Ravens Brewing Hot Chocolate Porter

It's a chilly and rainy day today so it's the perfect day to stay in, wear a sweater and drink some chocolate! If you don't happen to have hot chocolate like I do, then there's Hot Chocolate Porter by Abbotsford, BC based Ravens Brewing.

The Hot Chocolate Porter is conditioned with Cacao Nibs, rich silky dark chocolate flavours are at the forefront of this robust porter. With hints of vanilla, a creamy and decadent malt body makes this porter a delicious, grown up version of a winter treat.

Appearance: As I crack open the can, it's a bit over carbonated so the foam is trying to exit the can a good deal but once I pour the beer, the foam doesn't to be an issue. It has a black coffee presence with a bit of a cola hue to it. The head is fairly minimal and gives off a bit of a burnt caramel appearance to it.

Aroma: I was excited for hot chocolate so I was a bit surprised that my first impression of the beer was that it had a hefty, rich roasted coffee presence from the malt. Sure, that's not a bad thing but sometimes I just want a rich, creamy chocolatey beverage with no complexity to it. I get notes of cocoa nibs, a hint of vanilla bean, a hint of dark chocolate, and a bit lactose.

Taste: The porter still has a definite roasted coffee profile to it but more subdued than in the aroma. This time, I'm getting the chocolate up front in every sip. There's notes of cocoa nibs, some roasted coffee presence, a hint of vanilla, a bit of a milkiness in there that even makes its presence in the mouthfeel. There's an earthy bitterness for the aftertaste, but doesn't linger long. Pretty easy to drink, especially if you're a porter or stout fan like myself.

Overall Thoughts: Was hoping more milk chocolatey goodness, but I'm glad to see a good lactose presence in the beer.. so there's that. One thing that could've been cool is they did a spicy Mexican-style hot chocolate version of this porter, that's all I can think of right now thanks to Stone's unique Xocoveza Stout I had a year back. With all that being said, absolutely solid porter - good amount of chocolate and vanilla presence, definitely has some creaminess to it, and just like most porters/stouts now days - it has a bit of a roasted maltiness to give off a bit of a coffee presence to it.


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