It pours a murky, copper color with a moderate head that lingers for the first few minutes than settles to a thin layer with light lacing. It looks rich and inviting and my mouth is salivating as it approach my lips and I start getting the first few whiffs of aroma off the beer.
I am blasted with ancho and red chili pepper aromas up front with hints of roasted coffee beans followed by very faint hop notes. I don't sense the chocolate in the nose and the longer I take in the scent of this beer the more the spices saturate my sinuses.
The first sip hits my sweetness buds as toffee and dark chocolate come straight through. After swishing it around my mouth the spices took hold of the sides of my tongue and the coffee beans stuck to the back of the throat as I swallowed. The slightly burnt flavor invoked Mexican dining just as promised and the sweet, spicy, bitter flavors mix well and bring a lot of complexity to this beer. The high alcohol level is present but not over powering as it adds a slight warmth to the already spicy peppers.
A delightful beer that grows on me each time I try it. Well done to the brewers at New Holland for thinking outside the box on this one. I highly recommend it!
For more information on New Holland visit their website at:
Special Thanks to Rick Wilson for comparing tasting notes