Travlr (15065) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - AUG 14, 2013
2.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
Draft at Beervana. Hazy bright amber color, flat. Aroma of rich cocoa and pepper flesh. Taste is hot, sweet caramel. Given its name, I expected a bit more chocolate flavors. I would dial down the pepper flakes, increase the chocolate malt, and let the subtle pepper flavor melt with the chocolate.
Jimthechap (1984) - Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND - OCT 26, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
This beer is ugly. Hazy russet with mentions of amber with a thin ring of foam around the rim of the glass. Not very pleasant to look at.
It smells of cinnamon, dusty cocoa and chocolate. There’s also a big pinch of chipolte chili. When you taste it it is disarmingly cool and gives a good mouthful of slightly prickly carbonation and then the chili hits you: piquant and vibrant. The cocoa and cinnamon also make themselves known along with caramel and then stay there in a finish that just goes on... and on. Charming enough beer, just don’t look too closely into your glass.
Cantabrian (919) - Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND - MAR 30, 2014
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Interesting beer. It does taste like mole, which is good as it delivers what it promises, but it is also bad, as mole is not particularly nice. When I tried mole for the first time, I wish it had a lot more chocolate. Same for this beer. High on the chili, just too herbal chili. Very different concoction, muddy brown, interesting flavour, but the taste buds beg for more chocolate. I wish they fixed it, as it is a brave endeavour of the brewer.
omega (783) - NEW ZEALAND - OCT 20, 2012
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Was really in two minds with this beer. The chili and cocoa come through on the nose but is not overpowering. I also wasn’t expecting this beer to be so dark and is a little murky.
On the palate this beer has some heat, and thankfully it is from the chili and not from the alcohol (which is surprisingly low at 5%).
beer-yum (767) - Wellington, NEW ZEALAND - OCT 12, 2014
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 10/20
UPDATED: MAR 3, 2015 A chilli beer that manages to balance the headline spice with a hint of cinnamon? The overall effect is better than the parts (and expectations - as I’m usually not a fan of ’flavoured’ beers).
Pdubyah (492) - Auckland, NEW ZEALAND - JAN 9, 2013
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This is like no other beer I’ve ever had, or even heard of.
There is a an initial taste flavour that is sort of citrus and fruit, but it’s smashed into oblivion by a belt of hot chilli. Hot beer, who knew.
The first flavours are still there, you get used to looking for them, the chilli heat is a thing to behold.
pmuzz (400) - AUSTRALIA - JAN 20, 2013
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Not the greatest looking beer, but as it warms man you get the punch of chilli and cocoa!
lisagirl (264) - Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND - APR 5, 2013
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: AUG 6, 2013 re-re-rate: i think this has become one of my favourite beers ever. so effing good. re-rate: okay this is amazing. that chilli chocolate balance just can’t be beat. uprate. original: loved this. it is certainly an ugly red which just adds to its ruggedness. a bit of chocolate but what really sets this off is the beautifully balanced chili. a little hot, perfect piquancy really. had this a couple of months ago so hopefully it appears back at the bar again in the not too distant future.
Brodies_Best (263) - Auckland Central, NEW ZEALAND - NOV 14, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
500 ml bottle pours amber orange with slight tan head. Aroma is, cereal, bread. Taste is of churros and chilli. Aftertaste is of caramel and the chilli lingers. Nice and balanced
GlassBrass440 (246) - Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND - JAN 4, 2015
3.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
I find it’s best to keep an open mind with pepper beers. They very likely won’t be as good as a traditional beer in absolute terms (at least as absolute as something like taste can be). This beer proves no different. Not to say this is a bad beer. I quite like it. But I still find these to be novelty beers. Good for conversation, but difficult, if not impossible, to make truly excellent. The beer pours a cloudy brown with a quickly receding tan head. The aroma starts with traditional bock aromas of caramel and malt then moving to cinnamon. Backing is a raw vegetable aroma that, if I didn’t know there were chilis in it, I would have considered a flaw. Flavor is complex with cinnamon, dark cocoa powder, and caramel. The beer finishes with a fair amount of heat from the chilis that warms from the middle of the tongue all the way to the stomach. Medium body and carbonation. The sweetness that typically lingers in a bock is tamed by the spicy heat in a delicate tango. A good pepper beer? Yes. But as alluded to earlier, I’d prefer a traditional bock.