RATINGS: 12   MEAN: 4.09/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.81/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 360   ABV: 12%
Variants. Everyone loves ’em. Well, we do anyway. A ’variant’ in the craft beer world is one way we identify an already great beer that we’ve added something to in an effort to further enhance the great flavors, and thus give the drinker a new flavor experience with a similar beer. It could be an addition of fruit, spices, chocolate, or coffee to name a few. During our last release, we played with our Imperial Milk Stout, Rhino Suit, in an attempt to see what other complementary flavors we could bring out. We made a single keg of this so called ’Mocha Rhino Suit’ where we added Stumptown Coffee, cocoa nibs, vanilla beans and dried cherries. After aging for a week, the fruit character never really revealed itself and the vanilla beans were blending in with the already vanilla-like flavors from the extended barrel aging. What stood out was the cocoa nibs and the coffee beans in sort of a mocha coffee sort of way. So that’s where we focused our flavor additions for this February release, Mocha Rhino Suit. Choosing the ingredients. We knew that the most important part of designing this Rhino Suit variant was choosing the right beans, both coffee and cocoa. Our production brewery is on the west side of Eugene, some argue a ’no-man’s land’ for anything worth getting excited for. They’re wrong, however, From a brewery business standpoint, they are definitely wrong. We have refrigeration supply houses, packaging warehouses, hose suppliers and much much more. We’ve also got some really great specialty ingredient suppliers here! Just across the street is a fantastic coffee shop and roaster called Coffee Plant Roaster. They have a great variety of single origin beans to choose from. We worked with CPR’s roaster to select a bean that would work well with our new beer blend. The Costa Rican single origin bean is what sung to me. The coffee notes are "smooth, with notes of apricot, orange and cinnamon." Sounds wonderful, huh? And now for the cocoa. In my search for the right source, I happened upon Chocolate Alchemy. To my surprise, this supplier of raw and roasted cocoa, is just down the street from our brewery. And he supplies many breweries that I know, big and small. And finally, he is a wealth of knowledge on all things cacao. He can teach you how to make chocolate at home, and tell you the equipment needed. Plus, he’s been a home brewer and coffee roaster for years. Needless to say, he was a lot of help in dialing these decisions in. And I needed it, as he stocked about 35 different varieties of cacao. I was blown away by the subtle and not so subtle differences. In the end, we choose the Honduran sourced cocoa nib and estimated how much we would need. John Nanci, proprietor at Chocolate Alchemy, got right on the roasting and processing so that we could add the fresh nibs to our beer. So as I sit here writing this post, and sipping on the still-steeping Mocha Rhino Suit, I think about brewing local. I really want to use local ingredients in my beers when possible. It’s a value we try to stay true to. But this blend of stouts aged in bourbon was really calling for coffee and cocoa. As we all know, those aren’t really Southern Willamette Valley crops. But having a relationship with your local supplier is the next best thing to having a local ingredient and speaking with Brad at Coffee Plant Roaster and John at Chocolate Alchemy showed me that they care for their craft as much as I do. They source fair trade and/or direct trade raw goods that they process with their own hands and with their own small equipment. Realizing that not only makes me appreciate what they do and what they make, but it also makes me confident that the ingredients we are using in Alesong beers are of the highest quality and their products are held in equally high esteem as what we are producing here.

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mfisher1 (13) - - FEB 8, 2018
Basically black with a strong aroma and big flavor of coffee and chocolate. Very solid beer.

944play (434) - Portland, Oregon, USA - FEB 8, 2018
Draft at Upper Lip. Thick black with dense tan foam. Intense and pure dark chocolate aroma with a smidge of syrupy liqueur. Big caramel and sweetened stale coffee flavors. Uncanny crispness on the front palate, but bigness leads to inevitable stickiness farther back.

slowrunner77 (13591) - Reno, Nevada, USA - NOV 22, 2017
Near black pour. Aroma and flavor big on the coffee and chocolate, but ample malt and vanilla also present, and a light cherry/berry presence. Super smooth at a higher abv. Good stuff!

nealblind (2050) - Seattle, Alabama, USA - NOV 18, 2017
Dark brown pour. Some tan foam. Aroma sweet cocoa big malt ball. Tastes super smooth creamy espresso. Fine dark chocolate.

zebra (2439) - Illinois, USA - AUG 9, 2017
on tap @ FFF. milk stout nose, chocolate and coffee both, creamy, subtle booze.

Oakes (19681) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JUL 2, 2017
Very dark. Not much head, though. Very chocolatey with a touch of coffee on the nose. Rich sweet malts, with lots of chocolate, and again the coffee in back. Not a lot of nuance, it’s sweet with a major/minor structure.

mcberko (20442) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JUN 27, 2017
Bottle at PIB 2017, pours black with a small tan head. Aroma brings out lots of chocolate, light roast, and some coffee. Flavour is very chocolatey, with loads of cocoa and coffee, with medium roast. Extremely chocolatey, with a viscous palate. Excellent.

wchesser (2188) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JUN 22, 2017
Dark brown black. Nose is sweet vanilla, cold press coffee. Taste is off dry, slightly sweet. Flavors of bakers cocoa, light vanilla, dark roast malts, light cold press coffee. Great balance.

luttonm (7143) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAY 12, 2017
Chuck’s 85th, Seattle. Barrel Roller 2017. Moderately thick foam, mostly black body. Cocoa beans on nose, lots of high quality chocolate. Smooth balanced sip, light lactic and coffee beans an overtone to a warm cocoa base Stout. Great tasty balance. Bitter bite from cocoa and coffee. This works very well.

rosskyle (830) - Denver, Colorado, USA - APR 29, 2017
500 ml bottle. Black color with a brown head. Sweet bourbon mocha aroma. Milk bourbon up front with a mocha booze finish. Heavy body. Very smooth with a lot flavour complexity. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

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