Stone Xocoveza For The Holidays & The New Year
Reviewed by Brady White on March 18, 2016 in Holiday Guide
- Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
- Origin: Escondido, CA, US
- Rated On: March 18, 2016
- Best Before: bottled December 21, 2015
- ABV: 8.1%
- Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature
- Style: Sweet Stout
- Rating: GOOD !
This 12oz bottle pours a solid black, with a faint red cola basal ring, and two chubby fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and somewhat creamy brown head, which leaves some interpretive art paint splatter lace around the glass as it slowly bleeds away.
It smells of zingy green chilies, dry cocoa, a bit of bitter coffee bean, vanilla pods, metallic cinnamon and other earthy spices, and a slightly charred caramel maltiness. The taste is grainy and bready caramel malt, some free-range ashiness, still heady and spicy green chilies, a weird nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon spice joint, strangled vanilla, some sour milked coffee, and an understated earthy, leafy, and floral hoppiness. The carbonation is fairly thorough in its well-rounded frothiness, the body a big-boy medium weight, and sort of smooth, if you discount the pervasive sense of Denver-area taco condiment wafting throughout. It finishes sweet, believe it or not, as the chocolate and lingering spice insist on grotesquely reminding me of increasingly distant Yuletide confections.
Well, I suppose this sort of thing flies better the closer one is to the Mexican border, but as a Canuck with no Latino heritage, I can appreciate the stellar overall brewing prowess (especially the well-hidden elevated ABV), but as an ode to the holiday season, it just doesn’t resonate all that much – Ay, Caramba!