Style: Spiced imperial stout
Brewery: Stone Brewing Escondido
Sometimes when an interesting beer is released, I will buy it and hold it for a while until I find the perfect tasting to put it into. This special edition Xocoveza was released back in November 2021, but it took me a good 6 months before I had the right night to try it on. Stone Brewing were founded in California in 1996, growing to become one of the leading craft breweries in the USA. With their highly regarded reputation of producing great beer, I knew this wouldn’t disappoint, and I’m thankful to say I was right.
This was milk to dark chocolate coloured with virtually no head forming and very little carbonation on display. There were massive cinnamon aromas leaping from the glass, with a chilli heat, aniseed, nutmeg and a cacao powder dryness to finish it off. The first sip hit with a slap to the face of cinnamon and chocolate, followed by the chilli notes warming the back of the tongue. The coffee notes were present, but served as more of a backbone to the beer and didn’t overpower the spices. The vanilla crept up in the aftertaste and lingered on the palate. The high alcohol level was hidden well and blended with the heat from the spices in the chest.
Big, bold and full of flavour, this really made its presence known. This is a perfect stout to share though, as I think that a whole can of this could get a bit too much for one person. The high spice levels and chilli would begin to burn in the end, but as a sample I enjoyed this a lot. Excellent brew.