Something different in the form of #beer…

It’s easy to get caught into routines.  We do it in every aspect of our lives.  We tend to take the same route(s) to work, we find a series of books we like and read them straight through, we have our fallback comfort foods, etc, etc.  The same happens with beer, and I have been as guilty as anyone with this.  Quickly I fell in love with hops and went down a path of steady IPA consumption.  I still hold a special place in my heart (and taste buds) for the hoppy beast beers, but I’ve tried to make a concerted effort to expand on my palate development.  This includes delving into the world of sours, as well as brews that are being made with alternative ingredients to bring out unique blends of flavors.  This is one such beer.  I present to you The Vixen, one of the ‘Single Batch’ series from the Boston Beer Company, aka Samuel Adams, and it is a chocolate chili bock.

Poured into a tumbler pint, the beer is an extremely dark ruby-brown coloring, with a thick, dense, frothy, milk-chocolate colored head that starts massively above the beer, but settles into a solid inch and a half. Good lacing along the glass as the head recedes. Aromas are subtle, with a bit of spiciness noted, as well as some roasted grain scents. The beer’s flavors are a little more substantial, with a round palate of chocolate and toasted cereal blends, and a hint of pepper spicing. The body is light and slick, giving the flavors a short shelf-life on the palate. The aftertaste gives a bit more of the chili pepper essence, but only slightly, with a filmy linger of chocolate as well. The finish is somewhat clingy and filmy on the palate and all over the mouth. Clears away given a little bit of time. I was really hoping for a little more from this in terms of the flavor profiles, but it’s not bad.  I’m a big fan of spicy foods, so I think the chili part really stuck in my head, but it turned out to be more of a supporting character in the flavor blends, which works for the beer.  Chocolate lovers will not be disappointed, and beer fans in general should be able to appreciate the dichotomy of sweet and spicy flavors in a solid bock style brew.

The ‘Single Batch’ series has produced some very interesting and unique styles of brew, as well as combinations of flavors.  Sam Adams is using the line to really get out of the box (what a douchy business term, but it really works) in regards t0 brew styles.  Also, coming from Sam provides those new to the craft world with a trusted and well known name to venture out of their comfort zone in trying a new beer.  So, if you can find The Vixen and any part of the chili or chocolate profiles sound good, give it a try.  If not, look for other beers from the ‘Single Batch’ line and go for a little taste bud adventure/exploration.  And as always, while on your journey, drink educated my friends!

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