El Mole Ocho - New Holland Brewing Company

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El Mole OchoEl Mole Ocho

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398 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 398
Reviews: 160
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 16.81%
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 398 | Reviews: 160
Photo of CampusCrew
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

appearance: copperish color, maybe a brown ale base
smell: peppers noticable on the nose

taste: peppers can be tasted but not harsh, some heat on the back, but the body is missing in this beer

mouthfeel: light bodied?

drinkability: love pepper beers, this was a slight disappointment, good flavor, but needed more body.

Photo of StoutHunter
3.87/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I bought a bottle of New Holland's El Mole Ocho a couple weeks ago for $7.49 at The Lager Mill. I tried this beer last year at The World Expo of Beer, I thought it was pretty good, but I was already a couple beers deep by the time I tried it, so I decided to pick up a bottle and give it a try on a fresh palate. 2011 vintage, poured from a brown 22oz foiled brown bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks alright and it has a picture of what looks to be an old Mexican stone cooking pot that I assume is specifically made for cooking mole, I have never tried or made mole before so I don't really know for sure. It poured a a nice copper/caramel color with a fingers worth of tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end.

S- Well after giving this beer a smell I get a pretty robust and spicy aroma. The aroma starts off with a good amount of rich dark chocolate that quickly leads to a pretty dominating amount of spicy chilies. I also pick up a mix of some sweet dark fruits with no hops showing up in the aroma, chocolate and peppers are the major players here.

T- The taste of this beer is pretty damn similar to the aroma. Just like the aroma it's the rich dark chocolate and chili peppers that stick out the most. The chocolate is nice and rich and the chili peppers are high on pepper flavor and low on pepper spiciness, just how I like it. There is caramel like sweetness that is cut and balanced by the peppers. Not the most complex flavor, its pretty straight forward and it is what it claims to be.

M- Pretty smooth for having a little bit of warming pepper heat. It was on the lighter side of being full bodied with a slight bit of stickiness and a pretty light amount of carbonation that could be bumped up a notch or two.

Overall I thought this was a good beer, I was a little gun shy about pepper beers ever since I tried Original C Cave Creek Chili Beer but this beer wasn't nearly as spicy while still retaining a nice authentic chili pepper taste and the chocolate was dark, rich and represented well, those two different flavors went together pretty well. This beer had pretty good drinkability for what it is, the 8% alcohol was covered up pretty well by the chocolate and slightly warming chili's, I don't think I could take out the whole bomber but it's the perfect amount to split with someone else so I am glad I got my brother to help me drink this. What I liked most about this beer the flavor, the chocolate and chili's went together nicely and it wasn't overly spicy, pretty good balance. What I liked least about this beer was the mouthfeel, it wasn't bad but it was little sticky and the carbonation was pretty low and could have been bumped up a couple notches. I wouldn't buy this beer regularly but it makes for a nice once in a while beer and I can only imagine that this beer would go good with some nice Mexican cuisine, I will have to test that out sometime. I would recommend giving this beer a try, don't let the fact that there are chili's in it scare you off, they offer a lot more flavor then heat and this might make a good entrance into the Chili Beer style. I am starting to really like some of New Holland's more experimental beers, they got a good knack at trying something a little different, so I think they should take more risks on more different beers like this one. So far this is the best beer I have had from the High Gravity Series, and the best chili beer I have had to date. Keep thinking out of the box every once in a while New Holland, you guys got some talent when it comes to some of these crazier beers.

Photo of nubz77
2.83/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had with some quesadillas.

At first pour there was some decent carbonation, basically right on par. The smell had hints of chocolate mostly, but wasn't tremendously strong. It was a murky brown color.

Upfront it delivers some nice chocolate flavor, and then hoppiness that feels out of place for this beer. The aftertaste is ok though, I got a sense of the chilis at the end. Average beer overall.

Photo of SFLpunk
2.44/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. 2010 vintage. Purchased at Foodery (10th and Pine in Philly).

Pours still and muddy brown, a little reddish color, a hint of orange. No carbonation and super muddy. Aroma is oxidized to hell, smells like sticky malt extract, wood, dried chilies, and tree bark. Palate is flat and thick, viscous and sweet. Then things turn earthy, woody dry. I sort of get the chili peppers, but no coffee.

