Friday, November 26, 2010

Exit 13: chocolate indulgence

Chocolate stout met glass at Flying Fish today, where the packaging crew at the Cherry Hill brewery began bottling Exit 13, the sixth installment in FF's limited-batch specialty brew series.

The labels that tell you it's a chocolate stout get added next week in the second step of the packaging process. (The lone labeled bottle of 13 at top right was pulling photo-op duty. The beer hits store shelves sometime in December.)

But the beer's chocolate cred is truly in its flavor. And waiting beneath a super-dense head of deep-tan foam is a big, fat chocolate taste that would make hedge fund manager/cocoa market mogul Anthony "Choc Finger" Ward take notice.

Exit 13 was made with 580 pounds of Belgian chocolate, 200 pounds of cocoa nibs and 1,200 Tahitian vanilla beans.

"You can definitely pull that chocolate right out," head brewer Casey Hughes says, after offering a taste of Exit 13 from the brewery's holding tank. "When a lot people think about chocolate, they don't think about the vanilla that's actually in it ... That's why we have vanilla beans in there, to bring out that chocolate flavor."

The folks at Flying Fish planned a total of 150 barrels of the chocolate stout. Today's bottling made a dent in a run of 1,250 cases of the 750 milliliter bottles that have been a signature of the Exit Series.

Chocolate lovers may want to consider the box of 12.

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