Oronoko Cocoa Stout | Round Barn Brewery

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Oronoko Cocoa StoutOronoko Cocoa Stout

Brewed by:
Round Barn Brewery
Michigan, United States

Style: Milk / Sweet Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Oronoko: The name of our local township. When spelled Orinoco: A type of cocoa that comes from the Orinoco River Basin in Central America, and the chocolate that is used in this stout. Contains lactose (milk sugar).

Added by GbVDave on 08-11-2008

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Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 105
Photo of therealdeesto
4.49/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Dark brown/black with a perfect tan creamy head that gradually settles off the pour just like a certain famous Irish stout...

S: Sweet, milky aromaticity. Not overpowering, just right.

T: Creamy, sweet taste with the slightest hint of cocoa. Milky/lactose flavors are apparent. Very drinkable but rich at the same time.

M: Ridiculously smooth, very very creamy but again not too rich or filling. Strikes the perfect balance of heaviness and drinkability.

O: I've had many, many stouts from every craft brewery I've ever been to, and this is the best by far. It has the universal appeal and versatility of a Guinness, but with a slightly more complex tasting profile. Like a Guinness, this beer might lose a little something when served from a bottle/can, so if you get the chance to have it on draught, do yourself a favor and have a pint.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.35/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a capped and corked 750ml bottle into a 20oz imperial pint. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a deep & dark cola brown with some faint chestnut highlights at the edges. Immediately a creamy, tan-colored, three-finger head forms and retains for ages. Surprisingly, not much lace is left behind.

S: Very pleasant aromas of chocolate, roasted malt, a touch of creamy coffee, and a dusting of cocoa powder. Also noticed some hints of oak and dried dark fruit.

T: Right off the bat, milk chocolate and bittersweet cocoa start doing a little dance on my tongue. This is followed by roasted malt, toasted & rolled oats, coffee, and caramel sweetness. The label says this contains lactose and I could definitely detect the milk sugar sweetness.

M: Sweet and full with an excellent bitter dryness that lends nice balance. The finish is, at the same time, dry, roasty, sweet, and creamy. Very sticky.

D: An excellent, refreshing, and utterly drinkable stout. I suspect the abv is in the 4%-6% range making this dangerously sessionable.

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Photo of Bung
4.22/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pint .9 oz. Dark brown pour reminiscent of a porter more than a stout, but still ok. Fluffy tannish head. Smells a bit like chocolate milk, with some roasty malt and nut tones. Tastes very much of that lactose. Mocha is there and almost gets to a drying bitter, but is smoothed by some malt and caramel. Very nice creamy mouthfeel. At first the finish is a bit blah, but then there is a lingering cocoa in the back of your throat. You're expecting most of these things because it states they use it on the bottle. You're trying to search for more, but they did not lie. Border line in the stout category, but a good drinkable brew. Could put down quite a bit of this.
Visit the brewery if you're ever around SW Michigan. They started out with wine and spirits, just recently getting into beer I guess. The building and land around where this is is very neat. Add it to the day trip while visiting the wineries in the area.

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Photo of seaoflament
4.1/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to TheRealBastard for this interesting extra. I had not heard about this brewery until I received this bottle and it seems this beer was just added too.

The Beer comes in a 750ml olive green bottle with just a cork, no cage, and no bottle cap either (although this could just be my bottle).

I have never poured a beer into my Duvel tulip but for some reason I thought it would be fun with this one, so here we go...

Pours a dark caramel color with close to two fingers of lightly tanned foam. Tiny bubbles, soft, and slowly receding head.

The aroma seems to me like a slightly more roasted nut brown ale. Very nutty on the nose with cocoa powder, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, sugar cookies, and milk chocolate. A subtle, soft, but intriguing bouquet of sweet chocolate goodness. There are some hints of bitter-sweet chocolate, lactose, chocolate syrup, warm milk, and a bit of butterscotch too. I got some roasted barley as I went in to take my first sip. Maybe a little earthiness from the hops.