This beer was awful and I dumped out 3/4 of the bottle. Avoid.

Photo of dedrinker
3.82/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark caramel color.

Aromas of chocolaty caramel malts with a puff of smoky chili pepper.

Flavors of sweet brown malt with smokey chili that reveals further layers of tobacco and cocoa.

Full sticky body with spicy sweet pungent tobacco finish that shows a hint of vanilla beneath an alcohol bite.

Rather fascinating overall if quite a bit cloying; not sure though that this cloying aspect could be improved without tampering with the subtle flavor and aroma profile.

Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

El Mole Ocho was poured from a bottle to a pint glass with little head. The aroma was immediate. Cinnamon and chocolate hints tickled the nose. An interesting reddish color attracted the eyes to this ale. Those dark like a stout, the mouthfeel yielded more to the feeling of an ale. The initial taste was that of chocolate and certain spiciness that brought back memories of those tiny heart-shaped cinnamon candies of Valentine's day. It was a spicy cinnamon. The spice lingers in the aftertaste moreso that the chocolate. This was the one disappointment in the experience.

Photo of dmfrench
3.14/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Syrupy, spicy English Brown

2010 Vintage

A: Very hazy dirty brown/orange body with a very fleeting half finger light beige head.

S: Very English Brown... very sweet fruits, spices, big caramel malt. No hop presence, and I'm also not getting chillies or anything else like that.

T: Matching the nose quite well, except embittering hops do come out a bit. For me, the body is just too sweet.

M: Extremely syrupy and pretty flat. Not good.

O: Not good and really not much different than an English Brown.

Photo of GRPunk
4.2/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle of the 2011 vintage poured into a Duvel tulip. The cap says "finish." I think I will, thank you.

A- A careful pour created a 1-finger, tan head. It dropped pretty quickly, settling to a nice lace that left good sticky spots on the glass. The body was clean and a deep red-brown (chestnut?) with moderate carbonation.

S- My first impression was of deep, rich chocolate with hints of spicy peppers and light roast coffee. The chocolate aroma starts the strongest, but warmth pulls the other components into balance. Chocolate bars become more powdered coacoa with warmth. I pick up some baking spices with a deeper inspection. At room temperature there was a hint of the higher ABV, otherwise well masked.

T- I've heard you shouldn't be able to pick out a single ingredient of a true mole. Let's see what this beer version has in store...

So good. Chocolate and peppers are the most prominant. Like the aroma, chocolate is the major player when the beer is at its coldest. Peppers step up with some warmth. Initial sweetness is cut by late heat. Background flavors consist of a spice mix and coffee. There's a smoky or charred quality to the peppers and something of brown sugar or caramel in the layers of sweetness.

M- Moderate carbonation and viscosity that suits the higher ABV. THe chillis make for a gentle burn that let you know they're there without overwhelming the senses. There's also a light, pleasant chalkyness that it tend to get from beers working with chocolate.

O- This is an awesome example of what a pepper beer can be. It brings a great flavor with gentle heat. It's not neutered, but not over the top either. It's VERY drinkable considering the ABV and chilli profile.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The body is a clear mohagany. It has great color. The head is off white and thin, no lacing.

It's lacking in the smell department. Cocoa, faint smoke, and a little nutty.

The different facets come through in the taste. The cocoa dominates, followed by a bitter coffee. The chilies come through with some light heat in the end. I am a little disappointed by the extent of the chilies and would have liked to have seen them be more assertive.

Mouthfeel is thick with low carbonation. As it warms it even feels a little syrupy.

I really enjoyed this beer but it was lacking in a few key areas. This could be so much better if it was a little more assertive and less "user friendly."

Photo of jale
3.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Shark club in Howell.

A: Pours a clear brown with a dime of off white head.

S: Roasted coffee and cocoa.

T: A hint of sweetness upfront followed by a mere second of roasted malt. I feel the heat from the chillis but not much flavor from them. I get mild chocolate from time to time. Finish is sweet, spicy and bitter coffee.

M: Medium body with good carbonation.

O: I would have liked more flavor from the peppers and not just heat.

Photo of Rhettroactive
2.22/5  rDev -36.8%
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.

Photo of ebby82
2.01/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I had this beer as part of a sampler at the brewpub.

