Monsters' Park - Bourbon Barrel-Aged - Mexican Hot Chocolate Edition
Modern Times Beer

Monsters' Park - Bourbon Barrel-Aged - Mexican Hot Chocolate EditionMonsters' Park - Bourbon Barrel-Aged - Mexican Hot Chocolate Edition
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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #180
Ranked #810
4.42 | pDev: 6.56%
Modern Times Beer
California, United States
Monsters' Park - Bourbon Barrel-Aged - Mexican Hot Chocolate EditionMonsters' Park - Bourbon Barrel-Aged - Mexican Hot Chocolate Edition
Notes: Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels with Cinnamon, Cocoa Nibs, Chilis and Vanilla.

This is Monsters' Park---our hulking cantankerous Imperial Stout---aged in fragrant, oaky bourbon barrels. The barrel character is immediately evident on the nose and only grows more intense in the flavor, and the addition of cinnamon, cocoa nibs, chilis, and vanilla beans turns the whole thing into a Mind-blowingly delicious Mexican hot chocolate party. This decadent celebration of inter-American flavor should be applied directly to your grill piece at about 50 degrees.

Malts: Barley, Oats, Chocolate Malt, Midnight Wheat, Crystal 120, Roasted Barley, Black Barley

IBU: 60

Final Gravity: 1.019
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 120 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap. Matte black with a medium brown ring. Hello there brownie aroma with chili pepper and cinnamon sharply accent before entering a realm of cocoa, vanilla, and bourbon all integrating, wow a lot going on. Peppers and cinnamon seem stronger than other iterations of this style stout. Taste however puts those fears to rest, so fudgy, great barrel with wood peaking out amongst the bourbon here and there, slight lighter roast coffee in there too with all the adjuncts, very well balanced and layered. Feel has some spice and pepper heat, but mostly is fudgy, thick, sneaky creamy while has nods to various textures from the ingredients, and pleasantly warm with booze. As it warms the heat gets stronger

Mar 17, 2020
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AyatollahGold from Indiana

4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Slick black with very minimal highlights. It forms a pinky width of caramel colored crown that dissipates within a minute.

The nose brings a huge marshmallow like vanilla and chocolate mixing with slight barrel.

The taste follows well. A lot of chocolate and huge vanilla sweetness with a hint of peppers in the back. Cinnamon evident as well. Pretty huge sweetness though.

The mouthfeel is warm from the bourbon and has a tingle from the peppers. Sticky, coating sweetness. Peppers leave a warmness behind to linger in the chest.

Overall, I can detect everything this lists while keeping a pretty good balance. The only thing not perfectly balanced would be the sweetness, if not for the peppers and cinnamon it could become too much.

Nov 24, 2019
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unlikelyspiderperson from California

3.99/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep deep brown, definitely not black, with a very active mocha head (the beer was remarkably active when I popped the cap) that fizzles back to a thin halo pretty quickly.
Nose is unremarkable. Chocolate and roasted malts dominate but aren't pungent. There's a softness to the sharp smells that I associate with vanilla when it's in baked goods so maybe that's it's influence here as well.
Taste is super mellow, vanilla and rich chocolate and mild malts dominate up front. a bourbon and dark cacao with a hint of chile follows behind but it's mellow at first and builds with each sip. This is thick and chocolatey for sure. The cinnamon and chile hang out in the back and end up being the last flavor to linger on the tongue, a nasty trick to inspire another sip
Mouthfeel is very thick. I think this is what the pastry stout crowd is after but it's a bit over the top for me, kinda feels like I'm just sipping on chocolate syrup at some points.
Overall I'm happy that whoever wants this is getting it, and I could definitely see it being served as part of a dessert in like a 3 or 4 oz cup. But it's just a lot too much sugar and I guess I don't really want my stouts to be liquers that belong in mixed drinks

Oct 08, 2019
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Stevedore from Oregon

4.04/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz can, Modern Times stemless glass. Dark black body, oily, with a one finger mocha head, good retention and lacing. Smells like dirty sewer water or something like that. It doesn't have any chocolate presence at all, and mostly cinnamon and dry oak, which gives off that stale, stagnant water smell to it. Problematic to say the least. That being said, flavourwise, it's got a nice big chocolate and cinnamon spice bite to it, mild dry oak. Not really tasting much bourbon, more so the neutral oak; the cinnamon is kind of overpowering. Full bodied, smooth and good carbonation, a bit creamy as well.

