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 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 Beginner2
2.85/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed in the "1001 Beers to Taste Before You Die," this was one of the beers that frustrated my bear-hunting endeavors in America. But I finally cornered it in Milano's Eataly and this bottle was the last of the dozen beers I schlepped; dragging my wife through the central stations of northern Italy and Switzerland, along the western part of Germany and all the way to Amsterdam (where I finally poured into the drain half the bottle in disgust of my entirely too-strict adherence to the admonition of Respect Beer.)

I believe I opened this Chocarrubica between Cologne and Amsterdam. At least 3 of 4 passengers were German whom I offered to share this large bottle with. Their response to this obnoxious American was frank: "Italians should not make beer." And for those who might know different styles well, their response was "and certainly not stout."

Majority rules and is correct. If you make the mistake of seeking out this beer, don't double the mistake by buying this beer.

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Photo of BethanyB
3.61/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A deep mahogany with bubbles that cling to the side. The tan head starts out strong ,then fizzles away. Despite the high carbonation, the mouthfeel is quite thin for the style, calling more attention to the equally weak flavor profile. A mild, blasé taste of cacao nibs and medium roast coffee mostly come into play in the finish. And yet, a bit of black pepper keeps this from being a total snoozer.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

a really cool and unique beer, just not worth the absurd price i paid for it. really gnarly dark in color, nice radiant luster on it, and a minimal head that doesnt last more than a few minutes. it looks less viscous than anticipated, and almost watery for how dark the color is. it smells like raw cocoa thats for sure, bitter and intense, coffee notes coming from it as well. the taste is a lot more well integrated than the nose, which sort of comes in waves of flavor. i am surprised how much grain flavor there is in this for how light the body is and how bold the additives come through. roasty but not acidic or bitter in that regard, bitter from the cocoa only it seems. none of the caramel malt middle we sometimes see in the style, especially lately. it reminds me weirdly of the st. ambroise oatmeal stout made up in quebec, it has an appreciable yeast character and roast level to that one, although it is far less interesting in the yeast department than i have come expect all italian beers to be. well done brew on the whole, i could absolutely stand more carbonation, but the flavors are dialed in and very unique. id love to try more stuff from these guys, but this is the only one i have seen in colorado.

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Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev +9.1%
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 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 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 BillRoth
1.96/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Infected bottle. Most beer rolled out into sink. what remained was a fizzy off taste mess. once they get their brewing done better they may produce something drinkable. but considering the price...I'll probably enjoy the almost endless line of new wonderful beers before I'd take a chance on this brewery again. There are just too many great beers these days to get careless.

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Photo of REDAMI
3.46/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 16.9oz bottle into Chimay goblet.

A - Deep brown-black, with a light taupe head.

S - Coffee, dark roasted malts, black licorice?

T - Anise, treacle, malts, slight piney hop finish.

M - Coats the mouth but not syrupy, moderate carbonation.

Many say this is a chocolate stout, it's not. A bit different. Not your average oatmeal stout, not one I'd drink often, but certainly worth trying.

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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 corby112
2.99/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark chestnut brown color with a half finger beige head that quickly settles into a thin ring.  Sporadic spotty lacing left behind.

Slightly roasted, sweet chocolate malt aroma with hints of cocoa, oatmeal and a subtle lactose sugar presence.  There's also an odd slightly herbal character that I can't really pin down but the nose smells a lot like tootsie rolls.  

Light bodied and slightly watered down with sweet cocoa and a faint lactose presence.  Kind of bland with slight roast and grassy, herbal hops.  Not very interesting with a really weird combination of flavors.  Like an herbal, slightly hoppy chocolate beer. Really thin for the style without much oatmeal or stout character.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at 38 Degrees in Alhambra, CA.

Pours a clear dark brown with a foamy tan head that fades to nothing. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, caramel, toffee, and a distinct butterscotch aroma. Taste is much the same with a cocoa flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some very dessert-like aromas.

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Photo of oline73
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
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 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 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 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 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 nofussruss
3.37/5  rDev -1.5%
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 Cyberkedi
3.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque chocolaty sable with a thick tan head that persists and leaves some thick lacing. Strong, crisp, fruity aroma has apple and cherry notes and a malty underpinning. Fruity flavor is almost more brandy than beer and has a sharp alcohol bite. It has malty and yeasty touches to it. Smooth, slightly thin texture has a nice fizz.

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Photo of charlzm
1/5  rDev -70.8%
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 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 Rizalini
1.34/5  rDev -60.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured from a hinged bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass...

A - Explosion of tan foam as I popped this one! Glad I opened it by the sink. Pours a dark cola brown color, letting a little light show through the sides.

S & T - Has a very funky, unapealing aroma... to me anyways. The best way I can describe it is olives, and earthy manure. The taste was the same, with a slight taste of...plastic? This beer says carob and cocoa, but I did not taste any cocoa, and unless carob tastes like horse poo, I didn't taste that either.

M - For the couple sips I took, it has a light-medium mouthfeel with good carbonation.

O - Unfortunately this one is a drain pour, and I really did try to like it. I paid $18.99 for this bottle, and really didn't wanna dump this one. I like to think I have an advanced pallete, but this was just too weird for me.I can't drink anything that tastes and smells like manure.

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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 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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Chocarrubica from Grado Plato
3.42 out of 5 based on 81 ratings.
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