Belching Beaver Brewery- Horchata Imperial Spiced Stout
Horchata conjures up a lot of memories for us at Beer Brothers, so when we discovered Belching Beaver had made a 9% ABV imperial stout based on this beloved drink, we knew we had to try it. Venturing into spices can sometimes spell doom to some beers as the flavor can overpower the beer. Example time: We once had a unique Christmas imperial stout that was supposed to be spiced; but its taste was reminiscent of those red candles whose smell profile reads "holiday". It was terrible, sad, and unbearably memorable. However, this Horchata Imperial Spiced Stout lives our memory because it is good and good is what we need in this world, Mr. Frodo.
Appearance: It is a stout, and because it is imperial in nature, the liquid inside the glass can seem like it's putting airs. The pour from the can into the glass demonstrates the thickness of this beer as you see the surface tension keeping the pour in-line. When poured, this beer creates a tan head that foreshadows the delicious adventure you're about to embark upon.
Smell: Notes of chocolate, coffee, and cinnamon are upfront and cover the strong alcohol content that is this imperial stout.
Taste: This is a sweet beer, and it handles the bold flavors that are being professionally presented to your pallet. The bitterness of the coffee and the sweetness of the chocolate play off of one another. The cinnamon comes in at the end and makes the drinking experience that much more fun. It is a thick beer, but it is an enjoyable one. The experience is good, but the richness of this beer (and the 9% ABV) doesn't lend itself to having multiples back-to-back. You can, but you might end up speaking Nahuatl before the night is through.
Marketing: This is perhaps the one time we feel a bit meh on Belching Beavers design. They use the colors of the Mexican flag in the name, they use Old English font, and the can is clean as well as identifiable; but it isn't memorable. The neat Aztec animal drawing (we believe it's a jaguar) is the focal point, but we would have liked a bit more pizzaz like Phantom Bride's can or something. Overall, it's okay.