Thursday, 26 July 2012

Titanic - Chocolate & Vanilla Stout

Titanic Brewery is rightly renowned for their Stout. Having won many awards over the years for a genuine dry stout this beer offers a delightfully sweeter alternative at a not too heavy 4.5% ABV. Brewed using Roast Barley and Maris Otter Pale Malt which give a huge amount of rich body to the beer and a generous amount of English North Down hops to create a bitter edge, the sweetness comes from the addition of Chocolate and Madagascan Vanilla. It is so rich and opulent that it seems like a pint and a half in one glass!

Madagascan Vanilla Orchid Flower and Pods
Vanilla is the fruit of an orchid plant, which grows in the form of a bean pod. Although there are over 110 varieties of vanilla orchids, only one, Vanilla planifolia, produces the fruit which gives us 99% of commercial vanilla. Another genus, the Vanilla tahitensis grown in Tahiti, does produce fruit with a more pronounced aroma, but debatedly less flavor. 

Of all the Vanilla Species Madagascar Bourbon (planifolia) is the most common bean used in extracts. Bourbon beans from Madagascar and the Comoros are described as having a creamy, hay-like, and sweet aroma, with strong vanillin overtones.

Attractive enough with its off-white head and deep black appearance the chocolate was sadly all but hidden beneath a very heavy hit of vanilla, this occasional brew from Titanic was a little sharp and aggressive on the palate for my taste. It should taste of nougat and cheesecake with a bitter nutty finish but instead the flavour was cloying and a little plastic for this stout to achieve any acclaim.

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