Monday, January 23, 2012

Samuel Adams The Vixen Chocolate Chili Bock


This is a beer I didn't have much interest in, but felt I should review it after I saw Jay's (http://youtube.com/jjrudy41 ) review of this in which he hated it. Jay and I don't always have the same tastes in beer, but when I see an extremely negative review of a beer you wouldn't expect to be bad, it makes me want to try it as much as a glowing review would. So was it just Jay or does this beer really suck? Watch and find out.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (604) - Albany, New York, USA - JAN 19, 2012
Seems like every brewery wants hipster credibility now, including Samuel Adams who have recently released a small batch series of "experimental" brews. I wasn’t particularly interested in them, but absolutely had to try The Vixen Chocolate Chile Bock after a friend of mine loathed it. Even without knowing anything about this beer, the name and label description certainly make it sound interesting. But uniqueness does not necessarily make for a great beer, and in this case it’s merely an okay one.

I poured a 22oz bottle into the official Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass.

Appearance: Stout-like appearance of opaque black body with red edges; a dark frothy head which retains and laces very well.

Smell: Mostly a typical lager aroma with the faintest hint of candy bar chocolate. Even more subtle dark fruit scents and perhaps some fusel-like notes, too.

Taste: The label clearly describes the beer as a "Chocolate Chile" beer. I went into this thinking something in the ballpark of a stout, but in actuality it’s more of a black lager minus the roasty flavor. It begins with a mild lager-like taste. Through the middle is a noticeable, slightly dry bitterness with an extremely subtle taste of low-grade dark chocolate. There is, however, some sweetness in the form of caramel or butterscotch. There is a slight aftertaste of spice, but most likely it’s the cinnamon and not the peppers.

So in one aspect, this beer fails to meet the expectations its label hyperbole prepares you for. It’s neither chocolaty nor peppery. On the other hand it’s not a horrible beer, or even a mediocre one - rather, just an okay one. There’s really nothing off-putting about the palate and the caramel sweetness is nice.

Drinkability: One thing I will give Samuel Adams The Vixen Chocolate Chile Bock credit for is being so easily drinkable. It weighs in at 8.5% ABV, but at no point can you smell or taste alcohol per se. It seems quite heavy in the mouth, and goes down very smooth with a mostly clean aftertaste and a slight hint of cinnamon warmth. The mouthfeel is thick, soft, and fairly tepid. I could see this beer going very well with a peppercorn steak, but it doesn’t really seem worth the $6 price tag.
Grade: 6/10