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Beer Blends: The Vanilla Chocolate Swirl

So I’m trying something a little different here today. Well I guess you could say this is a very different beer so a very different review is in order.  Okay you got me, it’s not completely different but let’s just see where it goes shall we.

I know a lot people enjoy a good blended beer.  Some like the good old black and tan with Guinness and Bass.  Some like those summer shandies when you mix a light beer with lemonade.  I like many enjoy a black velvet on occasion.  But a couple months ago a new blend came before that can only be described as a mad scientist’s creation.  The mad scientist was played by Ian from Fresh Beer.  And instead of dead body parts to make a monster Ian’s tools were simply two beers and a glass.

While working a local beer festival and being a helpful hand for Fresh Beer I found myself pouring at Breckenridge’s table.  With my partner in crime Phil by my side we set off pushing Breckenridge brews on the masses.  We especially pushed the Vanilla Porter on people.  It’s lighter body and vanilla taste is very approachable.

But while peddling the suds Ian arrived to tell us that Brooklyn Brewery’s table had the ever amazing Black Chocolate Stout being poured.  Phil being no stranger to trades took some Vanilla Porter to the Brooklyn guys and offered a trade for some lovely Black Chocolate Stout.  Met with some resistance Phil sweetened the offer with a smile that Kim Jong Il couldn’t resist.  And score!

This is where Ian’s scheming began.  He said simply to blend the two beers together and make a Vanilla Chocolate Swirl.  And Ian did exactly that.  So here I am today with your instructions on how to make this awesome treat, just in time for the cold weather!

First you are going to of course need a bottle of Breckenridge’s Vanilla Porter and a bottle of Brooklyn’s Black Chocolate Stout.  I recommend letting the bottles sit out for a few minutes if you have had them refrigerated.

Now the next part is how Ian did it and by all means you can experiment with it and get it to your liking.  But I first opened the Black Chocolate Stout and filled the glass about 40-45% full, not half way.  Next I poured in the Vanilla Porter the rest of the way.

The color is not quite black.  The Vanilla Porter makes it seem like a very dark brown.  There are some spots of red around the edges of the glass that have some clarity to them.  A nice light brown head sits atop the brew but quickly dissipates.

The nose was not all that potent but I did pick up some of the boozey qualities of the Black Chocolate Stout along with some hints of vanilla beans.

The taste is just an attack of desert sweetness.  The cocoa and vanilla flavors blend together and I get what almost tastes like peanut butter.  The body is very full and rich.  I feel like when I drank Guinness for the first time.  It was a very heavy feeling.  With it being so rich and filling I could only have one of these babies in a night.

So there you have it, Ian’s evilly good creation.  If you decide to be daring and make it please let me know what you think.

Previous Reviews:
Breckenridge Vanilla Porter
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

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  • Reply Ed Roberts

    So it’s about a 60/40 blend with a majority Vanilla Porter, right?

    December 8, 2010 at 9:58 am
    • Reply Mike

      You are correct sir.

      December 8, 2010 at 10:00 am
  • Reply marie

    I enjoy blending a nice snifter of barrel aged porter with an eight-ball of cocaine.

    No, but seriously, that sounds deeeelightful. I keep hearing rumors of a Goose Island Vanilla Nightstalker and I was wondering what it would taste like blended with the original Nightstalker. I admire you dudes for being so forward-thinking with your beer tastings.

    December 8, 2010 at 10:04 am
    • Reply Mike

      Vanilla Nightstalker sounds awesome. I enjoyed the regular one when I had it before. But I’m not sure those would blend well considering it’s the same beer just aged with vanilla beans probably. Probably just taste like the same.

      I think the key to blends are taking two completely different beers with flavor profiles that might work together. Like this one was chocolate and vanilla. Who didn’t smash their two ice creams together as a kid? Anyone? Anyone?

      December 8, 2010 at 11:05 am
  • Reply Lost

    Saw your tweet last night teasing this. Looks mighty delicious!

    You should have added ice cream too. 🙂


    December 8, 2010 at 11:47 am
  • Reply cwylie0

    Bartender Jason from YardHouse PBG pours an “Imperial Black & Tan” which is North Coast Old Rasputin and Dogfish Head 90 Minute. Very skull-numbing.

    December 8, 2010 at 4:52 pm
  • Reply Scott-TheBrewClub

    That sounds really nice! I can find the Brooklyn stuff easily, but the Vanilla will be a challenge. Can you think of any substitutes???

    December 11, 2010 at 10:22 pm
    • Reply Mike

      Hmmm I can’t think of any other vanilla beers right off the top of my head Scott.

      December 13, 2010 at 9:14 am

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