It had dark brown color with no head when it arrived.

The aroma was of spicy chiles, chocolate, and a little bit of malt.

The taste was rather disgusting. Chiles and chocolate and little else. I tried, but was unable to finish even the little sampler I had.
My wife was similarly disgusted.

I'm not sure who drinks this beer, but more power to them if they enjoy it.

Photo of AgentZero
3.23/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark amber color with a bit of an off-white head. Little bit of lacing.

S - Chipotle peppers, little bit of smoke, chocolate. It does smell like mole, but something just missing here.

T - Taste is about like the smell, I find it kind of boring. There is some heat from the peppers, and sweetness from the chocolate.

M - Syrupy, fairly full, lower carbonation.

O - Not a great beer, and I paid way too much for it at the bar because I was drunk. It's okay, but there's better examples of the "style."

Photo of ModemMisuser
4.62/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at NH. :)

Far too many "specialty" (flavored) beers either don't have the
taste of the thing they're supposed to, or it's too overpowering and/or "fake" tasting to be good.

Not this one. It tastes like it's made with mole, and it comes through very good. The beer-y notes are there in the background and make a good compliment to the mole.

If you're looking for something "different," give this one a try!

Photo of Pencible
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a clear mahogany with a little light tan head.
S: It smelled like roasted barley and chipotle smoked peppers, with a little wheat bread.
T: It tasted like milk chocolate and spicy smoked peppers, with roasted barley and a bit of copper. It had a spicy and roasty aftertaste.
M: It was somewhat thick with moderate carbonation. Nice and full body.
D: This was an interesting beer with well integrated molé characteristics to create a spicy brown ale. I enjoyed the scent and taste, and the body was nice too. The spice helped hide the alcohol, so it was pretty easy to drink. A bit of a novelty beer, but recommended to try at least once.

Photo of n2185
3.76/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear mahogany with two fingers of off-white head that recedes into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Cocoa and cayenne . . . smells a lot like a mole sauce, unsurprisingly. There are some roasted malt aromas in there as well. Simple, but pleasant.

T: Similar to the aroma, there are some roasted malts at first followed by some dark cocoa. The cayenne comes in on the finish, not overpowering though, and leaves a little burn. There are some smoky flavors

M: Medium body with low carbonation, this beer is a bit slick feeling with just enough carbonation to provide a little extra bite with the spicy notes.

O: A very unique beer and while it's good, it's also very simple. True to its name, it tastes like a mole sauce somehow turned into a beer. I enjoyed it, but at nearly $9 for a bomber, I probably won't be seeking it out again.

Photo of Lauthaha
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Beer is an iced-tea color, with a creamy tan head. About 80% opaque. After the beer settles a little bit, there's an intriguing geyser of carbonation in the center of the glass...it forms an eye (a la hurricanes) in the center of the head...pretty sweet!

Smell: Heavily toasted woody malt character, rich dark chocolate. It's a touch on the sour side, which detracts from the overall feeling, but it's not all bad...just not all good.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Very woody at first, some heavy bitterness follows up with dark chocolate and muddy coffee notes. Heavy carbonation carries flavors across the palate. Around the edges, there is a spicy chile flavor, and this follows into the aftertaste. Beer finishes relatively dry.

Overall: A good beer. A little on the sour side, and I'm not really a spiced-beer person (I prefer spiced wine to spiced beer), but I would certainly recommend it to those who were.

Photo of KarlHungus
4.18/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a clear dark brown color. The head is a quarter inch in height, and recedes quickly into no lacing. This lacing pattern seems par for the course with chili beers. The aroma is of chili peppers, with a backing of cocoa, and a hint of coffee. However, for an 8% beer it is rather mild. The taste has considerably more cocoa and coffee than the aroma, with the chili present not overpowering anything during the sip. It comes out stronger in the finish, and leaves some nice, wanted heat. I really like this beers flavor. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a velvety texture, and moderate carbonation. Overall, this is a very well done beer that I will certainly drink again. I really like how the chili is well integrated into the other aspects of this beer.

Photo of Ninjabrew
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

OK, so first off this beer (like many others) depends on what you are drinking it with or what other beers you had first. I DO NOT recommend having this beer after a hoppy beer. Try having this with a meal I had it with a chipotle rubbed skirt steak and that took this beer from a D to a soild B.

