Mocha Death | Iron Horse Brewery

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Mocha DeathMocha Death

Brewed by:
Iron Horse Brewery
Washington, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
For this seasonal offering, we started with Irish Death, our dark smooth ale that presents a full malt flavor laced with caramel, chocolate, dark fruit, and a touch of sweetness. To this heavenly ale, we added fresh, locally roasted espresso beans and pure cocoa. The result is a bit of confusion, “should this go in my coffee mug, or my pint glass?” Answer: both. This beer is up front with enormous coffee aroma, with the cocoa playing the sideline, until the taste. Lacking bitterness, the flavor comes forward with a rounded balance of coffee blending gracefully with the creamy malt body and soft cocoa flavors. Dark beer, chocolate, and coffee.

Added by froghop on 07-05-2009

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Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 127
Photo of Radcpa
3.69/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

For a dark beer it has a light appearance with a good head. There is a non-existent coffee aroma. The taste is very mild and I have a hard time calling it a coffee flavor.

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Photo of Jeffsta1
3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Not bad, a little weird, reads more like a porter than a stout, much less an imperial.

Color: Pretty, medium brown. I'd kind of prefer darker, especially for a porter. Nice pale tan head, fine lace.

Smell: Mix of good and bad. Good: licorice, mocha. Bad: lagery, pilsener notes - not my thing.

Taste: Kind of weird actually. Mild and malty on the approach. Adds some round, stonefruit taste on the midpalate.

Mouthfeel: Moderate or slightly more. Carbonation is very fine (nice!) but still a bit more than I like. Still not half bad.

Finish: slightly sweet finish, not very long. S'alright? S'alright.

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Photo of pianoguy
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Unlike revenge... This beer is best NOT served cold. I drank half of it, leaving the remainder on my kitchen counter. As it warmed up the second glass really came alive. It was no comparison. Drink this one warmer to really enjoy it.

22 oz bottle. No discernible bottling info (There are numbers/symbols printed over the label but I can't make them out, even with a magnifying glass)

Pours a fairly solid dark brown body . When held in front of a lamp it gets a little clearer with a bit of red around the edges. Off white head bubbles up like a Guinness draft but dissipated fairly quickly. Little bits of thin lacing.

Some coffee and chocolate but it mainly has a that familiar smell of their regular Irish Death

The taste is where this beer really separates itself from regular Irish death. While there is a little bit of that amaretto sweetness (found in a regular Irish Death) . There is also chocolate with some coffee that finishes very nicely.

Average full

Overall; This beer changes itself like some women change their moods. Drink it a warmer and you will appreciate it. Drink it cold and you will be be paying alimony...

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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Beer was dark ruby in color, with a limited white head. Zero lacing throughout the session.

Smells very sweet. Carmelly, milk chocolate, coffee.

Flavor is quite sweet. Milk chocolates, carmel, touch of coffee, fairly pronounced ethanol present, but not "hot" or solventy. Little to no roast character. Vaguely reminiscent of Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout. We were expecting more coffee with a name like this.

Beer is very smooth, and medium-light bodied.

Overall the beer was lacking something. I like my Double stouts to be BLACK and roasty. Beer was also a little bit too sweet and thin bodied.

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Photo of hyperboarder
3.05/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another $5 bomber.

A - Lighter than expected. More of a dark red than the opaque brown I was expecting. Medium to thick light tan head, again, lighter than expected. Head dissipated quickly into a light layer. Good lacing.

S - Light coffee, more espresso than mocha. Very little discernible chocolate. Mellow like the Quilter's Irish Death was, could have gone for a bit more of a nose.

T - Coffee up front with some decent chocolate malt in the middle and through the finish. Roast, a bit less coffee the I expected, but balanced. A hint of dark fruits with some mild sweetness, no alcohol burn. Clean finish with a bit of lingering coffee.

M - Feels about right, medium to thick, fat on the middle of the tongue. Finishes clean but thick, as a mocha beer should.

