El Mole Ocho - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
El Mole OchoEl Mole Ocho

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BA SCORE
81
good

156 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 156
Hads: 399
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 18
Gots: 28 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 156 | Hads: 399
Photo of Sammy
3.66/5  rDev +2.2%
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. (272 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
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. (265 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.56/5  rDev -0.6%
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. (1,255 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.81/5  rDev +6.4%
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. (570 characters)

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.47/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (528 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.03/5  rDev -15.4%
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). (1,023 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
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. (2,115 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (1,521 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.82/5  rDev +6.7%
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!! (522 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
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... (500 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.26/5  rDev -8.9%
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. (398 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
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. (1,466 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.74/5  rDev +4.5%
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. (808 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +11.7%
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. (465 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.56/5  rDev -0.6%
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. (494 characters)

Photo of weeare138
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
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! (589 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.08/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

(served in a nonic) A- This deep walnut brown body is dense with an amber glow and a lumpy tan head that last for a good bit. There are strands of tiny bubbles gliding up the sides of the glass.
S- The brown nougat aroma is full with a soft tootsie roll hint and a faint hint of cinnamon and a bright but dark earthiness in the finish.
T- The brown nougat melanoidin flavor has a soft chili hint and a toffee note that comes through as the beer opens up. The finish has a slight tartness with more of a slightly sweet caramel flavor.
M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with no alcohol heat and a very soft carbonation.
D- The nougaty flavors really overpower everything with they become more offensive when it warms. It started out as an interesting beer but by the second glass I just couldn't bring myself to finish it. Novel concept but I just don't think it translated from paper to bottle. (905 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
2.22/5  rDev -38%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

From 22oz bomber to Bruges hybrid glass on 7/12/11
*From notes

A: Dirty, muddy brown. A decent pour yields a one finger head that dissipates entirely too soon. Little to no lacing.

S: Slightly spicy, though not as caliente as I'd hoped it would be. A good bit of pimento is apparent all over the nose.

T: A kick of heat up front, followed by a thinly masked layer of fake and rubbery chocolate. Uninspiring. The mid to finish is earthy, and the aftertaste resembles (what I can only assume is) chilled cat urine.

M: Thin, thin, thin.

O: New Holland's El Mole Ocho is a dissapointment on multiple fronts. Considering all of the parts here, the whole should be signifigantly better.

You want a brew with heat? Forget about this and seek out CCB's Hunahpu or Mikkeller's Texas Ranger. (787 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A deep burgundy red when held against the light revealed a fair clarity and a rapid, medium state of effervesce. The head was slight in statue, short in rentention, dirty cream in color while leaving random patches for a lacing.

S: The nose was malty with an alcohol spiciness of applesauce and nutmeg. A hefty dose of dry cocoa powder also figures into the mix. On the trail was as yeasty character of freshly cut apples and pears along with a close of wet coffee grounds, all which surprisingly worked well together.

T: The flavor starts off malty with a spicy alcohol and habanera pepper twang which brought some heat. Chocolate malts with strong cocoa influences meets a yeasty character of alcohol soaked apples and pears that provide a smooth and complimenting warmth to habanera chili pepper like twang. Sweet grains and dried maple syrup adds some sweetness and light moments to the mix before a warming of moderate proportions finishes things out. Overall warm, malty with a bit of habanera chili twang which all works surprisingly well together here.

M: Love the malty character as well the medium body that had an oily and fluid feel to it when swooshed around the tongue. Warming with a malty residual coating and a dry alcohol heat finishes things up on the swallow.

D: Overall drinkability was moderate, though found this to be quite interesting. Drank a bit warmer then expected from its 8.0% abv nature. A big interpretation of style ultimately subtracts a bit from drinkability.

