Friday, February 17, 2012

B4TW - New Belgium Cocoa Molè

Some of you may be surprised to hear that there actually are other chocolate beers on the market besides Boulevard Chocolate Ale. One of the newest chocolate beers to hit shelves is New Belgium's Cocoa Molè, part of their Lips of Faith series. Cocoa Molè is unique because not only is it brewed with chocolate, but it's also spiced with ancho, guajillo, chipotle peppers and cinnamon.

At first, I was pretty hesitant to try it. Between being mentally exhausted from hearing about chocolate beers lately and having horrible experiences with pepper beers in the past (I'm looking at you, Lil Lucy), I wasn't sure what to expect from this chocolate chili concoction, especially after being disappointed with Samuel Adams' The Vixen.

But when I sat down at Flying Saucer the other night and saw that Cocoa Molè was one of the new taps, I decided I'd go ahead and give it a shot. And I am incredibly glad I did. A taste of chocolate up front without being overly sweet, and a little bit of heat and spice on the back of the tongue, this beer is incredibly balanced and easily drinkable for something that, on paper, seems like it would be way too heavy-handed. Not too much chocolate, not too much burn, this beer does what many can't accomplish by letting the flavors compliment, rather than compete, with each other.

You may not necessarily want to drink more than one or two glasses of Cocoa Molè at a time, but those one or two will be incredibly satisfying. And I believe that for many of you, it will leave you craving more as time goes on. I just had it Wednesday night, and I'm already itching to get back and have another on tap or go grab a bottle from the store.

So go ahead, wash away bad memories of chocolate beer riots and diarrhea-inducing hot pepper ales by trying a beer that perfectly combines the sweet and the heat. Make Cocoa Molè your beer for the weekend.

15 comments:

  1. As a side note, I love the label art on this as well.

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  2. I love this beer! It reminds me of my Mexican brownies that have cinnamon & ancho chile powder. Definitely tastier than the Chocolate Ale, but also more pricey.

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  3. If you like this beer, and if you can get up Denver-way sometime in the near future....I strongly suggest checking out Copper Kettle Brewing in Aurora. They have a similarly styled beer, a Mexican Chocolate Stout, that won Gold at GABF in the Herb and Spice category. Been a couple months since I've had it, so I can't fairly compare/contrast, but both are excellent beers.

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  4. Midtown Gomers was out on Wednesday. Any more on shelves around town? It sounds good.

    Vixen was a bit disappointing, but the Shmaltz/Terrapin Reunion Ale 11 was excellent with a similar formula.

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  5. Loosely related question: What exactly is your issue with Lil' Lucy? I've had it a few times and always thought it was pretty good for what it is.

    Just wondering. I could be missing something.

    Thanks.

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  6. I'm not Pat, but I'll give my 2 cents on Lil Lucy. It's incredibly out of balance and any complexity was drowned out by it's spiciness. It seemed more like a novelty beer than an attempt at something tangible.

    Sorry to be harsh, but that's what my experience with it was.

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  7. Also I will scold Pat a little on revealing how good this beer is. It's going to make it that much harder for me to get my hands on another bottle ;)

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  8. Lil' Lucy is the worst beer, ever. The only one I've ever dumped because of taste.

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  9. I can see the disappointment in Lil Lucy. You know a beer that has good pepper character and has heat to it. You think they would have named it something other than Lil Lucy HOT PEPPER ALE. Who would a thunk it'd be hot and peppery?

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  10. Just because a pepper beer is hot doesn't make it a good beer by default. That's like saying an IPA is automatically good if it's super hoppy. I've had a number of pepper and chili beers that I enjoyed that incorporated heat and pepper flavor well. In my opinion, Lil Lucy does not do that at all. If you enjoy it, then more power to you, but it just doesn't do it for me.

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  11. Your review was an interesting read. We tried a bottle of Cocoa Mole on Friday night at a tasting, and it might've been my worst beer of 2012. None of us were able to get through our glasses. The chiles are overdone, the chocolate is overdone. I love these random offerings from NB, but this one fell far short.

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  12. I had some Cocoa Mole last night with my girlfriend who is a beer enjoyer, but not an all out beer lover. She is a big fan of sours and the blvd chocolate ale. We both agreed that the chocolate character of this beer is similar to what blvd does, and the spice is nicely subtle. I will definitely seek it out on tap at flying saucer, for her.

    I,, personally, agree with the above comment that this beer is better enjoyed among a group for an interesting taste, but may be a lot to sit down and spend an evening on.

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  13. I had glass of this last week at Flying Saucer and was very impressed with it.

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  14. Thanks for the review. This has been my favorite Lips of Faith offering in a while. The balance is right, the burn is more of a glow and the flavors are complimentary not competing (as you said). Glad you could find it, I just wish it was going to be around longer.
    Cheers, and thanks again...

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  15. I was also a bit afraid of this beer. It's actually quite balanced. Not too much chili and not too much chocolate. I could see this going great with some BBQ chicken.

    -Mike Burns
    BeerCraving.com

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