Bâtisserie Mint Chocolate Chip | Energy City
Come with me, if you will, on my mint stout journey. I love Thin Mints and Andes Mints (Thin moreso than Andes) so I would naturally gravitate towards mint stouts. The first one I can remember having was Perennial Artisan Ales’ 17 which was fine but didn’t wow me. Barrel-aged 17, however, hit the spot. Tons of chocolate characters, big body, barrel presence and just the right amount of mint. Then it seems like the mint stout took a break. I’m sure there were others released, but nothing of big note. That is until last year’s Goose Island Stoutfest. The last beer I tasted at that event – Werk Force’s Barrel-Aged Mint Chocolate Chip Sleepy Bear – floored me. Like I need to go out and buy this now. And now all mint stouts are on my radar – including Energy City’s entry, Bâtisserie Mint Chocolate Chip.
Mint is another one of those hard flavors to get exactly right. Much like coconut (sunscreen) and orange (floor cleaner), putting too much mint in can make a beer either smell or taste like toothpaste. Put too little in – like Off Color’s Mint Dinos’mores (Patreon Exclusive) – and I wonder why mint is on the label at all. For me, mint can’t be the star, but rather a supporting character for any chocolate in the beer. Sleepy Bear did that exceptionally well while others, making it taste and smell like a liquefied Thin Mint.
Bâtisserie Mint Chocolate Chip comes from Energy City in Batavia, IL. Started by David Files in 2017, Energy City has made a name for itself in the pastry stout and smoothie sour game. I’ve had two of their previous Bâtisserie stouts – their S’mores and Peanut Butter takes. If memory serves I liked the S’mores more than the Peanut Butter, but I still stop when I see a new Bâtisserie beer on the shelf. All Bâtisserie beers use Energy City’s Truth Factory imperial stout with some lactose added, making them all Imperial Milk Stouts.
Bâtisserie Mint Chocolate Chip pours black. A half finger of head forms and very slowly recedes into nothing. Staring at the beer from above gives off some light brown lights around the edges. Definitely looks like a lighter-style stout. Little to no alcohol or color staining on the glass.
Here’s where my job becomes easy. Yes, it smells like mint and chocolate. It had better! The mint kind of overpowers the chocolate aromas a bit, leaving the smell bit on the mint heavy side. That mint nose flavor gets really, really close to that spearmint/toothpaste smell that I’d like beers to avoid. I personally don’t think it crossed that line, but I can see someone not as enamored with mint stouts to immediately say it smells like toothpaste. A certain creamy smell from the lactose brings Bâtisserie Mint Chocolate Chip a milkshake vibe to the yard.
And now the moment of truth. The base imperial milk stout of the Bâtisserie series is delicious. Nice milk chocolate flavors with a smooth mouthfeel makes it very easy to put away – which can be dangerous given that it’s 10% ABV. The carbonation sits in the medium range; enough to get all those milk chocolate flavors and move things out of the way. But what does stay around?
Oh that mint. It does come off closer to toothpaste than I would like and really hangs around. I will say it adds some lovely refreshing qualities to the beer. Thankfully the mint does go away after a bit and does not stack upon repeated sips, leaving you to enjoy what’s there. The finish provides you with chocolate on the tongue with some mint hovering in your mouth. It’s almost the opposite of what I would’ve liked but still drinkable. Both that mouthfeel and mint freshness make you go back for more and you’ll easily finish the 16 ounce can.
So where does Bâtisserie Mint Chocolate Chip rank? It’s better than most mint chocolate stouts I’ve had but doesn’t really rise to the BA Sleepy Bear or BA 17 tier of liquefied Thin Mint. The base stout is drinkable enough that the mint shouldn’t pose too much of a challenge to get through. That being said, non-mint-heads should not apply. That toothpaste aroma and flavor would probably be too much and would really hamper your enjoyment of it.
While not the best mint chocolate chip stout, Bâtisserie Mint Chocolate Chip does remain enjoyable and drinkable. It doesn’t sour me on mint chocolate chip stouts and I still am in the market for their other Bâtisserie pastry stout beers. Mint stout fans will enjoy this.