Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Cocoa Mole and the Lips of Faith

Last year, I reviewed a beer called El Mole Ocho, which was New Holland Brewing Company's effort to create the eighth mole in a beer.  The beer accomplished the brewer's goal, with a chile spice up front, followed by chocolate and more chile spice.  The beer really struck a cord with someone who loves food, culinary traditions and, of course, chile peppers.  

New Belgium Brewing Company throws its hat in the ring with the Coca Mole.  The beer is brewed with Target hops, along with Pale, C-80, Chocolate and Dark Chocolate malts. New Belgium also uses cocoa, chile and cinnamon to flavor the beer.   When it comes to the peppers, the brewer uses some classic Mexican peppers. The chiles used are ancho, guajilo and chipotle peppers.  The ancho and chipotle peppers help to provide smoke to any dish ... and, in this case, any beer.  The guajillo pepper helps to add a little spice to the body of the beer. 

With the beer in the bottle, New Belgium proclaims, "say hola to a spiced up ale full of cocoa and ancho, guajillo and chipotle peppers."  The brewer adds that no one should fear the heat, because there are "plenty of caramel and chocolate malts bring a smooth, complex flavor."

The beer pours a dark brown to almost black, evoking the characteristic color of a mole negro.  There are aromatic elements of cinnamon and chile powder, although the chile aromas are more prevalent than the cinnamon.  With respect to the taste, there is a good dose of heat.  The piquancy of the peppers somewhat outshine the smokiness one would expect from ancho and chipotle peppers.  After having felt the burn, the cocoa and chocolate appear to sooth the tongue and the throat.

The Cocoa Mole is a very good beer, and, along with the El Mole Ocho, it is the start of a great new style of beers ... mole beers.  This beer is available at stores that sell New Belgium beers and a bottle sells for about $8.99 a bottle.  


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