Cocoa Fuego
DuClaw Brewing Company

Cocoa FuegoCocoa Fuego
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American Stout
Ranked #898
Ranked #41,423
3.6 | pDev: 15.28%
DuClaw Brewing Company
Maryland, United States
Cocoa FuegoCocoa Fuego
Notes: Stout brewed with Dark Chocolate & Chipotle Peppers.
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Reviews: 36 | Ratings: 219
Photo of Slatetank
3.81/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I cellared this bottle without reviewing it first, not sure why but here is my review:
poured chilled from the 12oz into a glass.

The color is black with a thick tan head that settles to nothing with opaque clarity and very fine bead with head that revives when swirled. The smell has a cocoa aroma with nutty earthen scent and light peppery accent yet mostly malt with chocolate complimentary in the smell. The feel has a good balance of sweetness in malt with light spice of pepper with heat that builds to a dry finish with moderate carbonation.

The taste is decent -malt is dry and nutty with chocolate adding some creaminess in texture yet not overly sweet with smoky pepper flavor coming mid palate with slight heat in the back of the throat and subtle toasted malt flavor that is nutty with mild sweetness of cocoa - the balance of pepper and chocolate with spice lingering is enjoyable. There is a lingering warmth with slight smoky mineral quality in the finish. Overall this is a pretty tasty stout -a good amount of pepper flavor but not too hot to overwhelm the cocoa flavor. I must have tried this fresh but I don't think the aging has had a detrimental effect

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Photo of tigg924
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours opaque, dark brown in color with 1/3 inch head. Taste is dark bread, baker's chocolate, BOSCO, and chipotle heat at the end. Makes for a tasty full bodied stout. The heat adds a nice element to a solid base beer. The peppers are not over the top. I would get this again.

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Photo of BB1313
3.59/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 11/12/15. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours almost black with a small tan head that fades leaving some retention and not much lacing. The aromas are full of chocolate syrup. Hints of marshmallow as well. Malts are there. Smells good. The flavors are malty with lots of chocolate. There's some vanilla in the mix. It's not really spicy although there's a subtle spice kick in the finish. The chipotle peppers are there though, just balanced. I will say it becomes spicier the more you drink it. The chocolate notes really shine. Alcohol goes unnoticed. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium-bodied with active carbonation. It's smooth and makes for a nice sipper.

This is a solid stout. It's nothing too crazy, but works during the cold weather. I really like the aromas and it becomes more enjoyable as it warms. It's friendly for those who aren't crazy about super spicy beers.

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Photo of stakem
3.37/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle that has been in the fridge over a year...time to purge. Poured into a matching Duclaw pint glass the brew appears dark brown with a khaki head.

The nose has a bit of chocolate and then a sweetness to it almost like cola moreso than malt.

The taste carries that same cola sorta flavor, chocolate, raison and lots of citrus/peppery warmth. I get the feeling this is big on the dark crystal malts moreso than roasted. Layers of dark fruity flavors with not much roasted/stout profile. Cocoa in the aftertaste with more pepper burn.

This is medium bodied with modest carbonation. By Duclaw standards this is pretty good. The peppers are not hiding and pleasant cocoa flavors. The name is very fitting but the stout base is kinda strange with its cola qualities.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.29/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a quarter of a finger of off-white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into no head what-so-ever.

Aroma: Very aromatic! Lots of roasted malt aromas, imparting notes of toasted dark bread, freshly ground coffee beans, dark chocolate, a touch of smoke and lots of earthy, spicy aromas of roasted chipotles and adobo. Delicious aromas!

Taste: Delicious flavors too! Lots of bready roasted malt flavors, up front, imparting notes of toasted dark bread, freshly ground coffee beans, a touch of smoke, dark chocolate and lots of earthy, spicy flavors of roasted chipotles and adobo, which left some warming, tingling, almost numbing, spicy, heat sensations on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Chewy and smooth as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 7.5%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is another great beer by DuClaw! I love the chocolate and spicy, earthy, chipotle spice flavors blended together with lots of great, bready malt. I’m definitely going to have to get some more of this beer to pair with some Mexican food, preferably a molé!

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Photo of csrbv
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great brew if you are looking for something different. Just enough heat from the peppers to make it interesting. Good for having 1 or 2, but anymore would simply be too much. I recommend trying this beer.

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Photo of candcholt
4.5/5  rDev +25%

I love this beer, more so on draught than in a bottle, but still.

It's got a smokiness and a spiciness at the end. Not overly spicy though...nothing that sets your mouth on fire. Nice full mouthfeel, but crisp.

