I smuggled this beer back to Los Angeles from a six-pack we picked up for a party while I was back visiting my family in Illinois. I hadn't heard of this brewery before but this stout, which is brewed with chocolate, molasses and lactose as well as deeply roasted malt (more on that… in a myopic sort of way as you'll read soon.)
Beer: Arcadia Ales "Cocoa Loco" Stout from Battle Creek, MI
Nose: Almost a dead ringer for those chocolate covered espresso beans you might have had from gourmet coffee shops. Hints of bark, maybe birch? Some notes of hosin sauce. But really the nose is dominated by that crumbly chocolate espresso bean scent.
Drink: A touch on the thin side, a little bit bitter, a little sour. As expected loads of bitter roasted coffee/malt flavor dominate the whole package. Not particularly pleasant or interesting. Some salty/soy notes and a lingering burnt bitter finish. Pretty much a one note beer lacking in body.
Final Judgement: Honestly, I wouldn't get this beer again. It's just not refined, complex nor drinkable enough. This brewery apparently makes a bourbon barrel aged porter which I would love to try though!
(Thanks to Brendon for giving me a second opinion on this beer - I generally don't like to write negative reviews of beer unless I have another person double-check my tasting notes, and in this instance he was in almost total agreement that it was an unbalanced, thin beer.)