If there’s one thing we love more than rolling out our barrels, it’s collaborating with local producers. For this beer, a stout that we aged in pinot noir barrels, we got in contact with our local bean-to-bar chocolatiers Wilkie’s Chocolate. Based just down the road in Midleton, East Cork, Shauna Wilkie set up production in 2012 and has been focusing on making small batch bars from carefully sourced, single origin organic Peruvian Criollo cocoa beans.
Much though we love Wilkie’s chocolate, this time we focused on the leftovers, taking cacao husks (that went on quite a journey from Midleton to Mitchelstown – thanks to Becca, Triona and Jimmy for their help in delivering!) and adding them to the stout for secondary conditioning in the barrels. The result is limited to draught only and got its first outing at last weekend’s ABV Fest – that’s my glass of it there – in Belfast. The rest will be pouring from this Thursday at the Irish Craft Beer Festival in Dublin’s RDS. Don’t miss it!
Style: barrel aged stout
Hops: Nugget, along with lashings of cacao husks from Wilkie’s Chocolate.
Malt: pale ale malt, CaraMunich, chocolate malt, roasted barley, wheat malt and dark crystal.
Strength: 5% ABV
Bitterness: 45 IBUs
Colour/appearance: dark and handsome in the glass, with a tan head.
Aroma: dark roasted malt, espresso.
Flavour: Dried fruit with a restrained cacao undercurrent and delicate oaky vanillins coming through. Light enough in body to be pint-able
Aftertaste: satisfying roasty dryness in the aftertaste.
At Eight Degrees, we do love stout with – and in! – brownies. If you’re not going to make your own, we’d recommend Camerino Bakery‘s peanut butter brownies for an ideal pairing. The slabs of sweet-salty, nutty, chocolate goodness are complemented by the cacao and vanilla flavours in the beer. If you’d like to go savoury, pick up a wedge of Young Buck raw milk blue cheese, made by Mike Thompson in Co Down, for a real contrast in flavours.
Launch Date: September 2017.
Serving temperature: 8 degrees Celsius
Availability: Draught only
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