Ursula Brewery | Xocolatl Mexican Hot Chocolate Stout
It can be hard to stand out amidst the endless number of breweries in Colorado. Ursula Brewery in Aurora may not be on your beer radar, but it should be. They have been working since 2016 to perfect their brews. They boast a dog-friendly taproom and give back to the community through events like clothing drives. In the taproom, you will find a variety of beers, but one that deserves extra attention is the Xocolatl Mexican Hot Chocolate Imperial Stout.
Xocolatl pays homage to a Mexican drink that uses cacao, hot milk or water, sugar and cinnamon and is usually consumed around holidays. Before modern chocolate, however, Mayan and Aztec cultures would use spices like vanilla and peppers to soften the bitterness of the cacao in a drink. In fact, the word xocolatl means “bitter water” in the ancient Aztec language.
Ursula Brewery’s Xocolatl Mexican Hot Chocolate Stout is a 10% ABV Imperial Stout and brewers utilized several different local businesses to make this silky beer. A blend of light, medium and dark roasts from Cafe Cruzano, a local roaster, contributes the roasted flavors. Ghana cocoa husks from Nuance Chocolate in Fort Collins, along with three different chocolate malts, give the heady chocolate aromas. To round it out, Tahitian vanilla bean balances the dehydrated ancho chili pepper and cinnamon.
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This dark beer pours with minimal, but creamy, head. The chocolate aroma stands out the most and intensifies as the beer warms. It has a medium body and a little malty sweetness. The espresso notes from the Cafe Cruzano beans balance the chocolate flavors. Unlike some Mexican Hot Chocolate beers, the spice is subtle and is enjoyed on the back end, but doesn’t become overwhelming. Overall, it’s a very well-balanced beer.
“I love how well balanced the flavors came together, specifically, the heat from the peppers. It’s dangerously drinkable at ten percent (ABV),” said brewer Rob Bessett. “I’m so excited to have this beer highlighted. We’re all super happy with how it turned out.”