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Saint Arnold Icon Blue Chocolate Milk Stout

 

Saint Arnold Icon Blue Chocolate Milk Stout

Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Houston, just North of Downtown

Milk Stout with Chocolate

ABV: 5.6%

IBUs: 39

Packaging: Draft, 6 pack 12 ounce bottles

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This Icon’s a collaboration, but not in the way that makes us beer nerds start chomping at the bits, rounding up mules. It’s a collab with Chef Hugo Ortega of Hugo’s, a James Beard Best Chef Southwest 2017 winner. The chocolate in the milk stout came from the restaurant rather than two brewers working together on the recipe.

All awards aside, when I poured it I said to myself, “self, this is pretty thin.” To which I immediately replied to myself, “Yeah. It’s thin AF!” I don’t lean towards stouts as a go-to, but when I drink them, I like them to be full-bodied. It’s not watery thin, but it’s definitely lighter than I expected.

Second offense? I couldn’t find any in the label art. This Icon Blue Chocolate Milk Stout’s art looks just like all the others that came before it, but this one’s blue. Duh. They always feature black background with blue, yellow, green, or red art of the Saint. He’s illustrated differently on the Icons, though. He looks more like a literal painting of a saint.

It pours a dark, dark brown that’s nearly as black as the packaging. There’s a light tan head that’s airy and effervescent for a stout, but it melts down fairly quickly into a solid ring that laces down the glass.

Icon Blue Chocolate Milk Stout smells of nothing but dark chocolate and a little bit of booze. The alcohol intensifies as it warms.

The taste is what turned it all around for me. Icon Blue Chocolate Milk Stout makes up for being light-bodied with a mouthful of roasty chocolate notes that are far from overly sweet. In fact, there’s a pronounced bitter finish that lingers with the roastiness like a cup of black coffee. A mild hint of cinnamon is somewhere in there too, but it’s faint, and you won’t notice it if you’re drinking it cold. I didn’t notice it the first time I had one. The carbonation’s a bit more lively than most stouts too, adding to that clean finish. It’s almost… crisp and refreshing? These are adjectives I wouldn’t often use to describe a stout, but it fits for this one.

Saint Arnold Icon Blue Chocolate Milk Stout reminds me a little bit of Southern Star Buried Hatchet simply because it’s a really great beer that I wish was a little bit thicker. Although this one came out long after we did the taste test and wrote the post, I wonder how it would’ve stacked up against all the other great stouts in in our blind tasting of the best stouts in Houston.

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You can find Icon Blue Chocolate Milk Stout in bottles pretty much everywhere good beer’s sold. Hop Scholar, Pacific Yard House, Flying Saucer Sugar Land, and Conservatory have all had it on tap. If you’re into chocolatey beers, I’d find it around town before it’s all gone.

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Tony D
tony.d@beerchronicle.com

Tony's an artist that loves craft brew almost as much as he does Houston. He's worked in the oil industry and owns a few small businesses. Tony isn't picky when it comes to beer types, as long as it's refreshing and sessionable.

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