Stone Xocoveza | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
96
world-class
620 Reviews
Stone XocovezaStone Xocoveza
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

Style: Milk / Sweet Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Stone Xocoveza For The Holidays & The New Year

Our chocolaty, winter-spiced mocha stout is back. This insanely delicious take on Mexican hot chocolate is crafted with cocoa, coffee, pasilla peppers, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. First brewed in 2014 with San Diego homebrewer Chris Banker after his recipe was named the winner of our annual homebrew competition, it quickly became a cross-country sensation as craft beer media and fans cheered for Stone Xocoveza…and clamored for more. We too loved this beer, so of course we caroled ¡Claro que sí!

Now gifted with a new name, Stone Xocoveza for the Holidays & the New Year has joined our eminent lineup of special releases. We’re releasing it just in time for that time of the year when the joyous spirit of giving is in the air and good behavior is generously rewarded.

Added by bccocx on 07-10-2014

BEER STATS
Reviews:
620
Ratings:
3,692
Avg:
4.33
pDev:
9.24%
 
 
Wants:
325
Gots:
1,034
For Trade:
42
User Reviews
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Reviews: 620 | Ratings: 3,692
Photo of moshea
1.62/5  rDev -62.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

This is classified as a Milk Stout/Sweet Stout so I am rating it as a Milk/Stout Sweet Stout.

Holy crud was this beer bad. I love stone, I love stouts. Spiced stouts? Not so much.

This beer was a cinnamony mess of a stout

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Photo of CA_Jim
1.75/5  rDev -59.6%

There was just something really wrong with this beer. Something tastes off to me. Like medicine. Maybe I got a bad batch, or maybe my class had soap or something in it, but I can't imagine this is the same beer everyone else has been raving over. Could it all be hype?

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Photo of RickS95
1.97/5  rDev -54.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pitch black pour with a tan head. Very opaque. Unfortunately, the head never forms with the pour, only with a swirl. It's a beautiful head and it does retain well, but I shouldn't have to swirl it. Almost no lacing.

My beer might be too cold, but I'm getting almost nothing in the nose. After a few minutes in the snifter, I'm starting to pick up coffee grounds, but that's it. No roast, no malt, no hops, no spices.

Nothing in the taste either. No vanilla, no nutmeg, no chocolate. It tastes like watered down coffee.

The only thing I can pick up is bitterness. There's not a hint of sweet, not a hint of spice. Just bitterness. It lingers in the back of your mouth until the next awful sip.

Overall, this is the worst Stone beer I've ever had, and I've had my share. It's also as bad a stout as I can remember, particularly a mocha stout...particularly a milk stout, of which this clearly isn't. Other than look, this was terrible. Borderline drain pour.

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Photo of tarkovsky7
2.25/5  rDev -48%

Geez...I wonder if i am drinking a different beer than everyone else who submitted a review. The dominate flavor here is some off-putting flavor that does not even taste like food stuff. There are hints of milk, peppers and chocolate, but mostly this tastes like Johnson and Johnson Baby Lotion with peppers. Cannot recommend this and will think twice before buying another "adventurous Stone beer".
I am pretty sure this beer is rated so highly because it is near the top of most peoples budget for a single beer and for a $8-$10 beer it is unique.

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Photo of founddrama
2.58/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

"Tastes like someone made a cake out of beer." It says mocha but I'm getting like… cinnamon? mint? Peppers, too?

LOOK: Very dark; basically black. Never got much head; what bubbles do form come together as a thin little cap (very light tan).

SMELL: Coffee notes lead into something peppery. Aromatic, but pleasant only if you want that spicy tail.

TASTE: Chocolate and coffee to start, going into spices: cinnamon and pepper with some subtle mint. On the dessert side of things.

FEEL: Fits the profile for a stout. Full-bodied; heavy and a little oily.

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Photo of putonyourwalkingshoes
2.68/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured a 22oz bottle chilled.

A: Dark not super viscous but pretty good sight for a stout but with a brown mocha head. Light carbonation. Kind of looks like a porter/stout merge.

S: Slight cinnamon, burnt sugar, peppers although not assertive. Coffee although not pleasant coffee with some real light vanilla tones.

T: Right up front there is a lot of things going. Malty porter flavors mixed with unrefined coffee, slight heat from the peppers, some cloves, and then good chocolate in that order. The finish is a nice mexican chocolate but that's the best part about this.

M: Sweet and quite thin for a stout. The pepper is subtle but I'd like more balance. Kind of a mess and the biggest redemption is that after taste.

