I found a 440ml can of 4t's Brewery Chocolate and Fudge Stout Detectives in the Strait and Narrow which is one of my favourite pubs in Lincoln. It was £5.99 so far from cheap, but it sounded amazing, I mean really stout good, chocolate good, fudge good, detectives, well good I guess. So what could possibly go wrong? 4T's have been brewing beers in Warrington for a good 10 years now, so it's slightly surprising that this was my first. The art work on all their cans is excellent, and the chocolate and fudge stout detectives is no exception with bars of chocolate and fudge dressed as detectives. Again what could go wrong?
At 5% proof this should have been a pretty nice standard easy to drink stout, and I hoped a good dessert beer. The colour is about as black as black gets and it pours with a nice head, so again I have to ask what could go wrong? Well for a start the smell is horrendous, I can't even really describe it beyond saying it was powerful. I guess there was some burnt chocolate in there, but really it just smelt like something had died, and whatever the thing that died was, it wasn't pleasant prior to death.
Regardless of the smell I love chocolate stouts so I wasn't going to be put off that easily, unfortunately the smell foretold the taste. I want to tell you that it gets better, and in fairness it does. While the initial taste is very much like the smell eventually you do get a vague sense that there is a chocolate centre somewhere in the glass, it's not much, but it's a relief that it's there. I'm usually not a man of few words, but I just don't want to talk about this beer anymore. I did manage to finish it, but that was more down to the price I'd paid than the desire to get it down me. I'm going to give 4t's Chocolate and Fudge Stout Detectives a very generous score of 1/10 and the 1 is pretty much just for the artwork on the can so kudos to the designer.