Friday drinks – Abstinence Chocolate Ale


I’m doing Friday Drinks on Thursday because tomorrow is Good Friday and pretty much all the bottle shops are closed then. So now you can pick something up on your way home tonight.
This is the second limited release from Gage Roads, following on from The Convict (which was recommended in this section last week). This one is a beer with Easter on its mind.

While I called it a chocolate ale, that was simplifying things a bit. According to the label, it’s actually a “Belgian Dubbel Chocolate Ale”. So what does that mean? Well, a Belgian Dubbel is a style of dark ale that usually hovers around 7 per cent. So Abstinence works on both those markers – it pours a mahogany to deep ruby red colour and weighs in at 7.4 per cent.

As for the chocolate part, that’s there too. It features chocolate from Gabriel’s Chocolate (dunno who they are but they must be biggish in the world of chocolate. Better Gage Roads works with them than, say, the guys who make the Home Brand Easter eggs).

There are some slight chocolate aromas and some tricky chocolate flavours. I say tricky because at first I thought the chocolate flavour was a bit thin. Then I noticed how that flavour keeps going and going even after you swallow. After a few mouthfuls, my tongue felt coated in the same way it does after I’ve eaten a bar of chocolate. So there are undoubtedly impressive chocolate characteristics here.

There’s also supposed to be some Belgian-style spiciness but I didn’t really pick that up. Which isn’t a drama, it’s an Easter beer and if you’re going to make one of them, you need to make sure there’s chocolate in it. And the Fussy Bastards at Gage Roads have done that.

One final word of caution. Be wary of that 7.4 per cent alcohol, when you start tasting that chocolate it can be easy to forget about that alcohol kick until it’s too late.

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