So how do you decide what beer to bring home with you? The label? The beer style you keep going back to? The brewery? Do you simply trust that a brewery is going to do the right thing with a beer? I do, of course. That was my thinking when grabbing this beer. Chipotle peppers, really! I've tried the peanut butter porter and the Berger Cookie brew - both with some trepidation. Some love these but to me they are trying too hard to get noticed. Its not about the beer. Hey, its me, not you. Ah, but its Stone Brewing. A brewery you just trust not to get too deep into gimmicks.
Labeled as a smoked porter, you have an idea of what you going to taste. With the chipotle peppers as a wild card - well its going to be smokey and chili pepper hot. The question, how hot?
This beer is meant to be enjoyed with food. While there is much written about pairing spicy food not much is be found on pairing spicy hot beers. Wegman's has a good article on pairing beer and food concepts. I think is would be best to contract the spicy character of this beer and complement to smokey flavors. Grilled meats would be perfect - burgers or brats.
Appearance - Dark brown not black in color. Good cream-colored head that stays around for awhile.
Aroma - the roasted malt you expect from a porter with some obvious smokey aromas.
Flavor - this is what get you, a nice gentle smoked flavor, a hot pepper grabs the back of your throat but isn't painful. No doubt about it, you'll notice the pepper in the beer. The flavor and affect lingers
Mouthfeel - a medium body with good effervescence.
Aftertast - no doubt, you get the chipotle pepper dominating the pallet and it persists.
Overall - at 5.9% ABV its not quite a session beer but you can drink this awhile. Again you will notice the pepper, a bit more than you might expect.
Recommendation - If you like hot spicy food, this is a beer you'll enjoy with gusto - if not, leave it alone.