Friday, December 2, 2011

Sam Adams The Vixen Chocolate Chili Bock

This is probably the brew in the limited series I am the most excited to try. Sammy has gone 1 for 2 in their limited line up so far. Can The Vixen swing the tide of awesomeness back into Sam Adams’ favor? Let’s find out.

The Vixen poured with a big three fingered tan head. The high carbonation and three fingered heads has been common in all of the brews in this series. The nose has some bready malt aroma with a trace of chocolate aroma peaking through. In the beginning, the mouthfeel is big and chewy, as it warms the mouthfeel sensation seems to thin out considerably. The Vixen starts with some malt sweetness and then darkens into a slight caramel character. The chocolate character is not prominent while the brew is chilled. You only catch hints of the chocolate in the after taste. At this stage in the brew the chocolate seems well integrated and is not overwhelming to the palate. The heat from the chili is only detectable in the aftertaste and warms the throat. This is the first part of the taste test and I would give the brew a solid 3 drunken gnomes at this point. The Vixen is moderately complex and everything seems to blend well without anything really standing out. It did not meet my expectations of greatness, although my expectations were probably way too high.

Taste Test Part Duex:
I was alone in the consumption of this 22oz bomber and as the bottle progressed the balance took a turn for the worst. The brew warmed up and the chocolate became overwhelming. I’m pretty sure I was drinking an overly sweetened YooHoo. This very much reminds me of my exact reaction to the Boulevard Chocolate Ale. As I mentioned before the mouthfeel started to thin as the brew warmed and threw the beer-like-quality to chocolate ratio out of whack. With a thinner mouthfeel the brew could not stand up to the overly sweet/chocolate character. This begins the comparisons with chocolate milk made with skim milk and sugar dumped in for good measure. This furthers my argument that chocolate doesn’t belong in beers except for big thick stouts and/or some porters. Stouts and/or some porters have the thick chewy mouthfeel to stand up to chocolate and the roasted malts provide bitterness to balance the sweetness. Stop it with the non-stout/porter chocolate beers, I will make my own chocolate milk.

Friends don’t let friends drink this brew alone. If you are drinking this brew alone, leave the bottle in the fridge after you open it. Don’t let the bottle warm up in between your glass fills. While cold this is a decent brew.

While Cold:

While Warm:


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