Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mexican Chocolate Stout: En Fuego!

As a fan of chili beers, you grow to think that nothing could be better than that singe of multiple peppers coming just before a well-balanced ale puts out the fire with refreshing malt and hops.

Then you try Copper Kettle Brewing's Mexican Chocolate Stout - this year's Great American Beer Festival gold-medal winner among herb and spice beers - and realize that a chili beer really can offer so much more.

This gem - and I rarely write blogs about just one beer unless it's a superlative creation - presents an up-front cocoa taste, deep and rich and sweet. Before that has time to fully settle, though, you're hit by the rare taste of cinnamon, which makes you feel you've gone from a dark beer to some kind of mole sauce that you weren't expecting.

Then comes the piece de resistance, the Mexican guajillo chili peppers, that greet you with just a flare of a burn on your tongue that accentuates both of the previous tastes. The cinnamon/fire combo leaves you with a slight scorch on the back of your throat, but one easily soothed by the swirling combination of the three flavors.

This isn't a beer you think you can drink several 10-ounce glasses of, but it is shockingly soothing, like the aroma of a spicy potpourri setting in. And it truly is a uniquely pleasing taste that offers something for spiced and dark beer drinkers without letting them feel comfortable enough to assume they've ever tasted a flavor quite like this before.


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