Southern Tier Brewing Co., located in Lakewood, N.Y., was founded by Phineas DeMink and Allen Yahn with the vision of reviving the practice of small batch brewing.
Production began in 2002 and beers were distributed exclusively in New York until 2005, when sales started to expand outside of the state. In 2009, a new 20,000-square-foot facility was built to accommodate an expanding customer base. In 2010, more fermenting barrels were added and the brewery underwent a 7,500-square-foot expansion.
Close to 10 years ago, Southern Tier introduced its Blackwater Series, a line of flavored stouts that now includes Choklat Oranj, Crème Brulee, Mokah, Warlock (An Imp. Pumpkin Stout) and Choklat, the one I will review today.
Poured from a 22-ounce bottle, chocolate abounds; from the incredibly deep black-brown color, to the mocha head and the aromas of chocolate that I inhale with every breath. This beer declines to let light through and the almost full finger of tan head quickly disappears back into the glass, never to be seen again. Lacing is very light and spotty and also follows the head rapidly back into the base of the brew.
There’s lots going on with aroma: a heap of milk chocolate, very light coffee and a sweet, sugary nose feel. Taste follows the nose with milk chocolate and a sweet, lactose feel and adds notes of chocolate syrup, malty grains, bitterness, which I am not sure if it comes from the hops or too much chocolate, and an earthiness that resembles dirt. Carbonation is medium to low and unfortunately, as this beer starts to warm, the dirty bitterness becomes stronger and the balance falls apart because of it.