Overall - From the appearance and smell, just meh. Glad I followed through, the taste and mouthfeel were much better.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Paid a very reasonable $4.49 from the COOP... much more expensive at other places around town... Enjoyed tonight from my CBC Teku. Very clear deep dark walnut brown... not exactly black.. khaki head rises up and dies back just as quickly.. splotch lacing behind... coffee shows in the nose a little bit more than the cocoa.. nice and well integrated... Tastes very much like a mocha but without the lactos sweetness.. Pretty good, but honestly it is a bit watery and could use a bigger body. Tasty and certainly a good price.


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Photo of woemad
3.54/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber purchased at the WalMart in Airway Heights, WA, for approx. $5.
No freshness date is legible, though it appears there was a stab at one on the label that makes it clear it was bottled this year, anyway.

Poured into a Widmer “Hops & Hoops” nonic pint glass (I think it was a glass originally given to the Viking Tavern as a Hoopfest promo), this was a dark , cola-like color that took on a rubyish hue when held up to light. There was a creamy looking tan head, but it didn’t hang around for too terribly long and left spotty and streaky lace behind.

Mild cocoaish sweetness and coffee bitterness in the nose.

The coffee flavor leads the charge, but is almost matched note for note by a mildly chocolaty flavor. There’s a little bit of rosted malt bitterness as well. Pretty low-demand on the tastebuds. It is fairly easy drinking.

Medium bodied, with a coating mouthfeel.

I really don’t think this is a stout. Irish Death is more like a robust brown ale than anything else, and this just seems like a sweeter Irish Death that was brewed with coffee. It’s not a terribly flavorful beer considering what it was brewed with, but is quite easy to drink, and seems to find favor with those not terribly into flavor. Save it for you friends who are intimidated by dark beers.

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Photo of vladdswrath
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is definitely more of an Irish Death variant than a unique brew. I'm not sure I'd know the difference in a surprise blind taste test. I'd say it's a touch less sweet and little more chocolaty, but honestly, if you like Irish death than you will enjoy this as well.

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Photo of arvidkoval
4.26/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Dark, red-brown, with no head at all. Strong sweet espresso smell. Espresso flavor, Irish Death, then cocoa! The carbonation works here. Fairly light bodied. This is fucking sick!

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Photo of RenzoD
3.32/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

I might have been a wee bit dissapointed with this one.
It isn't horrible but it's not really amazing.
Dark color, quickly dissipated head. I'm as big of a coffee lover as a beer lover so coffee beers are huge to me. I barely taste coffee in this. The chocolate is certainly prevalent. It also has kind of a cough syrupy feel which can put off a little bit. As it warms you definitely pick up a bit more complexities which is good. Iron Horse is great, this beer is good but not as fantastic as i imagined.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
3.47/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours out black with a finger of off white head. Hints of coffee flavor, espress and dark chocolate. Not very flavorful. Nice and smooth. It's enjoyable.

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Photo of Redneckwine
3.19/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

Bomber into tulip

Appearance - Dark brown, showing crystal clarity on the edges of the glass, 1 finger tan head recedes quickly into a very wispy cap, spotty lacing.

Smell - Sweet and earthy, cocoa, toasted bread, fairly simple nose all together, but smells good

Taste - Mirrors the nose almost exactly with sweet cocoa and kind of earthy/dirty roasted malts, toasted bread, a small musty coffee note, very subtle grape skin-like fruit notes, alcohol creeps in towards the semi sweet finish. Sweetness becomes a bit cloying, but that could be due to the...

Feel - Borderline awful: where is the carbonation??? Carb is so subtle it's almost nonexistent. Body is decidedly medium-heavy. Honestly, this reminds me of near-flat soda, like a 2-liter bottle of Coke that was opened then put in the fridge for 3 days.

Overall - It sure as hell ain't a stout, let alone an imperial stout (weird brown ale?), but this beer has promise: good smell and taste. Unfortunately, the body drags it so far down it's hard to focus on anything else at all. Maybe this was a bad bottle or bad batch? Still, it's hard to want to throw down more money on a beer that might suffer the same major flaw. I didn't, but the thought of drain pouring this did come to mind.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bomber into a point glass

Appearance – The beer pours a nearly pitch black - brownish color with a small tan colored head. The head fades moderately quickly to leave good level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is strongest of a roasted malt smell mixed with a cocoa aroma and a little bit of coffee. Along with these aromas comes some other sweeter smells of vanilla and a little bit of caramel and crème sweetness.

