Chocarrubica | Grado Plato

81 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 81 |  Reviews: 61
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 TheBigEast
1.22/5  rDev -64.3%
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 jneiswender
1.28/5  rDev -62.6%
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 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 Georgiabeer
1.63/5  rDev -52.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Well, I was interested in trying this beer and thought it might be a quite nice experience with the ingredients listed- Pale, Vienna,and dark malts as well as over 30% Oat malts; Venezuelan Cocoa beans, Carob from Sicily, and Hallertauer hops. Unfortunately.something went very wrong. I suspect that it is either the way in which the cocoa was processed (or not) or the addition of the carob. The overall characteristic of this beer was of overripe cheese. (Classic line from Ding: "Someone put cheese in this beer"). Pours nice enough, dark, almost black with a decent brownish head. Aromas of cheese and rotting fruit. Tastes porter-like with the addition of overripe washed rind cheese, decaying fruit, and the tiniest touch of chocolate. Mouthfeel is smooth and somewhat creamy, but not as silky as so much oat would lead one to expect.. Overall, its simply undrinkable. Back to the drawing board with this one.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
1.72/5  rDev -49.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Grado Plato's Chupacabra opens with a hiss and blood-curdling screech of carbonation. It pours out a dark brown, near black body with a thinnish, fizzy, beige-colored head on top.

Smell: Sour, rubbery scent of darkened malts, stale nuts, and grapes flecked with horse-made fertilizer. This does not bode well. I've gone looking for the elusive Chupacabra and found only despair.

Taste: Curious mix of chocolate, walnut shells, and tree bark with a middle sweetness. I had to grab onto the bar with both hands to ride out the incredible jolt of tart sourness that followed. Taste of rubber. Thin fruitiness and some dark malts, but it's hard not to focus on all the foul flavors. Gack! Grado Plato's Chupacabra has ruthlessly shredded my patience like so much unsuspecting cattle.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: A pretty poor product, I must say. Not recommended whatsoever. Ah well, that's what I get for messing with Chupacabra. I should've known better. You can't drain the blood of sheep unless you suck really hard.

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Photo of nick76
1.8/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The aroma is bad. Its got a definite urinal cake quality. There is some chocolate in there too which is the only positive thing I can say about it. The appearance is brown with a nice head that falls pretty fast. The flavor is funky and very much like the aroma. The palate is thin but not watery. Overall its pretty gross.

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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 cjgator3
2.04/5  rDev -40.4%
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 mgbickel
2.06/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Reviewed from notes (04/25/2010)...

Big thanks to dtx00 for bringing this one to our late night, six people in a small room, tasting!

Split a few ways with Stigs and dtx00 and our gals.

Poured from a swing-top bottle into a fine hotel cup...fresh from the cellophane. Man...this one is a gusher. Most of my cup filled with a thick, sandy colored foam. The massive head eventually dissipated leaving a thin layer of bubbles sit on top of a mahogany body.

Hmmm...the nose is tart and malty...almost sour. You can pick up some faint chocolate notes, but the dominate aroma is very pungent.

I think we may have a bad one here...fermented fruit on a powdered chocolate drink backbone. The funk is strong with this one...

The mouth feel is a medium and highly carbonated.

Well...this one is not very drinkable at all. To be fair, we may have had a bad bottle, but after reading other reviews, maybe not...

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Photo of InebriatedJoker
2.12/5  rDev -38%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Popped back the old style growler type bottle top responding with a crisp pop and an immediate explosion of a tan foamy mess, I got the cap back on an had to let several gushes flow down the sink before it stopped foaming over - at least I know it isn't lacking carbonation *( Use caution when opening anywhere than above a sink.)

Poured a dark brown , three finger head that dissipated into a 1/4 inch lacing that had staying power, as mentioned above more than adequate carbonation.