Apperance: Pours a deep almost black red with a faint head that quickly fades to a nicely laced glass.

Smell: Smells like something other than beer, perhaps more like a spice.

Taste: I taste burn candy with very faint chilli or pepper overtones.

Overall: A solid beer that must be tried, by no means a go-to beer but something different for a different experience. Try this with a spicy (chilli like) meal and you won't be dissaointed.

Photo of SwartzCr
2.12/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours light yellow, with white-ish head.

The smell is strange, almost all chili and beans with no trace of malt or hops. The taste is similar with a dry spicy sort of bean mouth feel and a painful sensation as the spice attacks your esophagus. Had almost no beer like elements in the nose or taste. As it was physically hurting me, I could not finish the bomber.

Would not recommend, especially at this price.

Photo of EricCioe
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours deep red with a two finger beachsand head that dies down to a nice sheet with little lace. On the nose there is a mixture of chocolate and spicy chilies. In the mouth there is a nice caramel and chocolate base of malt with some spicy chili riding on top of that. This is a spicy beer, no doubt, but there is definitely a malt base underneath. I wish there were more chocolate to balance it out a little bit, as the chili gets a bit tiresome after a time. Perhaps after some time in the bottle this would mellow a bit? Who knows. The body is medium, and it drinks really nicely with a medium finish, chili hanging on longer than the malts.

Overall, this is a pretty nice beer. The chili borders on a bit too much, but never quite crosses the line. It's something that's worth drinking once in a while, but probably too ... something, maybe one-dimensional, maybe distinctive ... to drink regularly.

Photo of hosehead83
2.89/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a "bomber" bottle into a standard pint glass.
Cola/dark tea color, with a short, off-white head of foam.
Aroma-Chocolate, spices, chili pepper
Taste-Sweet malt, faint coffee,chocolate note, faint chili pepper. Pretty thin bodied, with subdued, if not weak, flavors. More of everything is needed here except the sweetness which borders on cloying. Disappointing.

Photo of brewcrew76
3.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thought I would enjoy this on siete de mayo. Assumed this was a stout for some reason and was surprised.

A - Clear ruby mahogany with a thin off white head.

S - Toffee, nutty, chili pepper, chocolate.

T - Strong chili pepper followed by toasty malts, toffee, chocolate and more pepper.

M - Light body and fairly thin with light carbonation and slight warming from the chili pepper.

D - I was excited to try this but fairly disappointed.

Photo of Holland
3.28/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: deep brown, even in the small glass I was served in Holland. Kind of meh lacing, and little head that stayed around.

S: very nutty, almost like smelling inside a jar of peanut butter. Also smells of spices like cinnamon and malt.

T: malty, some chili, some cacao, and a very slight nutty flavor. Some sweetness rounds it out.

M: creamy and sticky, which wasn't as I expected.

O: not great. I liked it, but was glad I didn't have a large bottle of it. Probably won't order again just due to opportunity cost - there are so many better beers, even though this one is a good spiced beer.

Photo of jwinship83
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a bottle pulled out of the cellar that i forgot i had. drank from my stone IRS snifter. i figure that its got to be a year old at this point.

A- this one pours out a muddy looking dark brown colored body with a small khaki colored head on top. the head takes its time falling, and leaves behind small spots of lacing.

S- the first thing that i can pick out of the nose are lightly roasted malts and milk chocolate. after that i get some raisins and tobacco. a little bit of chili pepper sneaks through near the end. earthy hops finish this one off.

T- the taste starts out with more of the lightly roasted malts that i could smell. after that i pick up the distinct taste of chili pepper and lots of milk chocolate. not too spicy, but theres certainly a kick to this. earthy hops and coffee on the finish.

M- medium bodied. almost a little thin. there is a nice low level of carbonation that really works here. a little bit of heat from the pepper lingers. smooth and creamy.

O- one of the more interesting beers ive had in recent memory. it took a large percentage of the bottle to determine if i liked it or now. im still kind of on the fence about it. its almost like a chocolate chili stout. id try it again. id really get excited about having a fresh one to compare it to.

El Mole Ocho from New Holland Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 398 ratings.