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
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.59/5  rDev +3.8%
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 StonedTrippin
3.77/5  rDev +9%
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 spycow
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%

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 BEERchitect
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
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 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 DrBier
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of nickfl
4.17/5  rDev +20.5%
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 smithj4
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
1.72/5  rDev -50.3%
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 TMoney2591
4.05/5  rDev +17.1%
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 rolltide8425
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of drabmuh
3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

With Venezuelan Cocoa beans and Sicilian carrabas. Black beer, big brown bubbles form a thick head with lots of lacing.

Smells like chocolate, shocking I know. That's about all I detect, I was expecting more roast, but its just chocolate.

This beer is also really thin, shockingly thin. No roast, some sweetness, a little chocolate, drinkability moderate. I'm not sure what to make of this beer. Its dark but doesn't taste dark, smells like chocolate, doesn't really taste like chocolate, maybe a little. Its very odd.

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Photo of brandoman63
4/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of DoubleJ
2.68/5  rDev -22.5%
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 Georgiabeer
1.63/5  rDev -52.9%
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 BillRoth
1.96/5  rDev -43.4%
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 Raziel313
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Halcyondays
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a dark brown with a light off-white head, good head retention.

S: Carob, semi-sweet chocolate and brown rice syrup.

T: Predominately milk chocolate with a little hint of roast. Moderate residual sugar with notes of cardamom and chocolate covered raisins.

M: Medium-bodied, creamy, thin finish.

D: Not a bad beer, maybe the bottles aren't as good as the stuff that gets put out in kegs because the 2 times I've had it I liked it quite a bit, and they clearly have a better mean score.

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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 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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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 corby112
2.99/5  rDev -13.6%
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 wl0307
3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
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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Chocarrubica from Grado Plato
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 81 ratings