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New Belgium Cocoa Molé Chocolate Porter

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Back in black with a rich, tasty, incredibly flavorful porter.

Billy Gomila

Seasonal drinking and what not, but you know the old saying about dark beers: once you go dark, you drinking becomes a lark.

I made that up and it was terrible. I have no regrets.

Anyways, I saw this 22-oz bottle a few times at a couple of places before I finally gave in and picked one up a couple weeks back. I've never had a bad experience with New Belgium's Lips of Faith series -- in the winter I tried their salted chocolate stout seasonal and it was exquisite.

The cult classic returns! Chocolate, cinnamon and chilies combine for a sweet and spicy burst of fun in this Lips of Faith offering. Brewed with deep caramel and dark chocolate malts and a healthy dash of chocolate rye, Cocoa Molé pours midnight dark with a subtle reddish hue, lifting a pillowy burnished head. The cocoa and cinnamon accompany plentiful ancho, guajillo and chipotle chilies to bring the molé merriment to the forefront. Cocoa Molé starts on the tongue with the sweet and finishes with the fine-spun heat of peppers. A worldly contrast in a glass, this beer will get you dancing with Mexican hats. ¡Olé for Molé!

This one's 9 percent alcohol-by-volume. Seems to be exclusively in bombers. If it's on tap somewhere, I will not be held responsible for what happens in this establishment.

Review

Naturally, it's a rich, dark beer with a pale head and a warm, very inviting bouquet of all of the different spice notes coupled with the roasted malts. The opening is just delightfully earthy -- the cinnamon really comes through, almost with a hint of ginger. Honestly it almost tastes like a gingerbread cookie, only without the sugary sweetness. From there, you roll through the roasted malts and the slight grainy texture of a porter, with the chiles and the chocolate kind of lurking in the background. You're aware that its presence, but it doesn't overpower and the result is a beer that is never too sweet, but just incredibly flavorful. I don't know that you can really call this a session beer, but I do know that I would have gladly drank more than the 22 ounces on hand. A strong 4.5 out of five stars.