This short and sweet summer has ended and fall has wasted no time settling in. We aren’t even through the first full week of September and I’m sitting here in a sweater drinking Mexican hot chocolate, whereas just a week ago I was out on the boat for days on end. If you like things a little spicy Mexican hot chocolate will make you never look back at the regular stuff, take your Swiss Miss and shove it, I ain’t drinkin’ that no more! You can buy pre-made tablets (Ibarra and Abuelita are the easiest to find, but if you have Taza near you I highly recommend them- they’re local to Massachusetts and pair up with Night Shift brewing sometimes for tasty collabs), but if you live in an un-diverse food area like me you’ll have to make your own, it’s just equal parts cocoa powder and sugar (I do about 4 tbs each), a mug of milk, a little bit of vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chiles (dried or power), and chopped bittersweet chocolate all melded together.
And for all you Mexican hot chocolate beer lovers, Vixen, a chocolate-chili bock, by Sam Adams (8.5% ABV, 20 IBU) captures this essence. This beer was my summer equivalent of Mexican hot chocolate. It pours really deep brown, but when you hold it up to the light it’s a deep garnet color. There was a dark cream colored head on the glass too. But honestly, I didn’t fuss around much with appearance because all I wanted to do was try this brew. There’s nothing worse than snapping photos of your beer as you watch the temperature rise and the head shrink.
I definitely got a scent of musty unsweetened cocoa from this beer which is muddled in with the dark roasted malts with faint hints of spice. It kind of fell flat on the caliente expectations I had. Some spicy beers tease your pallet when you smell the, singe your nose hair, yadda yadda, and well, this one didn’t.
As for taste, there were faint hints of chocolate and choclatey malts, but it was very subtle and watery. The chipotle peppers make their presence known via their smokey heat, which leaves a post-sip tingle on your tongue when combined with the cinnamon in the beer as well. I wish the beer was a little thicker because I feel like it was “thin” (does that make sense?) and because of this I couldn’t really get as much flavor out of it as I could have. It just didn’t have much in the way of mouthfeel and left a lot lacking.
Vixen was okay, I am glad I tried it but I wouldn’t buy it again. However, if you are interested in checking out a spicy chocolate beer, I recommend Clown Shoes Luchador en Fuego