Carton Brewing Company

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Stout - American
Ranked #375
Ranked #19,906
3.9 | pDev: 6.15%
Carton Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States
Very Good
Notes: Simple truth is we wanted to make something taste like roses, and a stout reminiscent of the simple flavors of boxed chocolates seemed to make sense. The path became clear once we embraced honesty, no need for chocolate additions, just a malt bill built around chocolaty roasts.
After that it was just some roses on the way home. Drink Cupid because that’s all there was to it, really, we swear, a straightforward inkling for boxed chocolates and some roses Nothing else was going on.
Reviews: 11 | Ratings: 41 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of IvoryFoxhole
IvoryFoxhole from Virginia

4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

16 oz. can from February 2020. Poured into Guinness pint glass and allowed to warm.

L: 1F light brown head. Leaves no lacing, but a decent cap and ring. Beer is a very dark brown.

S: Chocolate malt, roasted malts, very faint floral note, which nearly brings it into porter territory from a nose perspective.

T: Unsweetened malty chocolate, roasty, slightly floral and perfumed. Floral notes pick up as it warms.

F: Medium-bodied, very little carbonation. Nitro smooth, easy drinking, well-constructed and balanced, but still pretty basic and uncomplicated.

O: Ultimately does what it was meant to do, so you can't argue with the results. It's definitely a one-off interesting for the curiosity but not in the same league as other dessert stouts or even their own Cosmonaut.

Apr 23, 2020
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Claude-Irishman from New Jersey

3.72/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark translucent garnet color, with an amazing marshmallow like nitro head. Smell mild cocoa, faint rose. Tastes like chocolate with a mild fruit filling. Feel is thin as are all nitro beers, medium bodied,finishes juicy. Augie has a huge imagination which he applies to his beers. This valentines day concept is pretty good. Overall I hope the roses were organic and not from a florist- It is hard to decipher rose, it tastes like a sort of mild perfume fruity flavor.

Mar 08, 2020
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farrago from New Jersey

3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dense finger of foam, very dark tan to brown, perfectly even surface, very slow dissolve, lacing formed of slow moving sheets. Liquid is a pure black color with a good deal of particulate floating around (bombed the can as recommended on the label). Soft roast to the nose, dark chocolate malted milk balls, café au lait, waft of ash, no noticeable fruit nor citrus presence, not getting any rose petal notes. Medium-bodied, super-fluffy and creamy mouth feel. The roast might be stronger here but lost in the fluff. Heavy cream vanilla fudge accents balance out all the chocolate. Little bit of charcoal or Band-Aid. Not sure if the lack of bitterness helps or hinders. Finish is kind of short. Easy enough to drink, not spectacular but can’t fault a thing.

Jan 08, 2020
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thebeers from Pennsylvania

4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nitro can pours a lovely dark brown color with two thick fingers of soupy tan head that settle into a denser, long-lasting cap of about a centimeter. The head clings a bit at the sides but doesn't leave much lacing.

Milk chocolate and a definitely "pink" floral smell stand out in the aroma. I might have misplaced it for raspberry if tasting it blind, but it is more floral than tart.

The nose carries over to the taste. It's a chocolatey, dry Irish-style stout with surprisingly strong roses layered on top.

It's on light side of medium bodied for a stout, with a certain slickness to the feel.

Honestly, this is better than I thought it would be. I'm getting bored with overly chocolatey stouts and wasn't that enthused about the roses gimmick before I popped it open. The chocolate isn't too sweet or thick, though, and the roses have a quality right on the border of fruity and floral that's actually quite pleasant here. Enjoyed trying it.

Apr 30, 2018
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bringing people together through the taste of beer, the brewers at Carton are playing more than just cupid. They're drawing like minded stout lovers to the bar with a rose accented milk stout to emulate the character of popular Valentine's Day candies. Just like life, beer is like a box of chocolates too.

Very dark brown and solidified in a firm bark-like haze, Cupid crowns with a short but dense sheet of foam. A dainty fragrance of flowers skirt over a more robust scent of coffee, chocolate, berries and nuttiness. Sweet and roasty on the early palate, those impressions of chocolate and cream come with caramel and light toffee.

Over the middle palate, the sweetness slowly retreats and the more charred edges of grain command the tastebud's attention. Bittersweet chocolate, heavy cream, dark roast coffee, roasted pecans and an overall woodsy, nutty and toasty flavor trends bitter and charred. Moderate bitterness is tempered by flavors of vanilla, cream and a mild linger of caramelized malt sweetness.

