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New Belgium Brewery- Cocoa Mole Ale

New Belgium Brewery- Cocoa Mole Ale
Andy Manshel

ABV: 9%

Mexican food is by far my favorite of the cuisine nationalities. You’ve got corn, beans, cheese, spices, chili peppers… oh god, the chili peppers. No meal is complete without some heat. Personally, I like my mouth to be in so much pain that I have to order more salsa just to try to cool it down. So to say that I’m a fan of chili beers is a bit of an understatement.

I’m also a bit obsessed with sauces. Each and every kind of sauce there is. One of my favorites being a traditional mole, or at least what we’ve come to understand as traditional mole in Colorado (after all, ‘mole’ is generic Spanish for ‘sauce’). Spices, chili peppers, and of course, chocolate.  So when I discover there’s a new local chili beer in town, my taste buds perk up.

I recently had the chance to try one of my new favorite ales; and surprise, it’s from New Belgium Brewery! They have unleashed upon the world a bit of a wonder of a beer under their Lips of Faith series: it’s the Cocoa Mole.

First and foremost: this is not a beer you can drink a lot of. It’s thick. It’s heavy. It’s ridiculously rich. But that doesn’t mean it is overbearing… no, anything but. It’s a full bodied masterpiece of a drink that almost needs to be paired with food, be it a delicious Mahi Mahi steak or perhaps some brownies to enhance the chocolate-y goodness.

Upon the initial pour, you get a good sense of what this beer is about and understand the ‘mole’ portion of it. It’s thick, like it’s chocolate namesake. I found it was more of a porter than an ale, but New Belgium claims the latter. It hits your tongue with the bitter-sweetness of dark chocolate, the spice of cinnamon, and tingles with the wonderful power of ancho, guajillo, and chipotle peppers. A little smoky, but not overly so as with most anything with chipotle peppers in it.

This, my friends, tastes like Mexico. And not the sleazy back alleys of Tijuana or Juarez; that’s a role left for the likes of Tecate Light.

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