Copper Kettle Brewing | Snowed In Mocha Imperial Stout
Just in time for the coldest, darkest part of winter, Copper Kettle Brewing’s 2021 Snowed In Mocha Imperial Oatmeal Stout has arrived. This great fireside beer makes you want to abandon all responsibilities, kick back and watch the snow fly.
Returning for its ninth season, Snowed In Mocha blends a barrel-aged Stout with chocolate and coffee for a thick and boozy winter treat. Head Brewer Greg Moore explained why this is such a great cold-weather beer: “It’s starting to get into wintertime, it’s getting cold out, it’s dark all the time. You get a little bit of caffeine, a bit of a buzz going.”
Whiskey, Chocolate and Coffee
A signature Copper Kettle brew, Snowed In ages in whiskey barrels for approximately six months to deepen the flavor and add complexity along with extra booziness. The 2021 version spent its time in fresh Buffalo Trace barrels. After aging, Copper Kettle’s brewers added chocolate and 200 pounds of locally-roasted coffee to round out the Mocha’s profile.
Like previous versions, this year’s offering hits you upfront with coffee before mingling with chocolate flavors. As the beer warms in your mouth, the two flavors engage in a complex and constantly-changing balancing act. The bitter side of both the coffee and chocolate, along with roasted malt, predominates.
On top of all this, Mocha folds in a noticeable alcohol heat. The dark and viscous beer lingers on the tongue, providing lasting warmth and a lengthy flavor fade that leans toward coffee.
Right Beer for the Season
Moore noted that the coffee, in particular, makes Snowed In Mocha ideal for this season. “It’s the right time of year for this kind of beer,” he said. “Everybody’s having a little bit of trouble getting going and you need a little pick-me-up.”
If previous versions are any indication, beer lovers will be well-served to age the beer a bit. While it’s tasty now, letting the beer settle in for a couple of months will likely bring everything to a mellower and even more delicious state.
More Options Than Just Mocha
The Mocha version is the original iteration of Snowed In. However, it’s worth noting that Copper Kettle maintains an annual release schedule of four other flavors: cherry, vanilla, coconut and maple. Each is made with high-quality ingredients such as Tahitian vanilla beans, locally-roasted coffee and Vermont maple syrup. The brewery also regularly gets creative and makes one-off versions like banana cream pie, gingersnap and pumpkin.
With a year-round release schedule, craft beer lovers can generally find one or more versions on tap and in 19-ounce cans. The cans are great for sharing, as the ABV rolls in at 12.3%. However if you do decide to go it alone, you better be living out Snowed In’s motto, “When work is optional.”
Holiday Drinking Options
For a little bit of everything, the Snowed In series also comes in a gift box with all five of the year’s versions plus a tasting glass. Whether you’re getting it as a gift or gifting to yourself, having the entire 2021 series makes you hope for a good blizzard or two this winter.
Additionally, the brewery will pour peanut butter pie, port-barrel aged and Mexican chocolate versions during the brewery’s annual 12 Firkins of Christmas celebration starting Monday, December 13, 2021.
Feature image courtesy of Copper Kettle Brewing Co.