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 ebby82
2.01/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I had this beer as part of a sampler at the brewpub.

It had dark brown color with no head when it arrived.

The aroma was of spicy chiles, chocolate, and a little bit of malt.

The taste was rather disgusting. Chiles and chocolate and little else. I tried, but was unable to finish even the little sampler I had.
My wife was similarly disgusted.

I'm not sure who drinks this beer, but more power to them if they enjoy it.

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Photo of SwartzCr
2.12/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours light yellow, with white-ish head.

The smell is strange, almost all chili and beans with no trace of malt or hops. The taste is similar with a dry spicy sort of bean mouth feel and a painful sensation as the spice attacks your esophagus. Had almost no beer like elements in the nose or taste. As it was physically hurting me, I could not finish the bomber.

Would not recommend, especially at this price.

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Photo of BMMillsy
2.18/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

My first chile beer. Had this on draft at Ashley's in Ann Arbor. Pours reddish brown with small white head that quickly dissipates. Smells of some chile peppers, tobasco, and a bit of malt sweetness. Taste is not pleasant. Tobasco sauce mixed with a mediocre amber ale, rather thick and sweet. But overall the chile overpowers. Really funky. Gave it a chance and drank most of the pint, but I got physically ill after drinking half of this one.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
2.22/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

From 22oz bomber to Bruges hybrid glass on 7/12/11
*From notes

A: Dirty, muddy brown. A decent pour yields a one finger head that dissipates entirely too soon. Little to no lacing.

S: Slightly spicy, though not as caliente as I'd hoped it would be. A good bit of pimento is apparent all over the nose.

T: A kick of heat up front, followed by a thinly masked layer of fake and rubbery chocolate. Uninspiring. The mid to finish is earthy, and the aftertaste resembles (what I can only assume is) chilled cat urine.

M: Thin, thin, thin.

O: New Holland's El Mole Ocho is a dissapointment on multiple fronts. Considering all of the parts here, the whole should be signifigantly better.

You want a brew with heat? Forget about this and seek out CCB's Hunahpu or Mikkeller's Texas Ranger.

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Photo of SFLpunk
2.44/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. 2010 vintage. Purchased at Foodery (10th and Pine in Philly).

Pours still and muddy brown, a little reddish color, a hint of orange. No carbonation and super muddy. Aroma is oxidized to hell, smells like sticky malt extract, wood, dried chilies, and tree bark. Palate is flat and thick, viscous and sweet. Then things turn earthy, woody dry. I sort of get the chili peppers, but no coffee.

This beer was awful and I dumped out 3/4 of the bottle. Avoid.

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Photo of TCHopCraver
2.58/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Reviewed from notes on 5/3/10.

A: Pours a very pretty reddish brown. There is no head at all except for a cream ring around the edge of my glass. What lacing there is fades quickly. El Mole looks pretty clear and a little on the thin side.

S: A mix of burrito sauce, sweet cherries, and slight milk chocolate are the aromas my nose identifies right away. I will probably never write that sentence again. The smell is lacking substance; that is, it smells a bit watery. Additionally, I smell some coffee notes as it warms, and furthermore, some off aromas emerge as it sits in my glass longer: sour skim milk, rubber band, and circus peanuts.

T: A good dose of chocolate upfront with a little sweet cherry is my initial experience. As it warms, it disintegrates into a montage of unappealing flavors. I taste salt and rubber with a very earthy soil aftertaste. I liken the aftertaste of this beer as it warms to the taste in one's mouth after waking up from smoking too many cigarettes and drinking too many cheap beers the previous night.

M: Thin and relatively unsatisfying to most parts of my palate.

D: Well, the thought that crossed my mind is that as I drink more of this beer, I want to drink less. The brew kind of turned on me halfway through my tasting and became something pretty undrinkable.

I am usually not this negative in my reviews, so I will end with a positive. I am happy that New Holland is doing some interesting experimental beers and I am glad to have tried this particular beer to see how it turned out.

