Dec 15, 2017

Stone Brewing Xocoveza Charred

I’m a fan of Stone Brewing’s standard Xocoveza Mocha Stout. It’s a beer that is unique and has an intriguing array of spices to go along with a soft chili pepper presence. The entire package works well from start to finish. Xocoveza Charred is theoretically the same base beer, but it’s rested in former bourbon barrels for a good bit of time. I say “theoretically” because there are aspects of it that seem a bit more amplified in the flavor profile that notes and memory serve.

It’s entirely possible that Stone increased the amount of certain elements within the base stout in order to compensate for barrel-aging. Or it could simply be an affect of spending time in barrels. That said, however, the lactose is more in the forefront while the chili peppers dominate the aroma — neither were really all that strong in previous samplings of the standard Xocoveza Mocha Stout. That’s not a complaint by any means. I welcome more of a chili presence in this beer to go along with rich chocolate, espresso and a super smooth bourbon barrel influence.

Sometimes, barrel aging takes a decent beer and makes it better. I’m not sure that’s the case here with Xocoveza Charred. The bourbon barrel influence is certainly a nice touch and I do love the increased (or perceived increase in) chili notes, but the base beer was already pretty damn good. This variation just offers a little something different in a very complimentary and seamless manner. Regardless, I’ll happily enjoy another bottle of each the next time I find them on shelves.