Stone Xocoveza - Charred
Stone Brewing

Stone Xocoveza - CharredStone Xocoveza - Charred
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Stout - Sweet / Milk
4.27 | pDev: 7.73%
Stone Brewing
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Stone Xocoveza - CharredStone Xocoveza - Charred
Notes: Mocha stout Aged 3 Months in American Oak Kentucky Bourbon Barrels.


The base beer is the recipe of 2014 Stone Homebrew Competition winner Chris Banker, an intensely flavorful milk stout brewed with cocoa, coffee and spices to mimic the rich flavors of Mexican hot chocolate.

U.S. Pale, Maris Otter Pale, Crystal, Black Patent, Coffee Malt & Chocolate Malt

Challenger & East Kent Golding Hops

Lactose, Flaked Oats, Coffee, Vanilla, Pasilla Peppers, Nutmeg, Cinnamon & Cocoa

3 Months in American Oak Kentucky Bourbon Barrels

Time spent in bourbon barrels gave an already complex beer even more complexity and flavor intensity, layering additional caramel-like and vanilla flavors on top of those already present. Aromas of rich coffee and dark chocolate are followed by nutmeg and cinnamon; a lush, heavy mouthfeel laden with charred oak and toffee engulfs the palate on the first sip. Lingering pasilla pepper and soft oak flavors persist through an exceptionally long finish in this intensely rich and satisfying beer.

RELEASE DATE: December 14, 2015
Reviews: 168 | Ratings: 637 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of backblast
backblast from Alaska

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016 vintage

Taste first off with dark coffee, dark malt with nutmeg-cinnamon mixed in. The peppers and lactose show up shortly after and the vanilla with the barrel show in end. There is a light bitterness mixed in. Well done.

Mar 04, 2021
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EMV from Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

2015 vintage. Poured from a cork'n'cage bomber into a Dogfish Head tuilp

L: Dark, dark pour... nearly black. Whispy tannish head. falls fast... but surprisingly good lacing.

S: Rich and spicy. Sweet cocoa, coffee, cinnamon, and cardamom. Smells delectable.

T.F: Rich and sweet up front. Lactose, vanilla, and milk chocolate. Nice and spicy... cinnamon and nutmeg. Exotic... low on the bourbon. Just a hint and not terribly boozy. Not much heat from the peppers but they do kick in a little smoky something. A little roast for balance but on the sweeter side. Medium body but lighter than expected. Low low carbonation. More spice with a pleasant lingering aftertaste.

O: I love Xocoveza and this is a really nice variant on the original. My biggest gripe is the low carbonation, but for 5 years in the cellar this mellowed very nicely. Overall nicely done.

Sep 02, 2020
Photo of frankkirchner12

4.78/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

After the first sip I noticed a pepper like chai tea finishes. I added some cayenne powder which is how I sometimes drink my stouts and boom! This is almost the best imperial I have ever had. Apologies to Stone for altering the flavor..

May 02, 2020
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Wolvmar from Michigan

3.53/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mar 2020 Review (in the early days of Coronavirus...)
2016 vintage, Batch No 3. Didn’t see any dating beyond this. Same description as above but said aged in bourbon barrels for 6 months. Poured into a tulip glass.

Pour: deep brown, thin tan head that dissipated quickly with little lacing and no clouds or ring. 3.0

Nose: cinnamon, chocolate, lactose, hint of bourbon. 3.75

Taste: like the label, some char flavor, cinnamon, bourbon, bitter chocolate, lactose sweetness, lots going on, fairly balanced but char/bitterness dominates with lactose and cinnamon right behind. 3.5

Mouthfeel: low carbonation, a little thin feeling. 3.5

Overall: worth trying but not a favorite. Something about the balance between the char/bitterness and lactose sweetness doesn’t sit real well for me. Not likely to buy again. 3.5

Mar 15, 2020
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled December 2015; drank 1/28/16 @ Harvest Hop Haus.

Opaque brown appearance.

Nice tan head; decent lace.

Burnt caramel, dark chocolate, coconut & booze heat notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Coconut, burnt caramel, cream & dark chocolate flavors up front; booze heat notes on the finish.

Too boozy for me & a bit "off" overall; still, it's bold & certainly unique. Perhaps age could whip this into shape?

