I know I’ve been slacking on the beer reviews lately, and my defense is going to sound pretty douchey: I’ve only been drinking hard-to-find and limited edition craft beers, and no one wants to read a review about an amazing beer that they’ll never get to try. My town has *19* breweries within a 10 mile radius of my house, so for better or worse, I can skip the liquor store but still end up extremely hungover every weekend. I finally made it to the store yesterday, though, and I was delighted to see that CHRISTMAS has officially taken over the beer selection!
This means lots of darker beers loaded with holiday spices, perfect for drinking at family gatherings as you try to tune out your racist uncle’s opinions about immigration. They’re designed to warm you up and pair well with the spices in most holiday desserts. I have a few old favorites, but I was excited to see a new one on the shelf this year: Stone Xocoveza Mocha Stout! Technically the full name is Stone Xocoveza For The Holidays & The New Year Mocha Stout, but that’s incredibly stupid so I’m shortening it.
According to the label, Stone Xocoveza Mocha Stout is their take on Mexican hot chocolate. If you’ve never had Mexican hot chocolate, you should be ashamed of yourself (then overcome that shame and go drink some immediately). It’s basically hot chocolate spiced with chili peppers and cinnamon, but Stone has also added vanilla, coffee, and nutmeg to this stout. Basically, it sounds like they broke into a Mexican bakery and threw an entire shelf of ingredients into this beer.
This beer smells like a regular chocolate stout, but then you take a sip and it’s all like CHILIS! COFFEE! CHOCOLATE! SOME CINNAMON I THINK! MORE CHILIS! It slaps you in the mouth with its intense swirl of flavors and it absolutely nails the Mexican hot chocolate angle. It’s spicy, chocolatey, roasty, toasty, and yum. It’s soooo smooth and creamy too; there are no surprising bitter notes or weird finishes here. It’s an 8% beer but it doesn’t have that syrupy boozy aftertaste, which means you can get Surprise Drunk pretty easily. This is definitely a beer to savor, though: as much as I enjoyed it, there’s so much going on that you’ll want to go slow. It’s truly a near-perfect rendition of a Christmas stout. The only thing I don’t completely love is the coffee. Last time I checked, hot chocolate is not supposed to have coffee in it. I tend to find coffee overwhelming when it’s mixed with other flavors, and here it was a bit strong for my liking. But that’s definitely a matter of personal taste, and the coffee addition is probably a bonus for most people. I just happen to think those people are wrong and have dumb tastebuds.
Stone Xocoveza Mocha Stout is mostly incredible and you will feel really cool when you’re drinking it. I made all my friends try a sip, just so they could be impressed by how much better my beer choices are than theirs. It’s more expensive than your average six pack, so I don’t think it’ll be a part of my regular Christmas rotation, but it’s absolutely worth trying just to experience all those flavors at once. I guess you could also break into a Mexican bakery and try to recreate it yourself, but if you get caught, that will ultimately cost you more than the price of the six pack. So maybe just buy the beer. Or scope out a bakery that doesn’t have security cameras and keep your head down. No no no, just buy the beer.
How Much Coffee Belongs in Hot Chocolate Rating: 0 out of 10
My Endorsement of Bakery-Related Crimes Rating: 1.5 out of 10
Overall Rating: 9.5 out of 10