Sep 30, 2019
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patre_tim from Thailand

4.24/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black with a ruby tinge, and a half finger of purpleish dark brown head.

It smells of chocolate, rum barrel, oak, Caramel, a little bit of aromatics, and very boozy.

The taste is out of chocolate, very sweet with hints of woody oak barrel aging, a hint of chilies, chocolate, malty, there’s a throat burn and hint of a booze.

Medium to think, oily and slick body, with very little carbonation.

I got this in Redding where am drinking it July 9, 2019.

Jul 10, 2019
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SeanKnapp74 from Arizona

4.74/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Awesome! A bit pricey at $30 at my local bottle shop, but it didn't leave me with buyers remorse. Excellent! Boozy bourbon with strong cocao and vanilla flavors as of Sept. 2018. Very smooth. Going to have to pick up a couple bottles to leave in the stash.

Sep 24, 2018
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Jeffo from Netherlands

4.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one from rutger this past summer. Cheers, man!

From a bomber into a snifter
Mexican Hot Chocolate Edition
SRM: 80
IBU: 60
FG: 1.019
Imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels with cinnamon, cacao nibs, chilies and vanilla.

APPEARANCE: Pours out black and yields a one finger, medium looking, dark tan head with good retention. Pitch black body with no carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to swirly wisp and ring. A good ring remains but leaves no real lacing on the glass.

SMELL: Cinnamon, chilies, vanilla and cacao for sure, with oak, bourbon and alcohol as well. Bold and just as advertised. Nice.

TASTE: Definite alcohol, bourbon, chili heat and cinnamon up front. Alcohol, vanilla and chili heat at the swallow, moving into a bold and boozy finish of chili heat, cinnamon, vanilla, roasted notes, bourbon and a decent punch of alcohol lingering on the palate. Boozy with lots of stuff going on.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, hot for sure, goes down fine with a bit of an alcohol burn and finishes sticky on the palate. Lots of chili and boozy heat lingers.

OVERALL: Really, really good. This was excellent and is probably the best Monster’s Park variant I’ve had so far. It’s boozy for sure, but the chili heat is well measured and the adjuncts work really well here. The base beer is also well put together with a decent look and feel to support the boozy, adjunct show. Well worth checking out if you get the chance. Thanks again, rutger!

Apr 11, 2018
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MFMB from Idaho

4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours jet black with a thin light brown head. Nose is chocolate and bourbon forward. Taste is crazy! Rich chocolate dominates! Notes of cinnamon and vanilla cut through rich chocolate and then you get the peppers! Nice subtle yet present burn from the chili peppers on the back end. The beer wraps up with a caramely bourbon heat to it. A bit of Barrel shines throughout. Medium bodied, not as full as one would have expected but it works. Leaves a chalky dry chocolate taste on your tongue that entices you to take the next sip. Honestly the most unimpressive part of this beer was the pour and subsequent weak tan head for such a big stout but that’s something I can easily get over because this one taste money!

Feb 10, 2018
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amano_h from Oregon

4.36/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

I was kinda hoping I could use this as a very expensive lesson to myself in not picking up beers willy-nilly without checking the price, especially after participating in tap takeovers that contain five barrel-aged beers, four of which I'd probably try again if I saw them on draft somewhere.
My very expensive mistake ended up becoming a very expensive surprise, however, as the adjunct flavors actually didn't overpower the beer and instead worked adjunctly (see what I did there?) with the beer's inherent flavors, adding complexity and complementing them where they were previously wanting or a little insubstantial.

Abuelita hot chocolate, cinnamon, lightly toasted wood chips, smoke, and a hint of milk sugar and dried chili peppers make up the major impression on the nose. This actually smells deceptively similar to Perennial Artisan Ales' Abraxas, and I probably would have double-guessed myself if it weren't for the bourbon characteristics present in the beer itself.