Smell - Smelled like a new Strawberry Shortcake plastic toy

Taste - Sour fruit tastes up front with a mild vinegary something? - Not much of a chocolate flavor evident , I can already tell after my third sip I am going to seriously struggle to try and drink this.
Maybe I'm not familiar with the style but it just isn't very tasty at all.

Drinkablity - The look of this brew was the most appealing thing it had going for it - But Sorry this ones not for me - Not impressed in any way - This will more than likely get drain poured.

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Photo of Stigs
2.21/5  rDev -35.4%
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 ClockworkOrange
2.44/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A 750ml swing top bottle purchased and shared by Brian. Poured into my shaker glass, the stout appears a clear translucent chestnut color with barely a finger of fizzy, quickly fading foam. Nose and flavor are of poor quality milk chocolate, slightly roasted grains, sour milk notes, stale nuts. Thin bodied with light carbonation. Steer clear of this overpriced disaster.

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Photo of ElGordo
2.6/5  rDev -24%
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 drpimento
2.66/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

damn, another gusher. Had one other of this brewery's beer tonight and it was a gusher too. I hate being covered in beer and wiping beer off of everything. Poured with a foamy head (!) and some lace. color is an opaque black. Aroma is slightly tart malty dark ripe fruit earth leather and actually not that great. Maybe I'm just pissed. Finsih is not like oatmeal stout; in fact very little other than color is like oatmeal stout in this beer. I quit.

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.68/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I think that it's time to taste my first craft beer from Italy. 500 ml flip-top, on to the beer:

The color is solid black, and the head forms thick on top, evenutally dropping to a thin lacing on itself, then nothing. Of course, that is before I pour in the dregs of the bottle. It hints chocolate Tootsie Rolls. Sour fruity notes as well, which catches me off-guard. In its taste, the fruity aroma isn't there thankfully. Light chocolate Tootsie Rolls is the most dominant of the flavors. There's maybe a tiny bit of oatmeal. A trace of unsweetened cocoa. There's a fizzle of carbonation on the palate with a medium body, though I was expecting more chewiness in this beer. A lingering, powdery unsweetened cocoa flavor linger on.

Chocarrubica is okay beer. For what I paid ($9.99, ouch), and what I expected from the label, I feel ripped off. This beer itself needs to be richer overall, not the pricetag.

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Photo of rallison
2.72/5  rDev -20.5%
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 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 froghop
2.98/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours a dark brown with a ruby tint when held to the light, a very large foamy light brown head, heavy carbonation, and some lacing.

smell is sour, some cocoa, and a little bit of nuts.

taste is thin, sour malt, and a little cocoa, ends sour and a little bitter.

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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 swanfungus
3.08/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of BEERchitect
3.25/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A blend of Belgian-like yeastiness, cocoa powder, and astringent fruits have an intriguing and challenging journey across the palate, but has trouble living up to it's chocolatey namesake.

The beer pours a color caught somewhere between rust and medium brown. Medium carbonation is fleeting and struggles to define any head. The off-white foam disipates into stillness and in somewhat fizzy fashion.

Aromas of chocolate, coffee, and acidic fruits lead the way and gives the impression of Belgian dark ales but with a heavy dose of chocolate malt. My mind goes to Ommegang's Chocolate Indulgence.

Flavors of tart fruits, peppery spice, cocoa powder, heavy toast (almost char), nutty coffee are all represented and in a balanced fashion, however the beer seems to lack the togetherness of well-melded beers. Low in bitterness, the beer relies on sheer complexity, spicy phenolics, and fruity esters/acidity for balance.

The body starts out rich and velvety (think Young's Double Chocolate Stout), but then turns to the fruity acidity and then towards astringency at mid palate. This has a thinning and winey affect on the texture and hurts the beer going into the finish.

The fruity, bitey, vinous finish leads to a long and intesifying linger into an aftertaste of stressed yeast and souring- akin to biting into a grape seed and straying away from the more inviting chocolate flavor and feel.

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Photo of spycow
3.25/5  rDev -5%

Photo of redleg411
3.25/5  rDev -5%

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