This flavorful holiday recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Its subtle cinnamon, nutmeg, orange & ginger flavors accentuate the Belgian chocolate. Malto dextrin gives the beer a smooth creaminess.
Specialty malts: chocolate malt, Crystal 40L, Black Patent
Featured hops: Magnum
Other additives: malto dextrin, additive pack, Belgian cocoa
O.G. = 1.052
F.G. = 1.016
Approximately 4.7% ABV
Approximately 175 Cal / 12 oz
Makes 5 US gallons
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I can definitely taste the chocolate. It might not as present as a Young's Double Chocolate -- but, it is very good. It's possible AHS may have added more Belgian Chocolate to the kit since the 1st reviewer. Didn't taste any presence of Orange. Instead of Corn Sugar -- I used DME for priming. Nice creamy head. Although different types of beer -- my wife I compared this with a Sam Adams Chocolate Bock last evening. Hands down -- we both agreed the AHS Chocolate Orange Holiday Ale was better. Will definitely brew again. Might add an additional oz of chocolate next time (and Orange peel)...but, really fine the way it is.
Beer tastes good, however doesn't really have a chocolate or orange flavor. Just a thick, dark beer. Head retention seemed pretty low as well.
LME version. Came out OK...slightly more bitterness towards the end than I would have expected. Great aroma and in my experience, the head retention is out of this world...literally had to scrape it off with a knife a few times. I'm bottling though so I get a little bit of variation from bottle to bottle. This has definitely gotten better with age and some cold storage in the fridge...still not the best I've ever had and probably wouldn't order this particular recipe again.
I had originally commented two months earlier about the beer being blah. Well, the beer is still not what I was hoping for, but has improved greatly. I now taste the orange and the bitter chocolate taste is gone. Now its a blend of chocolate and light orange. I still would not pick this kit again for the holidays as I'd go with a porter and add chocolate and fruit to that. Here is my advice: Let this age! The instructions say 6 weeks. I brewed in late October to serve for Thanksgiving...which didn't happen because of the taste. So after aging for 3.5+ months in the keg, undisturbed, it has turned out to be ok.
Got to say that this beer is kind of blah. Definitely a profound, mildly bitter chocolate taste and very little (if any) orange presence. The beer is velvety smooth when drinking as I presume this is from the maltodextrine to add body. This could be a good base beer to experiment with by adding more orange or fruit, or less chocolate? For what it's worth, go with a porter for the holidays and add chocolate and fruit to that. Will try a different holiday kit next year. AG; Kegged; 7 week conditioning.