The palate follows the nose closely with cacao nibs, milky chocolate, cinnamon, bourbon, and surprisingly some chili peppers on the tip of the tongue. More bourbon-nuanced characteristics in the form of vanilla and toasted oak surface as the brew warms up.

Medium-bodied, with a dreamy creamy mouthfeel that blends the Mexican Hot Chocolate flavors majestically into the already bold and thick texture of Monsters' Park. There's a detectable amount of booze present from the first gulp, but the "burn" feels cool on the throat as opposed to the usual hot; it's almost as if I just swallowed an alcoholic version of a Klondike Bar.

Dec 16, 2017
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Damian from Massachusetts

4.56/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Whole Foods Market, Venice, CA
Bottled on 04/19/2017
Served in a snifter
Huge thanks to my wonderful wife Rebecca for picking this up on her recent trip to LA.

Thicker bodied, dark brown/black appearance. The oily looking liquid was topped by a finger tall, bubbly mass of mocha colored froth that dropped to a lasting collar. Spotty droplets of lacing trickled down the glass.

The aroma was amazingly rich and bold and contained an enormous malt backbone. Roasted malts came through big time but did not contribute any ashiness or acridness. Loads of sweetness. Brown sugar notes were apparent. Huge bourbon presence. Bit of cinnamon and vanilla as well.

The flavor profile was also terrific and similar to the nose. Super rich and robust with strong roasted malt notes and brown sugar-like sweetness. Bakers chocolate came through in the center. Some vanilla and cinnamon too. The beer finished with big, boozy, bourbon notes and some lingering chili pepper heat.

Terrific, rich, thick mouthfeel. Fuller bodied for the style. The liquid contained a fine, subtle, tongue blanketing effervescence.

Many breweries are jumping on the Mexican chocolate stout bandwagon these days, but this beer might just be the best example of this I have ever tried. Not only were the adjuncts incredibly well integrated into the flavor profile, but the 14-plus percent ABV was remarkably well buried. All in all, this was a real treat, perfect for savoring on a cool Fall evening.

Oct 19, 2017
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

chili peppers and cinnamon in the same stout is usually unappealing to me, like, its usually way too much spice, seems a bit forced in there, and comes at the expense of other often included ingredients and their impact, such as cocoa nibs and barrels themselves. this one is different though, its supremely well integrated, more so than almost any other i can recall, and immediately lands in that abraxas realm for me, although i think the beer overall is a little less dynamic and impressive than perennials. i like how forward the vanilla and the barrel are sweet and whiskey forward with a lot of character and depth. its awesome with the bitter barrel char, the dark barley, and the earthy dark chocolatey cocoa in here, enormous layering of intense flavors, which is not an easy thing to do, and while each unique additive retains its own identity and makes its own mark on this awesome and now famous base beer, the takeaway here for me is how well integrated they all are, how the whole is more than the sum of its parts, and how the chili and the cinnamon especially bring along rather than cover up the other ingredients. awesome malt base too, lots of roast and coffee notes in it, even a little smoke, and a rich body, satiny smooth from the bourbon with a little sweetness and alcohol heat to finish. i dont want a lot of this, but it sure is well done!

Oct 16, 2017
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rudzud from Massachusetts

4.66/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Received in a trade. Shared with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark brown almost black hue with a thin white head that fades to leave a thin mocha blanket.

S - Aromas of very nice rich dark chocolate super fudge brownie as well. Nice cinnamon along with good cayenne aroma. Nice bourbon as well.

T - Taste is similar to the nose. Enormous coconut flavour along with huge chocolate flavour. Lovely vanilla barrel as well. Nice heat and cinnamon. Really really nice bourbon.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely very nicely carbonated, creamy, alcohol hidden very nicely certainly doesn't drink as high.

O - Overall this was a very nice stout, excellent cayenne pepper heat and good cinnamon flavour. Really really pleasant, well done.

Serving Type: bottle

Oct 14, 2017
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.68/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to rudzud

Little fizzy creamy head, little lacing, pitch black color

Nose loads of dark cocoa chocolate coconut, nice cinnamon, maybe pepper heat, chocolate coffee roast, cocoa, little nutty, bourbon barrel, little fudgey cocoa, big chocolate coconut mounds bar.