The taste is similar to the aroma, very subtle too but that makes this one easy to drink. Hints of roasted barley, nutty malts, milk chocolate, cocoa, and vanilla in the finish. In the second sip I swear this on has some oats. Lightly roasted coffee comes through in the middle. Oh, so far I'm a little torn on the score. On one side I wish it could be a little more robust and flavorful but I'm enjoying the simplicity and easy-drinking-feel on this one. Some days a beer just hits the spot.

The texture is really good, feels like this one has some oats, can taste them too. Lightly carbonated but very creamy and soft on the palate. Finishes a little dry which works really well since it cleans away the sweetness and prepares you for the next sip rather quickly. Beer gets a little thin when it gets closer to room temp, otherwise it would have received a slightly higher score.

Drinkability is pretty high since it is not overly sweet; it feels light on the stomach too.

I liked this one, a good surprise.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.08/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The last beer....the desert beer...on Christmas is the Cocoa Stout from The Round Barn Brewery. The beer pours a opaque color with 1/2" thick tan head. The scent carries sweet chocolate and roast. The flavor follows the scent with with good chocolate tones with a solid molassis and malt base. The mouthfeel is a medium to full body beer with ok carbonaiton. Overall this is a good beer and would recommend it to those that enjoy stouts.

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Photo of Dope
4.06/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at BWWs, oddly enough.

A: Pitch black pour with a super dense and creamy medium brown head. Head retention is fantastic, it never faded throughout the entire tasting. Wall of thick lacing to boot.

S: Pretty much smells like pure cocoa and a little cream maybe?

T: Delicious sweet and creamy chocolate up front. Sweetness fades a bit making it almost a perfect cocoa flavor. Simple but tasty.

M: Thick, creamy, smooth and wonderful. Amazing for only 5.8%

O: An interesting brew. Super drinkable due to thick, creamy and smooth mouthfeel while having a deceptively low ABV. Wonderful chocolate/cocoa flavors really brings it home on this one. Can't rate it super high due to relatively simple flavor profile but it's really executed quite nicely and goes down so easily.

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Photo of GRPunk
3.98/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

A- A moderate pour left about 1/2 finger of light brown head that dropped pretty quickly to a full lace that left lots of nice rings on the glass. The body was a deep brown at the edges, nearing black throughout the center.

S- The initial aroma was of milk chocolate. There are hints of coffee and raisin behind the chocolate base. The warmer it got, the more chocolate I picked up.

T- The flavor was a good combination of powdered chocolate with very much lesser notes of coffee. Some nice roasty notes also come through along with something that makes me think of some oatmeal stouts I've had in the past. Maybe a hint of citrus from the hops.

M- Nice rich feel. It was pretty soft with medium-light carbonation and little hop bite.

D- It's a really easy drinker. It had the milk/sweet stout characteristics without being overly sweet. I could have more than one in a sitting.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.98/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Fairly aggressively poured into a standard pint glass. A full 2" of creamy, cocoa colored foam now sits above an exceedingly dark brown liquid. It seemed to flow into the glass more than pour. Head settles to a solid 1/4" thick creamy layer and just stays there.
Smell is cocoa with toasted malts, some cardboard. Some dark fruit hint seems to be lurking deep in the back.
Taste is heavily roasted, no, toasted, almost burnt malts, baking chocolate, a very light hop note, a whiff of whiskey and some raisins (I think).
Fairly smooth, lightly drying. Warming especially after the temperature rises some. Smooth and mostly full bodied with a very light effervescence as one would expect. This is a really nice beer from a brewery I've never heeard of before. Go Blue.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 9-1-09

Pours dark red out of the bottle, but pitch black in the glass. A very thin head leaves behind quickly sinking lacing.

Smell is very light, a little malty and smoky. Rather pleasant, and not harsh at all.

Taste is little on the sweet side, but then the smoke comes through to help balance things out. The finish is slightly bitter chocolate, with a great smoky aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is super slick, carbonation is just right.

Drinkability is very good. I always appreciate a good session stout.

