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 KickbacksSteve
4.89/5  rDev +41.3%
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 mgbickel
2.06/5  rDev -40.5%
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 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 Stigs
2.21/5  rDev -36.1%
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 drpimento
2.66/5  rDev -23.1%
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 ElGordo
2.6/5  rDev -24.9%
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 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 tiffanya
3.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

25.4oz bottle from 99 Bottles in Federal Way, Wash.

Served in my Orval glass. Lovely carob nose. Silky, chocolately, roasty character. Dark carob-cocoa malts, with flowery hops. Notes of bubble gum, sour oak, and vanilla. Dry finish. Smooth, balanced, and delicious.

I suspect that I like this more than others due to my love of Carob.

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Photo of jneiswender
1.28/5  rDev -63%
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 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 Travlr
3.87/5  rDev +11.8%
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 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 Nick3
3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
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 froghop
2.98/5  rDev -13.9%
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 ClockworkOrange
2.44/5  rDev -29.5%
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 rallison
2.72/5  rDev -21.4%
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 ThirstyBird
3.51/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears deep chocolate brown with a ring of tan head.
The nose has loads of chocolate, some roast coffee. It smells silky smooth. The taste differs a bit from the smells where the roast coffee is now up front and the chocolate falls back a bit. It is medium body and pretty smooth though it is a bit watery. It has a small carbonation bite. This beer has some nice elements but overall wouldn't seek out.

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Photo of nick76
1.8/5  rDev -48%
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 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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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 barleywinebrewer
3.47/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

so I'm on a beer run and I'm wandering the beer aisle. I've got some good stuff but I'm looking for something interesting and new to me. This bottle stands out first for the shape, second for the description "dark ale brewed with carob and cacao beans".

so I open the bottle with a 22 oz pilsner glass next to the bottle. instant eruption. a full glass of foam and everything is in the sink. 2 pint glasses later I've lost beer on the counter and the sink and I've got 3 glasses of foam slowly changing over to a black beer.

taste is a mild oatmeal stout with hints of bakers chocolate that show up mid whatever was left of the glasses. mouthfeel is a bit watery but once it settles enough it drinks as an average oatmeal stout.

I can't say I'd recommend this beer based on the price $20+ or the foam over. It didn't taste infected so I'll attribute this bottle to over enthusiastic priming.

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Photo of Newsman
3.81/5  rDev +10.1%
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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Photo of Exbeastiefan2k
3.95/5  rDev +14.2%
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 dsa7783
4.25/5  rDev +22.8%
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 daftafne
3.77/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter glass at Rich O's tonight in New Albany, IN. Had a rather large amount of tan head with a cascading effect. Dark chocolate color liquid. Smelled of candied sugar, chocolate, and bread. Tasted precisely as it smelled with a little bitterness and the chocolate was very apparent. Smooth, lightly creamy, and a little watered down. Really, a pretty good beer. Now I just have to wait for the chocolate beer that dogfish head is coming out with in a few months - theobroma.

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Chocarrubica from Grado Plato
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 81 ratings