O: What I was really hoping for was a mimic of Port Brewing's Mexicutioner. There are just way too many flavors battling here and while it's a better effort than a lot of these collaboration beers ultimately kind of a miss. That aftertaste is real pleasant and kudos for not making the peppers too harsh but I was hoping for something thick with balance but this leans more towards a better version of the last milk stout that was put out.

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Photo of ColdOneKev
2.87/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

The cinnamon and nutmeg were just too much for me. This is solid stout and I certainly appreciate trying something different but this was a miss for me.

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Photo of charlzm
2.96/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Consumed on tap at Newhall Refinery, Valencia, CA.

Beer is a dark, dark brown with a one-finger frothy tan head.

Aroma is all coffee/chocolate : mocha. It's all I get, despite multiple sniffs at the 12 ounce tulip glass.

Flavor is likewise 100% mocha. It's like drinking mocha (cocoa, coffee, maybe a touch of vanilla creamer) . Zero beer character. Totally one-dimensional.

Mouthfeel is average for the style.

Really, what is the big deal with this one? If this didn't say "Stone" on it, I would have guessed this was from a far smaller and less-regarded brewery. Will not drink again.

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Photo of erushing
3/5  rDev -30.7%

I feel like I got the session coffee milk stout in my bomber instead of what everybody is raving about. All I got was lactose and weak coffee. Let it warm to room temp as I tasted it and still didn't get anything. On paper, this was a winner.

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Photo of andrewjraab
3.08/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Motor oil black with a mocha head that clings nicely.

S - Lots going on - coffee, chocolate nibs, spices.

T - Wow - not finding any cohesiveness to this brew - what a disappointment. Cocoa, pepper, nutmeg, coffee - just doesn't mesh for me. Completely off flavors on this.

O - Not impressed and will never try again.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.21/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.25

I'm really looking forward to this; the vast majority of the good beers Stone puts out are brewed with non-Stone recipes. (What that says about the quality of Stone as a brewery is a topic for another venue).

BOTTLE: 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle. 2014 vintage. Great label design (as always with Stone - that marketing company that happens to make beer sometimes). Branded pry-off pressure cap.

Reviewed live as a milk stout per the label. Served cold into a snifter and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Dark khaki colour. Half a finger wide. Thinner and less creamy than would be ideal. Retention is poor - maybe 1 minute at best. Should be fuller and richer, with a better consistency and complexion. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Opaque ruby-black. Not an ink or jet black; it lacks the mirror sheen of better looking stouts. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it's a good but not great appearance for a milk stout. It's far from unique or special - even Left Hand's offering looks better - but it's appealing.

AROMA: The rich coffee aromatics are fantastic, as are the well-selected spices. Cinnamon, a bit of nutmeg, cocoa, subtle chili pepper with a lovely buried heat, dark malts, chocolate malts, and a hint of lactose sugar. As it comes to temperature, the chili heat increasingly comes to dominate. The spices/spiciness helps tame the malty and lactose-y sweetness.

No alcohol, yeast character, hop character, or off-notes are detectable.

Overall, it's an intriguing inviting aroma of average strength, and suggests a subtle balanced Mexican chocolate stout. I'm excited to try it.

TASTE/TEXTURE: Cocoa greets the drinker on the open, giving way to the dark malt and chocolate malt base, atop which sits a nice blend of spices: nutmeg and cinnamon are most prominent. The chili heat kicks in in the late second act and stays through the finish, but doesn't bleed too much into the aftertaste. The first flaw is immediately noticeable - it just isn't creamy enough. In fact, it's not sweet enough either - where's the lactose sugar (the core a milk stout)? More of a creamy milk chocolate flavour would suit this flavour profile better than the cocoa dust currently featured.

The texture is just flat-out wrong. It should be creamy, soft, comforting, smooth, and wet. Instead it's unnaturally rough and scratchy on the palate, distracting the drinker from the nice flavours. Overly dry and coarse. This just plain isn't how you execute a milk stout; the mouthfeel should be supple and easy on the palate. That said, it's aptly medum-bodied and has enough thickness and heft to support the complex flavours.

Speaking of complexity, it's intricate enough but there's ample room to go bigger and to do more. There's some nice subtlety - especially with the chili peppers and spices. But some notes should surface far more than they do - particularly the coffee. The promise of rich roasty coffee from the aroma goes unfulfilled in the taste.

Average depth of flavour. Average flavour duration and intensity.

As it warms, a fantastic kiss of cranberry emerges. Some burnt characteristics manifest.

No yeast, hop notes, off-notes, or alcohol come(s) through.

I do like the beer, but boy does the texture ruin its potential.

