drsordr (206) - Loveland, Ohio, USA - JAN 18, 2013
2.1 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 1/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Had after hiking the Inca trail in Ollantaytambo. Served in 32 oz tumbler in a back kitchen with the locals. Looks like cloudy urine. My guide downed the entire thing in a few seconds but I had to drink slowly. Smells of corn with a sour note. Taste definitely like corn, but with some farmhouse funk. Definitely like nothing else I have had
GT2 (5658) - Riverslime, California, USA - NOV 8, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Had chica a dozen or so times while traveling in Peru. The way to find the best chica is to be hiking or driving around rural villages in the mountainous areas around the Sacred Valley, Cusco, etc. There will be a red flag or red grocery bag wadded up onto a prominent wooden poll attached to a house that is clearly visible if chica is available. You are permitted to just walk up to the household and asking for chica. It could be just about anything taste wise, but will undoubtedly be an interesting experience. The millet/corn is chewed only to convert starch to sugar, then is boiled. Don’t worry about hygiene. Fermentation is open so expect lactic and Brettanomyces funk. I had a dozen or so varieties while traveling here. Best example I had was at a random house while hiking around Urubamba and Ollantaytambo in Sacred Valley. Her chica was served in a very large 16oz or perhaps 24oz glass tumber, opaque gray in color, with a foamy, weak head. Nose is very funky, lemon peel, soft Brett, saltwater, and rustic dough. Taste very raw, rustic, earthy with lemon sourness, saltwater, and a ton of sour mash/Berliner Weisse character. It was delicious, and easy to drink quickly being very low alcohol. Probably 3% abv maximum if not lower. Highly recommended that you seek the real stuff out. It is unlabeled, not for sale in stores, not bottled, and essentially homebrewed wild Berliner Weisse. If you have a dud, keep trying more. Eventually you’ll get a winner. Probably will taste like nothing you’ve had before, even as a seasoned beer nerd.
bitbucket (2112) - Kirkland, Washington, USA - MAY 12, 2009
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
I had a hell of a time finding a Chicharia until I learned about the sign: Look for the red plastic bag wrapped around the end of a stick that protrudes from the front of the establishment. In "the olden days" the custom in rural Peru was to hang red flowers on the end of a stick to proclaim that Chicha was available inside. The red plastic bags of today are effective, but not so picturesque.
Sampled a a Chicharia outside Cusco. Pours cloudy pale gold with a thin white head. Served in a large class, maybe 24oz? Aroma of raw corn, grass. Light body, no carbonation.Taste of raw corn, grass, lemon with a sour lemony finish.
In and around Cusco, strawberries and sugar are added to chicha to make frutillada. It is a cloudy pale pink and adds a sweet strawberry note to the Chicha. Probably not so manly, but a tastier than the plain version.
faroeviking (10284) - FAROE ISLANDS - APR 17, 2009
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
I never knew that Chicha could also be rated here on RB but yes it is brewed and fermented. I have tasted lots and lots of chicha in Bolivia and Peru from chicharías and locals out in the country/mountains, took notes but just for my travel book. In Cuzco there are several chicharías. I think, according to my taste buds, that there are quite some different ones. There are basically two styles: young which is "mild" and sweet (not lagered long) and the mature, which is strong in both flavour and alcohol. In general the appearence is muddy milky grey looking at times with smaller particles floating around in them like. In Cuzco I had Chicha de Jora: Aroma is yeasty with maize and sugar, bit sour and strangely spiced. Thin in mouthfeel. The flavour is very different from any normal beer, cider, saker or mead. Yeasty, maize, somewhat sweet, spiced, bit sour and quite dusty in the finish.
Cletus (6177) - Connecticut, USA - JUL 13, 2008
2.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Please note that these samples are traditionally fermented chicha. Not the commercially made soda that can be found throughout Peru.PET bottle samples made by some Chicherias near Cuzco. Pours a very murky muddy tan. Smells like sour milk, piss, corn, in sample 1, there was some hints of cinnamon. In sample 2, it was very acidic and citrussy tarte. The finish on both was almost sickly sweet/sour and tarte if that makes sense. Some of the elements commonly found in all beers made with wild yeast can be found, but in sample 1, I had a relatively palatable refreshing light beverage with a nip of alcohol and some nice cinnamon. In sample two, I had a beverage that was too tarte and acidic to be considered palatable or refreshing. I need to try more examples to get a better handle on just how much these traditional examples can vary, but this’ll have to do for now. This beverage seems to run the gambit on flavor depending on who makes it and what they add to it. There was a very bitter almost rubber aftertaste in both samples.
Sample 1: 3.2 Sample 2: 1.8