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Rio Grande Pancho Verde Chile Cerveza - Sierra Blanca Brewing Company (Rio Grande)

Not Rated.
Rio Grande Pancho Verde Chile CervezaRio Grande Pancho Verde Chile Cerveza

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

70 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 70
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 3.3
pDev: 18.79%
Wants: 4
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Blanca Brewing Company (Rio Grande) visit their website
New Mexico, United States

Style | ABV
Chile Beer |  4.67% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: twiggamortis420 on 01-31-2010

This beer has an unmistakable roasted chile aroma and flavor without being too hot. The whole chile is used to infuse the beer with a mild green chile flavor and leaves you with just a hint of heat on the back end.

12 IBU
View: Beers (16) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 70 | Reviews: 30
Reviews by eclaycamp:
Photo of eclaycamp
3.08/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I really have no idea what I’m getting into with this beer. Tomorrow is Cinco De Mayo and I picked up what I initially thought would be your basic Mexican Lager (Cerveza is Spansih, after all). But a closer inspection of the label informs me that this is a berr with green chili flavor. No other pertinent information is available, which means no ABV, etc. Let me just say that I’ve had my share of chili beers that I’ve liked (Rogue Chipotle, Weston Labs #2, Flat Branch Green Chili, etc.), but more often than not they’re revolting (Cave Creek Chili Beer). Let’s see what this guy has to say. Pours a light straw that’s crystal clear, with a big foamy head that dies as quickly as it begins. So far so good. It looks like beer. First aroma is stale green chili and not much else. First taste is weird. There’s this very metallic and mineral aftertaste and not much else, except maybe a little bit of chili heat (nothing overwhelming) at the end. Second taste yields a bit more flavor, as both the beer character and the green chile flavor are finessed. I’m glad this thing isn’t the palate destroyer that I had feared when first opening the bottle, but I’m also a bit disappointed that it’s not a bit more substantial. This beer would be killer with some nice pork tacos or other spicy Mexican food. On it’s own it’s a little bit of a let down.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.7/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #49 (Feb 2011):

With the pop of the cap, the nose is invaded by an even green-chili flavor. Crystal-clear golden color and fine bubbles keep the lacing alive. Fluffy crispness in this lighter-bodied beer. Green chili flavor is very prevalent from start to finish, very even, while still letting other flavors through. Beery flavors ensue, with fermented grain and a quick kiss of hops. Clean dry finish with a very mild chili warmth. It screams "lunchtime beer"--what a great way to wake up the palate. Without a doubt this is a very well put together chili beer.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
1.06/5  rDev -67.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I think I may have been given bottle #5 of the 6-pack that GCBrewingCO bought. I *should* thank AKSmokedPorter for this, but I think kicking him in the balls for this concoction would be more appropriate.

The appearance is the only redeeming feature of this beer. Clear, amber-tinged straw. Negative head. None. Swirl the glass. Nothing. And it gets worse. Maybe it's 'cuz I'm not a chile pepper fan, but a beer bottle is NOT supposed to emit odors like this. Overpowering tendrils of powerful chile snake out the bottle and rape my nostrils. Flavor? Really nothing other than an excuse to take a layer or two of flesh off my tongue. I don't think I've ever come closer to a voluntary refunding of beer. I was afraid to pour it down the sink as I thought the resulting stench would be blamed on my recent visit to Taco Bell.

Maybe someone could show me the way, but I'll gladly steer clear of chile beers in the future, thank you very much.

Notes: So much for the beer I bought AKSP in Seattle. After this, he doesn't deserve it.

Photo of russpowell
3.16/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours an effervescent gold with 2 fingers of pearl white head. Minimal head retention & lacing

S: Peppery & chile notes, smells like a beer of this ilk should!

T: Karo syrup/apple sweetness & slight pepper spice & dryness up front. Chile spice/slight heat& faint smokeyness tries to fight through sweetness. Finishes a little dry, with pears notes & slight heat

MF: Light bodied, carbonation is okay, but skews way too sweet

Started out with promise, the promise of Chile heat, but delivers far too little in the end, sigh...

Photo of cdcarresq
3.77/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yes, I would have this beer again. I don't think it gets a fair shake from most people. I was a little afraid to try it myself and looked at the bottle wondering why the heck I bought it. Got it at Tops in Phoenix.

APPEARANCE: Respectable looking. Nice clear, medium gold color with just a little foam that quickly disappeared.

AROMA: Smells like a light lager beer with--no surprise here--noticible green chile aroma.

