Amber’s Chocolate Stout

Reviewed by on December 9, 2014 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Hog's Head Brewing Company

  • Origin: St. Albert, AB, CA

  • Rated On: December 8, 2014

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 5.6%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Chocolate Stout

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Amber’s was a brewery that lasted for a few years, before folding during a lease renewal conflict in Edmonton.  Since then, their brand has been kept alive, and brewed by Hog’s Head in St. Albert – this is their chocolate stout, which you might hear still being referred to as ‘Kenmount Road Chocolate Stout’, a reference to the original Amber’s brewer’s hometown in Newfoundland.

After letting this sit out of the fridge for about 15 minutes or so, this 341ml bottle pours a Darth Vader-approved, light-sucking, opaque black hole, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy tan head, which takes a respectable number of moments to melt away, leaving some scattered streaky lacing all around the glass.

It smells of bittersweet chocolate, roasted bready caramel malt, a touch of bitter coffee, and a hint of dark fruit. The taste starts off strangely with muted citrus and leafy hops, which are immediately overcome by the semi-sweet chocolate, grainy and still somewhat toasted malt, reduced brown sugar, some softly sour dark fruitiness, and ethereal Italian coffee. Yum to the E! The carbonation is on the low side, just a mild frothiness on patrol, the body an adequate medium-weight, and mostly smooth, a bit of the roast mucking around a bit too much here. It finishes off-dry, but not as sweet as one might imagine – the chocolate persists, sure, but in a dry, chalky sort of manner, though it’s still quite easy to put back.

A great accompaniment to dessert after Christmas dinner, I’ve found to be the case. (My better half says it tastes amazing with peanuts – I didn’t do it that way – next time, perhaps).  Engaging, easy to drink, and the cocoa well balanced with the tart fruit and hoppy elements.  Nice to see the legacy of the heady days of 2008 keep on ticking.

Brady White

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