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When I saw this come out the day before Valentine’s Day I figured I should head out and grab a bottle.  It seemed like something that might make for an appropriate beverage the next day, though little did I know at the time that this would end up being one of the most controversial beers I’ve reviewed to date!

Beer Name: Chocolate Goodness

Brewery: Trillium Brewing Company (Boston, MA / Canton, MA)

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 10.2%

Description: Inspired by European drinking chocolates, this imperial stout was brewed with over 500 pounds of cocoa powder.  More specs are available here.

Appearance: Dark brown chocolate-like body with a thin, bubbly tan head.

Smell: Faint aromas of dark chocolate.

Taste: Big dark chocolate and cocoa powder flavors throughout.  A creamy, more fudgy taste came through as the beer warmed up a bit, but really this was all about the cocoa.  The finish was warm and strongly bittersweet, though that too mellowed a bit with time in the glass as mild sweeter notes began to appear as the beer went on.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, medium-plus body with low carbonation.

Hype: Highly elevated due to INTERNET DRAMA!  The one time darlings of the Boston beer scene, Trillium recently (and rightfully) received a lot of backlash surrounding some suspect compensation policies for their taproom employees.  Despite making changes in response, their reputation took a big enough hit that some in the beer community now find it fashionable to hate on the brewery every chance they get. Combine this with recent unpopular changes in the fermentation profile of some core beers and a bad keg being tapped on release day and jilted fans did what people apparently do these days and took to social media to vent their outrage.  Coming out in equal numbers, however, were not only the beer traders that flock to any Trillium release, but also a number of people offering rave reviews.  I bought my bottle early in the day before most of this played out so I had no idea what to expect when I opened this up.

Overall: As is often the case, the truth of this beer (at least according to my taste buds) was somewhere in between the extremes.  The beer was good (and certainly nothing like the images from the bad keg that circulated) but I wouldn’t rank it among my favorite stouts from the brewery either.  I found the finish a bit more intensely bittersweet than I typically like my chocolate and I thought it could have benefit from a slightly fuller mouthfeel, but I also had no problems drinking my share of it.  Was this worth it as an $18 stout? Probably not, but given what prices are in my area I don’t feel like I totally got burned on this either.  To each their own.