May 30, 2017

Wicked Weed El Paraiso

While Wicked Weed may be more recently known for being the latest in a series of craft purchases by AB Inbev, the company is also well known for their sour/wild ales. After tackling El Paraiso, a 9.5% ABV imperial stout brewed with coffee and cocoa nibs, I’ll be hard pressed to find a beer style that they can’t master. This big stout is a heck of a beer, leaning more towards robust and nutty than the decadence sometimes associated with the style.

Upon cracking open the imperial stout you know right away that this isn’t going to be a dessert-style brew. The cocoa nib is present for sure, but not in the typical sweet fashion it is often found in big stouts like this. The addition, instead, imparts a wonderful earthy nuttiness that accompanies the smooth roast of the dark coffee quite nicely. Once the brew hits the tastebuds, that earthiness only helps accentuate the robust nature of the coffee as a light smokiness and nuttiness linger wonderfully.

I’m a big fan of stouts that embrace a robust quality such as El Paraiso from Wicked Weed. This is a big beer that not only packs in a solid roast and assertive coffee character, but uses cocoa nibs in a fashion not typically embraced by brewers. The nuttiness and earthiness of that cocoa makes for a wonderful addition to a really quality beer like this. I don’t care who owns the company now, I’ll keep purchasing this beer in the colder months, providing its still on the menu.