El Mole Ocho | New Holland Brewing Company

156 Reviews
El Mole OchoEl Mole Ocho

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our exploration into the flavors of mole, the legendary sauce of central Mexico. Malty aroma and rich, cocoa-laden body laced with an invigorating tinge of dries chilies and coffee.

Added by alexgash on 04-04-2010

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Reviews: 156 | Ratings: 418
Photo of mchegash
3.96/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 3/5
Pours a clear, but very dark red-brown, with about a finger of tan head, which dissipates quickly. Can see a sparse amount of carbonation rising up the beer.

Smell - 4.5/5
Chocolate mole (earthy dark chocolate w/ a hint of spice and other flavors). Some alcohol flavor (10.5%) and a slight fruity/caramelized sugar aroma. Very unique smell for a beer. I am impressed and quite happy with the smell.

Taste - 3.75/5
Strong chocolate mole flavor up front, followed by some slight spiciness and some fruitiness, with a slight alcoholic aftertaste. Overall, the 10% is well masked behind the cocoa and spices. Not as good as the aroma, but still a decent taste. Extra points are always given by me for uniqueness/successful experimentation.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
Medium bodied, crisp and smooth, medium amount of medium-high intensity carbonation. As I drink more and more, the spiciness begins to build up in my mouth, which I love.

Overall - 4/5

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Photo of SHODriver
2.92/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2014 vintage

A: poured into a snifter to a deep reddish brown topped by a small off white head that is quick to fade and leaves minimal lacing
S: smells of chocolate and some chilies with something seemingly funky going on like maybe a hint of anise
T: taste is chilies, chocolate, a little coffee, a slight caramel malt sweetness and slightly smoky. swallow is more chocolate and chilies but it tastes off and bad.
M: this beer is on the heavier side of medium with slightly prickly carbonation and a slightly drying finish
O: Looked good, smelled not so good, I found it to taste not so good as well. good mouthfeel. Overall, not very good. It could be that I've never had good mole but at the same time I feel like this beer is underwhelming. I love the crap out of Xocoveza and some other offerings of a similar nature but this beer is just sad in comparison. the peppery flavor is there but nothing else supports it and the entire beer just seems to fall a little flat in the area of flavor.

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Photo of chinchill
3.74/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz 2013 bottle of this "Mexican Spiced Ale" (New Holland) served in a Belgian snifter.

Pours clear dark ruby-brown with a bubbly weak head. Minimal lacing.

Aroma: wow, very peppery! Also a bit vegetal with hints of cocoa and brown bread. Alcohol i less obvious than expected for 10% ABV. Smells spicy and hot but ...

Flavor: the flavor is peppery but only mildly hot and moderately spicy. It tastes like a mix of dried and roasted peppers. A bit more sweet than bitter.

Feel: some heat and prickliness: hard to say how much is from the peppers and spices and what's from the high ABV.

O: a distinct beer that is worth trying as long as you don't completely object to chilies in your ale. Allowed to warm for about 15 minutes out of the refridgerator, it still improved with further warming.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On-tap 1/11/2015 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, in Pawtucket, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains chocolate, some chili pepper, caramelized malts and a very faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a strong bitter-sweet chocolate flavor. Then some mild flavors of caramel and fruit come in. The chili pepper flavor is faintly in the background. The hops presence is very mild and there isn’t much balance. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: A little crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is very dry and slightly sticky.

O: Not very tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, strong kick, decent representation of style, there are definitely other chili pepper beers out there that are better.

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Photo of SplitsAtoms
2.75/5  rDev -23%

Found this to have too much yeast on the nose and palate. Mouth also feels way too thin and too bubbly for what the flavors are doing. Less than average but not awful. Would not try again.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +26.1%

Popping the cap reveals a tart nose scented with a little ripe fruit just on the verge of getting too ripe and some reconstituted dried dark chilis. The beer pours ruby chestnut under a 1” white foam cap that dissipates to a quick film. The palate starts tart and fruity and then the Mexican chocolate flavors come forward and a dried chili flavor, possibly ancho, slight smoke, a green chili vegetal taste, a hint of coffee, a very light tartness suggesting vinegar and pickled green chili to finish with a touch of chili heat. Although the idea of the beer sounds outrageous, everything is restrained and very well balanced here, exquisitely layered and deliciously complex without getting too muddied. The beer contains a wide variety of flavors but allows each to speak for itself. The beer is very creamy with a medium full body and medium carbonation. The carbonation is smooth and not harsh.

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Photo of kjeldoran0
4/5  rDev +12%

New Holland High Gravity Series vintage 2013

Serving Style: Bomber

Pours a delightful clear red, fading to amber. Thin but lingering caramel-colored head with minor lacing.

