Monday, August 3, 2015

Battle Sweet Stout - Angry Chair Fudge Bucket vs. Barley Mow Cocoa Maven

We recently compared sweet stouts created by 2 of our local breweries and though both are technically sweet stouts, they are very, very different.

                         Barley Mow Cocoa Maven (left) vs Angry Chair Fudge Bucket (right)

Angry Chair Brewing Fudge Bucket (9% Abv). This is a powerful brew, viscous, with a milk chocolate colored head.  It is quite sweet with a substantial coffee presence.  You can imagine yourself drinking an espresso fudge brownie.

Barley Mow Brewing Company Cocoa Maven (6.5% ABV).  This milk stout poured more like a tradtional stout with a medium body and a creamy tan head.  It has a coffee presence, but not so overpowering and not nearly as sweet. There is an odd aftertaste that we could not quite identify, but it is not unpleasant.

Our results:  In a split decision the panel of tasters mostly agreed on the outcome.  Fudge Bucket is obviously crafted to be a monster beer.  The flavors explode in your mouth with such intensity that your raise your eyebrows in surprise and delight.  However, it is so massive that it is a bit difficult to drink and it was not at all easy to finish even one glass.  Cocoa Maven is sweet enough to be interesting and the coffee does not destroy the palate and is an easy drink.  By a 4:1 margin the tasting panel chose Cocoa Maven over Fudge Bucket.