Vox Populi: Fifty Shades Darker

Vox Populi has been around for some years now, I first tried their double fruit punch IPA at Mondial festival few years back, and that’s what really put them on my radar. Although I was not very satisfied with that inital version, the beer has really developed with time as the ingredients and recipe has been tweak and perfected. As the beer has perfected so has thr brewery, stepping up its stage in the craft beer scene in Montreal. Although I love IPAs, I’m not here to talk about their IPAs, I’m here to talk about their collection of stouts!

My love for their stouts is in their simplicity, balance and drink ability. These days the craft beer world is cluttered with imperial stouts, double imperial stouts, stouts with adjuncts, stouts aged in barrels and stouts that are essentially like drinking a bottle of wine to your face. Although I enjoy those types of beers, maybe not drinking a 750ml to myself and starting and ending my night face planted on the ground, but the complexity and divine nature they do carry are extremely captivating. Most times I like to enjoy stouts in their simplest form.

The Vox stouts come in various variants and are only 5% abv, which makes a vertical tasting of them that much easier, pleasant and enjoyable. I could go for a run after drinking these, rather than forcefully hitting the hay.

Stout: Chocolate 
Stout Milk/Sweet || ABV: 5.5% || IBU: 20

The Aroma is bursting with chocolate, lactose and vanilla goodness. And it taste like a divine chocolate milkshake. It attacks you with super bitter chocolate, with a mix of rustic milk chocolate. The finish is a bit of vanilla with tobacco bitterness. However interesting in flavor I do feel like the body is a bit light and could be a tad more thick and creamy.

Stout: Milkshake 
Stout Milk/Sweet || ABV: 5.5% || IBU: 25

Aroma is much more of a lactose attack in comparison to the chocolate variant. Naturally because it has lactose in it! It has a very light mellow vanilla kick. I find the taste not as impactful as the chocolate variant. But a good beer to have in your arsenal for a pleasant night.

Stout: Cafe 
Stout Milk/Sweet || ABV: 5.5% || IBU: 35

Th musky coffee aroma strikes your nose, and your senses are tricked into thinking it is morning. However, this is more like a night time adult activity, churning this down before you hit the town for the night or hit the hay. Aroma has a tantalizing musky, spicy chili aroma, like a dry ancho chili used in Mexican cooking. The taste is very light smooth, chili pepper, musky, with a light easy coffee and a tobacco syrupy finish. Surprised that the coffee doesn’t have a stronger attack, but it is delightful to see a coffee stout not be loaded with coffee. It creates a better sense of balance to the beer overall.

Stout: Coconut 
Stout Milk/Sweet || ABV: 5.5% || IBU: 40

This variant was the least favorable for me personally. Although it has an aroma that gives way to the coconut, overall the experience wasn’t on par when compared to the coffee or chocolate variants, which to me are winners. The taste has a light roasted coconut with some rustic notes and tobacco bitterness to finish it off. I found it not as interesting and a bit one dimensional. It also tends to have an odd finish to it. It maybe an older can, that naturally would not age as well with such low abv and not being barrel aged. I would certainly give this one another chance, but for me in the trial, it is the weakest link.

I decided to give a shot at mixing all of them together and seeing what this mega Vox Populi stout blend would create, and surprisingly enough the results were not so bad at all! The coffee adds the musk, the chocolate blends with the milkshake to create the creamy taste and feel, and the coconut in a very minor amount adds a roasted sweetness.

Its stout season and only a few more months remain of this brutal winter (hopefully), so lets enjoy something thats fifty shades darker than an IPA!

Words + Photography by Hopcitizen

Your Ordinary Beer Citizen


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