Taste – The taste begins with a drier roasted malt taste with a little bit of coffee. There is a little bit of crème and caramel upfront, which fade as the taste advances. All the while, the roastiness increases with a little bit of a dry cocoa comes to the tongue. At the very end, with the sweetness being very light and the roastiness being joined by a slight increase in the coffee and dark cocoa, one is left with a rather nice dark and dry flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is rather thin for a 7 % stout with a carbonation level that is rather average. A slightly thicker body and a slightly lower carbonation may have been slightly better, but even said, in light of the very dry nature of the brew, the feel did make for a rather easy drinking dry stout.

Overall – A rather nice dry stout!! This was not what I was expecting from a brew based on Irish Death… which is quite sweet and malty.. This is nice and dry and a rather easy drinking and still flavorful stout overall. This one I rather like!!

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Photo of DKRowden
4.37/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is murky black with a small tan head and little lacing. Smells of fresh coffee with a fruity undernote. Tastes great. A smooth mocha chocolate java body with medium strength. Feel is smooth and heavy with a stickiness. Overall quite enjoyable.

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Photo of Danimals_Beard
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Has a rich, creamy toffee colored head. Dissipates quickly. Has a light coffee smell. Initial taste very similar to the regular Irish Death, with cocoa and coffee aftertaste. Mouthfeel is creamy and sweet, but not too thick. Reminds me almost of a milk stout. Pretty decent overall.

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Photo of MaximalC
2.89/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Pours a murky cola color with burnt orange highlights. Head is nearly nonexistent with a moderate pour. Aroma smells strongly of straight-up black coffee. The taste is similar to the aroma, with an overpowering, astringent black coffee flavor up front that barely leaves room for anything else. Some burnt toast and hop bitterness try and push through on the back end, but these only serve to accentuate the overall bitterness rather than counterbalance it. There's also a vague, peculiar juiciness that peeks through in the middle to ill effect.

Now, I can tolerate a bitter imperial stout, but the real detractor here is the body, which is way too thin for the style. The relatively light appearance should have been a tip-off, as the consistency is loose and nearly watery for a stout. Wholly unsatisfying.

I have high expectations for an imperial stout that touts "coffee and cocoa added" on the label, so this was a bitter disappointment (no pun intended). Mocha Death reminds me of Big Sky's Cowboy Coffee Porter, and not in a good way. This is a thin and one-dimensional brew whose classification as an imperial stout is questionable at best.

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Photo of harrymel
3.64/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at brewery.
Red hues on brown ale with a excellent clarity and a still appearance. Smells of coffee and cocoa. I like the nose. Flavor is cocoa and coffee and vanilla with a good malty backbone.medium on full bodied with moderate carb. Semi dry finish. Nice beer.

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Photo of BeerCentralWA
2.46/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Iron Horse Mocha Death
Appearance- opaque, dark, rich deep brown-black. Good lacing, and head.
Smell- rich espresso notes, sweetness
Mouthfeel- thin and moderate carbonation
Taste – oxidized coco taste, ends with thin sugary finish
Overall – Hides the alcohol very well (7%). The coco and espresso may have unexpectedly degraded as the flavor additions are slightly unpleasant in the bottle I tasted. Overall a decent addition to the Iron Horse line.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.22/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to MrVonzipper for sharing this unique beverage

Look: Dark brown in color with a 1/8 inch tan head and no retention with some spotty lacing

Smell: Espresso beans. Very potent...Stings the nostrils

Taste: Espresso beans upfront with some bisquit malt and chocolate. Interesting

Mouthfeel: Medium body and mild carbonation and a bit sticky

Overall: Not bad not good so I guess that means it is ok

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Photo of rtaps
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a cloudy dark brown, with a khaki white head that hangs around for a little but leaves no lacing behind.

smell just like a mocha from a coffee shop. (roasted coffee/chocolate/espresso)

taste fallows the nose, and is enjoyable.

light bodied medium carbonation leave a very watery mouth.

overall i really enjoyed this one. i'm not a coffee person but the smell and taste reminds me of being in a coffee shop.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.01/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to MrVonzipper and rtaps for sharing this one at MrVonzipper's tasting!

