Shokolad Stout
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

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Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #307
Ranked #8,790
4.2 | pDev: 10.24%
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
United States
Notes: Full-bodied stout that starts with a complex, malty sweet and high-roasted character and is brewed with 44 pounds of chocolate and aged with fresh organic cocoa nibs and whole vanilla beans.

60 IBU
View: Beers
Reviews: 11 | Ratings: 23 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Durandal_777:
Photo of Durandal_777
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerIsland
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This item was just put on tap this week. It's an extremely pretty beer, very dark, with a nice brown head that lasted all the way through my 12 oz. pour (times 2 !) and gave up a lot of lacing along the way. The aroma is strong chocolate but little else. This initial sip was lusciously smooth and creamy. The flavor is overwhelmingly chocolate and slightly bitter with better balance on the finish. I found the second to be just a tad less balanced with the same "shoking" amount of chocolate flavor. The 10% (or so, based on server's report) is very well managed but it's hard to say how many one might want. You really gotta like chocolate with this one! All in all, a very good beer to enjoy on a cold wet Friday evening.

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Photo of akorsak
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz nitro pour at the Lancaster brewpub.

A: The stout is dark, a Guinness knock-off looks-wise with a dense white head that laces in strata in the glass.

S: The nose has bitter chocolate and vanilla with a surprisingly streong citrus hop aroma at the end of each sniff. Intense but pleasant.

T: Bitter chocolate appears in spades, along with vanilla, coffee and ample booze. The hoppiness hidden in the nose isn't as readily apparent here. Over the top? Absolutely. Another good stout from Paul? No doubt.

M: The mouthfeel is rich, heavy with chocolate and booze. Be careful with this monster, it's got a long tail.

D: It's approachable but it is big, a mouthfull that can hit hard if you aren't paying attention. I wouldn't rank this above Oompa Loompa but it works in its own right.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Q: When does a one-off become rotating?

A: When it is deemed worthy of entry in the upcoming GABF!

As a double-plus bonus, it was offered on a standard CO2 pour, vice Nitro, as it was originally. "[B]rewed with local [Lititz, PA] Wilbur's cocoa nibs and aged on Madagascar vanilla beans", with the former a real coup. Wilbur's factory has been around a long time and is a better tour than up in Hershey, IMHO. Color was a deep dark-brown allowing zero light penetration. Nose was like a whiff of a recently burned building - smoky, burnt, even dark chocolaty (S'mores, anyone?). Mouthfeel was medium-to-full and my initial taste was like peanut butter. P. B. & chocolate?!? Zounds! I have not yet had a Reese's Dark, but this was what I imagined one to be like. Needless to say, much too sweet for my taste, but that is just my hophead self. YMMV. Finish started with a peanut butter taste, including an oiliness, but gave 'way to a dark chocolate bitterness at the extreme finish. I wish them well at GABF and with its unique flavor, it will probably do well, but it just was not my bag, baby. Gimme dem hops!

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Photo of sholland119
3.6/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewpub.

A-Pours an opaque dark chocolate with a frothy mocha head.

S-Notes of dark chocolate and milk chocolate with a hint of vanilla.

T-Starts off with a sweet dark chocolate flavor, followed by some licorice notes and roasted malt. The finish brings in a chocolate syrup sweetness followed by an overly burnt roastiness. This last flavor really lingers and undermines what came before.

M-Medium bodied with the signature silkiness of a nitro pour.

D-Well, this beer is as heavy on the chocolate as a ST Choklat or Chocolate Yeti. That is all good with me. But the finish is just too bitter and overwhelming to the palate.


