Give me winter, or give me…stout. Or give me a winter stout. Actually, yeah… just do that. Oh and throw some cocoa and cinnamon in there while you’re at it.
So if any of you are familiar with it’s 2014 debut, the Xocaveza Stout by Stone was one of the shortest-lived limited releases of a fantastically crafted, full-bodied milk stout that Stone had ever made up to that point (I’m not a big fan of the standard current Milk Stout). It was a delicious, complex mocha stout at its finest.
Then the San Diego beer giant decided to make a Kentucky Bourbon barrel-aged variant in 2015 that, admittedly, was stellar (though the simultaneously released Anejo version that came out wasn’t). Now the original recipe (thanks to Homebrew Competition 2014 Winner Chris Banker and a WHOLE lot of demand) lives on as a permanent annual release as of 2016.
HOT: …is what it is not but that is only because it is a beer, and not “hot” Mexican hot chocolate with a splash of leche dulce. Cinnamon, vanilla, chilies, oh my!
NOT: It isn’t resinous, but it sticks to the pallet for a lot longer than I’d like. Also, the pasilla chilies could be a little stronger. Like this one.
Stone Xocaveza Winter-Spiced Mocha Stout First Splash
Do you like Abuelita hot chocolate (or rather, any kind of Mexican hot chocolate)? Do you like cinnamon spice and nutmeg? Then you will seriously, and I mean seriously, fall in love with this beer. I’m not even a fan of chocolate (or sweets for that matter) but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Just like the original 2014 version, I was hooked.
The cocoa and cinnamon comprise the nose, while the rich coffee and nutmeg bring up the rear in the finish. The nutmeg this time around seems much more prominent than before, which is pleasant nonetheless.
The same problem I had with the original, is the same one I have now–the finish lingers longer than it needs to. Like real coffee.
It’s not even a significant problem, its just something I’m not to keen on, which is why I’m not a humongous coffee fan to begin with. Also, just as a personal choice, I’d like to see the chilies become a bigger player in this brew. Make it just a little bit spicier.
Stone says bacon wrapped figs and cinnamon covered pecans. I’ll take your pecans and bacon-wrapped figs and raise you a bacon-wrapped burger.
All jokes aside, this beer is sweet so what do you naturally eat for balance? Something salty. Carne pasta, stroganoff, maybe even something smoky.
Is the Xocaveza Winter-Spiced Mocha Stout a Year-Round Drinker?
I say yes, but Stone says no. Granted, it originally launched just over a week after Labor Day 2014 (when it was still rather warm) and I thought it was great. Since then, the company deems this beer a winter delicacy only, which I’m OK with.
On the plus side, if you managed to get a six-pack before they went out of season, you can age these for a little while and see what becomes of the flavors then.
Hoptastic Rating: 4.6/5