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Muskoka Winter Beard (Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout) | Muskoka Brewery

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Muskoka Winter Beard (Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout)Muskoka Winter Beard (Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout)
BA SCORE
3.89/5
Very Good
170 Ratings
Muskoka Winter Beard (Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout)Muskoka Winter Beard (Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Muskoka Brewery
Ontario, Canada
muskokabrewery.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout is rich and sturdy with roasted dark chocolate malts, real cocoa, 70% dark chocolate, and freshly harvested local cranberries. Pair that with a slightly higher alcohol content and you'll find yourself sharing this bottle of joy all winter long.

25 IBU

Added by mrnobody on 12-05-2010

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#9,523
Reviews:
67
Ratings:
170
pDev:
10.8%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
21
Gots:
32
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
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Ratings: 170 |  Reviews: 67
Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Bar Volo. Black body with whisp of brown head. Chocolate aromas, with the cranberry in the secondary. The taste is chocolate and roast, with cranberry in the secondary lending some tartness to the dry and sweetish chocolate.Drinkable but not tremendously drinkable.Slightly below average mouthfeel.

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Photo of djrn2
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Knapp85
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml swing-top bottle. The label projects the image of one weird hybrid of a beaver/old guy in the midst of a winter beard overflow..

This beer pours a solid black, with very slight mahogany edges, and one finger of creamy beige head, which wisps away quite quickly, leaving a low ring of lace around the glass, not much more than a meniscus.

It smells fairly strongly of dense chocolate milk powder, chocolate malt, and well, not chocolate earthy hops. The taste is big chocolate malt, cocoa powder, a bit of cold coffee, a slight indistinct tart fruitiness, some porter-esque sourness, and mild earthy hops. Decent, for sure.

Bubbles form a nice cordon of effervescence, none too strict, with a somewhat hefty medium body, that engenders a quite agreeable smoothness. It finishes with a nice blend of chocolate sweetness, tempered by an inherent dry sourness, and soft berry fruitiness.

Well, the name does say "Double" for the chocolate component, so, um, well, there! The cranberry kind of falls under the wheels of the big cocoa onslaught, and waning sourness, but I'm not judging it too heavily for that. An enjoyable big (oh yeah, the elevated ABV does a hell of a job keeping its head down) stout. The porter sourness is a bit strange, but entirely forgivable.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with an average size off-white foamy head with average retention and no lacing. Aroma of rich black chocolate with light cranberry and minimal sweetness level. Taste is quite enjoyable with notes of rich chocolates and cranberry with very subtle dry coffee notes. Chocolate notes are really smooth with great quality malt being used. Body is about average for style with good carbonation and no signs of alcohol. This brewery seems to amazed me more and more with another quality offering.

 530 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of paulish
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SadMachine
3.41/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of liamt07
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Volo, poured into a snifter.

Dense black body appears in the glass, with little head formed. What was formed quickly fell to a tiny collar, with no lace. Aroma is dominated by cocoa, giving a real sense of hot chocolate. Hints to the cranberry tartness, but I really had to dig for that one. Red berries are tasted from the get go, but not clear that it was cranberry. Some tartness/sweetness helps confirm the cranberries, leading right into the rich cocoa/milk chocolate base of this beer. On the sweeter side on the whole, a brief flash of alcohol in the finish, but drinks smooth and velvety. Easy going down overall, and in terms of Ontario brewers, this is one of the better stouts to have come out of here.

 724 characters

Photo of Erik-P
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasting notes from 12-30-10
Poured in to Duvel Tulip

A - Dark brown/black colour with one finger of light brown head. Neat swing-top bottle.

S - Dark roaste malts, bitter sweet chocolate and light coffee notes.

T - Very chocolaty, somewhat sweet with a nice overall roasted malt bill. No cranberries come through specifically but a nice bitterness/tartness is evident, which nicely rounds out the palate.

