Bakewell tart might well be a nationally renowned dessert but personally I`d sooner select another afters option and, funnily enough, it hales from that same Derbyshire town.
Cocoa Wonderland is a pre-Christmas treat that has recently been unveiled by Thornbridge. Unfortunately, we did not get to try this porter at the Steel City festival (it wasn`t put in front of our panel :-( ) but it was ultimately selected as the best beer there and, judging by this showing sampled at The Coach and Horses in Dronfield, it is another deserved accolade for the Bakewell brewers.
It pours black with an inviting beige head and an attractive chocolate aroma. The initial taste is friendly too, sweet for sure but then exploding into a warming milk chocolate mouthful and developing into a subtly bitter aftertaste. Vanilla notes and cocoa compliment this porter beautifully without any cloying or over boozy bite. Maybe liquorice and coffee. Wow. Daftly drinkable you could get into allsorts with this one at 6.8%. If you liked Pollards or McConnels then this one is like the bigger and more talented brother. Wow again.) I`m imagining getting snowed in at the Coach for a day or two and having to survive on this beer.)
This brew is a collaboration with the folk at Cocoa, Ecclesall Road`s independent chocolatiers extraordinaire, who clearly have provided some expert input here to get CW just right and to make it an ideal winter warmer. Think it was about £3.60 which seems very fair for a top end big ABV boy. Really hope this beer appears in all the Thornbridge pubs over the festive period. Especially at the Coach and Horses. Seek this brilliant beer and this great pub out. Now!
Mike - 9.5/10, a top tipple, and it offers subtle variations through the barrel. Each pint differed.
Mike - 9, converts to keg smoothly.
Danny - 9, loved it. Hoping it becomes a regular.
Mike - 8.5, still really good. A bargain!