Worlds End Chocolate Vanilla Imperial Stout is a sweet dark stout beer made by Blacks of Kinsale Brewery. Upon opening the bottle the smell of chocolate is immediate. It is quickly followed by a vanilla undertone. The taste of the beer is not complex but it is powerful. It’s a sweet dark chocolate flavour with almost no trace of malt and absolutely no trace of Hops. It is reminiscent of the Narwhal sampled a few weeks ago, but with the volume turned down to a more tolerable level. It’s very much a sipping beer to work your way through over a period of time and probably one is enough given the sweetness. One is probably enough anyway given the 8.5% ABV. It would do well to be paired with food, the sweetness is heavy work on its own after a while.
In the glass the beer is a dark black beer, there is only the merest hint of a red colour around the edges when held up to the light. There is no fizz to speak of and no head at all. The bottle is well enough presented, albeit the label is a little busy. The raven on the label is becoming more and more familiar site in off-licenses and supermarkets as they expand their range and find themselves in a wider and wider range of outlets. It currently retails at €4.50 in O’Brien’s off-license, making it at the upper end of the price range.
Blacks are a proper craft brewery, newly established in 2013, no doubt aided by the rise in popularity of non-mainstream beers. It’s a family run establishment that grew from a hobby into a livelihood and it’s great to see an Irish business like that doing well. Their avowed aim is to produce beers with passion and personality and they have certainly achieved that with this beer. Yours truly appreciates that they haven’t attempted to tart up the beer with a convoluted nonsense backstory like we see with many of the craft beers that are out there.
It’s not knocking my socks off if I’m completely honest. As with the Narwhal it’s something you’re either going to like or you’re not. I respect it for what it is, it’s a beer with a point, with a genuine attempt to make a statement with flavour. It’s afraid of what it is, it knows some people won’t like it and it’s unapologetic for it. It’s not my cup of tea, if someone handed it to me I’d drink it but I won’t be rushing out to buy another one.
Final Score: 6/10
I really wanted to like this beer more, it ticks a lot of boxes for me, Irish made, family business, really bold flavours, but the chocolate-sweet thing really isn’t my bag.