I do too, so let's do it.
I just went downstairs to the Liquid Center and poured myself a glass of the newest Lips of Faith offering, took a couple pictures and now I am ready to talk you through a tasting of this wonderful and strange beer. Cocoa Molé was a culmination of great brewing, gastronomic history and inspired art work. The recipe concept came from Grady, our assistant brewmaster. He grew up in Colorado and grew up eating molé sauces. It was a favorite of his and as soon as he started drinking beer he figured the flavors of molé would translate into beer very well. Then we flash forward to a couple months ago and Grady acted on his molé beer idea. He brewed the beer with chocolate malt, dark chocolate malt and chocolate rye, spiced it with cocoa powder and cinnamon and then added the chipotle, gaujillo and ancho chili peppers for a nice glowing heat. He hit his mark well. The bottle art is the other fascination for me. Jodi Taylor is the head woman in charge when it comes to the Lips of Faith bottle art, having designed most (if not all) of the silk screened bottles (among a lot of other things), and she slapped Cocoa Molé's art out of the park. Sparked by the sugar skulls and flags found around the Day of the Dead in Mexico this bottle has taken on a life of its own. The color choice is pitch perfect and the design just nailed it. Bottle art is generally used to draw in the drinker, pique interest at the point of purchase, this art does just that, in droves.
Together, the bottle and the liquid create a happy place for me, and hopefully you. I tasted it and I want to review it for you. This review is probably biased (more like definitely biased), but what review isn't (am I right?). Let's get to it.
Very dark, almost black, with just the slightest red hue. A tan head comes alive on top, but fades pretty quickly and leaves a really nice, intricate lacing.
Cinnamon is first, big time. The cinnamon just leaps out, but in the background is the cocoa/chocolate. It smells like Mexican chocolate, sweet and fragrant. The peppers are present as well, maybe in the far-background, like hiding in the cinnamon bushes (does cinnamon grow in bushes?).
This is my favorite part. The cocoa is more present on the tongue than the nose. The cocoa/cinnamon combo from the aroma is flip-flopped, more chocolate here, with the cinnamon taking the background role. There are some earthy tones in there too. The beer was bittered with target hops, which is a great hop for just that, bittering. Cocoa Molé has no hop profile or real bitterness to speak of, the hops are there to balance the sweetness of the malts. Buit, I think the Targets (in light of what I just said about no hop profile) bring an earthy, almost grassy, undertone. Then the peppers hit, almost as a palate cleanser. These peppers are of the red pigmentation, so not super hot. In Cocoa Molé the chocolate and cinnamon cover up the flavor of the peppers at first, but then the heat of the peppers kicks in and washes the chocolate and cinnamon right off your tongue. And then the gentle glow and spice of the peppers comes to the forefront. On a heat index scale of 1 to 10, I would call this beer a 3.5, just hot enough to remind you that you're alive. And then the sip is over and you immediately want another one.
Medium to full bodied with the spicy tingle hanging on in the aftertaste.
This beer is a strange and wonderful concoction. Is it a chocolate beer? Sort of. Is it a Mexican chocolate beer? Yeah, closer. Is it a chili beer? Kind of. All of these things present a balance though, they play off each other in compliment. Cocoa Molé is wonderful and I will be drinking it often.
This beer is largely available through our distribution areas, but it's going fast. Draft and 22oz bottles are the packages and I highly encourage you to look for it, here is a link to the Libation Locator to help you out.
Hope you can find the beer and I hope you enjoy it. And on that note, I'm out.