Garage Project have a well earned reputation for pushing brewing boundaries, and their Surrender To The Void series of flavoured stouts truly embraces that ethos. This time with Choconanacado brings together chocolate (ok, fairly normal) banana (a bit weird) and avocado (extremely weird) in a massive 11.5% ABV stout. Just like the previous entries in this series it’s astonishingly black, even the head is an opaque russet brown.
I’ll admit, as much as I like avocado just fine, I couldn’t even begin to guess at how it would express itself when added to a beer. Assuming they were going in similarly blind then this was a particularly brave one for GP.
In the aroma we’ve got huge cocoa and dark roasted malt, with ripe banana further in and just a thread of vanilla and savoury smoke. No avocado so far… Could it be that it was consumed by these other, so much more vast, flavours? On the palate the chocolate is even more massive, to the point that I would argue that it kind of runs away with it. But the banana and vanilla are still there if the tongue searches. What then of the avocado? I’d be exaggerating my own ability if I claimed I could definitively taste it under that mountain of chocolate, but there are flashes around the edges. Where it really comes through for me is in the texture it lends to the beer. There’s a smooth oily unctuousness that goes even beyond what you’d expect even in such a strong stout, quite reminiscent of a ripe, buttery avocado.
Be warned that this beer is a lot, but those familiar with the Surrender To The Void series should know that already by now. For those reckless flavournauts like myself who love to explore stout’s blackest reaches; get ready for another trip…