I’m not a huge fan of concept beers, and far less a fan of “stunt” beers—lager with a chili pepper in it, I’m looking at you. Combining lots of ingredients with an eye towards producing a particular flavor usually falls flat with me. Indeed, I’m of the opinion that one of Germany’s greatest contributions to world civilization is the Rheinheitsgebot.
Nevertheless, I have a soft spot for chocolate beers, and Oskar Blues Brewery’s entry in the field, Death by Coconut, manages to draw out a strong yet subtle coconut flavor without overwhelming the palate. It tastes very much like a liquid Mounds bar, and that’s a fine result. The beer hews closely to the porter profile otherwise, with a slightly stronger alcohol content than normal (6.5% ABV) and a fine, lacy head. It drinks smoothly with very little bitterness in the aftertaste.
Sometimes chocolate beers can carry too much sweetness, but Death by Coconut avoids the “desert beer” category with a mellow sweetness and a light, thin mouthfeel. Still, one in a session feels like plenty, unlike, say a Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, which remains the pinnacle of session drinkable chocolate beers.
I secured a four-pack of Death by Coconut in late January, but it is apparently a seasonal beer, so if you see them on the shelf, pick one up before they’re gone. It’s worth seeking out, unlike most concept beers.