I’ve heard the phrase “Like a kid in a candy store” my entire life. When you stop to think about it, what comes to mind?
There’s the smell: candy shops have that certain aroma — a blend of chocolate, gummy treats, hard candies — that makes your mouth water just thinking about it. Then close your eyes and picture yourself as a child in that store. The shelves are full of all your favorites, and maybe you see a glass counter where you can browse all those lovely packages with their enticing pictures and names blazed across the box or wrapper. The candy man helps you choose, puts your prizes in a brown paper bag and counts your change.
That feeling as you walk out? Pure joy, pure bliss. A kid in a candy store.
My favorite is chocolate. Nothing tops a wonderful bar of chocolate, which leads me to the real topic of the day — Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout. This beautiful beer comes from merry ole England. Its recipe has not changed much since its origin; the brewery still uses water from a well sunk in 1758. Samuel Smith boasts that it is the oldest brewery in Yorkshire, still uses the original recipes for its yeasts and continues the same small-batch process developed centuries ago. The brewery sticks to the tried-and-true belief that “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”
The shelf appeal comes from its simplicity. The brewery uses a simple brown bottle with a cacao plant on the label, joined by the USDA Organic logo. A back label gives you a small backstory of the brewery and its processes.
The pour was what you would expect from a stout: dark and foamy with a 1.5-inch head that remained throughout my enjoyment of the beverage. The aroma came across as malty with a hint of chocolate underneath and smelled absolutely inviting. The first sip felt like what I imagine taking a dip in a nice, warm pool of chocolate would be like. It swirled on the tongue and practically danced on the taste buds. The smooth and creamy mouthfeel had the thickness typical of a well-brewed stout. It offered a robust flavor with chocolate teeming throughout, and the delightful aftertaste was malty with chocolate undertones.
The brewer describes this particular drink as the “perfect marriage of satisfying stout and luxurious chocolate that will lead to smiles and refills.” And that’s absolutely correct. At 5% ABV, this brew certainly went down quickly and would be enjoyable for a social session, as you can put down quite a few without getting sloppy.
If you are a chocolate lover, I highly recommend going out and getting this. It’s a treat that will cause your adult cares to melt away and make you feel like a kid in a candy store once again.
Brian Hazlak lives in Kingston and reviews beers for the Liquid column. He holds a master’s degree in history from University of Scranton and works as a licensing supervisor for the Office of Children, Youth & Families in Scranton and as an adjunct professor of history at Luzerne County Community College. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.