Mouthfeel is treacle-y with only minor notes of carbonation. Initial dominant chocolate swiftly fades into a subtle hint of toasty malts and a bit of coffee, with a rising tide of chiles that leaves the mouth warm and tingling and lasts long after the beer is swallowed, with notes of toffee or caramel blending in and creating a nigh-imperceptible herbal finish.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a murky dark amber with a one-finger off-white foamy head.

S - Light green chilles and caramel sweetness.

T - Flavor has a nice malty sweetness with a light green chile flavor coming through in the finish. The chocolate is very light and hard to detect.

M - Medium bodied with low carbonation. Nice creamy mouthfeel.

O - This was a decent beer, but probably wouldn't drink again.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 9/11/2013. Pours crystal clear deep reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of chocolate, cocoa, raisin, plum, pear, caramel, toast, brown bread, brown sugar, chili pepper, light coffee, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good complexity and balance of malt, spice, and yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of chocolate, cocoa, raisin, plum, pear, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, light chili pepper, light coffee, herbal, and toasted/yeast earthiness. Slight pepper heat on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, raisin, plum, pear, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, light coffee, light chili pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance, complexity, and robustness of malt, spice, and yeast ester flavors; with light-moderate chili/coffee presence and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately slick and fairly smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good chili beer. Good balance, robustness, complexity of malt, yeast ester, and spice flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of iheartmyTHO
3.07/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I've had other "mole" beers before, so perhaps that skewed what I thought of this beer.

Definitely got notes of chocolate and the chiles. With other mole beers, the chocolate taste would always over power any chile flavor - not that that's a bad thing. But the beer has a nice lightness to it, which was unexpected. But that could be perhaps the other mole beers I have had were Porters, so I was expecting this beer to be a bit heavier.

Not sure if I would drink this beer again, since I think I would have liked it to be heavier and taste more of the chocolate.

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Photo of SHolland
2.61/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

I feel i should be discussing one of my favorite beers for my first review, but unfortunately this is the first beer I have felt strongly enough about to actually write about.

A - Part of my disappointment was thinking this was a stout, not an herbed/spiced ale. However, once realizing what I had, I thought the appearance was decent. Nice medium-dark brown hue and a fine, light tan head with great retention. Seems a little thin for 10.5% abv (my bottle from 2013 says abv is higher than what is listed on this webapge), but I guess a mole isn't usually viscous either.

S - My first indication that I wouldn't care for this beer. Cocoa is definitely present but beyond overpowered by the smell of mildly spicy green chiles. Makes me think the taste will have a kick to it. Don't really get any coffee.

T - You know those chills you get when you taste something you dislike? That just happened. I feel like I just chugged a can of old el paso diced green chiles that were packed in a cocoa coffee water. Sweet. Slightest hint of heat in the finish. Alcohol is well masked. Note: flavor is getting slightly (slightly) better as it warms to room temp. But not pleasant.

M - Smooth, not quite silky. Appropriate for a mole of sorts.

Overall: Massively disappointed. Not sure I can finish it, and I NEVER dump beer. I can see where they were going for the mole, but it just did. not. work. Maybe this batch is different from past batches that were reviewed more positively?

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Photo of dakotaben
3.13/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I was debating between the New Holland Honey High Gravity and this... I sort of wish I would have tried with the other. This is a decent beer and I love New Holland, but it just doesn't match why I hoped.

Appearance - a caramel, almost coffee, look. Nice tan head that was not too thick.

Smell - to me, it almost like a dark coco with a slight coffee smell.

Taste- Sweet, but this is where I definitely get the mexican chile flavor.

Mouthfeel - For as strong as the alcohol content is, it feels light and nice

Overall - It is better than ok, but the likelihood I would go out of my way to drink this one again is small, but decent beer from an awesome brewery.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a snifter

Appearance – The beer is served a clear cherry reddish color with a small off white head. The head fades rather fast leaving a lighter level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma of the brew is mainly of a cocoa and bready nature with the cocoa smell having a good level of a sweeter caramel aroma mixed within. Along with these aromas are some dark fruit smells as well as a little bit of a hot pepper/chili like smell and an almost medicine like boozy aroma.

Taste – The taste begins with a sweeter fruit flavor upfront, mostly of a cherry and plum, but also has some other flavors of a light chocolate and some caramel mixed within. As the taste advances, the chocolate flavors get stronger while the sweeter fruit flavors begin to fade. While the sweeter fruit fades it is replaced by some caramel, which maintains the sweetness up to the middle of the taste. This caramel however begins to fad while at the same time some coffee, more cocoa, and a little bit of chili comes to the tongue. The chili starts out quite light but gains strength as the flavor moves forward. Toward the end, some pepper flavors also join the tongue, and when combined with the chili, the lessened sweet flavors, the cocoa and the lighter coffee, end up leaving a moderately spicy, moderately sweet, and somewhat oddly flavored taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel-The body of the beer is rather light for a brew of nearly 10 % abv with a carbonation that consists of tons of tiny carbonation bubbles the tickle the tongue. The tiny carbonation bubbles are perfect for the taste profile balancing out and calming the chili that greets the tongue at the end. The thinner body is very nice as well, as with it subdues the chili, but still all while, compliments the fruit and sweeter flavors of the brew very nicely.

