Chocarrubica | Grado Plato

61 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 81
Photo of Giovannilucano
5/5  rDev +46.2%
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 tippiecanoes
5/5  rDev +46.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If there is a beer that I will keep firmly planted in my memory it's the Chocarrubica. I have the bottle sitting on my desk to remind me of how delicious it was. I ordered this beer at a very expensive Italian restaurant and paired it with a top notch handmade gnocci. The body was thick, but not so much that it was like a Guiness; it was well balanced. The Carob and Cacao Beans were not muted, but not overdone either; again it was well balanced and absolutely out of this world delicious. Anyone who gave this beer a 1 has a rotten palate and shouldn't be drinking any beer whatsoever. I'd say I'm a real beer drinker, not a snob that can't taste amazingness.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.89/5  rDev +43%
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 Lembeh
4.66/5  rDev +36.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at Sottocasa -Harlem. The owner brought it out as a pairing with the tiramisu we ordered. It was very good. A little surprised to see this categorized as a Stout. It was more of a Brown Ale-Porter hybrid. Really nice roasted malts and caramel on the nose and taste. Paired perfectly with the Tiramisu. Would get this again for sure.

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Photo of Durge
4.56/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yet another rare opportunity courtesy of The Lion's Pride in Brunswick, Maine. This special vintage 2009 oatmeal stout is very dark brown, opaque, with pretty much no signs of life on the topside or along the sides of the tulip glass. Just your basic murky liquid waiting to be assaulted. I detect the smell of deep dark fruits and heavy nut malt, very much an idea of sherry. I could guess at some chocolate prune going on, and an interesting cherry yeast.... hmmm... I'm enjoying just taking whiffs of this and each one brings a little something different, and wonderfully mellowed by its 3 years of co-mingling with Lees Harvest ale port barrels. Awesome. Now for the palate. First impressions are a tad disappointing. Definitely not as intense as the nose hit suggested. But a moment to adjust and, now I'm getting more of a sour effect, a nice mellow smoky malt contrasted by a dark chocolate cherry tartness. It's dirt earthy despite the obvious sour theme. There's a bit of nutty toasted oak, and definite cabernet complements and the smokiness becomes more evident as you go. It's medium-full bodied with a fairly dry cabernet sort of feel. A world class brew here though I would say the aroma surpassed the flavor. Still, it's all pretty awesome with wonderful complexity in all categories. Glad I was able to catch this one!

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Photo of Gary779
4.47/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer pours as a beautiful black stream of beer. It had a decent cream coloured head straight after pour, but this head vanished near-instantly. Although the beer seems black at pour, it actually has a dark ruby colour. Left no lace.

S: This beer smells dark. It has very prominent chocolate flavours, which were accompanied by a typical dry dog food type smell (although odd, this seemed to complement the beer). A sweet dark cherry smell also lingers around the edges, along with beef stock notes.

T: The taste is a surprising blend of dominating and subtle flavours. Strong coffee (roasted malts?), soy sauce and tomato puree flavours dominate the taste, while subtle notes of vanilla and origanum make themselves known.

M: The beer is quite light bodied. The carbonation is extremely smooth and very pleasan on the tongue.

O: This is an extremely satisfying beer. Every sip you take just pleads for another.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.42/5  rDev +29.2%
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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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.37/5  rDev +27.8%
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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Photo of dsa7783
4.25/5  rDev +24.3%
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 jroberts8811
4.25/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at the Bier Station in Kansas City, MO. served into a tulip

A - dark ruddy brown, not black. thin off-white head. minimal lacing

S - Malt, yeast, spicy, caramel, cocoa and espresso

T - chocolate forward, espresso finish. in between - sweet malts. not at all dry.

M - light bodied, silky in texture.

O- completely underrated beer. glad I got to try one.

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Photo of nickfl
4.17/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured with a small off white head of foam. Settles quickly and leaves no lace. The body is black with no light showing through.

S - A light aroma of coco and chocolate with a hint of caramel and perhaps some toffee.

T - sweet chocolate up front with elements of caramel. honey and thick malt in the middle as well as a swelling note of milk chocolate. The beer finishes with a moderately sweet, intense chocolate character and some brown sugar.

M - Moderately thick body, low carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - Quite nice, the chocolate character is excellent and there is a very nice variety of malt to back it up. Rich and sweet, this could easily be called a chocolate milk stout. It is well worth trying, and I enjoyed it immensely, but I don't know that I would be willing to pay another $10 to have it again.

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Photo of pixieskid
4.08/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a great dark brown with a two finger off-white head.

Med full body, creamy and slightly slick, good carbonation.

Rich dark chocolate note upfront with a nice coffee presence throughout and a touch of cherries.

Interesting earthiness throughout with a very unique cocoa note and nice roastiness. Finishes with a lingering chalky bitterness and solid cocoa.

Overall; unique and distinct with a great cocoa note. Simple and solid, glad to have tried it.

Too bad Italian beers are so pricey, even in Europe!

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Photo of Fcolle2
4.07/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black in colors with a one finger fizzy light tan head that has decent retention.

Smell is really good. Lots of chocolate malt aromas are forward along with some light fruity esters reminiscent of raspberries. Mild creaminess on the end from the oats.

Taste is also really good and follows the nose. Chocolate malt is much milder in the flavor but still remains forward along with a more assertive berry tartness of blackberries and raspberries.