OVERALL: The troublesome mouthfeel severely restricts drinkability; it just dries out the palate. It's a problematic milk stout, but it has huge potential. With tweaks, this could be a fantastic beer. And I'd love to see a reconceptualized version hit shelves in 6 packs. As-is, it's an interesting but wanting brew. Aside from fixing the texture, they could add more flavour. Marshmallow and fudge notes would be particularly beneficial. In terms of Mexican stouts, this just isn't on the level of something like Copper Kettle's Mexican Chocolate. In terms of milk stouts, it can't compete with go-to offerings like Left Hand's Milk Stout or Lakewood's The Temptress. I'll enjoy finishing the bottle, but it's far from world-class.

Low B-

***
11.11.2016: I picked up a sixer of the 2016 vintage in Brooklyn, NY for $18.99. Bottled 09/20/16.

Cinnamon and nutmeg play poorly together in this build for some reason, giving it a sticky yet powdery mouthfeel vaguely redolent of natural peanut butter adhering to the roof of one's mouth. Subtle chili heat is present but lacks depth of flavour. Vanilla? No. Coffee? No. Cocoa? Sure - cocoa powder I guess. For a beer billed as a "mocha stout," it's pretty lacking in terms of mocha and basic stout elements (note the absence of any overt roasted barley whatsoever, as well as the lack of a robust dark malt backbone).

Fuck me for buying this a 2nd time I guess - and at $19 per six pack no less (a higher price even than Sculpin's). More overpriced mediocrity from Stone Brewing (Genius marketing, though).

C+ / ABOVE AVERAGE

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Photo of LuckFreeZone
3.25/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

I think this is a beer that someone might really like (and, judging by the other ratings, several somebodies do really like it) but I was underwhelmed. There is a pronounced spice aroma and flavor. I believe it is nutmeg (I am not the world's most knowledgeable person regarding spices) and the effect just did not work for me.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.3/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

$ 7.27 ($ 3.49 + $ 3.78 shipping)/12 oz bottle ($ 0.606/oz) from CraftShack, San Diego
Bottled 9/28/16 at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried JK snifter
Aroma – roasted malt, bitter chocolate
Head average (Maximum 2.3 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, creamy, rapidly diminishing to an irregular three to five mm ring and a mostly thin partial layer with two rocky islands
Lacing – none
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor – really not much – a little semi-sweet chocolate and some ending notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. No hops, no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate – medium, watery, soft carbonation
Overpriced and overhyped, another mediocre winter warmer.

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 3.25, Palate 3.5, Overall 3

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Photo of T-34-85
3.33/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

I was looking forward to trying this stout, seeing the good reviews and reading the mixture of ingredients, but was surprised by how little I like it.

The beer pours a nice inky black with an initial head that dissipates to a thin film.

The smell is pleasant, with notes of the holiday spices intermingled with a bit of heat from the peppers.

The taste is where this beer fell down for me, but I am clearly in the minority, as many others have indicated that they love this beer. For me, I appreciated and recognized the different flavors present, but did not enjoy the balance. The "holiday" spices of cinnamon and nutmeg were simply too overpowering for me, and clouded out all of the other attributes that I would typically look forward to. The pepper heat is present in both taste and feel, but is too overshadowed for my tastes by the spices.

Overall, this beer didn't work for me in terms of the balance, but I appreciate the opportunity to try it out.

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Photo of princessbay710
3.34/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Look: a 4 because this is my first stout and I'm not for certain what I'm looking for in it but it seems to have ratings consistent with such.
The smell is amazing, but not sure if I'm hoping for it in a beer or just Grandma's kitchen.
With my first sip I caught all the light coffee undertones while the cocoa rest as an even lighter afterthought with a clean feel in my mouth. As you drink well into the glass the cocoa becomes much more apparent, (my mouth feels like I ate a pinch of cocoa powder) and the feel less clean but that's okay because I think it was a little too clean before.

Nothing to me is particularly bad about this drink, I just feel that the taste is unlasting and lacks any real direction, but hey, it could be that I'm new to this or that my fiancé and I super chilled this 'to be served warmer' stout.

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Photo of BenHesk12
3.38/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours deathly dark with no little to no head. Sweet aroma and very sweet flavor of cinnamon and cake. Just like a beer version of a chocolate mocha drink. Unfortunately I despise sweet drinks and really don't like this beer. Never had a sweet stout before and I don't think I'll try one again.

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Photo of CTbrew32
3.42/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance- Black in color. Pours a creamy, two finger tall, mocha colored head.

Aroma- Lots of cinnamon and christmas spices, milk chocolate, and coffee.

Taste- Taste is pretty similar to the nose spices/cinnamon being at the forefront along with sweet milk chocolate and some coffee adding a little bitterness.

Feel- Medium bodied, medium carbonation, and a relatively dry finish.

