Sam Adams The Vixen Chocolate Chili Bock

Obviously, I’m a sucker for beers with pretty women on the label. That, and naturally I will find the idea of a chocolate chili cinnamon beer to be too interesting to pass up. This bomber sees the Boston Beer Co getting a bit experimental; cool, I’m all for that. I’m not expecting chocolate and chili to jump out at me as if this was a Southern Tier beer or something, though. Most Sam Adams beers, with some exception, err on the side of drinkability vs strong, overpowering flavors – you don’t get to be the largest craft brewer out there by not having a whole bunch of people like your beer.

It looks like a porter; it’s pretty dark on first glance, but it does let some light through its brown depths. Formative espresso-crema foam that can be easily roused with a few swirls of the glass.

I’m surprised at how much chocolate I do get in the nose. It’s like a rich milk chocolate rather than a dense earthy dark chocolate. The chili is subdued, but if you take a deep sniff, it’ll tickle your nostrils.

This actually is more like a Southern Tier-type big beer than I expected. Yup yup, the chocolate and cinnamon are right out there, with some almond too. The cacao nibs used in the brewing process here really contribute to the flavor. I get that big milk chocolate bar right up front and around the sides, while a peppery character rides high from the cinnamon. There’s no real chili burn to speak of as one gets in some other beers brewed with chilies…I get a subtle roasted chili flavor with very little burn. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy,with moderate sweetness perceived.

This may not be the most complex beer out there, but it is exactly what it purports to be. My one minor complaint is that I could stand it being a little less sweet, but I’d wager that the brewers came pretty close to achieving what they wanted out of this brew. Worth a try, especially if you’re a chocolate fanatic.

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