Stone Brewing Company Xocoveza – American Double / Imperial Stout at 8.1% ABV | 50 IBU

Stone Brewing Company Xocoveza American Double / Imperial Stout at 8.1% ABV | 50 IBU (Trade – Bayman 4048, 355 ml, bottle date 21-Dec-2016, acquired 1-Nov-2016, reviewed 22-Nov-2016)

Appearance: clear deep brown with one fat finger of fluffy beige head, moderate retention and minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: chocolate, chilli, cinnamon and nutmeg, lactose, vanilla. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, mild spice. (9/10) Medium-full somewhat creamy body, moderate carbonation, off-dry bitter and slightly spicy finish. (4/5)

Probably the best ale made with peppers I’ve ever had, possibly because the peppers are so very mild. There’s a chilli/chipotle note in the aroma that grows as the beer warms, but it never translates into any real heat on the tongue. As a result, the beer stays smooth and balanced, is sweet without becoming overwhelming, and does a masterful job of hiding the fairly beefy ABV. I’d like to see a fuller and creamier body (maybe a nitro tap?) and maybe a hint more smoky chipotle and less green vegetal in the chilli, but excellent as it stands. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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