The description might put you off, but I've been in large groups where everybody enjoys it, so give it a try.

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Photo of Samp01
3.31/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a deep black with no head. Aroma is of sweet cacao, dark malt with a kind of sweet fruity peppery scent. Taste is same as aroma with mild sweet spice notes and bitterness on the end for balance, a bit of smoke. Mild peppery heat with chocolate malt on the finish. A medium body on the palate, slightly creamy with good carbonation. An interesting combination, not too sweet or spiced. Overall an good drinking brew

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Photo of woodychandler
4.16/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am astounded at what is showing up in my bottle backlog here in Chez Woody's kitchen. This is apparently a limited release and somehow I ended up with one. I wonder if it came to me in a trade, which is a possibility.

From the bottle: "This silky smooth stout is full-bodied with warm aromas of cocoa and roasted malt, a subtle hop presence, and a spicy chipotle pepper bite perfectly tempered by luscious dark chocolate. A new movement in flavor is rising ... Drink the revolution!"; "Respect_the_Fluid".

The revolution will not be televised, apparently, but at least we can drink it.

Speaking of drinking, it was now time to do exactly that. I have said before that I enjoy watching a pseudo-cascade when pouring beer, especially from a bottle, and the darker the beer, the easier to watch. It settled fairly quickly into a finger of foamy, deep-tan head with moderate retention. Color was a seep, dark-brown (SRM = 44), allowing zero light penetration. Nose smelled of dark chocolate, smoke and spicy peppers. Wow! Mexican chocolate. Mouthfeel was medium, not as "full-bodied" as advertised. Man, the taste was a riot of flavors, beginning with a dark, smoky, chocolate characteristic and then slowly bringing the heat. I liked that it began subtly, rather than melting my eyeballs, a la Crime and/or Punishment. Sure, different types of peppers, but heat is heat and for the unexpecting and/or uninitiated, a little can go a long way. This seemed to have a lid on its heat, gently rising and then backing off on the finish, allowing the smoky chocolate to return. The extreme finish left me with a cool, burning sensation in the back of my throat. Phew! I can only call this dry, thanks to the spice of the chipotle peppers. This may not be for everyone, but I was lucky to have gotten to try it.

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Photo of Hopscat
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, opaque brown- toward black with decent head subsiding to nice ring of lace.
Smell is strong dark chocolate with coffee notes and some pepper .
Taste is good chocolate -char- coffee character upfront and some hops appear in mid-palate and the jalapeno pepper which was quite strong on the first taste. At first I thought this is too much , but the rest of the beer seemed less peppery (?) I love peppers and maybe am de-sensitized. This may not appeal to many of you.
Mouth- medium bodied with good carbo for the style.
I like this style. I feel like this compares favorably with a MIkkeller(pepper] stout I tried. Haven't tried Mexican Cake or some other that are widely reviewed. Limited budget for beer ...

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

P- Als of Hampden

A- motor oil black with a tan head. about half a finger and it sticks nicely to the mug.

S- cocoa and dark roasted malts.

F- cocoa and dark roasted malts with hints of the chili pepper towards the back end of the flavor.

M-spicy and chocolatey...not bad but im not a spicy type of guy. Medium bodied and not as thick as I thought it was going to be.

O- an average stout. once again if you like spicy this is a beer for you but it just doesn't gel as well as it should and it seems to me that its too much.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours pitch black with a cocoa colored two fingered head that dies down almost as fast as it's poured and then totally disappears.

S - Faint smell of cocoa and dark roasted malt.

T - Dark roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate, cocoa, and hot peppers - very nice and with some building heat in the back of the throat.

M - Heavy medium body, gentle carbonation produces some tingling on the tongue, warming in the back of the throat from the peppers, dry on the back of the tongue and very wet up front - the spiciness causes your mouth to salivate like crazy.

O - The taste is the best part, too bad the nose is so weak.

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Photo of WesMantooth
2.87/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Smells like slightly burned chocolate, roasted malts, booze (only 7.5% too), and a little spice. Taste initially is good. Straight up roasted cocoa porter/stout flavor. Then shortly after, the heat comes in. I would say it is somewhat significant. Lips are tingling a little. Noticeable heat in the back of the throat. I like a lot of peppers for the flavor, but not the heat per se, so this is a little too much for me considering it's still a beer. Feeling some heartburn from the first qtr of glass. Wouldnt call it a typical drain pour, but honestly cant finish it.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.89/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, bottled 2/1/2014. Poured into an unlabeled snifter 5/12/2014.