M - Medium body, slight chew, light

 447 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml Bottle

Appearance - Black/brown colour (with a hint of burgundy) with a small size fizzy light brown coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some fair lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for only a minute or two.

Smell - Chocolate, malts, coffee, dark fruits

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste chocolate mixed with malts and a roasted/toasted taste. There is also a coffee flavour mixed with some tart cranberry. It ends with a cranberry chocolate aftertaste.

Overall – Part of me wanted this beer to be a little more sweet, but I think it would make it less drinkable.. especially considering the size of the bottle. It's an interesting tasting beer, but not one I'd buy again.

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Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As one might expect, Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout is doubly dark and opaque, but underlined with a thin sliver of cranberry red. It's rare to see such healthy, full of life head form from a flip-top (especially one that doesn't make even a whimper on the pop). No complaints here though. The airy, bubbly receptacle that formed has now diminished to a thin but silky cream that has already begun marking its territory on the sides of the glass.

The nose has plenty of delicious (and strong) chocolate but not really much cranberry. (Then again, not even actual cranberries have much, if any, of a cranberry smell so what was I expecting?) Each sniff feels like a chocolatier is jamming a giant black, bitter block of cocoa up my nostrils which, contrary to how it might feel if actually done, is a wonderful sensation. *This* is a bittersweet symphony! And it's like music to my, err, nose.

The flavour is essentially as advertised. A bittersweet chocolate dashes across the palate alright, while the cranberry is awfully subtle - such that you likely wouldn't know of its presence if not informed - although a slightly bitter, dried fruit flavour does appear here and there on the palate. When I see 'chocolate' in the name I tend to judge the beer on one measure: its decadence. Though not exceedingly, I'd consider this pretty indulgent.

Right up to and including the flavour, this offering reminds me of one of my all-time favourite chocolate beers, Young's Double Chocolate Stout. Where it ultimately differs, in an unfavorably way, is the mouthfeel which begins not with a silky chocolate or even bitter cranberry note, but a bizarre twang that is one part metallic (iron-y), one part lactose-y. It doesn't go down as rich and decadent as it first comes across.

Muskoka deserves all the credit they get for this seasonal, and plenty of credit they didn't get. The Ontario market sorely lacks in dark beer, especially stouts and doubly especially rich and indulgent ones like this. Even at the hefty, but understandably warranted, price tag of $10 a pop, I enjoyed a number of bottles of this over Christmas break and it made a perfect accomplice to my holiday cheer and late night snacking. Easily recommended.

 2,228 characters

Photo of wordemupg
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml swinging pop top bottle poured into tulip 10/1/12

A loud fizzy two finger head is gone before I really checked out if it has color, thought a dirty glass was the culprit but a second pour fizzed away too, looks like a still glass of motor oil but has some deep cola edges once held to the light

S chocolate covered cherries, (well it could be cranberries) but almost smells like a chocolate cherry liqueur, big coco notes some smokey charred wood and booze

T somehow there's more coco then I could smell, I also pick up on a little licorice I couldn't smell, lots of bakers chocolate and all things dark chocolate for that matter, the fruit is mellow and so is the booze

M silky entry and creams up almost to the point of foam without quite going there, fruity char on the faint lingering finish

O fairly well concealed booze and pretty nice flavors if you like dark chocolate, good beer for sure but nothing to put into the "great" category

I'm curious to how this one would age, being well priced for a strong 750ml pop top I might find out. Even if I don't like an aged bottle I could still sell the empty bottle for two bits to a local Yeast Wrangler, how do I lose?

 1,186 characters

Photo of bylerteck
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours black. Two finger tan, really creamy head. Typical Imperial Stout appearance but not over the top good looking.

S - Tons of chocolate with that nice mild cranberry. Smells like chocolate covered cranberries. No booze. Some really faint coffee perhaps.

T - Coffee there more, chocolate has been tamed, and I get no cranberry. Bitter roastiness in the finish.

M - Mild carbonation and medium body. Seems like it needs more body, especially for something with so much chocolate emphasis.

