Wisconsin’s Untitled Art certainly sounds like the brewing equivalent of an art project. The brewery only makes beer 50 barrels at a time and skips a brick-and-mortar presence, meaning Untitled Art truly has the freedom to brew whatever it wants without production demands. So far, the team has indulged in that opportunity and filled its abstract art-styled cans with equally adventurous flavors.
Since its start in late 2016, Untitled Art has brewed experimental beers such as stouts based on Neapolitan ice cream and chocolate pudding or fruit beers based on pineapple sherbet. And with cold temperatures settling in for most US beer drinkers on top of the rapidly approaching holiday baked goods (and seasonal drinks) season, one Untitled Art project in particular stands out immediately on the grocery shelf: Chocolate Scotch Ale.
While this beer’s style (Scotch ale/wee heavy) and headlining flavor (chocolate) suggest one thing, its appearance offers another. Chocolate Scotch Ale looks almost like a cloudier amber ale with its golden brown tone (though the head here is noticeably smaller).
The aroma proves much more straightforward: The beer advertises chocolate, and it delivers chocolate. The only other discernible scent to hit the nose is malt, which luckily complements the cocoa.
This young Wisconsin brewery has delivered a uniquely adaptable beer that will absolute stun some drinkers.”
Smooth feels like an understatement for Chocolate Scotch Ale; the beer drinks damn near velvety. Flavor-wise, it delivers just the right amount of chocolate to be delightful instead of overwhelming. The beer stays light on your tongue and has very little (if any) bitterness initially. And Chocolate Scotch Ale’s lingering finish somehow enhances the experience. The aftertaste combines malt with an almost roasted chocolate sensation, bringing to mind things like the last sips of hot chocolate or a stolen bite of some chocolate-on-chocolate dessert fresh from the oven.
Chocolate Scotch Ale really delivers the art of Untitled Art. You wouldn’t call this a dessert beer (it’s in no way syrup-y and many stouts taste much sweeter), and you wouldn’t think of it as a traditional wee heavy, either. Instead, this young Wisconsin brewery has delivered a uniquely adaptable beer (it paired with meatloaf during testing as easily as it did a shot of coffee liqueur) that will absolute stun some drinkers. And even for those who may be startled by the thought of a Scotch ale, it’s hard to imagine this being “too heavy” if you’re only having one. Doubling down, on the other hand, could certainly feel like having one too many cookies—though, again, whether that’s good or bad depends on your tastes.