Brew York, UK, & Ora, IT/UK, Stracciatella - £2.70, 5.1%

BREW York, our city’s resident craft bastion tucked behind Walmgate, have a long line of successful collaboration brews under their belt.

This week’s beer is another special brewed with Italian cuckoo brewery Ora. Fusing the heritage of the two breweries led the two teams to create a traditional English porter, before loading the brew with vanilla and cocoa in a nod to the classic Italian dessert stracciatella.

While it doesn’t pour as viscously as stronger, sweeter stouts, Stracciatella is the deep caramelised brown of chocolate fudge sauce in the glass with a respectable tan head.

The aroma has the heady, almost boozy aroma you only get from adding a lot of vanilla to your baking. Beneath this lies a crisp, wheaten cracker, and a glug of tart espresso.

Full bodied, this vanilla and cocoa porter opens with sweet, buttery fudge and caramel sauce. Coffee and walnuts begin to take the foreground, alongside wheat bran and chocolate digestives. This drops away, leaving sugared almonds and sweet, vanilla infused rum vying with buttery brandy snaps for attention.

Rich and tacky in the finish, Stracciatella is as much a full-flavoured dessert as it is a beer without being as overwhelmingly massive as other ‘ice cream’ stouts. It’s a testament to the skill of the two teams involved that such a full bodied and flavourful stout clocks in at just over five per cent. Remarkable stuff, and a delicious brew to savour on a cold winter’s night.

Recommended by Michael Bates, Trembling Madness, York