Jan 01, 2020
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vette2006c5r from Minnesota

4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Xocoveza pours black, with no head. Rich aroma, with spices, and pepper, but sweet and subtle at the same time. Flavor is sweet, chocolate and vanilla, lots of nutmeg, and a pepper like finish, with just a tad of heat. Great feel. Overall, rich and complex, sweet flavors, with a little pepper to balance it out.

Dec 21, 2019
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cellar Notes: "Time spent in bourbon barrels gave an already complex beer even more complexity and flavor intensity, layering additional caramel-like and vanilla flavors on top of those already present. Aromas of rich coffee and dark chocolate are followed by nutmeg and cinnamon; a lush, heavy mouthfeel laden with charred oakd and toffee engulfs the palate on the first sip. Lingering pasilla pepper and soft oak flavors persist through an exceptionally long finish in this intensely rich and satisfying beer."

500ml bottle. 2016 vintage, Batch No. 03. Aged 6 months in Kentucky Bourbon barrels. 9.6 ABV%.
Dark brown colored body, with mahogany back lit highlights. One finger of light tan head, which does not stick around. Any lacing spots left behind slide back down into body.
Rich aromas of coffee, chocolate, cinnamon, caramel/toffee, vanilla and oak. Smells sweet.
Taste is sweet, with a oak bourbon barrel wrapped around coffee, chocolate, and vanilla. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and toffee. The chile pepper shows up at the end, but is mild in burn. Gets more dark with coffee in the aftertaste.
Medium plus mouth feel. Lower carbonation.
Complex and tasty, with the addition of the barrel aging. All flavors and smells have aged well together.

May 17, 2019
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siskiyoucellar from Oregon

4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This bottle is a 2015 that’s been in my cellar for three years, so the review reflects that. Very fine work here. Xocoveza was excellent to begin with and this BA version works nicely with that, though not necessarily in the expected ways. It’s nice looking, though just a little thin. The nose is subtle, but once it’s up to nearly room temp it comes through with rich tones of bourbon, malt and cinnamon. The taste runs with those three and adds more, including delicate char, dry cocoa and the beautifully balanced pasilla peppers. Feel is a bit thin for my taste. The aging has possibly affected this, though it did very nicely with blending the flavors, particularly the peppers. Could this be a porter in disguise? If Deschutes anniversaries are, then I think this is too. Overall very nice but not exceptional; not the very best for aging, perhaps.

Apr 19, 2019
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Snowcrash000 from Germany

4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black coloration with a medium, fluffy, mocha-colored head that dissipates quickly. Smells of roasted, caramel malt, chocolate and a musty, earthy oak presence, as well as lighter notes of vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and bourbon. Taste follows the nose, being dominated by roasted, caramel malt and dark, bitter chocolate, as well as an earthy/musty oak presence and lighter notes of coffee, bourbon and spice, with vanilla most distinct, much lighter notes of cinnamon and just a hint of nutmeg and chili, which intensifies in the aftertaste. Finishes with a light/medium bitterness and some chocolate and spice lingering in the aftertaste, with some more chili coming through in particluar. Full mouthfeel with a rich body and low carbonation.

I think that 3-4 years did not treat this beer kindly. The coffee has faded to almost nothing and the spices seem rather muted compared to fresh Xocoveza as well. It does have a lovely bourbon note and oak presence to make up for that, of course, but the bourbon could actually be richer, although it does accentuate the vanilla notes. At least the lactose feels much muted as well, which is a good thing in my book, and the chili seems to stand out a little more in the aftertaste. Comparing this to fresh Xocoveza, I actually find it hard to pin down which I like more. Fresh Xocoveza definitely has more coffee, cinnamon and nutmeg going for it, while this feels more roasted/earthy and heavier on the bitter chocolate and vanilla, with some additional bourbon notes and more muted lactose. Who am I kidding, I definitely like this better, however, I have a strong suspicion that this was much better fresh.

Apr 07, 2019
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erk0607 from Colorado

4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Dark brown/black, graham cracker colored head of varying sized, sudsy bubbles
Smell: Bourbon, chocolate, dark malt, cinnamon, coffee
Taste: Bourbon, pepper, malt, chocolate, toffee, wood (oak), roasty, semi-sweet
Feel: Slightly warming alcohol notes, moderately syrupy, coats your entire mouth, heavy
Overall: Way better than I remember (admittedly) the plain one being... the bourbon barrel imparts an great flavor to it. This would be one to buy when you see it and stash it until it's a cold winter night.

