Sunday Beer Blog: Xocoveza

A quick one today beer lovers. It’s the holidays, and I’m enjoying lazy days.

Today’s delight was Stone Brewing’s collaborative creation, Xocoveza. It’s a mocha stout with cocoa, coffee, peppers, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/f49/51844774/files/2014/12/img_0715.jpg
The bottle boasts domestic brewer’s “comfort and lack of inhibitions” as a reason for the endless variety of beer we can enjoy these days.

Agreed.

In my own home, experimentation often replaces perfection of a standard brew. I’m ok with that. I can buy a fantastic wheat beer. I can only drink one delicately laced with Hawaiian lavender and vanilla from my own keg…so far.

This Stone brew is exceptional. It is quite smooth and leads with a deep coffee flavor. Replacing the sometimes bitter aftertaste of a coffee stout is a vanilla finish. The smell is sweet. Bottom line, there is nothing to turn you off of this dark brown brew.

Here’s to a new year of even stranger brews!

-Traci

Brewer: Stone w/Chris Baker
Alcohol: 8.1
Purchased: Brown Jug
Food Pairing: Pepper Sausage, White Cheddar Jalapeño Popcorn, & Provolone.

Wine, OH!

winecup

It has snowed people! While the rest of the country has been getting the white stuff for weeks, Anchorage has been oddly barren. Thank goodness our prayers have been answered because winter is just a brown slab of depression without its accomplice.

wineme

The idea of hats, gloves, and winter sports were in my head as I headed out with my husband to run the usual errands last weekend.

  • gas up the vehicle: check
  • donate clothes: I’m going straight to heaven.
  • stop by the ATM for girls’ allowances: do they really need to learn the value of money?
  • grocery store: oh my gosh, kill me… now
  • stop by La Bodega beer boutique: WooHoo. Grown-up reward!

At La Bodega I stumbled onto the adventure in a bottle I’m writing about today. Augsburger Christkindlmarkt is a spiced wine from Germany. Although after doing a bit of “research” (googling), I discovered it’s only available in the USA currently. I was a bit disturbed by this. Why, if it’s made in Germany, is it only available here?

I came up with three possible reasons:

  1. Germans are just sick of drinking the same thing every holiday season.
  2. Many Germans died slow, horrible deaths after drinking this wine.
  3. Only Americans would be cheesy enough on the holidays to buy a bottle of crazy looking spiced wine from Europe just because it snowed once.

It was the third reason that concerned me most.

Undeterred, I invited my husband, Derek, to join me in a taste-test toast. (Truth be told he had to try the warm, weird wine with me. It’s in the marital contract. Must partake in all crazy antics wife requests. Fine print is a bitch.) We diligently heated the wine up in mugs using the microwave. Very posh, I know.

A careful sip...
A careful sip…

We raised our cups to each other and my husband said, “go ahead blogger.” (I feel it’s important to note the way “blogger” was said. It sounded like something a bar of soap would be sucked on after uttering.) While I took offense to my hobby being used like a bad word, I did realize I’d have to step up to the challenge I had purchased and brought home. I took a quick sniff, nothing worrisome, and continued to the inevitable sip.

I didn’t really taste much more than warm grape juice. The spice was possibly cinnamon, and not abundant. With its high alcohol content, 9%, I likened it to moonshine- flavorless but impactful.

I was a bit disappointed, but happy I hadn’t tasted something so vile it would ruin all hot, scary, red wines for all winters to come.

Happy winter adventures!

-Traci