Nitrogenated rather than carbonated, the beer's silky textures are lush and marshmallowy early but the bubbles dissipate quickly rendering the textures somewhat flat and cola-like. Coffee liqueur adds a spice while a return of floral nuances brings the session full circle. Long and roasty on the after palate, the beer tastes quite robust but it's fatigue on the mouth is minimal.

Apr 27, 2018
Photo of Tony210
Tony210 from New Jersey

3.72/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours fairly dark, kind of on the thin side, nice foamy beige head that lingers a little while. Nose is mostly burnt malt, some sweet molasses. Flavor is fairly rich considering how thin it poured. Bittersweet chocolate, roasty espresso, pretty malty, sweet finish. Carbonation adds a nice creaminess to it. Overall this is an ok beer, the only reason I bought the four pack is because it was a nitro can, which doesn't have a nitro widget, so I guess they just carbonated it with nitro and canned it. Definitely creamy, I don't notice any roses though. Not a bad brew, but it doesn't stand out.

16 oz nitro can bought at brewery, canned on 2/13/18
3.75 rating

Mar 16, 2018
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MacMalt from New Jersey

4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Canned 2/13/2018, reviewed three days later. Poured from 16 oz. can into snifter. It pours a deep walnut with subtle cola hues at the bottom of the glass when held to the light, and nearly a finger of creamy, khaki-colored head and a thin sheen of lacing with excellent retention. Its nose features roasted malt, milk chocolate, black cherry, and sweet floral notes. It's a pleasant and unique aroma. The taste is roastier, and more bitter, than the smell. There's also a discernible coffee taste and lots of nuts. As the glass warms there is also a hint of the black cherry that I smelled but it's subtle. It's nitro so it has a velvety smooth feel albeit rather light. At 6.6% ABV it's very easy to drink. Overall, Cupid isn't as gimmicky as it sounds. It's a nicely-brewed, light chocolate stout that is equally appropriate for casual drinking or paired with a meal. Carton brews some better stouts (Unjunct and Sundae come to mind) but Cupid is certainly fine!

Feb 17, 2018
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JerzDevl2000 from New Jersey

3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Traded for this a while ago and finally got around to it here in June. I know that this was brewed for Valentine's Day but given how weak this was when it came to the alcohol, it could easily have been enjoyed during these warmer months. Quite malty in nature, this was a Stout that was weak enough not to feel like one and roasted enough to have been easily been mistaken for a Porter - which would not be bad given the anomalous nature of this beer!

Of course, the pour to this was quite dark with only a hint of light seeping in around the edges. The hue was that of milk chocolate but the aroma didn't quite match up to that, as it felt quite powdery and alkali. Mild roasted notes seeped in there as well as the rose petals and lavender came out in the taste. Not strong, bitter, or silky, this was more roasted than anything else but only by a slim margin, given this beer the feel of a Porter more than anything else. Light alcohol and a relatively light amount of carbonation allowed for the floral, mossy, and powdery notes to emerge but none of them were strong enough to overpower the others by a large margin. Some milk was found here but it was more in the form of cream than lactose, as this beer lacked any apparent sweetness...

This beer felt stronger than it was in actuality, because of the slightly off-kilter nature of it's flavors and how they meshed together. Chocolate and spring-like floral notes could be associated with alcohol but this wasn't that far removed from being below the 5.00% threshold but even if it was that weak, it would be hard to have another in one sitting. The amount of milk, chocolate, and bready malts ensure that this would never be too heavy, even if it felt it. Worth sharing with a Valentine if you couldn't find roses or chocolates, though this had enough aspects of both to substitute for them.

Jun 02, 2017
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rfgetz from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Overall, a really solid stout with surprising floral notes. If you are looking for something chocolatey, you may leave disappointed. One of the better new, non-imperial stouts in years.

Feb 20, 2017
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HopBomb515 from New Jersey

3.72/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black, thin looking, light tan head, great lacing. Soft floral chocolate aroma. Notes of over toasted crust, coffee, cocoa powder, flower, and earth. Thin, dry and drinkable. Reminds me of Valentine's , not my favorite holiday and not my favorite Carton beer.

Feb 18, 2017
Photo of Act25
Act25 from New Jersey

4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Death & Roses. Guns & Roses. This is excellent take on Valentines day.
A) All head big and fluffy, with lasting lace shards over a black body. A for style.
S) Big, complex, varied, interesting take on chocolate & roses.
T) Follows smell, roses work, fruit doesnt. Go roses, go floral!
F) Not as full bodied or kissy, velvety as it could be.
Totally original. Must try.

Feb 12, 2017
Cupid from Carton Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 41 ratings