Friday, February 15, 2013

Beer Review: Zanate Mole Stout

Reviewing the Zanate Mole Stout from Revolution Brewing Company out of Chicago, Illinois. This beer is a stout brewed with guajillo chiles, cinnamon and cacao nibs in honor of the Handlebar's tenth anniversary.
Score: 95

Tap pour served in a tulip glass at the brewpub and enjoyed on 02/14/13.

Appearance: Traditional stout appearance. Black in color, served with a thin coating of tan head that dissipates to a bubbly ring around the glass. Poor lacing and retention. 4/5

Smell: Huge aromas of unsweetened bakers chocolate, cocoa nibs and dark chocolate followed by much subtler notes of cinnamon and pepper. The chocolate notes are what really shine in the nose of this beer; it smells like a pure cacao dark chocolate bar! 4.5/5

Taste: This tastes like Mexican dark chocolate! Perfect balance of bitter and sweet from the chocolate here, with a nice dryness in the finish. Cocoa nibs again shine (bakers chocolate and dark chocolate too). There's a very light pepper flavor in the finish with a residual peppery prick on the tongue after the swallow at first. The peppers layer nicely as the beer warms, but they never get intense. The peppers here are quite subtle compared to most pepper-infused stouts. I am not really tasting any cinnamon at all. The beer is not very complex like say Hunahpu's, but it is still a delectable dark chocolate bomb that is easy drinking with easy-to-enjoy flavors. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Zanate has a good level of viscosity that falls a little shy of "full bodied." Very low carbonation in this brew. Silky, slightly creamy on the tongue. Has a nice peppery kick and a mildly dry finish. Delightfully balanced. 4.5/5

Overall: An absolutely smashing success of a beer that is second only to Red Scare/Skull among Revolution Brewing Company's very deep line up of non-barrel aged beers. It is super chocolatey, and the pepper adds a nice, subtle complexity. I cannot get over how this tastes like a bar of Mexican dark chocolate bar! I would absolutely love to see what aging this in Rittenhouse barrels (with additional peppers added to prevent that character from falling off) would do. My best is advice is to rush over to the pub and grab a pint of this before the keg kicks!

Pairing: The Guajillo Pepper Chili that Revolution serves at the brewpub with tortilla chips, chihuahua cheese and sour cream...yum!

Cost: $6 for a 13 oz tulip glass.

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