Review: Flying Monkeys Aurora Heart Chocolate Raspberry Stout

Last week I reviewed the insanely overly chocolatey Chocolate Manifesto stout by Flying Monkeys, so today I'm now checking out their Aurora Heart Chocolate Raspberry Stout. I was never a fan of fruit and chocolate for some reason, having memories of me carefully picking the non-fruit flavoured chocolates out of a box of Pot of Gold back when they were still good.. but wham, I'd accidentally eat a cherry filled chocolate only to spit it out immediately.. ugh!

From the label: "Aurora Heart captures the essence of a decadent raspberry truffle in liquid form with a tart, acerbic bite which, like the stings of a first love, linger in your soul. Enjoy this beguilting stout of pure unfiltered passion." 7.1% ABV

Appearance: Like Chocolate Manifesto, this beer didn't seem overly heavy and stouty for the first initial seconds until the beer settled to give it a hefty black and stouty appearance to it. The head is fairly moderate with a finger and a half's worth of creamy yellowish beige head on top. Once the head diminishes a bit, it leaves behind a sprinkling of lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma: I didn't read the label prior to taking the photo of the beer so my first impression was "oh god, chocolate beer with fruit in it." Well, I do absolutely love Muskoka's Winter Beard to the point that it became a Christmas time tradition for me until I started to work retail.. so I'll give this a try. The aroma is overwhelmingly fruity with what I initially thought was cranberry as it was quite tart initially, but it's actually raspberry. There's a heavy amount of chocolate in this beer but nowhere near as intoxicatingly chocolatey as the Chocolate Manifesto. As it warms up just a bit, the notes I thought were cranberry become more sweet and well.. raspberry. The raspberry is syrupy, sweet and definitely overpowers the chocolate a bit. Definitely smells reminiscent of Christmas chocolates.

Taste: The raspberry is the first thing I get from the beer, giving off a sweet, fruity presence to it. The chocolate doesn't really pop out much except at the very back of my tongue, giving it a bit of a dark chocolate presence to it but also a typical truffle vibe to it at the same time. One thing that is confusing me here is a subtle but sharp malt vinegar-like sourness that pops up in just about every sip, it's kind of bothering me for some reason because I didn't expect it at all. There's a hint of nuttiness in the beer as well. The beer is slightly creamy to the mouthfeel and has a light chocolate and coffee aftertaste at the very end.

Overall Thoughts: I have a bottle of this in my hoard that I've been aging for quite a few years now so one of these days I'll open it up and see how it's aged compared to this bottle I just bought the other day. I'm still not a fan of fruit + chocolate but the aroma was definitely reminiscent of Christmas time. The taste on the other end had a sourness that would pop up in each and every sip which I didn't care for. As it warms up, it gets a bit more chocolatey but a bit too little too late for me.

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