Overall, an easy, unassuming beer that I'd have again.

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Photo of Magpie14
3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: definite blackness with deep reds and crimson. A dirty marshmallow foam gathered atop and fizzled away to a thin tight ring. Body looks pretty nice for a milk stout and a healthy oily darkness is prominent. Nothing special in the way of lace and nothing out of the ordinary

S: dry cocoa powder, chocolate malts, and light sugary notes. What else is interesting is a soft tanginess enveloping every whiff. Overall the nose is mild

T: the flavors are pretty enjoyable. I like this stout. The dominant flavor is all creamed cocoa and a pinch of sugar with some shavings of bittersweet chocolates to round things out. Chocolate and crystal malts seem to be in the mix as well and the lactose does this beer right adding a light tang and lusciousness. Also to note, very mild coffee flavors are poking through

M: this was poured at a nice temp and accentuates the creaminess. The feel is medium plus and carbonation is near perfect as gulping continues

D: this beer holds a bit sweet but in the right way. Very drinkable and worth a try. This is my first Round Barn brew and I am happy. Not sure about any other brews done by RBB but this one does good and in the right direction.

Thanks to the Wesley's for the beer and hospitality in Dewitt.

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Photo of westweasel
3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Given to me from my good friends the Daus as a birthday present. Poured from a 12-oz bottle into an actual Round Barn shaker glass.

Appearance - A dark brown almost opaque liquid with a lasting beige off-white head

Aroma - Dark roasted grains and coffee are most prevalent. Some dark chocolate notes also seem to be present.

MF - medium-full and creamy. Carbonation is on the low-side of medium. A bit of lingering astringency in the finish.

Taste - Roastiness, chocolate, and coffee are prominent. The finish is medium, bordering on sweet. I actually liked it a little more when it was colder. It had more of a prominent chocolate dessert-like quality.

Drinkability -This is a very drinkable beer. A slightly roasty example of a sweet stout. I found it best when it was cold.

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Photo of malty
3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just as pictured.

Pours an opaque black with no lighter colored/hued hi-lites or edges - just plain black. Semi-creamy tan head that settles at 1/4". No lacework at all to speak of :( And YES, my glass is clean.

Sweet, syrupy milk chocolate and tangy dark fruits in the nose. I'm in the swirling mood, so why stop with this glassful? Now I get graham crackers and pecans. Not bad from a few swirls, right? A couple more and I get...that's pretty much it. Goos smeller though.

Sweet. definitely a sweet stout here. Not overly sweet though, just accurate to style. Chocolate - check. Malted milk - check. Maybe a little chocolate liqueur - I'd agree. A little roasty - heck yes. Good, simple flavors here.

Mouthfeel is definitely oily and just shy of medium bodoed. Carbonation is about perfect, fine and moderate. Flavors don't last long, but they're pretty solid though.

Drinkability is good. If you like sweet, (as I do) you will like this. Opposite if you don't.

Overall a good milk/sweet stout from a Michigan brewery I've not yet visited. That might have to change this summer. I'd like to try more of there offerings. With that said, this is a good beer.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.82/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: dark brown color, opaque. a huge 3 finger plus head even when poured softly. light tan color and doesn't last long but does leave a lacing.

Smell: chocolatey. comes off sweet. slight roasted malts

Taste: opens up with chocolate not big bold taste but its there and its not bad. closes out with a touch of roasted malt that verges on the slightest coffee bitterness

Mouthfeel: good lighter stout. no lingering aftertastes. good drinkable stout

Overall: in a time full of big stouts, this is a fairly simple but well done drinkable stout. tasty not a palate wrecker and well brewed. my first exposure to round barn and certainly warrants a second look.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.82/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle to tulip, black in color, lets almost no light through. Nice fluffy tan head settles to a thin ring around the rim. Very attractive looking. Aroma and taste are similar: powdered baking cocoa and lactose sweetness. Subtle, not bash over the tastebuds chocolate. Roastiness is kept to a minimum. Feel is thin, a little too thin.