Pours a murky dark brown with a khaki head that fades to nothing. No lacing on this one. Smell is of intense espresso and coffee aromas with some chocolate as well. Taste is of roasty malt, coffeee and espresso beans, and some cocoa powder. A mild roasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a somewhat light body with a light carbonation level. Overall, this is a good beer with lots of coffee/espresso and cocoa smells and flavors.

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Photo of RJLarse
4.17/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a bomber of Mocha Death in a grocery store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Black walnut color and opaque. A modest bubbly beige head tops the beer, but vanishes quickly leaving just a little froth on the surface.

Smell is decidedly fresh ground coffee. Not much slse comes through on the nose.

Taste is a bitter coffee flavor up front, with a sweet dark chocolate flavor on the finish. Very mild bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel si smooth with a silky thick texture.

Overall a very drinkable brew. Better than the original Irish Death, and sessionable to the extent you like the coffee flavor.

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Photo of suncrust
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft @ Chucks on 85th, served in a mason jar pint glass.

A- Muddy, cloudy, dark reddish coffee hue. Really dark brown at the bottom and lighter near the top. Virtually no head. Iron Horse beers always have this crazy murkiness to them…. I sort of dig it a bit. It adds a little homebrew allure.

S- First smell is chocolate covered espresso beans. The coffee aromas are pretty big on the nose, but has an "already brewed", dried coffee grounds left in the filter sort of smell.

T- Sugary malts, dark fruit, with heavy amounts of coffee. Coffee flavors are a bit more like ground or instant coffee, especially in the mouthfeel. Light caramel notes buried underneath the coffee. Tastes a lot like a maraschino cherry mixed with coffee, and maybe… some Oreo cookie? I don't know. Flavors are there, just not very crisp and hard to pinpoint….

MF- Drinkable, a bit lower on the carbonation, and some lactose in the aftertaste. Coffee was a little gritty, but I enjoyed that texture.

O- Not as sweet as the Irish Death, but the coffee was a nice addition. Chocolate could have been bolder and overall this beer could have improved with a bigger body. Wish the flavors were a bit crisper. Still a good try…. has that Iron Horse vibe and texture.

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Photo of beerandcycling88
4.21/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the taproom.

A Like the original Irish Death this beer is dark in color as you would expect, however it is still a little translucent so nothing spectacular. The head was short lived but there was a good bit of lacing.

S The nose is much stronger then the original death with a strong coffee smell. It is almost like an actual cup of coffee, with hints of chocolate underneath.

T The taste of the beer is very strong and quite sweet. It is dominated by coffee, the chocolate is almost non existent, and there is no trace of hops at all. In addition the 7.2 abv is very well hidden.

M Again like the original this beer is very smooth but kind of light for a darker beer.

Overall, this beer is very one dimensional. If you like coffee you will love it, however outside of the coffee it doesn't really offer much in other flavors. Also it still has the same lackluster appearance and mouthfeel as the regular Irish Death. That being said it is an excellent winter beer, and very much worth drinking if you are like me and absolutely love coffee.

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Photo of pixieskid
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a definite upgrade to the standard Irish Death!

While the flavors seem to be some what synthetic (added flavorings) the description of this beer is completely accurate.

Great frothy mouth feel, solid coffee notes, with an overall presence of chocolate and vanilla.
Irish Death needed some definite character and I think this was the answer.

Having this beer labeled as an Imperial Stout is what is hurting it. It is a solid example of a porter/stout that is intended to have strong coffee/mocha qualities.

Plus it is incredibly reasonable at 4 bucks a bomber!

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Mocha Death from Iron Horse Brewery
3.74 out of 5 based on 127 ratings.
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