A- Dark brown body, looks thin, half finger off-white head with little retention, no lacing.

S- Milk chocolate, roast malt mixed in with a strong bitter dark chocolate/espresso scent and a hefty hot pepper nose that makes my nose sting. You can definitely tell this is going to be a spicy beer.

F- Whew! This is very nice; chocolates upon hot peppers. The pepper presence is very strong and not quite balanced out by the bitter dark chocolate and coffee, or the milk chocolate sweetness of the base stout. This is interesting and definitely for ones who have a high tolerance for capsaicin. Cleanly executed, interesting with a good mix of flavours.

M- Thinner bodied, lower in carbonation than for average of the style; a sipper due to the heavy hot pepper presence. Thin in body, but certainly not lacking in flavour.

O- This is definitely a nicely executed example of the Mexican stout. It's not meant to be an imperial stout like Hunahpu's or Mexican Cake which have a lot of other adjuncts to keep it interesting, but this is definitely solidly done for the style. If you are a capsaicin addict, this is definitely your stout.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Ale House Tavern, Sayreville, NJ

Solid black pour into a Miller shaker, a finger of tan head quickly sank to a thin ringlet, a few dots of lacing sticking to the glass. In the nose, dark chocolate and toasted grains, a light earthiness. In the taste, dark malts, fairly roasty, bittersweet chocolate, sensation of old coffee in the finish. At first I didn't even know this was a pepper beer, but as it warmed, the coffee sensation in the finish morphed into a more peppery heat sensation, and there was no mistaking it...this beer had peppers in it. Body was about medium, perhaps a bit thin for a stout, but within tolerance. Not too bad overall, though I doubt I'd get it again.

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Photo of farrago
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Strong pour gets you around a finger of deep tan foam, airy and loose, bubbles off swiftly, any lacing slides off the glass rapidly as well. Dark brown liquid but not of that onyx-like impenetrability, more vaguely cloudy, this noticeable most at the surface where it takes on a yellowish tint and you can see some loosely aggregated bubbles break the surface. The nose seems artificial like vanilla liquid drops or cake icing, powdered chocolate, something like maple syrup, not that roasty and the chili pepper element comes and goes, beyond that a light touch of plum fruit, just not a lot going on here and what is there is bottom heavy and lacks lift and separation. Light to medium-bodied, flat mouth feel from the low grade carbonation. Vanilla and chocolate, lesser toffee and sweetened coffee. Can’t say it is dry but any true sweetness gets steamrolled by the hot pepper which wins, places and shows. After a few sips there’s not much registering beyond spiciness. The flatness does not help. Does taste more roasted than the nose would suggest. Displays length on the finish almost by default because the spice heat lingers so much. Not especially enjoyable, you kind of really need to be in the mood for it beforehand.

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Photo of Scrapss
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured hard into a Turbinator.

A: Deep brown with a soapy off-white head that disappears, oh, about minutes in. Still with very minor legs.

S: Standard roasted malts from a deep stout. something else, spicy. cayenne is touted. I get a hair bit of it on nose.

T: This is where this brew diverges. It starts out chocolate, stout....then there's a twist. That cayenne not only peeks up but roars with a Szechuan pepper like numbing sensation. then a hot sensation offsets the excessively sweet chocolate notes. Something Mexican, like cumin, streaks though. Mole'. Freakin' mole'.

M: smooth on initial, but that pepper creeps up. Harder and harder that pepper presents itself. It is not terrible, just different.

O: not terrible for the earthy and chocolate. That pepper is definitely not to style, but it adds some livleiness to the brew.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.89/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown, almost black color. Little head nor lace on this bad puppy. The aroma is roasted, smokey, and much like a strong coffee.
In the taste, more coffee flavors and some chocolate. This is brewed with peppers, and after a few sips they make themselves known. The heat builds but the roasted stout flavor adds a good bit of balance. Small kiss of alcohol and an even smaller bitterness. If you want a good Mexican mole sauce dish and a good beer, but can't decide - choose this. Very good, and interesting!

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.87/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Very dark as expected for a stout. Very little viability and just a 1/4 inch of deep mocha head.
S - Ow no I can actually smell the peppers I am kind of scared. Has a bit of roast and cocoa notes to it so it may be balanced.
T - Well it has the burn in the finish but it's quickly covered up by some roast and cocoa flavors. Every sip does seem to build with a burn so I ended up chugging the last half of the glass. Pepper flavor does not linger after consumption which is a plus.
M - Light to medium not a very watery or filling beer.

Overall I don't think I will get this again pepper beers are really not my thing but this one was pretty good. Worth checking out!

