The Stone Xocoveza (pronounced Choco Vesa) is a seasonal release for the holidays from Stone Brewing. It was first released in 2014 and it’s origin is a pretty cool little story. The Stone Xocoveza was brewed with San Diego homebrewer Chris Banker. Why would a big name like Stone Brewing bring on a homebrewer for this one? Well, Chris won the 2014 Stone homebrewer competition and his winning recipe became the Xocoveza! How freaking cool is that? Give me a few years and I’ll be entering! You can say you knew me when I was a lowly beer blogger.
Style: Milk Stout
Hops: English Challenger and English East Kent Golding
Additional Ingredients: Cocoa, Coffee, Pasilla Peppers, Vanilla, Cinnamon and Nutmeg
Availability: Seasonal – Released on 11/16/15 – Six Packs and Draft
MSRP: $18.99 – Six Pack 12 oz bottle
Brewer: Stone Brewing –Escondido, CA
Beers consumed for review: Several – 12 oz bottles
Nose: The Stone Xocoveza has a sweet aroma that is heavy chocolate and cinnamon. When you dig a little deeper there are some spicy/peppery notes along with a vanilla sweetness. The coffee is relegated to a background aroma.
Appearance: The Stone Xocoveza is nothing short of black in color. It looks like seriously overused motor oil. It poured with a thin tan head. The lacing sticks around for a moment or two, but doesn’t hold on too strong.
Flavor: Deep dark chocolate notes mingle with cinnamon and conjure up images of Mexican hot chocolate. Of course, that is exactly what they were trying for with the Stone Xocoveza. Coffee and vanilla fill out the second tier of flavors and provide most of the sweet, creamy and bitter notes. There are some roasted malt notes in there as well. Long story short, this is one complex stout! It’s sweet, spicy, and roasty with a mild coffee bitterness.
Overall Thoughts: Can you tell I loved it? The Stone Xocoveza is kind of brilliant even if it is a bit pricy. The spice from the Pasilla peppers gets a bit lost in there, but there is still some spice to be found. I love a sweet stout and this is becoming a favorite. It reminds me a bit of the Prairie Bomb. My buddy Matt says this is the best thing that Stone makes and I think he may be right. It’s a fantastic milk stout for those cold winter nights. It pairs exceptionally well with episodes of The Walking Dead.