Mar 19, 2019
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

You may remember my New Russian Stone Beer Sunday (Week 729) of three weeks ago when I had all three (3) of Stone's 2018 Small Batch Series in readiness. I did not realize that this one did not fit the day's bill so I set it aside for a later NBS, like today, which is my New Training My Evil Stoned Dragonne Twins Sunday (Week 732). I am still very grateful to the Friendly Greek Bottle Shop (FGBS) for allowing me to put one of each of these three in my Big Box o' Fun to be purchased one at a time. It would have been prohibitively expensive otherwise.

From the Bottle: "Mocha Stout brewed with Cocoa, Coffee & Spices and Aged in Bourbon Barrels"; "The base beer is the recipe of 2014 Stone Homebrew Competition winner Chris Banker, an intensely flavorful milk stout brewed with cocoa, coffee and spices to mimic the rich flavors of Mexican hot chocolate."; "In the Mash[:] U.S. Pale, Crystal, Black Patent, Coffee Malt, Chocolate Malt & Flaked Oats"; "In the Boil[:] Challenger & East Kent Golding Hops"; "Special Ingredients[:] Lactose, Coffee, Vanilla, Pasilla Peppers, Nutmeg, Cinnamon & Cocoa"; "Unfiltered and Aged 6 Months in American Oak Kentucky Bourbon Barrels"; "IBUs 31"; "Cellar Notes[:] Time spent in bourbon barrels gave an already complex beer even more complexity and flavor intensity, layering additional caramel-like and vanilla flavors on top of those already present. Aromas of rich coffee and dark chocolate are followed by nutmeg and cinnamon; a lush, heavy mouthfeel laden with charred oak and toffee engulfs the palate on the first sip. Lingering pasilla pepper and soft oak flavors persist through an exceptionally long finish in this intensely rich and satisfying beer."

As with its two predecessors, the long cork was a bear to remove on its own. I actually procured a corkscrew at Wegman's this past week in advance of today for the very purpose of its removal! It came with an (unnecessary) cage finish, so I kept my thumb on the cork as I unwound it. It was unmoving. The corkscrew did its trick and the cork came out with a resounding Pop! Whoa! Much less stressful than three weeks ago when I had to employ a lesser corkscrew with the not-inexpensive bottle wedged between my thighs. 8=O

Having gotten that far along, I began a slow, gentle pour into the awaiting glass. It foamed up to create a fizzy finger of dense, dark-brown head with limited retention, quickly falling to wisps. Color was an inky Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing ZERO light penetration. Nose smelled like Mexican chocolate - milk chocolate with spices! Mmm. I poured the bulk of it already, but this has inspired me to set up my crock pot, which I was going to do anyway, and to mull the remainder. In addition to the chocolaty spiciness, I also got the familiar coconut of bourbon barrel-aging. Mymymy. Mouthfeel was medium, but a bit thin for the style. The taste was quite rich, like a liquefied Mounds bar (coconut enrobed with Dark Chocolate) imbued with a light spiciness. It was this latter that made it especially attractive to me. I am a bit of a wuss when it comes to spice. I like it well enough, but a little can go a long way with me, unlike my younger brother who seemingly brushes his teeth with wasabi from a tube. This had a warming quality without setting my mouth afire. Mmm. I prefer not be set ablaze, especially when I have a full day of imbibing ahead. I'll be frank & say that of the three, this was my #3, but it was still worth the purchase. Finish was dry, as any beer that includes spices as an adjunct should be expected to be. The one thought that kept running through my addled brain as I drank it was: How would this be if it were warmed/mulled?

I have really come to embrace warming/heating/mulling beers, wines & ciders this Winter as evidenced by Febrewary's SUMBS (Samm's Underground Monthly Bottle Share) during which I mulled Glühwein, mead, Chouffe N'Ice & the next of today's offerings. A couple of cautions - 1) It should be done in either a water-filled crock pot or in a double-boiler & 2) it should be served warm in coffee cups so as not to break glassware. Cinnamon sticks & other spices are optional, but not encouraged.

