ChadPolenz (1623) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - JAN 12, 2010
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Chocolate beers are a seemingly fool-proof product. Really, what’s not to like? Sometimes I feel I’m doing my readers a disservice by rating the majority I try so highly, but each seems to be better than the next. In the case of Aphrodite the Montreal-based microbrewery Dieu Du Ciel has created a beer that absolutely lives up its reputation (ranked in the 100th percentile on ratebeer.com and graded an “A” overall on beeradvocate.com). While I wouldn’t say it’s the best chocolate stout ever made, I do think it’s an absolutely outstanding beer for all the right reasons.
NOTE: This beer is also and better known as “Aprhodisiaque” or “Aphrodisiac”. It goes by the name of “Aphrodite” in the United States due to FDA regulations (or so I’m told).
APPEARANCE AND AROMA
Would it surprise you if I told you this beer pours to an opaque black body? While many stouts appear to be black they are actually dark ruby red, but Aphrodite does not have even the faintest trace of a red outline even when held up to direct light.
It forms a large, foamy, brown head which lasts throughout the life of the beer and leaves generous lacing on the glass. The aroma is surprisingly mild with a general malty scent, although chocolate is noticeable.
Dieu Du Ciel describes Aphrodite as a “cocoa and vanilla stout,” which is already very intriguing before even tasting it. Sure there are plenty of stouts which describe themselves as “chocolate” but this beer intends to be a little more complex.
It was apparent to me from the first sip that was indeed true. The head itself is rich, sweet and chocolaty and once the beer itself hit me I was in love with it. Immediately my palate is saturated with a rich milk chocolate-like flavor followed by a lightly roasted malt finish. There is a distinct, but fairly mild bitterness in the aftertaste. Unlike a baker’s chocolate aftertaste in other chocolate stouts this beer is noticeable sweeter – most likely due to the usage of vanilla bean in the recipe.
Aphrodite is not, to my knowledge, oak-aged, but there is a distinct earthiness to the finish. This could be explained by the fact the brewery lists bourbon among the notable flavors to the palate. this taste becomes more noticeable as the beer warms and because this is not an imperial brew, it’s actually quite inviting.
I never consider mouthfeel and drinkability all that important when it comes to beer-judging until I drink a beer as enjoyable as Aphrodite. Not only is the palate delicious, but the actual process of drinking it is a pleasure as well. For a carbonated beer this drinks like a nitrogen-charged brew with a thick, creamy texture and a velvety finish. In fact, it’s so tasty and so smooth it was a challenge for me to not slug it down.
At 6.5% ABV this is a perfectly-proportional beer. It’s not trying to “show off” the way a lot of imperial stouts do, but it’s got the gusto the pedestrian, session stouts lack. Because this is indeed intended to be a dessert beer I think it works perfectly as a one-and-done serving (it’s like chocolate cake – one piece is great but you probably wouldn’t want to eat many slices in a row, right?).
Thanks to the ever-growing craft beer industry, this great beer has finally been released to American markets. However, considering Dieu Du Ciel’s fairly small size I expect its distribution to be rather limited. I paid $6.29 for one 12oz bottle of Aphrodite, but it was well worth it. While that may seem pricey, trust me, you’ll know it was worth it if you’re able to get it.
NOTE: watch the video version of this review at:
j12601 (9526) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - JAN 10, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle with the Aphrodite label. Got this one in a trade, and can’t remember from whom, so… thank you whoever it was. Pours a deep dark black with a medium large deep tan head, nice small carbonation. Chocolate and vanilla, light coffee and roast, light candy and caramel. A little thicker than medium bodied, creamy and smooth. Great chocolate and cream flavors. Really tasty stuff. Finishes up with more light cocoa and vanilla, a light spicy roast note. I now wonder why this didn’t get distro near me.
JaBier (6657) - Capital City, Ohio, USA - JAN 10, 2010
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle of Aphrodite picked up at the Clybourn Binny’s for rating #1300. This beer pours pitch black with a thick tan head. Nose has an unexpected strong coffee aroma (I expected some, but there is more here) and some sweet chocolate. Not getting much vanilla. First sip - there’s the vanilla! It smoothes out to semi-sweet chocolate before a dry coffee finish. Outstanding.
gorditoabd (629) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 9, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 oz bottle thanks to MrBunn! Pours a deep, rich black with minimal tan head. Aroma is coffee, toffee, and chocolate love with a touch of vanilla bean. Taste is strongly of chocolate, with a fading touch of oiled leather, bitter coffee and just lovely malt. Truly a joyous brew, worthy of the name
thirdeye11 (5975) - Dallas, Texas, USA - JAN 9, 2010
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: SEP 14, 2010 ( 341ml bottle thanks to blutt59) Pours black with good lacing and head. Nose is vanilla, Earthy, semi-sweet chocolate, brown sugar. Taste is creme soda, vanilla, fudge, and cola root. Thick creamy mouthfeel, awesome linger. As you continue drinking a bit of acidic/bitter espresso lingers.
LinusStick (3183) - Moon Twp, suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 7, 2010
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Mmmmm...delicious stout! I’ve wanted to try this for quite some time. Aroma was nice. A strong dark chocolate aroma with a hint of roasted malt and sugar. Pour was a stunning deep black with a bubbly 2 finger tan head. Taste was both subtle and tasty. Not overpowering like an impy, but great and full. Dark chocolate and vanilla with a roasted bitter malt after taste with some cream. Strong and biting carbonation. Great beer!
alexsdad06 (8430) - Ohio, USA - JAN 7, 2010
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 oz. bottle from maltomeal. Pours an inky black color with a small tan head that quickly becomes a ring. The aroma is a wonderful blend of sweet milk chocolate, vanilla beans, roasted malts with the slightest hint of caramel dipped sugary coffee. The flavor is nicely roasted malt, coffee with vanilla cream, chocolate, with some bitterness in the finish. This turned out to be drier and not as sweet as the nose indicated. I love the use of cocoa and vanilla bean with this beer; nothing too over the top. Medium bodied and very smooth drinking. This is the more refined Felix to the bolder Oscar that is Southern Tier Choklat. Forget just desserts, I could drink this almost anytime.
Rating #372 for this beer.
cyrenaica (1126) - Milton, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 7, 2010
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
341 ml bottle
I tried this beer on December 18, 2009 at "Smokeless Joe’s" in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The beer poured a blackics colour with a thin tan head. The aroma was roasted malt, vanilla, molasses, and chocolate. The mouthfeel was medium bodied with medium carbonation, yet slightly creamy. The flavour was sweet roasted malt, coffee, some vailla, and a bitter finish.
Dogbrick (11021) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JAN 6, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sample at the "From Russia With Suds" tasting on 01/02/10: This brew pours black with a light brown head that diminishes slowly. Large patches of lacing on the glass. Aroma of roasted malt, vanilla beans and coffee. Rich body with a strong roasted malt and chocolate profile. Flavors of mocha, black cherry and vanilla as well. The finish is dry and roasty with a lingering coffee aftertaste. Hard to find much wrong with this Stout overall.
bb (8269) - Alamo, California, USA - JAN 5, 2010
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Blackish beer with a tan head. Chocolate and vanilla aroma with sweet malt. Milk chocolate flavor with light roast, vanilla, and sweet malt. Medium-plus bodied. Milk chocolate lingers with sweet malt and vanilla.