Muskoka Brewery, out of Bracebridge, is another independent local brewery success story, now selling across Ontario through the local liquor monopoly, and in several other provinces. They make a variety of hoppy craft beers, but the Winter Beard Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout is my personal Christmas treat.
That’s a lot of words for one beer. We’ve discussed what makes a stout previously, but the rest of it requires some explanation. In this case it’s a flavoured beer, which means it’s possible the flavourings are just added at the end of the process. Their product description is not specific either. But in this case the question is slightly mooted. Unlike last year’s version, this is, uh… well this is actually last year’s version, but cellar aged for a year. This means the flavourings have had way more time to muddle and mingle together, mellowing and changing. By being the same but older, it becomes different. Like a person. A person with a cork head you pull out to get at their delicious insides. Here’s what we thought:
Ryan – cranberry, butterscotch
Goran – chocolate covered blueberries
Dan – chocolate cranberries
Simon – small berries, dark cocoa
Ryan – bitter on tongue, super creamy finish
Goran – grainy bitterness which quickly cleans up to a sweet walnut finish
Dan – crazy-tasting. metallic, not unpleasant, cough syrup, chocolate, roasted cocoa, craisin
Simon – coca cola, milkshake, velvety smooth
Muskoka Winter Beard Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout – 8% 750ml – $13.95 – Ontario
Try it? Yes! Buy it! well.. yes.. but it costs too much.