Mouthfeel is good, moderately thick with some creamy feel from the oats. Mild carbonation and a dry finish. This is a nice sipping beer

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.05/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Pours a very dark brown, bordering on black, with a heavy dose of brown head that fizzles out just as quickly as it forms. The smell is unsurprisingly but delightfully of cocoa, with, strangely enough, tiny under-hints of vanilla and bubble gum (original, of course). The taste is mostly of cocoa powder, though some oatmeal and lightly roasted malts are also present. The nice chocolatey taste and the smooth, moderate body make this brew very drinkable indeed.

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Photo of Doppelbockulus
4/5  rDev +17%
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 mhewes
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A : Pours a nice dark brown with ruby hints. It has a good tan/off-white head

S : Good chocolate and sour aroma

T : It has a dark fruit taste along with the carib taste. There's a nice bitterness on the finish

M : Medium bodied, good carbonation, a nice dryness on the finish

D : I really enjoyed this one and would love to have more of it.

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Photo of stcules
3.98/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Almost black in color, with two fingers of a light brown foam, beautiful, persistent. Not bad at all.
Smell: good. Notes of cocoa and carrob, well mixed. Strong, pleasant. Underlying, a good maltiness.
Taste, with again cocoa and carrob, good.
Full, intense taste.
Average to high body, almost viscous. Dusty notes.
Chocolately aftertaste, full, intense. Quite long.
Good beer.

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Photo of CampusCrew
3.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at kickbacks - jax, fl

appearance: deep pitch black with low head retention

smell: heavy chocolate and coffee aromas

taste: interesing earthy background. maybe that the carobs. tasted a little flat. maybe aged too long. I don't know, but a great and interesting flavor. underrated in my opnion.

mouthfeel: medium-full bodied

drinkability: solid stout and I'm honored to try such a obscure and interesting brew.

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Photo of Exbeastiefan2k
3.95/5  rDev +15.5%
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 Nick3
3.9/5  rDev +14%
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 wl0307
3.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at the BSF bar, GBBF 2008. Coming in a straight pint-size brown swing-top bottle with no freshness info. printed on the label; served cool in a straight imperial pint glass. Q: Why is this categorised as "Oatmeal Stout" if this is brewed with Carob and Cacao Beans??

A: pours a deeply dark ebony hue with chunks of "stuff" (like yeast sediments but these come large!) floating in the glass; the tan head builds up patiently but dissipates quickly due to the fizzy attack from below.
S: stinky sweet soybeans, kidney beans and chocolatey aroma comes rich and bold, on top of a very light sour edge of black dates, hazelnut-sweetness, black sugar, and rather mild sweet-smoky malts at the back. As it breathes, a hint of chocolate-flavoured milk creeps up and also the smell becomes rather integrated (or simplistic).
T: a pleasantly effervescent swallow of lightly-smoked malts at first, really refreshing but showing plentiful elements of rich dark malts, (un-sweet) chocolates, hazelnuts and roastiness, in a semi-full body and always with a lightly phenolic kickback. The aftertaste has, as a seamless continuation of the chocolatey foretaste, additional flavour of black dates, kidney-bean paste, earthy hop-bitterness and smooth chocolate-milk; the finish is semi-powdery and soothingly bitter-sweet at the same time.
M&D: a delicious and intriguingly balanced American-style Porter, it has a refreshing and softly-carbonated palate that is buttressed by the weight of dark malts and sweet unknown beans (Carob and Cacao!). Not a terribly complex offering, but I have to say the bottle-conditioning is really decent and the balance is kept intact throughout the drink. If the hop profile can be a little more bold, this could've be a sensational brew! Recommended.

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
3.89/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle 7,0% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in an over sized wine glass.
Bottled on: 20/08/2010
BBE: Feb 2012

I was so excited to find Italian craft beer at a local liquor store! The excitement was short lived though, due to the poor BA reviews for Chocarrubica and the bottling date of this bottle. I really hope these bottles aren't infected like most seem to be!

Appearance: Chocarrubica looks black in the glass; however a back light shows it to in fact be the deepest of reds. A rough pour yields an average sized, creamy, light tan head that fizzes away a little too quickly and leaves almost no lace.

Smell: Mmmm, this actually smells damn good! This is certainly not a sour, infected bottle!
Sweet, rich cocoa and roasted malt make up the initial aroma. Further inspection yields light charred notes, sweet molasses, dark fruits (cherries, raisins and plums) and an odd (but in no way unpleasant) meaty note that reminds me of dry dog food (I guess that could be the carob?). Warming yields a lightly salty note similar to soy sauce or marmite.

Taste: As with the nose, the taste is pretty good and certainly not infected!
Lots of cocoa, roasted malt, lightly astringent charred notes, light molasses and some dark fruits are all present. The finish has a distinct roasted coffee bitterness and is lightly dry.
As the beer warms the chocolate coffee notes become more apparent. The alcohol is not totally covered and is noticed through a light rum flavour and warming in the throat.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a moderate level of ultra smooth carbonation. I usually prefer stouts to have a slightly fuller body than this, however the combination of the medium body and the smooth carbonation make Chocarrubica so amazingly drinkable that fuller body is not missed.

Overall: Given the ratings, I am very impressed with this beer! It is a shame that the bottles that made it to the States were infected.

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Photo of Travlr
3.87/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draught served at 48˚
Appearance was total blackness with a large tan head with big bubbles that disappear rapidly and leave decent lacing.
Smell is cocoa powder and espresso.
Taste is caffe macchiato with milk chocolate, and a slightly bitter burnt espresso finish.
Slightly light on body, flavors are very subtle. Italian craft beers are getting better, but still have a ways to go.

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Photo of weeare138
3.85/5  rDev +12.6%
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 Newsman
3.81/5  rDev +11.4%
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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Chocarrubica from Grado Plato
3.42 out of 5 based on 81 ratings.
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