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 spycow
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of ScaryEd
4.25/5  rDev +22.8%

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 thegerm87
4.25/5  rDev +22.8%

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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Photo of Durge
4.56/5  rDev +31.8%
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 Dragonslayer
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Gary779
4.47/5  rDev +29.2%
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 +12.4%
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 +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 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 Cyberkedi
3.59/5  rDev +3.8%
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 brandoman63
4/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +15.6%

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 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 Rizalini
1.34/5  rDev -61.3%
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 +17.9%
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 +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 Brad007
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a decent brown head into my glass. Very good presentation.

Aroma is full of spice with only a hint of cocoa in the nose. It seems rather conflicted as to what it is.

Boozy/sweet at first but the middle gives way to a rich cocoa/carob texture. Still sweet and a bit odd but the balance is in the middle where it shines.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering nutty carob. Not much else to be found here.

Well, it's certainly interesting. I can't say I'm enjoying it but it could always be a lot worse.

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Photo of InebriatedJoker
2.12/5  rDev -38.7%
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 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 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 CampusCrew
3.97/5  rDev +14.7%
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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Chocarrubica from Grado Plato
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 81 ratings