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Photo of WakeandBake
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A murky dark brown color body with a small frothy light tan head , lasting a bit then fading , some spotty lacing left , light carbonation. Aroma is very roasty , with some very bitter cocoa notes and a slight sour note , and a hint of oak in the background. Flavor is of light coffee , bitter chocolate and very dark roasted malt. Light body with a light mouthfeel for a stout, light bitterness more from cocoa or coffee than hops. an easy drinker, very sessionable . a roasty coffee finish , . A pretty good try and not a bad brew.

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Photo of Mavigo
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served in a snifter. Received this as a gift.

A: Pours a near opaque black color with a short off white head that vanishes quickly, leaving only a thin off white ring. Minimal lacing as well.

S: Smells of Barley, wheat, malts, chocolate, coffee

T: Tastes of milk chocolate, coffee, malts, wheat, barley, malts

M: Full bodied beer with over amounts of carbonation, masks the the flavor profile a bit.

O: This is a good beer, its not novel yet it's quite comforting. A decent stout. Recommended by me.

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Photo of Kidfrogger
3.73/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Dark Dark Black....so black almost purple. Muddy brown head that vanished after the 1st taste.

SMELL: nothing at first, after it warmed a bit I could smell what I had been tasting Cocoa and something sweet

TASTE: cocoa cocoa cocoa....smooth w/ linger of coffee. Def more cocoa then chocolate (there is a difference IMO)

MOUTHFEEL: Thin not gritty or thick or fizzy

OVERALL: Easy to drink and great tasting Would drink again.

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Photo of jampics2
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a tan head that dissipates but leaves moderate lacing.

Smells nice - cocoa sweetness, lactose, roasted malt. Nothing extraordinary but nice.

Taste is pleasant. Nothing crazy, but a nice mix of roasted malt, chocolate, and a slight coffee bitterness. There's just a flash of an unpleasant sharpness, but this is enjoyable after a few other MI beers I picked up on the same trip have been dissapointing.

Mouthfeel is good. Carb is spot-on and it's creamy w/o being syrupy or too viscous to be sessionable.

I enjoyed this - I'll seek out more of their offerings next time I'm in MI.

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Photo of Rimbimhoot
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Dark brown with a brown thin head
S: Vinous, dark chocolate, light roast, caramel, molasses
T: Bitter cacao, Hershey syrup, roasty, light wine, fruity nibs

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Photo of StoneTSR
3.64/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Deep dark black color with a thin, brownish head that dissipated rather quickly. Lacing was present, throughout the glass, roughly 30% coverage.

SMELL: Intensely smoky and a bit burnt, with notes of coffee.

TASTE: Smoky, chocolate-like flavor with a backbone of coffee flavor and an very subtle hint of citrus towards the end of the sip. Very tasty overall with a smoky and hoppy aftertaste.

MOUTHFEEL: A bit thin on the front end, but smooth and a bit oily.

OVERALL: Solid, and flavorful stout. Easy to drink and an excellent choice if you find yourself in Southwest Michigan.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany with orange and bronze highlights. The caramel colored crown filled the upper third of the pint glass on the pour. It has a tight, sponge-like texture and a finely pitted upper surface. Pretty nice lace too.

Cocoa Stout smells like cocoa and stout. Go figure. It even has a little tanginess, due to the added lactose (milk sugar). Only a wee shortage of power keeps it from earning the next highest score. So far, this offering is ahead of Summer Wheat, the only other RBB brew to have entered my glass.

This isn't a bad little sweet stout. It tastes like the Round Barn brewers have done most things right, including adding enough chocolate malt and getting the milk stout tang just right. It even tastes like cocoa nibs, which is good because the name sort of sets up that expectation.

The flavor profile is on the simplistic side, but then show me a beer of this style that oozes complexity. Straightforward is often the right path to take. Specifics include sugared cocoa beans, dark caramel, splashes of coffee and sour milk, and a tea leafy bitterness that hits hardest (still a light jab) on the finish.