Overall – This was a very interesting brew. The mouthfeel, I must say, was done very well, nearly exactly what is right for the flavor profile. The flavor however, while overall it has nice individual components, all combined together it is not really something I found all that appealing. It was a very good one to give a try to, but nothing I would go back to again and again.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.21/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reddish brown pour had a small amount of fizzy carbonation, and formed a fleeting, and small head. The overall look was very similar to a glass of Coca Cola. The smell had a lot of cherry in it, along with the fruit were hints of chocolate. The taste showed off the chocolate a lot more than the smell. The dry fruit flavors (prune, raisins, dried cherries) were also there, and the chiles showed up strongest in the finish. Lots of complexity here, along with similarity to the Mexican sauce this beer was named after. Very soft in the mouth, with a velvety texture. Looking at the other reviews, this beer seems to me underrated to me.

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Photo of Brenden
3.7/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Plenty clear with a translucency owing only to the darkness, it's a lovely mahogany or cherry wood brown-red, brilliant and fiery in its depths. The head, light brown, is compact, tight and solid. It manages close to one finger and shows good retention while depositing moderate spotting as it recedes.
Peppers come out in the nose, lots of flesh and skin with some heat. There's a certain fruity sweetness as well complemented by a dryer sort of cocoa. It goes drier with a not-quite-doughy malt to set against the sweetness while a strong note of yeast plays a hand underneath it all.
The taste follows suit, but the heat of the peppers really backs down and just sort of tickles a little. Cocoa also backs down against a sweetness that makes me think more of prunes than plums and maybe something like apricot. It's a little tangy as well. It gets fairly boozy, too, but doesn't build up and just sort of plays with everything else. It may have been 9.79%, but my bottle says 10.5%.
There's lots of smoothness with only a little crispness, but unvarying. It leans on the light side in the medium body. It's semi-sweet the whole way through, almost breaking toward semi-dry in the finish.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.56/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Okay, I guess that this beer reminds me slightly of a mole, but only because there are both chile and chocolate notes, but beyond that there is not much to evoke the complexity and depth a of a mole- far too thin and one-note (okay, two note). The chile heat is at the right level, but the chocolate is thin and watery, and there is no solid malt background to support anything, and no other spice notes to play off of the chile and chocolates. A nice idea for a beer, but needs some retooling.

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Photo of serotoninronin
3.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a regular ole pint glass.

A: This is one of the most gorgeous beers I've ever seen, color wise. Deep, profound red. I could have been fooled into thinking this was a lambrusco if the head color had been different. Very light, playful head, which keeps resurfacing through the glass. Almost no retention and some wispy lacing.

S: Red and green peppers, bready sweetness, burnt toast and red fruit jam, almost a Denver omelette breakfast plate feel. Crisp earth, like a freshly struck flint. Some black pepper, but the spice is clearly waiting in the wings.

T: The chile emerges here, in dried flake form, to start and to finish, leaving with a slight tartness. In between: Semi-dark chocolate. Dried apricots. A bit too sweet, but wraps itself in snuggly alcohol and leather. The heat is proper for authentic mole, but the sweetness, which is distinctly of the ripe stone fruit, rather than the chocolate, variety, is off.

M: Medium carbonation, but smoother than you'd guess, almost to the point of flatness. I don't think some additional carbonation would have hurt this beer. The sweetness expands the palate and pokes around the sides of the tongue before slipping down the back of the throat with the heat trailing.

O: I made the mistake of taking a couple too-large sips, and it wasn't pleasant, with all the sweetness and booze, but treat it properly and there are rewards to be had. I'll keep my Theobroma, but this is just fine.

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Photo of bashiba
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep amber/brown with a thick and creamy tan head. Light lacing with mild retention.

The smell is sweet and caramely with a touch of rye bread and a light bit of pepper.

The flavor is a nice mix of malty sweetness with mild chili flavors coming through without any heat or hops to speak of. Has a heavy brown sugar flavor as well.

The mouthfeel is creamy and thick with a bit of warming.

Not a bad chili beer with the pepper only being a mild component to a big malty old ale.

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Photo of MrPlayboy
4.47/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bought a vintage 2012 bottle on a whim because I was looking for something similar to Dogfish Head Theobroma. This was not the same but was a very nice version of cocoa chili beer.