TASTE: Again, no surprise, tastes like a light later with chile flavoring. Imagine a Bud Light Lime or Miller Child WITHOUT the lime and bit more Chile kick and you've got the idea.

MOUTHFEEL was medium with nice carbonation--not too much and not flat. Pretty smooth considering the pepper.

Photo of Gusler
2.95/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Being from Arizona, where "Everything is available with "Salsa", "Chilies" are a mainstay of many meals, this should be a "Hoot". The beer pours a translucent gold color on the pour, the head minimal in size, the lace sparse, both off white in color. Nose, the "archetypal green chili" aroma with a start that is slightly sweet, the top waterish in feel. Finish is dry, sparingly acidic, middling on the hops, dry and a pepper like twang, quite malt dry aftertaste. Spicy to be sure, different “That’s a fact Jack”, actually drinkable, unlike the Arizona version Ed's Chili Beer which I will rate at a later time.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.76/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It seems Sierra Blanca Brewing took over the old Rio Grande brewey and decided to carry on a few of their beers, this is one of them. 12 oz bottle pours a light yellow color with a thin and rapidly diminishing white foam. Readily apparent this is a lager based chile beer.

The nose is pretty nice as the green chiles smell very much like being fire roasted. As with most beers in this category, the chiles dominate every other aroma in the beer. That's fine with me as I dont know if I could ever get sick of eating, drinking or smelling them!

Tastes like the base of this beer is a pretty bland lager, there is a light graininess from the malt and that is balanced by a faint hop bitterness. The chiles are great, not overly powerful or hot, but the roasted flavor has the faintest reminder of cardboard. This is far from the abomination that is Cave Creek, it's a pretty drinkable beer. There is a very slight heat in the back of the throat, but nothing dramatic. I probably will like this beer more than most, as I absolutely love green chiles in beer. This one is a pretty decent attempt, I like it.

Photo of neonbrown82
2.92/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

This beer was provided in trade by GCBrewingCo if I remember correctly. It's been a while. I just found it hiding in the back of my cellar, obviously too scared to drink it however many months ago. I feared it may be bad by now, but it was actually quite decent provided that this is a disgusting style.

The beer pours to a light clear yellow with no head (could be the age that this beer obviously is not meant to withstand). Nothing too impressive at all, but nothing off-putting.

The smell reminds me of my brother's chili. I've had chili beers that taste like peppers, but this one actually smells and tastes exactly like chili. It is intriguing, but the novelty wears off quick and you realize you are drinking a beer that tastes like chili. I like beer, and I like chili, and I like using beer to make my chili... but I realize I don't need a beer that tastes like chili. All I'm thinking now is that I also have a Crazy Ed's Cave Creek Chili Beer in my fridge as well... I can only imagine how bad that one will be.

Photo of atomicbeer
4.26/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light gold with no head to speak of, only a rim. Aroma is like a freshly opened can of green chile. The taste is green chile dip on tortilla chips - cool! This is a absolutely great chile beer. Not hot at all but with big green chile flavor. New Mexicans (like me who love green chile) should flock to this. I'm going to have to try this with all sorts of New Mexican foods such as chile rellenos or chicken enchiladas ... will update. Should be beautiful.

Photo of ppoitras
2.91/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle from GCBrewingCo as part of BIF 20. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, and what head did form (not much) was gone in a flash, leaving a few stray bubbles aroud the rim of the surface of the light golden brew. Absolutely no lacing. Aroma is dominated by green peppers, which one would expect. Taste is dominated by the pepperness in all facets, but some pale malt sweetness does poke its nose out here and there. Mouthfeel is limp, with little carbonation, and drinkability is so-so. Not one for pepper-haters, but seemingly not as bad as that other crazy pepper beer.

Photo of aracauna
2.08/5  rDev -37%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Ok, this was for me an oddly dichotomous beer. On the one hand, I could tell there was some quality here. The actual beer underneath the chile would have been boring. Not much body or flavor, but the chile flavor is legit and actually meshes well with the beer. Still something about it doesn't sit well with me and I couldn't finish it.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.1/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Surly shaker pint glass.

Thanks to jefferz5000 for this bottle!

The ninth entry in SwillFest 2011. It pours a clear sallow topped by a half-finger of white foam. The nose comprises nothing more than jalapeno skin and seeds. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some greens, and the lightest possible touch of peppery heat. The body is pretty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a watery feel. Overall, a kinda sad chile beer, but, to its credit, it doesn't try to overpower with crappy pepper heat, which definitely makes this easier to drink than most chile beers.

