This Asheville, NC, brewery is back with the second release in it limited edition, high gravity Warrior Series of beers.
Black Watch Double Chocolate Milk Stout pays homage to the fearless Scottish military regiment. Careful, you may have to go to war to get the last bottle.
Like the first beer in the series, King McAlpin Double IPA, this beer demonstrates the skills of Highland’s brewers to push beyond the familiar, highly accessible beers for which the brewery has been famous. With these two brews – and four more queued up for release in 2016 – Highland is establishing itself as a brewer with great depth and creativity.
Black Watch pours as dark as a moonless night on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The head is nutty brown and dense. As the head wanes, it becomes a crema-like frosting that tops off a delicious sipping beer. There is a definite creamy mouthfeel and unapologetic chocolate character, like a 75 percent cacao bar that finishes with a tease of hoppy bitterness. It’s no wonder: Black Watch takes on a hearty dose of more than 100 pounds of cacao nibs – a serious addition to the brew bill of five malts, Willamette and Chinook hops, roasted barley and oatmeal flakes. The aroma is straight up chocolate with a subtle hint of roasted marshmallows. Man, don’t leave this out around the kids! At 8 percent ABV, this velvety smooth beer goes a long way to warming winter’s chills.
Hop heads will find it perhaps too sweet – but it’s the beer hops fans should bring home for spouses who lean hard into malty beers – and who favor chocolate.
Leah Wong Ashburn is quick to credit Black Watch to the imagination and palate of tasting room bartender J Unger. “I drink stouts year round,” Unger said. “I’m constantly searching for the most chocolaty beer I can find. When it was my turn in the brew house, I figured why not make a beer that is rich, velvety and chocolaty?”
Black Watch will be available in in 4-packs and on draft at exclusive retailers in Highland’s nine-state distribution area.