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Photo of TCgoalie
2.61/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Notes from 5/3/10.

The pour is brown, but held up to the light, this beer reveals an inviting cherry red that hypnotizes me. Not much head to speak of, and lacing is minimal.

There is an element of cherry to the smell with a nostril sting of habenero or chili peppers. There could be a bit of chocolate in the smell but not much.

The front end of this beer isn't too bad, subtle brown sugar with sufficient chocolate flavor. As it warms, a touch of ash tray taste appears (what I imagine licking an ash tray would be like). The chilies that were in the scent aren't coming through very much. The finish is quite sweet and somewhat plasticy. Drink this thing ice cold, because it actually gets worse as it warms.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium. It is pretty smooth, but does not excite the mouth.

This is not a very enjoyable drink. I don't want any more after splitting the bomber.

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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 samie85
2.65/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear, dark reddish brown color with a finger of white head.

Smells of cocoa and some spicy herbal notes.

Big cocoa upfront with a hint of spice and finishes very alcoholic.

A little thin and very effervescent with a dry and hot finish.

Drinkability suffers from the hot alcohol notes and the disappointing mouthfeel.

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Photo of jsh420
2.75/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

pours clear redish brown with a 1 finger head that fades fast and left no lacing

smells of peppers, malt and spinach??

taste is different - it reminds me of their pumpkin beer with chilies - also some other fruit in there

mouthfeel - a medium body with low carbonation

drinkability - not good - a few sips were plenty for me - sink got the rest

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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 nubz77
2.83/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had with some quesadillas.

At first pour there was some decent carbonation, basically right on par. The smell had hints of chocolate mostly, but wasn't tremendously strong. It was a murky brown color.

Upfront it delivers some nice chocolate flavor, and then hoppiness that feels out of place for this beer. The aftertaste is ok though, I got a sense of the chilis at the end. Average beer overall.

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Photo of maximum12
2.85/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

After tasting the wonder that was Hunahpu's, I happened upon this soon afer, & wondered if chile was a magical component in beer. I suspect not. But hell, it's worth a try. Split the 22 oz. bottle with my wife after a fine Afghan meal in St. Paul.

Pour is dark red that muddled through the night to a Red Dawn. Smells like a burrito. No, not a burro. The chile smell goes all the way to the mat.

El Mole Ocho is like a Mexican menu slap to the face. New Holland must have emptied acres of chiles just for this one bottle; it's overpowering. After a few sips the heat begins to wend its way out of the mouth & into the throat & upper respiratory system. Whatever else is in here was thrown out with the baby.

Simply: bizarre. Chiles in a bottle, possibly mixed with beer characteristics. Not bad, but not really beer. Bizarre.

 831 characters

Photo of hosehead83
2.89/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a "bomber" bottle into a standard pint glass.
Cola/dark tea color, with a short, off-white head of foam.
Aroma-Chocolate, spices, chili pepper
Taste-Sweet malt, faint coffee,chocolate note, faint chili pepper. Pretty thin bodied, with subdued, if not weak, flavors. More of everything is needed here except the sweetness which borders on cloying. Disappointing.

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

22oz bottle poured into a Tulip Glass.

A - Pours a ruddy mahogany-brown with a dense ivory head that settles to a solid ring and wispy haze.
S - Nice aromas of caramel malt, toffee, cocoa powder, coffee beans, and dried chilies. Definitely reminds me of mole, but it's not the most inviting of beer aromas.
T - More sweet malt flavors of caramel and chocolate with a bit of spice and some pleasant chili warmth in the finish. I like chilies, I like mole, but I'm not a big fan of this beer. I think it's the malt base, a bit too sweet for my liking. If this had more of a Stout base I think I'd really enjoy it.
M - Slick, with a medium-full body and low carbonation.
O - I like the idea of a mole beer, but this didn't really do it for me. Too sweet, and not balanced enough.