Photo of DavidST
3.32/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, didn't see if there was a freshness date on it. This pours a light golden or a straw colored beer with a small head which quickly dissipates. The feel is light and crisp. The smell is with an obvious green chili aroma followed by a crisp lager smell. The taste is much of the same, you get a nice smooth bit of green chilies, not hot at all but very pronounced.

Photo of mactrail
3.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A normal-looking lager in the glass, lemony yellow color with a decent foam. Not overly carbonated on the tongue. Light body, and light everything else. Some acidic sensation.

A hint of malty sweetness is followed by a nice flavor of green chiles. It's not a particularly roasted or other exotic flavor, just that vegetable chile taste with a zing of heat. And not a lot of heat, either. This would be perfectly drinkable by the schooner, and maybe really cold on a sunny day it would hit the spot. This is maybe the least hot chile beer I've had, which is OK with me, but it could use a little more flavor.

From the 12 oz bottle bought at Jubilation Fine Wines in Albuquerque.

Photo of nklatt
4.18/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Let it warm up a bit to get the green chile smell and flavor.

Photo of Phelps
3.38/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip.

Pale banana yellow, slightly chill-hazed, topped with a one-finger head of fuzzy white. A thick, bubbly ring remains.

In the nose: a bit of sour grain and maybe some apple and cracker, but behind it all is the subtle fire of pepper, like the juice of a fresh jalapeno. It's actually not terrible -- the piquancy adds some interest to a pretty bland aroma.

Take note, Cave Creek: this is how a chili lager is made. The flavor exhibits the natural character of a bland American lager -- a bit of breadiness, the slightest hint of sweet apple. The star of the flavor is the pepper, but it's applied with such a light touch. I get none of the abrasive, jarring heat that turns me off in other beers like this one -- just the crisp, snappily herbal qualities of pepper.

Medium-light body with moderate carbonation and a subtle fizziness. The beer finishes with a refreshing snap, each sip clearing the palate and preparing for the next sip.

Having experienced so many disgusting attempts at chili beer, this one was a pleasant surprise. It's definitely not my favorite style, but I wouldn't turn away another bottle of Rio Grande -- which is saying a lot.

Photo of InlandTaipan
3.59/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle in Flagstaff AZ (after purchasing in Albuquerque the same day.)

A: Beer pours a light gold color, with rich white head.

S: Smell is of light malts, vegetables, and definitely green chiles.

T: Surprising flavor profile. Oddly refreshing with hints of green chile, caramel, and even salt.

M: nothing out of the ordinary, similar to a clean light lager style.

O: Gotta give it a try, it is not too hot. a unique beer for sure. I would definitely drink again.

Photo of cunninusa
4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first chile beer. Not a fan of "flavored beer", but had a chance to try it on-tap.

If you like the taste and smell of green chiles, you must try this beer. Pronounced green chile taste (no jalapeno) and a nice mouth feel.

I am a fan.

Photo of brentk56
3.56/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a pale goldenrod with a very modest head that fritters away quickly

Smell: The chile pepper comes through but the predominate aromatic is grainy

Taste: Opens clean and grainy, with the chile pepper starting to assert in the middle and lingering in the finish; the heat builds as the bottle is consumed; the malt grows sweeter, too, over time

Mouthfeel: Light body with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: For a chile beer, this has potential; if only the base malt and hopping were more interesting

Thanks, sunkistxsudafed, for the opportunity

Photo of RblWthACoz
1.86/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

People in New Mexico have a little thing with their chiles. Well actually it is a big thing. Eat anywhere that serves regional cuisine and you will be asked "red, green, or both?" Chile is served on everything, so I guess it is only natural that someone makes a beer with it. While it may sound like a great idea, it ended up being a disaster in my mouth - and glass. No head whatsoever. The first sip actually burnt the back of my mouth a bit from the chile and after that the chile was so strong, I could barely keep it in my mouth. Now the question is what I am going to do with the other 5 bottles in my fridge. Not to mention the half full glass next to me that I won't be able to finish.

P.S. If a green chile could take a piss, this is what would be in the toilet.

Photo of beergoot
3.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale, straw yellow color, white head that very quickly disappears (a common trait amongst chili beers - my understanding is the chili oils prohibit head formation/retention). Musty, chili aroma. Very mild flavor; not much chili 'oomph'. Slightly malty character. Thin body, somewhat watery. Crisp and clean.

