Total Score: 9.4/10
Sometimes you find a Christmas beer that you can’t wait to open – much like a little liquid Christmas gift to yourself – Xocoveza, Stone’s take on a Mexican hot chocolate with added chilli, cocoa, vanilla, coffee, cinnamon and nutmeg is indeed one of those brews. It’s been sitting in my fridge all ominous but tasty-looking for a fortnight and like an impatient hobbit turned into a foul twisted creature I’ve eyed it off every day thinking “soon my precious!”.
Poured from a 355ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Quite dark, almost black, a chocolate brown body: Like a black man that follows me everywhere, I call him Leon, he’s about half as tall as I am, depending on what time of day it is. He likes to play the timpani, and he is a watercolour. The head is nothing more than a tan lace ring though, still tasty. 8/10.
S: Spicy chilli-cinnamon-nutmeg-oh-my-god-my-brain-is-about-to-explode-with-delight goodness… also noted is dark/milk chocolate with a cacao nib smack down: Damn this whole situation is about to get real chocolaty now, in a good way – nay the best way possible, bring it Xocoveza! 10/10.
T: F%^k yeah!!! Stone have brought the flavour train to tastebud central! I don’t normally get so giddy about a beer but f*#k this is every adjunct listed on the bottle in sublime harmony creating a flavour tour de force. If you wrap your mitts around one chocolate beer this year make it this. All flavours listed on the bottle FYI are all present and accounted for: Cocoa, coffee, chilli, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg – throw in dark/milk chocolate, dark fruit and a woody touch towards the finish. Is it all too much? Surprisingly: No. 10/10.
M: Body is a slight let down, medium though I feel given the style it could use a little bit more creaminess and heft. Carbonation is mid to low and ever-present. 7/10.
D: The most disappointing part of Stone Xocoveza? Finishing the bottle… would love to have had this in a US Bomber (22 oz or 650 mls), all good things must end as they say, however I noted a few more bottles left down at The Archive – a stay of execution perhaps? In summation: I love this beer and want to drink it all year round. Disclaimer: I do love a good Mexican hot chocolate. 9/10.
Food match: Anything Chipotle – chipotle steak, chipotle pork, chipotle cat, chipotle baby panda, chipotle small children, chipotle Apple II computer, chipotle plesiosaurus, chipotle daily-planner – this will do it all.