Xocoveza From Stone Brewing
Stone Brewing has been making beer for over 20 years and in the craft beer world, that’s quite impressive. One of my favorite beers from them is the winter seasonal release, Xocoveza. (pronounce the “X” as a “Sh”)
Making beer for more than two decades means they’ve tried just about everything, right? Well that’s what is amazing about craft beer; there is always something new to experiment with.
Xocoveza is a beer that has a great story and is delighting customers throughout the winter.
A Little Back Story On Xocoveza
Not every great idea for a craft beer comes from the Brewmasters at the large breweries. Instead, inspiration often occurs inside someone’s home. That’s right, homebrewers innovate and help shape craft beer on a regular basis.
And that is how Xocoveza came to be. Chris Banker, San Diego homebrewer, won Stone Brewing’s annual homebrew competition with this beer. Then in 2014, Stone brewed this beer for the firs time.
It was so popular that fans took to social media and demanded it make a return the following year. Since then, it’s popularity just keeps growing.
Check out this video to learn more about this Mexican hot chocolate inspired stout before reading my thoughts on it.
My Review Of Xocoveza
Enjoying seasonal craft beer is a ton of fun. From season to season, the flavors change with the weather and keep me looking forward to their release every year.
Xocoveza has quickly become a winter beer that I can’t wait to see hit the shelves. And I didn’t waste too much time grabbing some this year.
This imperial stout is 8.1% ABV with 50 IBUs. It’s available nationwide (minus West Virginia) in 6-packs of 12oz bottles.
Here is how Stone Brewing describes their brew:
Stone Xocoveza is an insanely delicious take on Mexican hot chocolate brewed with cocoa, coffee, pasilla peppers, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. This imperial stout is layered with smooth roastiness, semisweet chocolate and a touch of spice.
Xocoveza pours black as night and produces a dark tan head that fades quickly.
The aroma can’t be missed as it carries cinnamon and coffee. These flavors layer on top of each other quite well and are welcoming.
There is a touch of pepper and roast in the aroma. These are accentuated once you move forward with drinking it.
Xocoveza has multiple layers of flavor and it handles them really well. Most of them are easily detected and stand on their own without overpowering the others.
It proves how well executed this craft beer truly is.
The first flavors that I perceive are the same as the aroma; coffee and cinnamon. I also get a small taste of the pepper without any heat. This is quickly followed by notes of cocoa, vanilla, and nutmeg.
As the beer finishes, it has a slight touch of heat from the pasilla peppers and some roast from the coffee..
Every element plays it’s role and adds to the depth and character of this stout.
While it won’t be the heaviest stout you drink, Xocoveza is full bodied and carries it’s 8.1% ABV perfectly.
The sweet elements are balanced by the roast and touch of pepper spice. It steers clear of being cloying or syrupy which can happen when a beer has sweetness in it.
I recommend letting the bottle warm up just a touch (5-10 minutes) after taking it out of the refrigerator. The aromas and flavors really start to open up as it warms and this will give it a head start.
Take your time with this one so you can enjoy all of it’s unique layers of flavor.
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One of my kids’ favorite traditions is to sit around the Christmas tree and drink hot chocolate. It’s a simple way that we try to take time to enjoy the Christmas season. I think this year I will substitute my hot chocolate for this Mexican hot chocolate imperial stout.
It has many of the same rich flavors that I would enjoy in hot chocolate but with added enjoyment of being a well made stout.
It’s perfect for the Holidays as it warms the soul as we all try to slow down and enjoy the final moments of the year.
Have You Tried Xocoveza?