Chocolate, beer, and I share a common value – an affinity for a wide variety of food. With such an obvious complimentary mix, I’m unsure as to how this bottle managed to remain so elusive throughout my store ventures, sifting through beers. Thankfully this pairing was one I had readied long before I knew such a thing as chocolate stout was being brewed and bottled. My love of stout started with Guinness, quickly skimmed over Murphy’s (sorry) and linked solidly with the excellent Voodoo. Bestowing this union with even further grace is its historical flavor. Both lovely fermented concoctions (possibly by accident) were crafted prior to recorded history. The stout lies much younger, but off with the archaic lesson and on with the review.
Peeling the cap back greeted me with the faintest whimper of smoke. In an effort to impress, the sweet chocolate charmed the senses – soft hints of malted grains, hops, and coffee highlighted the experience. The beer remained a solid black poured into a 16oz Belgium glass, even exposed to the light hardly was there any bordering red. Black. The pour left a very smooth three finger head that held for a minute or so, and withered away almost completely after a few drinks. Not without expectation the chocolate was immediately rushing after the first drink, a very dense, dark chocolate, layered through the multiple flavorings – really more of the same that the aroma offered – malt, coffee, bitter, bitter hops and arriving majestically, vanilla along with a sweet caramel. And underlining this compilation of sensorial fireworks is the perfect amount of carbonation and the very medium-heavy body feel. The beer has it’s weight to it, and like it’s always said, drinking a stout is much like drinking a meal, if drinking a meal ever sounded pleasant.
Well’s and Young’s have garnered the reputation, at least for myself, for being the astute masters of crafting “flavored” beers, introduced to me with the Banana Bread beer I discovered some years back. I bought this brew with the highest of expectations and eyed the bottom of the bottle with a lasting impression – satisfaction. The crisp finish beyond the heavy chocolate and sweet taste closed nicely, and while not the most complex of beers it brings enough bold mixes and balances them rather effortlessly. Both my affection for dark chocolate and a very stouty stout have been sated by this molecular mashup. I need a hand to shake and a person to hug.
score: 4.8 out of 5
Double Chocolate Stout
Brewed by: Wells & Young’s Ltd
Style: Sweet Stout
Author: Joseph Herrera
Recent events have lead certain groups of ignorant adults and politicians to drag the issue of violence in video games into the spotlight… again. We see it time and time again when violence and children are in the same headline. Like most Americans, the American media are lazy and like to take the easy path to blaming video games in the wake of tragic events. Unfortunately and inconveniently, the root cause of the violent acts that seem to frequent our TVs and other media are much more complicated than we would like.
My generation was and has been exposed to violent video games especially in our most developmental years. We have seen it all. I remember the first video game controversy when Mortal Kombat hit the store shelves. It helped spawn the ESRB which was created to keep retailers from selling violent video games to young people. From my personal experience It’s hard to say if the ESRB has been succesful because I can count the number of parents that actually know what the ESRB even is on one hand. Like most Americans, parents of American children are lazy. Seeing a trend yet?
Another thing that my generation grew up with was the internet. The internet unleashed a whole new kind of threat to kids. The savvy kids in those days (I like to think I was one of them) quickly realized we could get access to just about anything we wanted. So, guess what we did. That’s right we looked at anything and everything. Eventually we went looking for real violence. I saw footage of people dying. I saw gruesome acts of dismemberment, suicides, and other violent acts.
There is a huge difference between seeing real violence and seeing it in a video game. I have seen both and you don’t forget the real violence. It sticks with you forever. I will always remember the shock I felt and the overwhelming weight of mortality that washed over me in the wake of the experience. The shear gravity is unshakable. I imagine that if you are a disturbed individual you don’t feel those feelings. If you are emotionally detached you probably don’t see a difference between real violence and video game violence. The truth of the matter is that these people have existed before video games ever came along and they are obviously still around. That is the real problem. We should be asking ourselves how to recognize these kinds of people and get them the help that they need.
I know how easy it is to blame video games. I also understand parents who feel helpless in a violent world. You can’t help but be fearful for your children when you know what horrors await them in the real world. All you can really do is prepare them. Don’t hide them and keep them from the inevitable. The shock they experience can only get worse the longer you hold them back. Teach them right and wrong. Keep them grounded firmly in reality so that they know the difference between real violence and animated violence. Let’s be smart about these next steps, America.
Remember guns don’t kill children, psychopaths kill children.
Please take a look at the video attached to this article. It is a set of 3 and the other two can be found here: Video Game Violence: part 2, Video Game Violence: part 3
Author: Jonathan P. Niess (Jonnydem)
Warlocks: Games and Beer is not yet a full reality as many of you know. We do not have our own location yet. What we DO have is an awesome place that allows us to hold events and with your help, will also allow us to brew and sell our beer as a member of the League of Extraordinary Brewers. The Brewery Incubator is a magical place that is doing something that no one has done before. It is taking concepts, fostering them, and guiding them along the dangerous road of small business. They are giving us a chance to be a real brewpub. Before they can help us, we need to help them.
The Brewery Incubator needs funds to boost them into their opening date. Equipment needs to be purchased so we can make more beer for all of you to enjoy. They have gone with Kickstarter.com for their crowd funding project, an amazing website that allows anybody to give money in exchange for perks and rewards that come directly from the aspiring business. In short; you give money to the Brewery Incubator, in return you get awesome stuff. I ask that you please consider giving to this cause. The craft beer scene is growing in Houston. Be a part of the historical growth and stand next to your fellow Texans and support small business in this city.
The following links have more information on all that was mentioned:
Brewery Incubator: Home of the League of Extraordinary Brewers (Kickstarter)
Brewery Incubator Facebook
Warlocks Retro Game Event (Being held at Brewery Incubator) (Come see the brewery)
I have begun working with a handful of writers to produce original content for the Warlocks website. We are obviously, first and foremost a beer and gaming facility, however, as you should know we don’t have a location yet. So, I have concluded that this website should still be a destination spot for you while we work hard to establish the physical location that will be a temple of all that is holy in gaming and nerd culture. The original content will not cease to exist once the location comes into existence. It is my personal intention to only grow our library of content, whether it be videos, articles, or strange pictures that you can not unsee of Warlocks staff like the one partnering this article.
On that note, if you know of any decent writers with an affinity for games, tech, or anything nerdy drop me an email(firstname.lastname@example.org) or message me on Facebook. I also accept tweets!
Welcome to the Warlocks: Games and Beer website. We are glad you have found us.
If you don’t know, we are an aspiring brewpub. We do not have a location yet but we are working on that. Right now we depend on your input and your general interest in our project to keep this idea alive. So far your feedback has been great.
If you would like to come see what we are about please stay tuned to the events page where we will let you know when and where you can come out and see us and taste our beer.
Thanks for checking us out. Cheers! Prost! Salute! L’chaim! …so on and so forth.