Overall my best summary of this would be a double Vienna lager maltiness meets the fruitiness and alcohol content of a double bock meets the spicy twang of a chili beer (think rogue chipotle). Definitly doesnt drink like your typical herb/spiced beer which is a good thing. (1,781 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
3.57/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an orane pekoe tea and cola brown mix. Very little head after the pour and no foam with only bubble rising to the surface once and awhile.

A very foreign, spicey cocoa aroma hits my nostils. Add to that a smokey malt but also maybe a chipotle-like aroma as well.

The taste is a soft spice from smoked peppers. Then some syrupy cocoa adds some darker flavors and a little texture as well. The alcohol adds a punch of warmth that simmers through to the finish.

This is an interesting sipping beer that is best shared with open minded and palated drinking companions. (575 characters)

Photo of Haybeerman
3.37/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Red/amber color. Fizzy white head that dissipates quickly. No lacing.

S: Pepper and musty tomato aroma. Wet grains and burned wood. A bit of a floral character.

T: Sweet malts and wet grains. Burnt flavors to a building chili heat. Warming alcohol too. A little vegetable/tomato lingers; almost ashy aftertaste.

M: Light body. Moderate carbonation. There's just a lot going on in this beer on the heat side, I noticed little else.

D: Interesting for sure, but I really didn't like it. I almost didn't want to review it. (527 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.19/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a clearish ruby red/brown color with about a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both low. Aroma is nice, but light. The beer smells like chocolate, cherries, and some chilies. Taste is similar to the aroma, but with the addition of a bit of coffee and raisins. The spice gets slightly stronger as the beer warms, but even then the spice flavor isn't really strong. I don't think the flavors mesh together very well, for whatever reason I just don't care for the taste of this brew. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's a bit coating but also seems thin at times. Drinkability is decent, it's smooth and not hard to drink at all. I don't think this is a bad beer, but I didn't exactly think it was good either. It's worth trying once, but I don't think I'd buy this again. (854 characters)

Photo of glid02
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Dan - thanks!

Pours a dark brown color with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of dark caramel and lightly roasted malts with good amounts of dark chocolate and cocoa powder. Also present are mild amounts of indistinct dark fruits and some chilli heat.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet caramel malt flavors with hints of roastiness kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are strong dark chocolate flavors that carry through to a solidly bitter finish. A light amount of heat comes in after the ending to linger on the palate but it's relatively light.

Mouthfeel is OK. It's a bit on the light side with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have another.

Overall this is an interesting concept but unfortunately I didn't think the flavors were quite crisp enough to completely pull it off. Still, it's worth a shot to see for yourself. (990 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up the new 2012 version for $6.99 at Beer Nutz in Verona. Now clocks in at 9.79%

A - Pours a very dark honey brown but is very clear. Very minimal head but I did get a 1/4 inch of mocha colored atop that quickly reduces to a mild lace ring.

S - Smell is very mild I do get some mild cocoa powder, touch of coffee and very little spice in the nose which is pleasant and sweet smelling. Hope it's not too spicy.

T - I am actually quite impressed... for the first pour. It was advertised as being a straight up "mole" tasting beer. Starting off with sweet cocoa like powder then the spicy twang of pepper but incredibly integrated leaving little burn and then finishing with some mild coffee/sweet malts... But as it warmed (second pour) the grains got a bit harsh and the peppery spice got to me a tad. Still went down rather smooth.

M - Medium to heavy with so much going on I wasn't too surprised it overwhelmed me a tad.

Overall I may revisit again since it was one of the best beers I had by New Holland. Even better than the 2011 vintage of Dragons Milk. Worth trying if you like Mexican mole. (1,108 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
3.56/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this on tap at Bad Apple. A dark amber color but very clear with a tan head, kind of watery, not much retention or lacing...The aroma is nice and balanced with smoke and spice, really makes me hungry. The taste doesn't really live up to the aroma, but its ok. Gives you the smoke and spice, but a little too spicy for me. Light feel, not a beer you can drink a ton of. (374 characters)

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El Mole Ocho from New Holland Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 156 ratings.