Firstly an apology. I know stouts should be drank at room temperature to get the full flavour, however it was 29 degrees today and I'm sure even the most ardent connoisseur will accept that's not the right temperature to drink any beer.
Williams Bros are a Scottish microbrewery with close to 50 beers on their ever growing list of goodness. They cover everything from hoppy IPA's through to spicy porters, and everything in between, so whatever your personal taste you'll find something from them.
Anyway I found these lovely dark offerings in the middle isle of LIDL and couldn't resist buying a couple of each to try. I've also just had a look online and you can get the March of the Penguins from Beerhawk here and Chokka Blokka from Beer52 here. They were both cheaper in LIDL, but that's what you'd expect.
March of the Penguins immediately has a couple of advantages, everyone loves penguins, and it comes in a bottle. There's just something about canned beer that isn't right, and I say this despite Stay Puft by Tiny Rebel been one of my all time favourites. Just in terms of figures March of the Penguins clocks in at 4.9% while Chokka Blokka comes in at 4.8%, both of which are about right for a session stout.
Despite Chokka been a mocha stout it somewhat lacks the chocolatey flavour you'd get from something like Young's Double Chocolate Stout, or the excellent Blue Monkey Chocolate Stout. It feels heavier and creamier than a lot of beers, which will make it difficult to drink as part of a long session. In fact I'd go as far as to say that in terms of texture it almost feels like Guinness. It's certainly a beer most stout drinkers will feel quite accustomed too, it wont disappoint, but it wont blow you away either. Chokka Blokka Mocha Stout is very much a solid 7/10 beer.
March of the Penguins meanwhile feels like an impressive beer, and ironically it tastes more chocolatey than the mocha alternative. There just seems to be more going on here, there's the chocolate flavour, mixed with a not unpleasant bitterness. It still has a rich, heavy feel to it, but in this case it feels a little more manageable.
Happily I still have a bottle of March of the Penguins left, so hopefully when it cools down a little bit I'll be able to have it at the right temperature, I'm guessing it'll be a real treat done right. I'd certainly be happy to give this beer a solid 8/10, but I think in both cases you very much have to be a dark beer lover to really enjoy them. Fortunately I am.