I don’t usually like sweet beers, and I don’t usually order anything chocolate. Both of those rules go out the window when I’m faced with the newest beer from 3 Stars Brewing, a lovely double chocolate stout called Starsky & Dutch. Launched Nov. 6 during the debut of the D.C. brewery’s Urban Farmhouse tasting room, it is an interesting style for 3 Stars, which is known for its summery saisons and strong imperial porters and brown ales.
Starsky & Dutch is made with Dutch cocoa powder and cacao nibs from the local Undone Chocolate. A potent chocolate flavor comes through from your first whiff. The beer itself is pitch black, with a full khaki-colored head, and is as rich and smooth as it looks. There’s a slight chocolate-milk character in the creamy body, thanks to lactose added during brewing, and sweet caramel notes. A dry spiciness pops up toward the finish, but the Nugget hops don’t really make much of an impression. This stout is all about the dark chocolate.
Just don’t make the mistake of scoffing at Starsky & Dutch as a “dessert beer”: It weighs in at a potent 8.3 percent alcohol by volume, though it definitely doesn’t taste that strong.
3 Stars pours Starsky & Dutch at its tasting room in Northwest Washington from Thursdays through Sundays; it’s also available at better local beer bars, including Meridian Pint.
3 Stars Brewing, 6400 Chillum Pl. NW, Takoma; www.3starsbrewing.com . Draft only: At the brewery, a glass costs $5, a 32-ounce growler, $12; a 64-ounce growler, $20.