And next, a cuppa mulled Xocoveza Charred: Mmm. I really liked the way that the spices filled out in terms of both the nose & the taste. I actually think that this should be the preferred serving style. YMMV.

Mar 03, 2019
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$ 13.00 (Including tax)/500 mL cork and cage bottle ($ 0.767/oz) from Franklin Beer, Franklin, PA. Reviewed 2/24/19.
No date other than the nebulous “2016 Series Batch No 03” on the front and back labels. Stored at 42 degrees and served at 54 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter. Final temperature 60 degrees.
Appearance – 3.75.
Body – Dark brown/black, opaque.
Head – Large (Maximum 5.3 cm, aggressive center pour), tan, medium density, less than average retention, diminishing to a three mm ring and a thin complete layer.
Lacing – None.
First pour – Dark brown, clear.
Aroma – 4.25 - Primarily sweet chocolate with a hint of caramel. As it warms, some bourbon comes through.
Flavor – 4.5 – Begins moderately sweet with some toffee which is shortly replaced by light but noticeable char. Nutmeg is present but I cannot taste either vanilla or cinnamon. A bit of alcohol (9.6% ABV) mixed with coffee appears at the end. No diacetyl, no dimethylsulfide, no hops.
Palate – 4 – Medium, creamy, soft carbonation.
Impression and interpretation – 4 – A decent take on the English Milk/Sweet Stout style, with the mulled flavors blending well so that their independent flavors mostly cannot be isolated. This is the first time I’ve noticed the use of pasilla peppers in a beer - I had to look them up. Their presence is undetectable by me, unlike most peppers in beer which are usually very much “in your face”. They might be present in the slight post-consumption gastric warming, which I had attributed solely to the ethanol content. Or are they contributing to the slight char characteristic? The hops are mild varieties which contribute gently to the flavor but do not counteract the lactose sweetness although they may attenuate it.

Feb 24, 2019
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Riff from Virginia

4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016 bottle purchased in 2018. Pours black with a thin, light tan head that clings a little to the glass. Smell is dark chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, hints of cinnamon. That lovely Xocoveza smell with a hint of bourbon. Taste is exceptional, well balanced. Dark chocolate, peppers, hints of bourbon, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg. If you're a fan of Xocoveza, this is delightful.

Jan 13, 2019
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RMW66 from Australia

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really enjoyable - not too sweet, nice flavors of chocolate, coffee and vanilla, from the barrel aging. Well balanced and not too much alcohol burn. The bourbon from the barrel aging is not overwhelming. This is a very good and quite complex beer that I hope to enjoy again.

Dec 26, 2018
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jjamadorphd from Florida

4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Damn, how I really enjoyed this brew...

Though not as spectacular as the Xocoveza, this is truly special. Pitch black look with tan head that quickly dissipates. The smell is a blend of chocolate, caramel, and coffee and it somehow works. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied though carbonated with a taste that is charred as advertised (probably more so than I prefer.) Overall this is exceptional and it deserves a try by everyone and anyone...

Dec 25, 2018
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LifesAnesthesia from Virginia

4.52/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L - Pitch black with a large dark tan head that dissipates somewhat quickly, leaving behind no lacing.
S - Dark chocolate up front followed by sweet caramel and bourbon along with notes of vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and oak
T - Follows the nose with dark chocolate up front intermixed with cinnamon, nutmeg, slight hints of pepper, vanilla, and finishes off with sweet, rich caramel notes along with oak.
F - Medium bodied with a light to moderate amount of carbonation - personally, I wish it were a little heavier on the body, but the mouthfeel is not off-putting by any means.
O - A fantastic barrel aged stout that improves ever so slightly over the original version. The addition of the rich caramel notes from the bourbon barrel aging set this one apart from the original. Nice to enjoy the original and this one back to back, otherwise I'm not sure I would have noticed the differences.

Dec 24, 2018
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MikeWard from Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle into a goblet. 2016 series, Batch 3

Superb looking beer. jet black body with a generous tan colored head that leaves layers of lacing.

oddly enough, the only aroma i'm getting is of dried stone fruit.

tasty beer. waves of flavor, one after the other. Sweet cocoa, warmth from the peppers, roasted malt, and the faintest of faint bourbon. what I'm not getting is any coffee, oak, or vanilla though. Still delicious though.

mouth close to full, sweet & a little burn on the finish.

overall, a very good milk stout. I'm note sure all the added stuff adds much to the base beer, but it certainly doesn't detract much, except maybe the coffee.