A pretty basic and faceless chili beer. Underwhelming is my assessment, but I gave it a 3.5 rating for taste because you do get a light chili presence. I'm not sure, but it strikes me as being a lager as opposed to an ale. That might explain some of its smooth character. Perhaps a good 'starter' chili beer if someone is new to the style (and is afraid of too much heat) due to its mild nature. There are better examples out there.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.14/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The beer opended with barely a wisp of carbonation leaving the bottle. It poured into the glass hazy with particulates pale golden straw and no head...none, nada, zip.

The aroma was green chillies, plain and simple. The whole time I was sniffing the aroma I was thinking, please, do not let this beer be a scotcher. The chillies overpower all other aromas that could possibly have been emitted from this beer. The chili aroma eventually takes your breath away.

The flavor was watery. The malt character was mostly absent and the chillies were actually well achieved in the flavor. The bittering was indecernable from the heat that came from the chillies which overpowered all else. There was a certain malt presence but the chillies drowned that out, however the heat was only mild to moderate.

The finish was even, not dry, not sweet and the chillie heat was in high in the back of the throat, not burning and not particularly overdone. The body was medium and the carbonation was nonexistent.

12 ounce bottle. No freshness dating. Purchased for $3.06 per six pack at Green's in Atlanta. This is a great beer for adding to chillie which is exactly what I plan to do with most of the rest of them.

Photo of kp29
3.77/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

First Chile beer here and as a lover of hot and spicy foods I am pretty excited.

Pours a clear gold with a moderate head. The smell is a little underwhelming, I pick up the green chile for sure but it mostly just smells like any ole standard lager. The more of the beer I drank though the more that green chile smell came forward.

The beer is crisp, clean, and has some mild sweetness to it. After that I do pick up the green chile flavor and a very very mild hot pepper kick lingers that has me going back for more.

Overall, this beer is quite drinkable and enjoyable. It's not amazing (wish it had quite a bit more kick to it!) but still a solid beer. If you aren't a huge fan of hot food this might be a good example of a milder chile beer to try. Perhaps if I have multiple in one sitting the hot pepper flavor will slowly build like it does when eating spicy food over the course of a meal. Guess I'll have to get multiple bottles next time to find out.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.32/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled at 1702, Tucson; August 2011
Arrives with a frothy, large bubbled, quickly disappearing, off-white colored head. The beer is a pale gold color that shows a brilliantly clear, very light, straw-gold color when held up to the light. I could just be imagining it, but a distinct note of roasted green chiles is noticeable as this is set down on the table, but an actual smell of the aroma smells more of sweet corn, herbal (not really roasted) green chile and perhaps a touch of fruitiness, and some spicy, peppery like character. The beery aromatics of this beers nose are actually pretty lame, but the green chile adds enough of an interest that I am even liking the balance that the base beer brings to the aroma

Very light bodied, this along with the sweetness reminds me quite a bit of a simplistic, industrial hard cider, though one that isn’t overly sweet. The chile flavor is quite subtle, there is just a hint of green chile flavor through the finish and perhaps just a hint of chile heat that is noticeable after a bt that lingers very subtly on the palate. Flavor of green corn (I am sure the chiles influence this). The flavor is quite noticeable for having almost no perceptible hop character; neither a bitterness or hop flavor is really here. The chile character perhaps attempts to replace the missing hop character, but in reality there is not enough chile character to the flavor to provide enough balance to the sweet grain / malt flavors. The green chile becomes a bit more noticeable as the beer warms, and while noticeable, it is still not quite as distinct as I might like.

Interesting, but I really wish more of the roasted chile character was here, and in general this could use a whole lot more chile in the flavor and aroma. I wouldn’t mind a bit more of a characterful base beer either, though this wouldn’t be nearly as noticeable if this had been more of a prominent green chile gimmick beer. Said another way, the current base beer needs a whole lot more green chile flavor to be a good attempt at a gimmick beer, to actually be a good beer though both the chile flavor needs to be boosted and the base beer needs to completely change to something with a whole lot more character (even a porter would work if the roasted green chile was done properly).

Photo of drabmuh
3.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

At the time of this review this is the #21 on the chile beer list. Beer has no head, heavily carbonated, no lacing, hazy, amber.

Aroma is strong and vegetal. Jalapeño peppers, a little bit of a sulfur aroma.

Tastes better than it smells. Medium to light in body, mildly dry finish. Mild pepper on the back and some mild smoke. It is a little tough to drink. Interesting experience but I don't think I'd have it again.

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Rio Grande Pancho Verde Chile Cerveza from Sierra Blanca Brewing Company (Rio Grande)
77 out of 100 based on 70 ratings.