Image by Flickr user Christopher Lehault
Update March 27th: After a long, bleak absence, Foothills Brewing has returned to Charleston, and Sexual Chocolate has come with them! Catch it at Charleston Beer Exchange for Rare Beer Tuesday this week at 5 p.m., and otherwise on tap around town. See my post below, circa February 2010, for more info:
Winston-Salem's own Foothills Brewing has sent their most monstrous, sought-after, and devastatingly tasty beer, Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout, to the Lowcountry recently, and the stuff is popping up all over the place.
First of all it's this week's selection for Rare Beer Tuesday at the Charleston Beer Exchange at 5pm. Growlers are first-come first-serve, so if you want it you better high-tail it over there and get in line.
Sexual Chocolate started getting released last week as well at Laura Albert's on Daniel Island. They have tap-filled and capped 22oz bombers for sale, and have the concoction on tap if you want to stop in for a pint.
Lastly, I've heard word that The Griffon Pub downtown also has this on tap.
So what's all the hub-bub about this beer? By the numbers, it's an even 10% ABV, gets an A from BeerAdvocate, and a perfect 100 from Ratebeer. It's currently ranked #60 on BeerAdvocates "Top Beers on Planet Earth" list.
Some of the hype comes from Foothills doing a one-day-only release of wax-dipped bottles, part of a growing trend in the craft brewing world with the likes of Three Floyds Brewing holding "Dark Lord Day" and Surly Brewing doing "Darkness Day". These releases generally spill over into beer geek bacchanalia the night before and the next morning in line. People lined up as early as 4am for Sexual Chocolate this year, spending the dawn hours sharing exotic beers others have brought from all over the country and waiting for the 11am release.
Regardless of the hype, this is just an exceptional beer. The recipe includes actual cocoa nibs, which add to the chocolate character without overloading your palate with sweetness. I'm going to let a great, unsung local beer writer take over from here. From the man known as "oobawa":
The chocolate is everywhere in the beer, weaving its way through the roasted malts and the slightly bitter finish, yet it allows all the normal goodness of a Russian Imperial to shine through as well. While some brewers use cocoa to hide flaws in an RIS, Sexual Chocolate uses the added ingredients to showcase and accentuate a beautiful beer, not rule over it with an iron fist. Restraint in a Big Beer. What a novel idea.