It’s exactly what you think–chocolately Hell fire in a 22-ounce bottle.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. commissioned the beer masters over at Sound Brewery in Polusbo, Washington to create three limited release, special edition brews to celebrate the commercial success of Mortal Kombat X/XL (PS4, Xbox One and PC). This is the first of a three-part series review.
Anyone born in the last 20 years is definitely familiar with this widely recognized and wildly popular video game character of the 20th century–Scorpion from the Mortal Kombat series. If you have played the game, then you know that he is as noble as he is brutal in his fighting style, and this Imperial Stout by Sound Brewery does a stellar job of capturing that essence.
HOT: Uses some gnarly southwestern chilies for a ferocious bite and bows out with smooth vanilla and cocoa for a full-bodied finish.
NOT: The bitterness is pretty overwhelming at first sip, and the barley used in the wort could be a touch sweeter to balance that Scorpion “Fire Ball” to the pallet.
Scorpion Imperial Stout’s First Splash
From the snap, you can smell the rich effervescence of cocoa. This is deceiving. Once you press the spout to your lips, you immediately get the bitter conflagration of southwestern chilies to your lips and soft pallet. And it is nearly staggering.
However almost instantaneously, the carefully implemented Madagascar vanilla extract mitigates that intensity with a smooth and inimitable sweetness. The result is that of a nearly perfect combination of the two that makes you want to consume more.
It is probably the closest thing to a physical manifestation of yin and yang in your mouth.
Surprisingly, the yeast strain of this beer (it is proprietary) leaves some pretty attractive exotic notes in the finish, considering its highly abrasive introduction. It gives you a very slight hint of an Oatmeal Stout, but the un-malted barley brings you back to that coffee taste that people love imperial stouts for. The body is full, warm, and gives you a sense of heartiness like a stout should.
Being partial to oaked Imperial Stouts, this beer doesn’t exactly give the oakiness I’m accustomed to with aged beers. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing–in fact, it’s probably best they decided against it. Given the already incendiary characteristics of this craft brew at 8% ABV, I’d say it was fine just the way it was produced. And apparently, it only took one batch of this to get it right.
Considering the timing of the announcement and distribution, I doubt they had enough leeway to do that.
For a pleasant flavor echo, I almost immediately recommend a decadent chocolate pairing, such as devil’s food cake or other dessert. The rich cocoa that blankets the pallet beckons for something velvety; that is, after the fire and ice components are done partying like it’s 1989 in your mouth. For appetizers, I’d recommend something with contrasting definition, such as brie, bellavitano or asiago cheeses.
On a more serious note, a nice beef dish such as a seasoned steak or carne asada would go just fine with this beer as a main course.
Is Mortal Kombat X Scorpion Imperial Stout a Year-Round Drinker?
Not quite. Its characteristics are bold and certainly make a statement, however I couldn’t see myself drinking this during the winter where I need something with raspberry chocolate notes, white spices and/or cinnamon or nutmeg, or floral hops and estery yeast for the spring. Summer is the best time frame for something like this to be released, however it is unfortunate that it is limited release.
In some ways, it reminds me of Stone Brewery’s 2014 Xocoveza Mocha Stout, which was also a well-timed summer release.
Beer BB’s Hoptastic Rating: 4.3/5