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Photo of teromous
2.9/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Black beer with a thin khaki head that fades shortly after the pour. No lacing or spots. After drinking it for a while it ends up just looking like oil in the glass.

S: Not much scent on this. There's a faint smell of "beer" but no qualities stand out.

T: It has a very nice cocoa undertone, very faint but earthy is how I would describe it. It's not like a sweet chocolate bar flavor, but more like a raw bitter cocoa. The bitterness is fairly strong toward the end of the bottle. At first there was no spicy hotness to the beer, but it rolled in slowly like an easy tide. Each drink it seemed to build up more layers of heat, but not overpowering. It's very nicely done.

M: It has an alright mouthfeel. I like that the spice is just enough to wake up my mouth without overpowering it with heat. Unfortunately it feels light on carbonation and needs a little lift.

O: Overall I'd say it was a pretty good beer. For a pepper beer it is done very well, and if you are a fan of peppers I would recommend it. If you're not a fan of peppers, I would say that it's worth trying the beer because it is nice, but maybe split the bottle with somebody who likes that flavor style. It's probably a one-off beer for me, but I don't regret the drinking experience. I feel it would have been a much more enjoyable experience if the carbonation was more present and the head showed up to the party.

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Photo of tone77
3.59/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of coffee and chili's. Taste is of hot peppers, some coffee, a bit on the spicy side. Not getting any of the chocolate advertised on the label. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall, I wouldn't want a steady diet of it, but is a unique beer worth trying.

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle in a standard pint glass.

A- Dark and opaque, nearly black color. Thin mocha color head leaves no lacing at all. Some bubbles.

S- Cocoa, dark chocolate, coffee.

T- Coffee, roast malt, dark chocolate flavors with the chipotle kick on the finish.

M- Thinner than a stout. Porter-like. The chipotle on the tip of the tongue lasts.

O- "Flavored stout" . Well, it's flavored. The 7.5 abv is well hidden. Not boozy.

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.1/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

A: Pours very dark brown, with just a hint of light poking through at the edges. Head is pretty much non-existent, thus there's no lacing at all.

S: There's definitely cocoa, as advertised, dominating up front. As with most stouts, there's plenty of toasted grain and dark fruit. I smell the pepper a well, but less intense than expected.

T: Rich, dark chocolate is the first flavor, but if you blink you'll miss it -- it's that fleeting. Then comes the spicy heat of the peppers, dominating and overwhelming all other flavors. Seriously, there's no room for anything else (if I concentrate, I detect some dried fruit flavors and some hops bitterness, but they're really buried by the spice).

M: Crisp, with medium carbonation. The peppers add heat to the palate, as expected.

O: Creative? Sure. But it takes more than creativity to make a good beer. The heavy-handed use of hot peppers runs roughshod over ther subtler flavors, obliterating them totally. Drinkable, but my first bottle will be my last. Disappointing, since some of their other beers are really good.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.74/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter

A: Very dark brown with almost no head but with a swirl you get a tiny brownish tan head that dissipates quickly only leaving a collar. No lacing.

S: Slightly sweet. It smells like the wort for this chocolate cherry vanilla porter I just brewed. I get almost no chocolate or spice, but there is this interesting Mexican (abuelita) hot chocolate. It smells really good but not how I would expect it to smell. I can't really place the smell.

T: I only get a bit of chocolate with just a slight spice/pepper/heat that is immediate and lingers throughout leaving just a mild tingling.

M: Very smooth and slick. It is very thin, but I don't mind it here.

O: This is one of DuClaw's better offerings and that is a lot coming from me. However, this is just a re-release of their 2012 H.E.R.O. (Chocolate Chipotle Stout).

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Photo of StonedTrippin
2.77/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

did not care for this at all for a number of reasons. first the look and feel of this both lack any carbonation, and even a somewhat watery body cant make this work on the palate in terms of texture and vibe. second, the heat of the pepper is way too much, and it lasts way too long after the swallow. nothing there to balance it either, as the cocoa is too subtle and there seems to be not much malt middle on this one. third, it taste a bit stale, there is a metallic twang on the front end that turns me off before either the pepper or the cocoa come into the mix. not sure if this bottle is old or if the beer inside just isnt that good. i suspect some combination of the two. a little less heat, a little more body, a lot more bubbles, and some tangible grain character would make this solid, but there are just too many good chili chocolate beers out there for me to waste my time with this one again. maybe if i ever visit the brewery i will reconsider, but for now this is one to avoid from duclaw.

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Cocoa Fuego from DuClaw Brewing Company
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 219 ratings