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El Mole Ocho - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
El Mole OchoEl Mole Ocho

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

382 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 382
Reviews: 157
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 16.76%
Wants: 17
Gots: 25 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: alexgash on 04-04-2010

Our exploration into the flavors of mole, the legendary sauce of central Mexico. Malty aroma and rich, cocoa-laden body laced with an invigorating tinge of dries chilies and coffee.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 382 | Reviews: 157 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.66/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at Mondiale 2010. Cloudy brown, with a little beige head, lacey. Some sourness, big mocha taste more than coffee. Good taste, would have liked even bolder chile flavour. Lots of lace drops. Above average mouthfeel. Not much aroma. Hidden a.b.v. Decent drinkability.

Photo of spycow
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of nmann08
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderately-dark amber color with a thin head. Nose brings some light chipotle peppers and a bit of might smoke. The taste is dried chili peppers, smoke, and a little roast. Light heat comes through. Interesting, but not all that tasty.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.56/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Why are these chili beers so appealing? Taking beer from standard barley and hop balance to chocolate and chili proves both challenging and compelling for me as well as the brewers.

Bold aromas of caramel and chocolate create the structure for the nose while the chili/vegital/peppery notes leap right off with a lot of zest and intrigue.

Deep copper to medium brown, the beer shows bright clarity below a very froathy off-white head that shows remarkable formation, retention, and lacing.

Base flavors seem to derive from an English Brown Ale (think Newcastle) but with much bolder caramel/toffee tastes as well as chocolate and rich nuttiness. With very low hop contributions, the beer relies on vibrant spices of cinnamon, nutmeg? and chili peppers for complexity, balance, and allure. Lightly vegital behind the chili flavor but doesn't detract from the drinkability.

Mediuum-sweet textures start the session but give way at mid-palate for a drying, warming, and fleeting malty finish. As the malt creaminess fades, the alcohol/chili warmth builds and eventually dominates the finish.

El Mole Ocho reminds me a lot of Theobroma but with a sweeter, more simplified maltiness thus allowing for greater separation from the chili and spice additions.

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of oberon
3.81/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a .5 liter stein a brilliant garnet with a fluffy one finger off white head that settles into a creamy mass atop.The aromas are a mix of earth,bitter chocolate,and ripe chili's,not much sweetness is present.I have to say the flavors grew on me,at first I thought it to be a bit one sided in its roasty,drier tones, but after awhile the roasted chili flavor mixed with the bitter chocolate seemed to meld together better,the chili flavor really comes thru in the finish.Its different and thats a good thing here,it takes some adjusting to but its pretty good.

Photo of zeff80
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

I'm not sure of the translation, so I'm gonna go with "the chocolate eight". Something like that. It pours a pretty much clear ruby brown topped by a short-lived finger of off-white micro-foam. The nose is a lambast of burnt cocoa, backed by a strange melange of toasted caramel, roasted marshmallows, and nicely seered salmon. Something here just doesn't seem right. The taste echoes a bit, starting with some burnt gingerbread and overdone banana bread, followed by some caramelized sugars, mole sauce (just as advertised, I guess), and a finish of smoked nutmeg, coffee, dark chocolate, and cinnamon. I have no idea what to think. It's sorta good and sorta horrible. Wow. The body is a hefty medium, with a moderate carbonation and a strangely dry and almost sticky finish. I like the idea behind this, I suppose, but the execution was thoroughly botched. It's almost drinkable, but not very. worth a try if for nothing else than bragging about the experience (and ticking, of course).

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New Holland El Mole Ocho

So where does the name come from? Not the mole, I get that, but the ocho part... ? Ahh, OK, I see it's 8% abv. Hmm, it doesn't taste it. I guess the sweetness throws you off, but if you look for it, sure enough, it's there.

The appearance is interesting. It's got a cloudy russet brown body with golden-orange highlights beneath a short lived head of tan foam. I'd have thought the head would have lasted in a beer that's so rich (22˚Plato/barley wine sized), but OK, perhaps the oils from the cocoa have cut it down.

On to the cloudiness... how do you rate a beer like this? It's a mole beer, so it's OK by me... it's got to be cloudy right? If it wasn't it might look odd. The haze looks a bit like how I think of mole sauce, and I guess I like that.

What about the aroma? Well, it's got some cocoa and some light notes of pepper as well. That's nice. I get some fruit, caramel, and a distant note of creamy coffee as well. The chocolate makes it inviting, and the pepper leaves it interesting.

In the flavor the caramel/cocoa/nuttiness wins out but there's still a bit of fruit and a nice hint of pepper flavor, as well as a nice flicker of spicy heat (I'm not sure how much of that might be coming from alcohol). There's a definite kind of raisin, soft clove, and perhaps cinnamon flavor to it but I'm not sure if that's coming from the yeast, actual spices added to the boil, or just my imagination. It doesn't mention any spice on the label so I wonder if they're using Belgian yeast. I get some coffee in the finish, and that mild roastiness along with the spiciness (be it alcohol or pepper) helps to balance the sweetness of the malt.

In the mouth it's full-medium in body; and moderately zesty on the tongue (at least partially due to alcohol and/or spice).

Interesting... it's a nice "warmer", and it certainly qualifies as a sipper along with a good book, but I really do feel they're correct in stating that this would go well with food - not too much, mind you, but enough to pair and/or contrast the flavors. Or you can enjoy it on its own. Nicely done. Worth trying.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Jason
3.82/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz brown bomber with a foiled top, vintage date on the label.

LOOK: Red and clear, decent lacing

SMELL: Fresh chilies, toasted cocoa nibs, dired plums, toasted biscuits, yeast, mild esters

TASTE: Silky smooth, medium body, creamy, dark chocolate, mild chili peppers, faint pepper heat, caramel, mild tartness, dried grass, fruity alcohol, dry cocoa nib finish

Clearly a sipper here, one to savor. I'd suggest to cook and pair food obviously, even on its own it will garner some conversation. Long live extreme beer!!

Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On cask @ the New Holland Brewing Company (Holland, MI) on 4/22/10. Served in a cervoise.

Pours a deep clear amber, topped with a smallish head of off-white foam. Maintains with some richness around the edges, leaving a decent looking of spotty foam behind. The aroma smells of cocoa, fruit, and roasted coffee. Maybe a touch of floral hops in there to. This is spicy as well and I seem to not only be getting some hot pepper notes but also more of the cinnamon variety as well. Good bit of warmth is showing itself as well. I wish I could get more out of the nose but it's only giving up so much.

The taste is sticky with chocolate, caramel, and to a lesser extent, fruit. Darker character from roast and coffee is present but this is coming off as mostly sweet. The chili-pepper is probably the most interesting thing about the beer, as it starts out a little more on the subtle side but then gets stronger as you work your way through it, warming the lips and tongue and lingering quite steady in the finish. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a creamy carbonation that sits on top of a good bit of alcohol beef. It's definitely warm but luckily the alcohol never gets too distracting.

I picked up a bottle of this while we in the area and I'm interested to see how it compares. I think that the cask conditioning might have actually hindered this some, as it seemed to mute the flavors a bit and showed a little more alcohol than I would have expected. Interesting stuff that I'm willing to give a second try.

Photo of oline73
5/5  rDev +42%

Photo of russpowell
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2010 pours a murky apricot with a pinky of khaki head. Stays murky, no head retention or lacing

S: Orchard fruit & figs

T: Follows the nose, woody hops, a touch of peppery spice & dryness up front. Slight coffee flavor as this warms, more pepper too. Finishes fruitty, dry, boozey with a spicy pepper flourish

MF: Medium bodied, slight carbonation, decent balance

Would love to try this fresh I believe this would be a different beer. Interesting but nothing great in its current state...

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.47/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Roy.

A: Pours a clear, dark reddish brown with a thin off-white head. Very sparse and spotty lace.

N: Grainy malts, hints of chili as it warms. An unusual "antique" oak wood quality reminds me of varnish, in a good way.

T: Roasty with faint chocolate and chili. Trace coffee notes. Some faint and mild chili heat on the finish.

M: Medium body and low carbonation. 8% alcohol is evident. Wispy chili heat finish.

O: Wanting more chocolate and chili like a true Oaxacan mole. Interesting, but once is enough.

Photo of mdfb79
3.26/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From 5/21/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Pours a dark amber brown with a little bit of tan head.

s - Smells of sour and bready malts.

t - Taste of dark fruits, fruity and bready malts, and both sweet and spicy at the same time.

m - Medium body and high carbonation.

d - An ok spiced beer. Wasn't a big fan of the smell but the taste was interesting. Probably wouldn't seek out again.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to blutt59 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a clear red-amber color with an off-white head. The aroma is heavy on the peppers with some earth, dirt and caramel malts. The flavor is fresh green peppers (jalapenos or serranos) with some coffee, chocolate, caramel and earthy hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. The overall flavor of this beer is kind of a mess, but I liked it. Definitely an interesting idea from the brewers at New Holland.

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 9/11/2013. Pours crystal clear deep reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of chocolate, cocoa, raisin, plum, pear, caramel, toast, brown bread, brown sugar, chili pepper, light coffee, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good complexity and balance of malt, spice, and yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of chocolate, cocoa, raisin, plum, pear, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, light chili pepper, light coffee, herbal, and toasted/yeast earthiness. Slight pepper heat on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, raisin, plum, pear, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, light coffee, light chili pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance, complexity, and robustness of malt, spice, and yeast ester flavors; with light-moderate chili/coffee presence and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately slick and fairly smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good chili beer. Good balance, robustness, complexity of malt, yeast ester, and spice flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Photo of weeare138
3.78/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears a turbid dark with auburn highlights when held to the light. A small, off white head quickly settles into a gentle cap of fluff. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of spicy nutmeg, cocoa, roasted nuts, ripe fruit, and espresso.
Taste is of the aromas with a gentle hint of chili peppers pulling through the sweetness of the malt. Mild bit of herbal hops are found in the background with a toffee flavor opening up as the hops and heat mix through the palate.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, warming, with steady carbonation.
Interesting beer! Thanks, Joel!

Photo of chinchill
3.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz 2013 bottle of this "Mexican Spiced Ale" (New Holland) served in a Belgian snifter.

Pours clear dark ruby-brown with a bubbly weak head. Minimal lacing.

Aroma: wow, very peppery! Also a bit vegetal with hints of cocoa and brown bread. Alcohol i less obvious than expected for 10% ABV. Smells spicy and hot but ...

Flavor: the flavor is peppery but only mildly hot and moderately spicy. It tastes like a mix of dried and roasted peppers. A bit more sweet than bitter.

Feel: some heat and prickliness: hard to say how much is from the peppers and spices and what's from the high ABV.

O: a distinct beer that is worth trying as long as you don't completely object to chilies in your ale. Allowed to warm for about 15 minutes out of the refridgerator, it still improved with further warming.

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.56/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Okay, I guess that this beer reminds me slightly of a mole, but only because there are both chile and chocolate notes, but beyond that there is not much to evoke the complexity and depth a of a mole- far too thin and one-note (okay, two note). The chile heat is at the right level, but the chocolate is thin and watery, and there is no solid malt background to support anything, and no other spice notes to play off of the chile and chocolates. A nice idea for a beer, but needs some retooling.

Photo of atrocity
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

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El Mole Ocho from New Holland Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 382 ratings.