Taste loads of dark chocolate coconut, loads of fresh coconut, big dark chocolate cocoa, some vanilla oak barrel, little bourbon notes, baking spices barrel, little booze warmth, candy bar, nougat, pepper heat, vanilla ice cream and toasted malt coffee. Finishes with pepper heat and little booze, so much awesome.

Mouth is thicker bod, creamy, lush, decent carb, pepper heat and booze warmth

Overall one of the best Mexican stouts I've had ever!

Oct 14, 2017
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DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania

3.97/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This reminds me of Abraxas.... highly rated, pretty disappointing, rather one dimensional in flavor. I get cinnamon and spice and that is about it. Very little cocoa or vanilla, and thin bourbon presence as well. No thanks.

Oct 07, 2017
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Vidblain from Minnesota

4.66/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich, warm chocolate nose - you can smell this one as soon as you've opened the bottle. I love how the chilies bring out all of the flavors in this fantastic little stout. I'd shared an Affogato just prior to opening this, and I have to say, this is better than the Affogato.

Sep 15, 2017
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BucannonXC5 from California

4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Type: 22-oz. bottle
Glass: AleSmith Barrel-Aged Reserve snifter
From: Modern Times in Point Loma (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $29.99
Purchased: May 21, 2017
Consumed: Aug. 18, 2017
Reviewed as: American Double / Imperial Stout
Misc.: Bottled on April 19, 2018; 2017 edition

Had to talk my wife into letting my purchase this, but comboed it into a Father’s Day present with a few beer glasses. Had a few tasters of some BBA Monsters’ Park beers and loved everyone but the tequila one. Also reviewed the Super Cuvee one, giving that a 4.45 (my second-favorite Modern Times beer out of 51 heading into this one). The Mexican chocolate style is a favorite for me, leading me to expect this to be at least a 4.50. Bottle read, “Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels with Cinnamon, Cocoa Nibs, Chilis and Vanilla. This is Monsters' Park---our hulking cantankerous Imperial Stout---aged in fragrant, oaky bourbon barrels. The barrel character is immediately evident on the nose and only grows more intense in the flavor, and the addition of cinnamon, cocoa nibs, chilis, and vanilla beans turns the whole thing into a Mind-blowingly delicious Mexican hot chocolate party. This decadent celebration of inter-American flavor should be applied directly to your grill piece at about 50 degrees.”

Poured a black color with one finger of frothy tan head. A few light bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass, but not that noticeable. Average watery lacing. Decent retention. (Sight - 3.50)

Smelled smooth bourbon from a few feet away. Also got vanilla, coconut flakes, oak, cocoa nibs, chocolate syrup, light cinnamon stick and smooth coffee. This smells fantastic. (Smell - 4.75)

Taste followed the nose, maybe not quite as good overall. Got smooth bourbon, coconut flakes, vanilla, cocoa nibs, chocolate syrup, cinnamon spice, coffee, just a touch of chili peppers, milk chocolate and caramel. Reminded me a lot of one of the second-best beer I’ve ever had - Rue D’Floyd (The Bruery/3 Floyds collab) - without the cherries. This was so damn tasty. (Taste - 4.75)

Full body. Sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth finish with just a little bit of spice. (Feel - 5.00)

Just an incredible beer. Wow. Blew my mind. (Overall - 4.75)

4.70 | 100 | A+

Sep 07, 2017
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yesterdayfaraway from Missouri

4.77/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: pours light black with a half finger of brown head
S: awesome aroma. Right away reminds of bourbon Ba Mexican cake. A sweet lacto cinnamon, bourbon and chocolate. Smells amazing!
T: there is the chili heat, wow! Chili heat slams me in the face, but I like it! Really nice cinnamon and bourbon to go with the chocolate, but man those chilies are popping.
T: medium thickness, coats well, highly carbonated and the chili heat is quite warning.
O: This was a nice surprise, a great beer!

