If you could put a popular brand of chocolate spread into a can and make it boozy, this is probably what it would taste like.
It's so delicious and uncompromising with the flavour that if it was thick enough, I wouldn't hesitate to spread it on my toast and eat it for breakfast. Alcohol aside, obviously. Not that I'm judging.
It's sold as a 'surreal stout' although I'm not sure what's so surreal about it other than the fact it's basically Nutel....a well-known chocolate spread brand. They could call it 'Nut Excrement' and i'd still buy it, knowing what I know now.
Dark Arts Hazelnut: Taste Test
As soon as you pop the can the nuttiness is very obvious but not in an earthy kind of way that some nuts bring, with Dark Arts it's combined with the sweetness of the chocolate and the roasted malt to make it sweeter on the nose.
The pour continues the nutty theme, the beer coming out of the can quite dense and creating a lovely thick head the colour of chocolate. During pouring the sweetness really comes to the fore with the rich chocolatey aroma blending well with the hazelnut.
The taste is initially quite a strong nutty flavour but as the mouthful develops the sweet chocolate and subtle bitterness from the roast comes into play to make it just sweet enough to avoid being overpowering.
Afterwards, you're left with a sweet, sugary flavour that makes you wonder if you've just dipped a spoon into that jar of spread or drank a beer. The only downside is that there isn't really any vanilla that I could detect, but the roasted malt, chocolate and nutty flavours probably blast it out of the water. Or beer.
Dark Arts Hazelnut: Can Notes
It's mysterious, with lots of shade and white rings/orbs/circles that make it feel a bit like an introduction to Captain Scarlet, to show my age.
It's unusual enough to stand out on the shelf although it is quite a simple design. Magic Rock are known for their simple but effective can designs with most of their range featuring colours and concentric shapes and shades.
Buy Dark Arts Hazelnut Stout
Sainsbury's. That's where I got it from. The fact that such an amazing stout is available at my local supermarket is a testament to capitalism.
You can of course go to Magic Rock's site
and buy it from there if you don't want to line the pockets of big commerce.