Overall- Pretty straightforward christmas style stout with the spice dominating the flavor. Surprisingly thin in flavor and feel which is definitely a negative. With all the adjuncts I'd expect more of burst of flavor, but its really just dominated by cinnamon/Christmas spices while the other adjuncts are more faint. Good, but a bit of a let down.

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Photo of waterski
3.45/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle into a tasting glass (6 oz). Poured blackish with little head. Almost no carbonation. Started with pepper, then coffee, strong cinnamon, other spices with sweetness. Not sure what to expect from the appearance and nose. Here we go...
Oh my, second taste. Certainly cinnamon, light coffee, light pepper. Warming up with nutmeg and other spices with light cocoa. Hints of molasses. Not sure I can explain all of the flavors. So complex. Read the label, taste the beer, yes, no maybe. I think it's what Stone was looking for in this beer. Drink or share one to experience the taste. Certainly. Drink a couple? For me, not likely, but maybe next time it will bring out even more flavors.

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Photo of Benjo87
3.46/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Look - jet black, 2 finger tan head, nice lacing.

Smell - getting a lot of the peppers come through, almost smells like a salsa dip. Lots of coffee. Coffee and chili are the main smell.

Taste - definitely follows the smell. Not spicy at all, but you can taste the peepers. There's a lot going on here. The coffee is there, not bitter though. There's a vanilla sweetness in the aftertaste. The cinnamon and nutmeg comes through well too. There's so much going on here. I can taste everything they said they put in it, but to me, it just feels a little bit overdone.

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Photo of MaximalC
3.46/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Pours seal brown with a modest head of coarse, khaki foam. Unique, inviting aroma smells of cocoa, coffee, gingerbread, and peanut brittle.

The taste features a surprisingly forward burst of hot peppers and nutmeg amidst the roasty malt at the fore. Hops are primarily earthy, but buried beneath the peppers and spices. A salty aftertaste lingers long into the finish. Medium-heavy body and mild carbonation make for a full, robust mouthfeel.

I've never been a fan of hot peppers in beer, and this hasn't changed my mind any. The overall effect is like a hybrid between a stout and a heavily spiced Christmas ale. It's certainly a novel experience, but once is enough for me.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.47/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - The beer was a deep brown with a small mocha head

Smell - I most detect coffee in the nose, but there is also a hint of mint.

Taste - The initial bitter chewy coffee is nice, but the I few like Sombody randalled scope into my beer. I have read this beer described as peppermint mocha. The mint is far too abraisive for me. It just drowns every other aspect of the beer.

Mouthfeel - The thickness allow the mint to actually feel like its cleaning my teeth.

Overall - I know many people like this, but it is just not my thing. Minty beers must not work for me.

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Photo of joberlander
3.47/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I think some of the flavors are really.nice together like vanilla and cinnamon. The aroma is nice where those two come through with hints of nutmeg. Many flavors come in the taste but I feel they aren't in balance. Too much going on IMO. I feel if they focused on just 2 or maybe 3 ingredients they'd kill it but it's just too much going on. Mouth feel is a little thin as well. Overall a nice change up but I'm not excited I had to buy a 6 pack.

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Photo of champ103
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a near opaque black color. A dense two finger tan head forms with excellent retention and lace.
S: I get vanilla, coffee, residual sugars, and peppers in the nose. Which becomes more like green peppers, and keeps becoming more vegetable like as this warms.
T: Again, I get all the additives. Coffee, vanilla, residual sugars, and green pepper. The pepper/vegetable flavor takes over after a while.
M/O: A big full body. Well carbonated and very smooth. Even with all the additives, this still drinks well. The green pepper flavor wares me down though, and I would like more of the stout character to come through.

While certainly enjoyable, the additives and peppers make it hard for the stout to shine through. It is just a spice rack of flavors with green peppers/vegetables. It would be worlds better if the roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate shined better, instead of the other way around.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%

Pours a dark blackish brown color with a light tan head. The aroma is sweet, roasted and chocolatey. The flavor follows suit with cocoa and coffee notes giving away to a spicy cinnamon aftertaste reminding me of cinnamon mocha coffee. Alcohol is well disguised by all the flavors. Full bodied, well carbonated ale that is a bit chewy. Overall, this is a unique, fresh take on a coffee stout I can recommend this.

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Photo of Cramshawbar
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Starts out wonderfully, with a lovely mixture of coffee and chocolate. And then, slowly, spicy pepper makes its appearance and it's all downhill from there. I love spicy pepper and I love my beer. I don't love the mixing of the two whatsoever. Hot pepper goes with red wine, not beer.
The rest of the flavours save this from disaster.

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Stone Xocoveza from Stone Brewing
4.33 out of 5 based on 3,692 ratings.
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