Aug 19, 2017
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Slack from Virginia

4.45/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz

Deep brown in color and clear on the edges under light. A small head that settles to a small but complete ring.

Nose is bourbon, cinnamon, chocolate, and minor hot peppers.

Taste is bourbon sweetness, oak, chocolate, coffee, cinnamon, a bit of Vanilla, and peppers on the back end.

Mouthful is even and mostly smooth. Carbonation is low. Finish is semi sweet.

Very much Mexican Hot Chocolate - sweet and spicy with nice bourbon accents. About the only drawback is the body being on the lower end of medium. That aside, a great sipper especially at 14.6%. Definitely better colder than warm. Highly recommended.

Aug 13, 2017
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing opaque black in the glass with a thin brown head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of semi-sweet dark toasted malt, vanilla, cocoa and cinnamon with a little chili hotness. Flavor is dark toasted malt, chocolate, cinnamon, chilis and a little cinnamon, with the chili increasing somewhat into a Mexican chocolatey and mildly hot pepper finish, with lingering vanilla, a little chili burn and a hint of bourbon. Medium to heavy bodied with nice creaminess and mouth feel. This delivers what it promises: a solid imperial stout heavily influenced by Mexican chocolate (chocolate and cinnamon) and a deft touch of chili. Good vanilla notes, which are often overdone. I was a bit hesitant about this due to the price point, but now I'm thinking I might try another variant or two. Very tasty and well balanced. The only advertised component that was nearly missing was the bourbon, which was very mild, however it is not really missed in the great balance of the rest of the flavors. The hefty ABV is well covered and the chocolate was so tasty I had to pace myself with sipping. These guys know what they are doing.

Jul 17, 2017
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JohnnyHopps from Indiana

4.81/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - The beer poured deep black in color with mocha bubbles crowning the glass.

Smell - So much chocolate.

Taste -Rich cholcolate leads the way lime a freight train. There is spice, but it is more cinnamon than peppers. At the end, the bourbon added a boozy element to the chocolate. It coats and warms nicely.

Mouthfeel - Far from being motor oil, there was a definite thickness.

Overall - This is one of the best chocolate beers I have had. The nose is worth it alone.

Jul 09, 2017
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BWood from California

4.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Nice variant on a great beer base. The spice is just right. The chocolate is there. Reminds me of hot coco with a like heat. Gets better as it warms with a silk feel to it. High price tag but a good beer.

Jun 25, 2017
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FriedSlug from North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Nice dark syrupy beer with a light brown head that faded fast and left only a spot or two of lacing. The aroma is heavy on the bourbon with chocolate, coffee, oak and vanilla. The taste is like spicy chocolate pudding with bourbon in it. The bourbon is a little heavy handed but it has some nice spice at the end. Finishes a bit hot but all in all a decent beer.

Jun 24, 2017
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Beer_Line from California

3.67/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very expensive. Pours black with small brown head. Smells like a sweet stout. Taste of Mexican chocolate is very subtle. Everything is subtle about this beer. Mouthfeel is full. Overall, this beer is a let down. Very expensive and nothing spectacular.

Jun 23, 2017
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Red5StandingBy from Maryland

4.69/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 22oz into Spiegelau Stout glass. Bottled on April 19th 2017.

L: Black as night. Little to no head but ring of bubbles does form with a tan hue.

S: Rich cocoa, vanilla, roasted oats, no cinnamon here, some bourbon though. No chilis either.

T: Wow. This is utterly delicious. Initially, you get a chocolate and vanilla flavor which turns into some cinnamon and spice with a kick of heat from the chilis, then it becomes cocoa-y and finishes with a relatively mild bourbon kick and the chili heat is gentle but lingers. Incredibly smooth!

F: Full bodied, the creamy mouthfeel from the oats and wheat is absolutely incredible. The 14.6 ABV% is remarkably well hidden. This may be the best beer for mouthfeel. Just perfect.

O: I came into this one worried because I am not a fan of beer with heat to it but holy cow is this a fantastic beer.

May 28, 2017
Monsters' Park - Bourbon Barrel-Aged - Mexican Hot Chocolate Edition from Modern Times Beer
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 120 ratings