“…Aphrodite (Venus)…was…playing with her little boy Eros (Cupid).
He is one of the children in mythology who never grows up [sounds like at least one of us here at drinkingjapan.org] and never grows any wiser [here she must be talking about your average politician]. He carries about with him always a bow and a quiver full of arrows, which he shoots right into the hearts of people and fills them with a love so overwhelming for some one (sic) they have seen [“On Raglan Road on an autumn day….”] that they will even carry that person off against his or her will [enter lawyers and some serious litigation]….”1
These days it seems as if that pudgy little archer is packing his quiver with chocolate in its various manifestations. This week we will look at three from the liquid category.
We will begin with Echigo Brewery’s Raspberry Chocolate Cake Stout, which really does taste like raspberry chocolate cake! There is clear evidence of pastry on the nose—no, not in that sense. The ingredients are as follows: French malted barley, malted wheat, hops, lactose, cocoa, and raspberry juice. The palate is both sweet and sour, in nearly equal measure, and the abv is 7%. If Cupid shoots this one in your direction, don’t hesitate to lap it up.
Coedo Brewery’s Chocolate Dunkel, Dandelion Chocolate: Yes, as the German Dunkel indicates, this is a dark beer, but don’t be misled by the word Dandelion: there are no flowers in this. Dandelion Chocolate is the name of a San Francisco store that produces “bean-to-bar chocolate.” Suffice it to say, that this is high end. (Interested readers are directed to Dandelion’s website for further information.2) The nose is chocolate; the palate is chocolate; and the color is chocolate. The brewery, which is located in Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture, used Dandelion’s cocoa nibs sourced from the Dominican Republic from beans picked in 2018. Malt and hops are also included therein. The abv is 5.5%. Of the three brews reviewed here, the chocolate profile of this one is the most impressive. This comes very close to perfection. That would have been achieved if the alcohol content were 10% abv or above.
The final brew under review is Beer Chocolat, which is made by sake heavyweight Kizakura. From the picture, readers can see that it is unfiltered. It contains malt, hops, and cocoa powder. It has a light body and low alcohol content, 5% abv. It is the least sophisticated of the three. Though not unpleasant, we thought it tasted too much like a beverage made from powdered chocolate. It lacked complexity.
1Clarke, H. A Guide to Mythology (New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1918).