Revealing the Critics’ Choice: #8

When I feature beers at beer appreciation classes and describe them as having flavours of chocolate, coffee and mocha and suggest pairing them with chocolate cake and ice-cream, I am usually met with blank looks at best, or sheer scepticism at worst. So a beer that is made with Dutch cocoa and whole vanilla beans is generally regarded as a gimmick, much like the chilli beers of the 1990s….until people try them.

Maybe it’s this phenomenon that explains the success of Holgate’s Temptress Chocolate Porter, or maybe its just a good beer.

Like many of the best craft beers, Temptress was originally launched as a one-off. Popular demand – and award recognition – was such that it was resurrected and has became part of the brewery’s permanent range. And the critics seem to agree, sending Holgate’s Temptress Chocolate Porter to number 9 in the Critics Choice of Australia’s best beers.

Holgate Brewery describes the beer as “a very tempting extreme twist on the classic robust porter, brewed with over 300 kg of malt and infused with a dash of rich Dutch cocoa and whole vanilla beans. Luscious chocolate, coffee, and caramel flavours are balanced by a hint of vanilla and a body of 6 per cent alcohol. A perfect winter warmer or a complement to meat pies and chocolate-based desserts. A definite “unisex” beer with great appeal for both guys and gals.”

Welcome to the Top 10 Holgate Brewhouse.

The Critics’ Choice: Australia’s Best Beers
RRP $14.95
Available from bookstores & newsagents from April 1, 2011

We’re giving readers a chance to win one of four copies of The Critics Choice: Australia’s Best Beers. Just tell us in the comments below which beer you think should be the choice for Australia’s best beer. Winners will be chosen at random from the comments.

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