D - Tasty stout but lacking in some respects. Body and Flavour are what hold this back, otherwhise a nice treat. Not overly sweet for something of this nature either. A good effort.

 680 characters

Photo of DrJay
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL swing top. Bottle courtesy of northyorksammy. Thanks!
This beer is pretty black -- even holding it up to the light, there was nothing but the thinnest of brown edges. It sported a brown cap of very fine bubbles that stuck around for quite a while and left transient sheets of lace on the glass that receded between sips. Lots of dark and milk chocolate in the aroma, malt and cocoa, a hint of cranberries as it warmed but this was a background trait. There was a lot more cranberry in the flavour, almost equaling the chocolate. Bitterness was moderate and noticeable throughout. It reminded me a lot of a fruit and nut chocolate bar, but with some bitterness and roasty notes. Full bodied with nearly creamy carbonation, slight astringency. Decent texture overall. I quite enjoyed this. This would work nicely with dessert.

 830 characters

Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this on-tap at Cole's (Buffalo, NY).

A: Pours a nice rich and silky black. There is about one finger of dark mocha colored head. The foam settles nicely. There is only minimal head as it drinks.

S: This beer smells of roasted chocolate malt, caramel, and chocolate. It seems like a pretty typical imperial stout.

T: It starts out sweet with some really wonderful roasted notes. The chocolate in this beer is big and totally noticeable. There is a slight fruity tartness to this beer, which I assume is the cranberry, but I can't pick out that flavor specifically.

M: Full bodied beer. It's super smooth, silky, creamy, and it coats the palate. It's a really great mouthfeel.

O: This beer is interesting, but I think is falls short on smell and taste. I was intrigued, and now I know what's it like. It's a good beer, but it's not anything special.

 856 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2012 bottle with a big thanks to liamt07.

Appearance. Pours a deep dark brown, almost black in the glass and topped with almost two fingers of light tan head.

Smell. Sweet dark chocolate, red and dark berries, and some dark roasty malts.

Taste. Sweet dark chocolate and dark malts and a little bit of red berries. Fairly mild flavours, no alcohol, and a nice medium level of sweetness.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body, medium-low smooth and creamy carbonation.

Overall. Very nice but I would like to taste the berries a little more.

 535 characters

Photo of andrenaline
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Was pretty excited to find this on the shelves at my local LCBO.

A - Pours dark, almost opaque, black with a ruby red and brown tint on the edges. Finger of nice mocha head which quickly settls leaving no real lacing.

S - Dark cocoa with tobacco and a smokey wooden finish. Some sweet fruit is also detectable, but is rather mild.

T - Chocolate comes through nicely and is complemented by some roasted coffee notes, sweet cranberries (though I found it more reminiscent of cherries) lingers on the finish with a touch of bitterness on the tongue.

M - A tad thin with only light bubbles filling the palette, finishes a tad dry, but is non-offensive.

D - Overall quite tasty and I found it a bit sweeter than Wild Rose's Cherry Porter offering. The higher ABV is well hidden and it offers a nice bouquet of chocolate and coffee malts with the sweet fruit on the finish. Well worth the price, IMO, or at least a try!

 918 characters

Photo of deonreds
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jrenihan
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer is black with a moderately sized tan head. Head dissipates pretty quickly, a little bit of lacing.

Smell is faint, but nice. Cocoa and roasted malt. I don't get any cherry.

Taste is similar to the nose. Chocolate, a bit of bitterness, and some cherry flavour. Like the nose, it is a little thin but pretty good.

Full bodied, but feels a bit malted? Not sure how to describe, but an unusual feel. Good.

Overall, pretty good but not as good as I had hoped it might be. Not the flavour powerhouse that the name implies.

 527 characters

Photo of bumchilly25
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of papat444
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of schopenhauerale
4/5  rDev +2.8%

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Muskoka Winter Beard (Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout) from Muskoka Brewery
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 170 ratings
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