Appearance: Dark reddish hue with a light almost white foam that settled quickly leaving a thin layer. Slight lacing on the glass.

Smell: The aromas coming from the tulip are complex and easily distinguishable. Chocolate brownies, chili pepper, sweet raisins, dried fruit, roasted malt, and brown sugar.

Taste: The flavors all come through big and bold. It doesn't leave you guessing as to what you are tasting. You get a lot of chocolate, some peppery chili spice, lots of dried fruit, and a hint of sweet molasses. This is almost too sweet. The fact that it is just under 10% ABV is disguised very well but I would almost like to have a little more of a boozy flavor. The sweetness is not balanced well and it either needs more spice or more hops to even things out. This is something that you can sip slowly but a whole 750ml bottle is a bit much in one sitting.

Mouthfeel: Bold and full-bodied. Light carbonation to carry it down the hatch.

Overall: El Mole Ocho is a unique experience. It is the most complex chili beer that I have ever had and I think I prefer it to Theobroma for its big and bold flavors.

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Photo of thecheapies
2.92/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Vintage 2012. Glug-glugged into a pint glass.

Cloudy chestnut-colored brew. Looks like mulled black tea with a foam topper. The head subsided with some speed. No lacing to speak of.

Smells of ancho chilies and musty chocolate. Strange confluence of aromas produces whiffs of red apple, grape, and tart berry. A very fruity mole with toasted grain malts in the nose. Somewhat lager-y.

Oh man, too sweet. Way too sweet. Has a raisiny sweetness to it that is off-putting. A hint of spiciness that doesn't isolate itself amongst the fruit esters and sugar. The chocolate is muddled, too. Some dusty cocoa, but the mole is certainly not the feature here. I get dark fruits, light booze, and some toffee. Just a messy ale. Doesn't taste bad, but it needs more bitterness and less candi sugar.

While the alcohol is pretty well-hidden, but it's almost flat without carbonation and sticky sweet and syrupy in the body. Pretty difficult to drink.

What a bust. This beer falls into the steer clear category. If you're looking for something spicy and chocolatey, you won't find it here.

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Photo of McNealc31
4.22/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bit lighter than expected. Rather than being a dark brown, it's closer to a dark iced tea. Fluffy beige head that has not settled a nanometer since the pour. Intense aroma of bitter chocolate, bitter coffee, and chiles. Big, big flavor with the chiles becoming more prominent. The chiles give this a distinct fruitiness, but I am not getting the heat I expected (and wanted) considering how much flavor there is. Mix of bitter chocolate and coffee give the back end a full, round taste and feel.

El Mole Ocho is part of New Holland's High Gravity Series, clocking in at 9.8% ABV. There is not even a hint of alcohol heat here.

Really digging on this beer. Daring flavors, velvety texture, great balance, and unique. My one complaint is that I would like more chile heat. But that's just nitpicking

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Photo of BrownAleMale
3.79/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into Gulden Draak tulip glass.

Appearance- Brown in color with an off white head that dissipates pretty quickly with no lacing.

Smell- Lots of coco with chocolate and some piney hops.

Taste- Wow all chocolate and coco. Not sweet though, like an unsweetened chocolate. This is a great flavor but after drinking half the bomber I was left wanting some kind of hop balance.

Mouthfeel- Medium mouthfeel with a pretty dry finish.

Overall- Very interesting and like nothing I've ever had before. My only real gripe is the lack of hop balance. Putting some bitter sweet hops in there to mix with the chocolate and coco flavors would have put this beer over the top.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.07/5  rDev -14%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bottle, label indicates 2012 vintage.

appears a deep brown with ruby highlights. cream colored head, great retention and good lacing.

aroma is a bit subdued compared to the taste - just a bit of dark fruit and pepper. taste is smokey, tingly, burn of the chilies, a bit of roasty cocoa/coffee finish. a bit cloying after awhile. body on the thicker side, low carbonation.

overall - too much for one person - hard to drink the full 22 oz. maybe better as a smaller size.

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Photo of cagocubs
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at NHB.

A: Rustic brown with some amber tinting at edges of glass. Minimal head due to water flush prior to pour.

S: A sweet and smokey smell. Good spicing to beer.

T: Good smokey and spicy flavors with complex malts and sweet caramel malts. Some hops come through.

M: Good taste and aftertaste. Warming and inviting.

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Photo of 57md
3.26/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brownish-copper with a half finger of head the dissipated quickly. There is a faint touch of malt in the nose, that is all. A bit sour upfront combined with light chilli pepper heat on the finish. A nice effort, but finishing this offering was a tad difficult.

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El Mole Ocho from New Holland Brewing Company
3.57 out of 5 based on 418 ratings.
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