Jul 08, 2018
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SeanKnapp74 from Arizona

4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drinking the 2016 Xocoveza Charred on 04/07/2018 purchased from Tavour. Very tasty. Light cacao and coffee aromas. Very smooth and slightly boozy. Bourbon from barrels is not overpowering. Mild creamy coffee and cacao flavor. Excellent stout!

Apr 08, 2018
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beergoot from Colorado

4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Coal black body with a thick, dense and creamy head; rings of lacing down the glass. Ripe dark fruit; plum and raisins. Fruit sweet and cocoa-like chocolate; graham cracker spiciness; low-key alcohol. Heavy bodied; smooth and silky; chewy.

A palate-enveloping beer, deep and rich with vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. A high-quality dark ale, rich and satisfying.

Mar 09, 2018
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Strix from Wisconsin

4.26/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Nice and dark, brown edges

Coffee and bourbon notes

Coffee, oak, dark chocolate, bourbon, vanilla. Yum.

Mouthfeel a hair thin, maybe because it's a milk stout and not an RIS, like the flavor profile

Tasty little dessert number.

Feb 20, 2018
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Thankin_Hank from Texas

4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Absolutely beautiful black as night color. No head or lacing. Sweet dark chocolate, molasses, rich and creamy. Deliciousness extraordinaire. Not heavy on the alcohol and the ladies like it.
Overall an awesome brew. Pairs nice with desserts. Poured into a tulip at BJ’s from a 500 ML bottle 2016 Series batch 03.

Feb 14, 2018
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Korbynlehr from Kentucky

4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Cinnamon is in the nose and the taste. Very chicolaty and very good. The one I tried an aged bottle that obviously added to the greatness although it softened the peppery.

Jan 15, 2018
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stakem from Pennsylvania

3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Corked and caged bottle into a snifter appears black in color with a khaki head that is quick to fade.

Nose of chocolate upfront that is roasty akin to coffee with a very soft oak and booze inclusion.

It tastes oaked with a roasty chocolate earthiness and slight spice addition befote finishing with a lingering coffee aftertaste.

This is light in body with light carbonation. I really enjoy the base beer and this was enjoyable as well however the barrel nuance was not outstanding and kind of got muddled in with all the other character this brew has.

Jan 02, 2018
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colts9016 from Idaho

4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I have the 2015 Version, been hiding in my cellar for couple years. The bottle has a minimal painted design, makes it look unique. The bottle has a cage and cork top. I wrestled the cork out of the bottle, that took a minute. The cork leaving the bottle made a nice pop, a subtle mist departed. I used my Surly tulip glass for the beer. The temperature of the beer is 45 degrees. A monster two finger light tan head with good retention. The head tatted lacing as it dissipated. The head is creamy, billowy, and airy. The color of the beer is dark brown and opaque.

The first initial aroma of the beer is chocolate coffee and bourbon. Additional aromas are vanilla, milk, cereal, charr, wood, bread, raisins, molasses, burnt sugar, cinnamon, caramel, and dark roasted malts.

Holy shit! This is a complex milk stout with abundant flavors. Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate char, coffee, and dark chocolate are the initial flavors. Burnt sugar, milk, cinnamon, caramel, dark roasted malts, cereal, raisins, molasses, and bread are the additional flavors.

The mouthfeel of the beer is creamy and rich. The body of the beer is medium, medium carbonation, and a medium-plus finish.

This beer has its high points and a few low points. I think the beer could have a better balance. The body of the beer for me is a touch thin for a milk stout. The age of the beer gives it depth and complexity.

Dec 31, 2017
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Buck89 from Tennessee

4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2017 version, poured into a snifter. Looks like the base beer with a dark brown color and a very modest tan head. The aroma was also not too different with cocoa, nutmeg, cinnamon, peppers, and coffee. A small amount of whiskey was there but not much. It tasted like the base beer - a great thing - with all of the above flavors. The barrel was there but was subtle and really melded well with the flavors without detracting. Great beer.

Dec 17, 2017
Stone Xocoveza - Charred from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 637 ratings