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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 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 Ego
2.92/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

one full finger of off white head rises up, deep ruby hue when x-rayed by the light, settles down in due time, lacing is decent. nothing amazing, nothing detracting, I could have just said average but I like to be verbose...

immediately boozy chocolate, dry cocoa with some spice, dark fruit, reminds me of a belgian dark ale actually. strong odor, just not in love with it...

taste etc...
at first not much and then a tidal wave of over ripe banana tone just bowls you over, I was looking forward to some chile content... and it is not there, mole (at least for me) has a nice slow burn when made right, sort of a behind the scenes simmer, this is lacking, I sense a tiny bit of spice but why not go for it ? Anyway, this is a bit cloying , you get sweeps of the cocoa but it is almost immediately replaced by uber sweetness... thankfully it relents and doesn't stick to your tongue or this might be undrinkable. I could probably cook with this but I was looking to quaff, not braise this evening. The body is OK, somewhere in the medium range and the carbonation is done right.

interesting but not necessarily good. I won't be hunting this one down again anytime soon.

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Photo of scottyshades
2.93/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a nice opaque mahogany color with a small khaki color head. Retention is OK.

S: Ehh...Strong notes of vinegar right off the bat. Lots of dark fruits in combination with Mexican spices. Chocolate is present too.

T: A big vinegar-like sourness comes through and seem to meet the spices and dark fruit in an interesting way. Lots of pepper(s), fig, prune, and chocolate (or cocoa powder). Interesting...

MF/D: Good feel to it, medium in body with a little viscosity, creamy going down. Sourness is a little distracting. Not sure if I will re-visit this one.

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Photo of Etan
2.97/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours a reddish mahogany with a small tan head.

S: Green chile in the nose; peppery and vegetal.

T: More mole-like in the taste. Dark chocolate, cocoa, green pepper, a bit of coffee roast in the finish, a little heat from the peppers.

M: Lively carbonation, medium-bodied.

O: Interesting, but the aroma was quite unpleasant, and the taste wasn't much better. Not something I would try again, especially at this age.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
3.02/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

22oz bottle into goblet at 45 degrees.

Pours with a thin tan head over a relatively clear ruby body, with tons of carbonation flowing up.

Aromas are unique and wild. Green banana peel, chiles, cinnamon gum, and touch of raisin in the background.

This one took a while to settle into. Mouthfeel was nice - weizenbock like. Flavors bounce all over the place. Bananas, black beans, chile peppers and/or pepper jack cheese with some creamyness amidst the carbonation. Bit of alcoholic heat in the finish.

Drinkability suffered from the finish, with the heat of the alcohol and the heat of the peppery quality - neither was particularly strong, but they didn't pull me back for another sip. Interesting, no doubt, and worth seeking out if you want something really different. I'd just recommend splitting one about 2-3 ways.

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Photo of Spica66
3.02/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: Dark ruby-brown, like a barleywine. Minimal head formation and lacing.

S: Very vinous and sweet with a strange hot/tart vibe.

T: Extremely surprising taste. Sweet like a barleywine then followed up with a slightly coffee/slightly chili pepper aftertaste.

M: Very smooth and creamy.

D: None of the three of us could finish our split due to the strangeness of the taste. It just became too overpowering(?).

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.03/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

I'm not sure of the translation, so I'm gonna go with "the chocolate eight". Something like that. It pours a pretty much clear ruby brown topped by a short-lived finger of off-white micro-foam. The nose is a lambast of burnt cocoa, backed by a strange melange of toasted caramel, roasted marshmallows, and nicely seered salmon. Something here just doesn't seem right. The taste echoes a bit, starting with some burnt gingerbread and overdone banana bread, followed by some caramelized sugars, mole sauce (just as advertised, I guess), and a finish of smoked nutmeg, coffee, dark chocolate, and cinnamon. I have no idea what to think. It's sorta good and sorta horrible. Wow. The body is a hefty medium, with a moderate carbonation and a strangely dry and almost sticky finish. I like the idea behind this, I suppose, but the execution was thoroughly botched. It's almost drinkable, but not very. worth a try if for nothing else than bragging about the experience (and ticking, of course).

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