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Photo of ROGUE16
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of DIM
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

a: This was served to me in a big pewter mugger, but I'm sure it looked fine. There was dense foam in the mug the whole way to the bottom.

s: Big chocolate notes here. Milky, silky, sweet chocolate. There was a little something malty and roasty hididng along the edges, but just barely. This was absolutely a chocolate showcase.

t: Easily the best chocolate stout I've ever had. Better than Choklat even. They actually started out in similar fashion. Both had big, milky chocolate sweetness up front. Shokolad pulled ahead at the finish. That bitter roast finish with some darker chocolate in the backround absolutely set this one apart.

m: I like nitro brew, but I wasn't feeling it here. The carbonation was creamy and long lasting, but the body felt just a little thin.

d: This beer is so good it makes be want to go back and lower the scores of other chocolate beers I've tried. Whatever the abv (10-12%) it is nowhere to be found. Not a trace. Half way through my mug I was seriously considering a second. Towards the end I was handing my keys over to my wife. It was just to hard to keep this out of my mouth, I couldn't stop sipping. Eight ounces of Choklat is plenty, I could have easily put down forty of this stuff. Paul mentioned that some of this was currently biding it's time in a bourbon barrel. That could be interesting.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.55/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nitro pour at the brewpub in a twelve ouncer.

A - A deep walnut brown w/ cascade of light cream to a collar of light tan w/ micro whipped head, tiny bead and smooth surface

S - Hershey bar smell, smooth sweet chocolate odor w/ mild fruity nose and slight bittersweet cocoa aroma

M - A mild smooth creamy malt texture w/ a hint of char and sweet sugary tip w/ mild bitter note in the dry finish

T - A very sweet cocoa start which leads to cereal like toast not e w/ a bittersweet chocolate not w/ mild bitter flavor. The taste of hops w/ light charred malt and coffee-like beany earthy accent. The mild toasted nut flavor lingers w/ cocoa puff taste and the overroasted coffee note w/ slight burnt marshmallow flavor as it finishes. The finish has a pretty strong bitterness to balance the sweet cocoa elements

D - The drinkability is average w/ a basic cocoa stout taste, not really showing its 10% strength. The nitro is accentuating the bitterness and does not really help overall IMO too much bittersweet for me, but worth a try

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Photo of ffejherb
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On nitro-tap at Iron Hill Lancaster on 11/14/09. The bartender told me this was "around 12% ABV".

A - An absolutely stunning nitro pour with a thick, fudgy brown body and dense, creamy light tan head akin to a milkshake, which retained exceptionally well and yielded thin sheet-like lace and strands of webbing all the way down the glass.

S - Like driving through the streets of Hershey, PA, Shokolad boasts a huge aromatic chocolately nose with a dominant bitter Belgian chocolate flair. Your olfactory system literally drowns in a sea of milky lactic notes, liquid fudge and cocoa nibb goodness. While some elements of a fudgecicle emerge, the chocolate character remains quite strong and bitter rather than sweet. And where is this so-called 12% ABV?! My guess is that is is buried beneath a huge block of Belgian chocolate!

T - Rich, bittersweet chocolate and cocoa dominate the initial flavor. Again, the alcohol is is nowhere to be found, and doesn't even nudge itself into the mix. Finishes with plenty of bitter chocolate and cocoa with just a hint of earthy character.

M - Mouthfeel straddles the line between medium and full-bodied, with a lush, creamy texture and no obtrusive alcohol heat. Finish is semi-dry and intensely bitter, lingering on the palate for quite some time.

D - Simply put, this is one of tbe absolute best chocolate stouts I've ever had. I found this to be a mind-numbingly fantastic beer with an equally amazing drinkability. Needless to say, I was blown away. Actually, I will go so far as placing this beer in higher esteem than Southern Tier's Choklat. Yup, it's THAT good!

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Photo of Kegatron
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On nitro-tap @ Iron Hill Lancaster on 11/19/09 during the Afternoon Delight Bottled Reserve Release Party. Served in a oversized mug.

Pours a deep, dark, brown/just about near black, with a couple fingers of creamy and smooth mocha tan head. Retains by pretty much not budging at all, leaving thick patchy swathes of lacing back. Even with the nitro-assist, this is very handsome looking pour. The aroma is extremely decadent in the nose, with dense notes of chocolate syrup, which possesses a deeply blackened roasty edge to it. This is all wrapped up in a delicious smelling bloom of vanilla sweetness, giving the overall bouquet a smooth and creamy waft-like feel in the nostrils. Just fantastic!

