Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout
Stone Brewing Co./Escondido, CA
Stone Brewing is known for its over-the-top, heavy-handed use of hops. But the brewery has shown its diversity by branching out to craft some interesting beers with non-traditional ingredients. Case in point is this collaboration with home brewer Ken Schmidt and Iron Fist Brewing Company from Vista, California. It boasts organically grown fresh mint leaves from Stone Brewing's farm located just nine miles down the road, chocolate made by SoCal artisan chocolatier ChocoVivo, along with a chocolate mint extract to bump up the mintiness. A stout is a perfect companion to chocolate, since the dark roasted fullness meshes with the rich flavors of cocoa. A fine balance of chocolate and mint is achieved here, with stout flavors of coffee and caramel also coming through, compliments of the dark roasted barley. Serve it at 50-55°F, as a colder temperature will mask the flavors of the specialty ingredients.