The ABV is probably somewhere in the vicinity of 5.0%. If so, then the body/mouthfeel is in the correct ballpark. Better quality bubbles would have helped, though it's hard to find too much fault.

Cocoa Stout is a solid, drinkable milk stout that should sell pretty well up Michigan way. It's a shame that these guys have to compete in one of the best craft beer states in America. Maybe it makes them try harder. In any case, this is pretty enjoyable beer.

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Photo of bwood06
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up recently while doing the Michigan Lakeshore Wine Trail with my wife. About went ecstatic when I saw that one of the wineries (Round Barn) also does beer. This beer features a head that is next to non-existent, event with a heavy pour. I got maybe 1/4 finger for the head and I poured as hard as I could. Needless to say, the head dissipated instantaneously. The beer itself is black and opaque with light carbonation visible around the very edges of the glass and the bubbles rise slowly toward the surface. 3.25/5 The aroma is fairly underwhelming in that the notes are pretty much all undertones with none really being very strong at all. I notice bits of a light milk chocolate, medium roasted barley, chocolate milk, and a bit of light cold pressed coffee. The chocolate stands out the most but even then its is pretty subdued. 3.25/5 The flavor is much more inviting than the aroma and features a very nice milk chocolate note along with a sweet caramel right up front that provides a nice sweet kick to start things off. Surprisingly only a hint of coffee comes out in the flavor Some baker's bittersweet chocolate makes a noticeable appearance in the back third along with a grassy hop note. There is a light bitterness which does linger slightly but is not overly bitter by any stretch of the imagination. 3.75/5 There is a moderate carbonation burn up front that keeps this beer fairly light despite it being a stout. Only a very light drying pervades throughout the sip and no lingering dryness. medium bodied in stature and this beer disappears from the palate quite easily. 3.5/5 I like the flavors that are present but I really think that they could be much stronger. This beer, unfortunately, comes across quite watery and underwhelming. I had high hopes for this one but I don't think that I will be buying it again. 3.5/5

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Photo of Brenden
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

New bottle, apparently; the pic used looks like a children's book illustration (not a bad one), whereas my bottle says "Oronoko Cocoa Stout" with a pic of a section of an old-school map.

Certainly stout in appearance, it's a pretty thick beer (think traditional stout), dark brown with some clarity at the edges. The small khaki-colored head that forms drops somewhat rapidly but leaves some behind, a well-kept island and always some at the edge. Lacing is left moderately by way of spotting.
I get some nice cocoa and roast, and I have to wonder if any lactose is used. It certainly seems like a milk stout, and I would have to question any denial of the inclusion of milk sugars. The nose has a nice roast, while the flavor brings out more of it with a little tangy edge along with a little bit of barley grains, with no harsh edge or acridity but a very gently balancing, extremely mild bitterness.
The feel is a little light for a stout, a bit light bodied after starting with the notion of some heft and then dropping off. There's a spritziness I can't get into as far as stouts go. It's not bad, but it's not a stout-like feel. Otherwise, this is a nice, easy-drinking but pretty flavorful beer.

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Photo of DrainBamage
3.46/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black with nice half inch head. Aroma is sweet but don't malt aromas are minimal. Taste is not to sweet, bitterness is minimal, although a little dry. Like the aromas, there isn't a whole lotta malt flavor. Overall this is a slightly better than average milk stout.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark, nearly opaque chocolate brown beer with a sizable tan head on top. Very clean cocoa, dark chocolate with light roast and floral notes in the nose. Light coffee underneath, but very little. Lactose added to the brew (according to website) makes for a very smooth mouthfeel, sweet and somewhat luscious in spite of a rather thin body otherwise. Cream and malt early, and the roast and coffee hit harder in the end. Nice, well done stout, especially for someone who's learning the style and wants something more accessible. Good stout, if a bit thin is all.

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Oronoko Cocoa Stout from Round Barn Brewery
3.5 out of 5 based on 105 ratings.
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