provides excellent, uniform sheeting.

Smell is amazing! Well, at first. As the beer exploded everywhere, a sweet cocoa, chocolate and oatmeal aroma was noted. Delicious! Once the beer got settled into the glass, however, these notes retreated in favor of band-aids and a sour funk. Honestly, it smells like a chocolate lambic.

The first bottle was almost drinkable, with a sweet mix of cocoa, oatmeal and vanilla competing and losing to the acidic, sour citrus. I could only get through three or four sips before I poured the rest down the drain. The second bottle didn't fare even that well, as I spit the contents of the first sip back into the glass FAST. Sharp and sour.

Mouthfeel? Who knows?

Overall, I will never buy anything from this brewery again due to their rampant quality control issues.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.42/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Will pour a 5+ finger thick, light tan head - pour very slowly - that fades slowly leaving some lace. Light carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Black color, no highlights. Nose is smokey chocolate. Flavor is a mellow, sweet smokey chocolate. Not finding the tart, sour flavors other reviewers have found. Very expensive - $25.95 for a flip-top 750ml bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

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Chocarrubica from Grado Plato
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 81 ratings