Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Southern Tier Mokah

Continuing with Southern Tier Blackwater Series Week we review the Mokah, - a beer that is part "Choklat" and part "Jah-va" (in other words, chocolate and coffee). My dad and my sister join me to split this bottle. It's the first time all three of us have done a beer review together since the summer of 2009. This was shot at my sister's house - we were having a belated Thanksgiving.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Chad9976 (617) - Albany, USA - JUL 1, 2011
My all-time favorite beer is Southern Tier’s imperial chocolate stout, simply called "Choklat." It’s absolutely delicious and amazing drinkable for such a rich, potent beer. "Mokah" is Choklat at the core blended with "Jah-va" - their imperial coffee stout (which is a very good beer, but not quite as amazing as Choklat). While it seems to be marketed as a chocolate/coffee hybrid, I find that Mokah is just Choklat with a subtle coffee component. The differences are subtle, but noticeable, which is fine because we still end up with a fantastic brew.

I poured a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pitch black body. Forms a decent size, dark tan, soapy head which almost completely dissipates, but does leave nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: Like walking into a gourmet chocolate shop at the mall with a Starbucks next door. Very intense aroma of rich dark chocolate with just a subtle fragrance of French roast coffee in the background. As it warms it begins to emit a fusel-like smell, but it’s easily tolerable.

Taste: The first swig of Southern Tier Mokah is identical to that first bite of gourmet chocolate you only have every once in a great while on special occasions. It is very rich and sweet as soon as it hits the tongue, then proceeds to coat the entire mouth like syrup. The palate is rather simple as it tastes exactly like dark chocolate from beginning to end, just like "Choklat" does. However, on the second half the coffee notes begin to emerge and make for a drier, more bitter taste and sensation. This continues into the aftertaste with the addition of a black licorice flavor. Some might find this cloying, but I was able to drink an entire bomber of Mokah and never found it challenging. It’s very similar to Choklat, but the subtle coffee notes make for a new, but very familiar and delicious taste. It’s like when your favorite band releases a live version of their best song - it’s not that it can be improved upon, but done a little differently.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied to be sure, but there are thicker, stickier beers out there. I can still feel the carbonation.

Drinkability: I’ve always admired Southern Tier for their ability to brew massive beers (in more ways than one) and still maintain drinkability. Mokah is quite hefty weighing in at 11.2% ABV, but the alcohol is practically invisible in this beer. Can’t smell it, can’t taste it, and can’t feel it…. right away. The beer is extremely smooth and despite its obvious density, it still drinks like a beer rather than motor oil. The beer is treat unto itself, although pairing it with any kind of higher-end chocolate or vanilla dessert would make the experience all the more pleasurable.

Overall, Mokah is a wonderful beer for so many reasons. Perhaps I’m partial to it because I have a sweet tooth, but if something is as delicious and pleasing as this beer, how else am I supposed to react to it?!

Grade: 9/10

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