Apparently this post was unfortunately published prematurely-I intended it to only be registered as a draft: I apparently have much yet to learn about the wonderful world of wordpress! Hopefully it will not be neglected due to my mistake, but herein lies a more comprehensive evaluation of what is perhaps my most highly esteemed local beer (I reside in the beautiful little city of Guelph, Ontario-Cobblestone Stout is brewed in Mill St. Brewery, Toronto).
First, I will briefly discuss the little brewery based in Toronto. Mill St. Brewery does not have the ancient lineage that the majority of good European beers do, and thus cannot claim a rich heritage of historic brewing. That being said, they have worked hard to create their own special selection of beers that has impressed me with their excellence in both quality and diversity. I would highly recommend the purchase of their summer sampler pack, which contains primarily ales and lagers-the majority of which provide a delicious complexity of flavour (although I cannot speak for all, as I have not tried all of them yet). Mill St. Brewery opened in 2002 within the Gooderham & Worts Distillery complex. This little bit of information may contain some of the reasons for the success of Mill St., as it points to a historic expectation from the little Brewing House. Gooderham & Worts was one of the most successful beer companies in Canada at one time. It was established in 1831 by James Worts and his brother in law William Gooderham. It was owned and operated by the Gooderham family (after Worts passed away) until 1923, when it was sold for 1.5 million to a man named Harry C. Hatch, who was able to increase the profitability of the brewery after a time of difficulty by selling to smugglers who imported the beer into the United States during the prohibition era-a common story in many historic Canadian beer companies. Leave it to the Canadians to provide beer to the teetotallers! Unfortunately, after a brief era of success, the company began to fade and the brewery was shut down in 1990 and converted into what is known as the Distillery District. Although it ended in a whisper, the company had a very successful and prestigious run in the world of beer-perhaps setting a precedent for good brewing in the vicinity. The district is now a pedestrian-focused area with the cafes and pubs the likes of which you would find many a hipster and university student. Mill St. Brewery proudly returned the craft of brewery to the area, and has successfully spread the reach of its beer, which is sold in many LCBOs throughout Ontario-perhaps beyond, but I cannot make any promises.
Now, to the excellent sophistication of the Stout itself. Mill St. produces a delicious stout, known as their Cobblestone Stout-a very appropriate name as it is indicative of the rich and rustic feel of the beer. It is described by Mill St. as a “traditional styled Irish Stout that is served using beer gas to produce that familiar creamy pore”. This system they describe is the same as that utilized by the all-famous Guinness beer. My take on it is as follows:
Brewed by: Mill St. Brewery, Toronto-Ontario
Style | ABV
Irish Dry Stout | 4.20% ABV
Appearance: The stout has a perfect black hue with the tell-tale swirl of creaminess suitable for any good stout. There is slight beading on the glass, and a beautifully thick and foamy 1/2 inch head that lingers as you drink.
Nose: There is an immediate sense of sweet coco that comes quite strong, with a soft roasted coffee bean. Relatively typical in a good stout. There are also, surprisingly, very light hints of strawberry in the high notes.
Taste: As would be expected, the beer contains flavours of chocolate and coffee. The blending of the flavours are succulent-it is a heavy stout, with a dark-chocolate flavour, and a similar dark-roast coffee blend. There is an oatie after-taste with a perfectly heavenly sweet ride that makes you enjoy a slow sip, relishing each movement in the flavour . Perhaps the only significant draw-back to the beer in my own personal enjoyment is a lack of distinctive kick. It is the perfect presentation of a chocolate-style stout. However, the hints of strawberry in the nose could be highlighted more in the flavour, providing a more complex distinction in comparison to other similar-style stouts. That being said, I will continue to purchase and enjoy this beer!
Mouthfeel: The stout has a wonderfully smooth and creamy feel that overwhelms your senses and encompasses your whole mouth. It is a beer that can be enjoyed entirely by itself, simply because of the thickness and heaviness. It is a little stronger in carbonation than would be expected, but this only lends to the overall feel of the beer, and is appropriate with the foaminess. I dwell on this, because the mouthfeel really is especially marvellous in this tasty craft beer.
Overall: As is quite evident from the above review-I am quite enamoured with this beer. It is a decadent blend of chocolate and coffee flavours, that provides a deep and satisfying experience of flavour and feel. The alcoholic content is not particularly high, which allows the flavours to speak for themselves in a sombre and endearing fashion. If you enjoy deep stouts, then this particular beer is a must-try.
My rating: ◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊/◊
Availability: Rotating. nitro-can (18), on-tap (17), nitro-tap (9), can (1),bottle (1). Beer Advocate Review