The taste is straight up bitter chocolate and dark roasted malts, with a firm hop bitterness that runs throughout. Fortunately, all of that bitterness is just beautifully balanced here by that same flush of vanilla beans, which gives the taste an immensely silky sweetness. I'm getting a touch of extra depth towards the middle of the profile, with light notes of toffee and green citrus giving off a bit of a leafy tang. I just can't stress enough though how well the vanilla works here though, soothing out the rough edges of the bitter chocolate and keeping all of that sweet fudgie goodness at the forefront. Just awesome. The finish is roasty with a chalky dryness to it, which feels like it's from the cocoa nibs. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with an incredibly creamy and silky feel from the nitro to it, despite the the overall big size of the beer (which, impressive as this would be at 12% is actually in the 9.5-10% range). There really isn't much more to say about it, except that it's fantastic. I drained this mug much faster than the ABV of this should have allowed. Really dangerous stuff!

I've been waiting for a Imperial Stout to come on here that had some muscle behind and not only did Paul deliver a 10% beast but it's a chocolate and vanilla infused dessert beer of epic proportions! Just really delicious stuff here that drinks like a champ on nitro. There are rumors of this sitting in a bourbon barrel right now, which sounds like a recipe for extreme awesomeness if I ever heard one!

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Photo of oline73
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got a pour of this the other day and enjoyed it so much that I walked away with a whole growler.

Appearance: Pours black as night with a half finger of light tan head that goes away rather quickly.

Smell: Now we're talking. There is some sweetness and roasted malt, but the superstar here is chocolate. Also getting some mild vanilla and dark fruit notes.

Taste: Thank God it mostly follows from the smell. Tons of chocolate, but not overly sweet. Nice levels of roasted malt, vanilla, and dark fruit mix well with the chocolate. I really enjoy the bitterness that sneaks up in the finish and completes the taste wonderfully.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side with tingly carbonation and a slick finish.

Overall: This is a fantastic take on a Russian Imperial Stout. I'm a huge fan. I hardly ever buy growlers on my own, but here I made an exception.

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Photo of JunkYardJake
4.71/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler filled at the brewery.
Had a sample with my lunch and knew a pint of this wouldn't be enough. Enter the growler. Using my tulip, I took on the jug solo. Typically a daunting task when going up against a RIS. First pour reveled a brew darker than the devil's soul. Absolutely no light passed through when held to the light. The creamy tan head formed slowly after a cascading display and sat on top like a kings crown. Retention and lacing were high, as expected. Nose is clearly dark cocoa with a little smoke scent mixed in. Palate is sweet and as rich in dark cocoa as I've encountered. It's like biting into a moist dark chocolate cake. Notes of roasted coffee and charred wood are also present. Mouthfeel is full and creamy. Good call on not going nitro on this batch, it's not needed. Good to the last drop, I had no problem killing this half gallon in two sittings. Get it while it lasts!!

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Photo of LehighAce06
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of DrBier
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of TheDarkKnight
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of jwat
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of IPAchris
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of reyna311
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of buzzy
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of mikefuski17
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of reebtaerG
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on draft at IH Wilmington on 5/25/14

A-Pours a dark red brown colour with a one finger beige head, fairly good lacing.

S-Aroma is light heavy malty, caramel, chocolate, dark chocolate, cacao, light vanilla, moderate roasted.

T-Flavor is moderate to heavy sweet with a long duration, chocolate, cacao, dark chocolate, vanilla, moderate roasted.

M-Body is medium, texture is oily, carbonation is flat to soft.

O-Overall was highly impressed was well worth stopping by.

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Photo of JMFP
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of JackNip
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

Shokolad Stout from Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 23 ratings