The phrase “chocolate whiskey” probably doesn’t bring to mind anything remotely cutting edge. I know I imagine some kind of milky, sickly sweet concoction that is easier to drink than a glass of Yoo-hoo, but causes endless regret as soon as it hits your stomach. But how about a “chocolate whiskey” that tastes like booze, with just a hint of cocoa? That sounds more like it.
Kings County Distillery recently released a limited-edition chocolate “flavored” whiskey collaboration with fellow Brooklynites Mast Brothers Chocolate. The idea came about when the Kings County folks, exploring the idea of expanding to a larger production facility, paid a research visit to Mast Brothers’ new factory in Williamsburg. KCD co-owner Colin Spoelman was intrigued by the abundance of chocolate husks–the small, outer layer of cocoa pods that are a byproduct of chocolate making. Mast Brothers usually gives them away to be used as mulch, but Spoelman left with a barrel and went about infusing it into their existing moonshine product.
The result is a spirit that is still predominantly whiskey (and 40% ABV), but is infused with just the bitter, cocoa-y notes of chocolate, with none of the sugary sweetness. It’s kind of like pairing a bite of dark-dark chocolate with your drink. I never thought there would be a chocolate-flavored whiskey that whiskey lovers like myself would enjoy, but this is the one.
While likely a one-time-only product, the chocolate whiskey is currently available at Thirst Wine Merchants in Fort Greene, The Whiskey Shop in Williamsburg, and several other locations around the borough. As for Kings County Distillery, they’ve settled on a new location in the Navy Yard, where they plan to open a larger production facility April 1, with public tours and tastings coming later this year.