El Mole Ocho | New Holland Brewing Company

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El Mole OchoEl Mole Ocho
419 Ratings
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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Ratings: 419 |  Reviews: 156
Photo of hilgart1
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of FirstBrewsoon
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of uziangis
2.5/5  rDev -29%

Photo of irishkyle21
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of ZPB
1.5/5  rDev -57.4%

Photo of ChrisSRT4
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of CWhite
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of matjack85
3.93/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I found this 22oz brown bottle at the new Binny's store in Bloomingdale, IL. Not a big fan of chilli beers, but the mole part had me intrigued. No freshness date, but the website says it's released every April, so I assume this is an April 2011 release, therefore making this bottle about 9 months old now. I assume the ocho part is for the 8% alcohol.

The pour wasn't much to look at. Reddish-brown in color but no head at all and very little lacing. A light tan rim floated on top, but nothing you could call a head.

Nice smell, although not that strong. I'm getting a pleasant chocolate and coffee aroma with a spicy smell from the chili peppers.

Malty and sweet from the chocolate, bit the coffee and hops add some bitterness to keep it in check. Thankfully the chili pepper is mild, so this is not a beer that will have your tongue begging for relief. It's just enough to give it some kick.

Creamy smooth mouthfeel that felt medium to full bodied. Carbonation is low.

Not a favorite, but not a bad effort either.

 1,022 characters

Photo of mjtiernan
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of LornaLee
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Metalmonk
4.02/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gusher alert! Would have never guessed a beer like this would explode, and no reason that it should have (I didn't open it right after a 7.2 earthquake or anything), but it did. So be careful.

Not sure if the poor head stamina is a result of or linked to said gushing, but it fizzles and crackles quickly away. It's a dirty tanned white while it lasts, and the liquid is a rust-inflected brown, glowing and jewel-like. And looks like it'll be a thin beer, texturally. Looks like a danged root beer.

Nice aroma, a bit mellow, but then you don't want chilies setting your nose on fire, not in a beer anyway. They're there, but apparently excellently balanced by the cocoa, as both of those elements play out perfectly with, and against, one another. A lightly metallic/mineral smell, but in a clean way, not a bad way as is more often the case.

Taste-wise this is a remarkably balanced beer. It doesn't have great depth or complexity, but for what is happening here, it does the trick nicely. And let's cut right to the chase: hardly any beers made using chili (and of course, mole is a mixture of cocoa and chili) are that great. This one, if not great, is very very good. The chili is certainly present, but somewhere between subtle and well-behaved, while the cocoa side of the equation offers a sweet balance, but not too sweet. Always found mole to have a kind of comfort-food mellowness to it, despite a flash of heat, and that's exactly what is achieved here. Malt provides a perfectly soothing, semi-rich accompaniment to the main mole flavor, a bit of vanilla shows up, some fig and plum too, but that's really all there is to this beer. And that's not to say it's not good, because it is totally good, it's just uncomplicated while offering a strong personality.

The bubble texture/factor is great here; carbonation is certainly present but only in a softer, smoother way. Beer has a thinner texture, but in saying that I mean it feels positively buoyant, not hopelessly thin. Just a bit of stick and we have here a subtly sensational mouthfeel that went from a "meh" first impression to probably my favorite aspect of this beer after several more sips. I dunno, it just works perfectly for the flavors its carrying. Sue me.

I like that the 8.4% (that's what is says on this bottle, 2011 vintage) props up the chili heat, with neither facet overdoing it. This is a different and enjoyable beer that is more subtle than you might expect, and exhibits way more balance than most beers made with chili. Unique and enjoyable all the way.

 2,547 characters

Photo of TasteTester
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Goldfoot
5/5  rDev +42%

Photo of Duff27
2.5/5  rDev -29%

Photo of jak
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of smcgowan70
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New Holland El Mole Ocho

So where does the name come from? Not the mole, I get that, but the ocho part... ? Ahh, OK, I see it's 8% abv. Hmm, it doesn't taste it. I guess the sweetness throws you off, but if you look for it, sure enough, it's there.

The appearance is interesting. It's got a cloudy russet brown body with golden-orange highlights beneath a short lived head of tan foam. I'd have thought the head would have lasted in a beer that's so rich (22˚Plato/barley wine sized), but OK, perhaps the oils from the cocoa have cut it down.

On to the cloudiness... how do you rate a beer like this? It's a mole beer, so it's OK by me... it's got to be cloudy right? If it wasn't it might look odd. The haze looks a bit like how I think of mole sauce, and I guess I like that.

What about the aroma? Well, it's got some cocoa and some light notes of pepper as well. That's nice. I get some fruit, caramel, and a distant note of creamy coffee as well. The chocolate makes it inviting, and the pepper leaves it interesting.

In the flavor the caramel/cocoa/nuttiness wins out but there's still a bit of fruit and a nice hint of pepper flavor, as well as a nice flicker of spicy heat (I'm not sure how much of that might be coming from alcohol). There's a definite kind of raisin, soft clove, and perhaps cinnamon flavor to it but I'm not sure if that's coming from the yeast, actual spices added to the boil, or just my imagination. It doesn't mention any spice on the label so I wonder if they're using Belgian yeast. I get some coffee in the finish, and that mild roastiness along with the spiciness (be it alcohol or pepper) helps to balance the sweetness of the malt.

In the mouth it's full-medium in body; and moderately zesty on the tongue (at least partially due to alcohol and/or spice).

Interesting... it's a nice "warmer", and it certainly qualifies as a sipper along with a good book, but I really do feel they're correct in stating that this would go well with food - not too much, mind you, but enough to pair and/or contrast the flavors. Or you can enjoy it on its own. Nicely done. Worth trying.

 2,115 characters

Photo of barnzy78
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.57/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle courtesy of RocPorterFanatic, thanks Chad! Pours a clear copper color with a small cap of tan head. Not much for retention and lacing.

Nose has all the characteristics down...peanut butter, chocolate and anchos. Nice. There is also some caramel and pine nut aromas in there.

Interesting...tastes a bit like a tripel mixed with a chocolate bock with maybe a cinnamon disk thrown in. I like the smell, but the flavor doesnt really come together all that well for me. I could go with a bit more sweetness and less chile.

 532 characters

Photo of clegolfski
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of Pellinore1
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of JackieTH
3.57/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to..drew for the sample.

Poured translucent brown with a minimal light brown head that left no lacing. Smell was lightly cocoa and mildly roasted malts. Taste was more or less a lightly carbonated chocolate with some lactose like elements. Maybe the best description is mildly carbonated chocolate cola that you used to be able to buy at Hy Vee stores in Iowa in the 80's. The body was a bit light. There may be a very mild spice that appears ..several.. minutes into the beverage. Noticeable mildly when exhaling. Overall..it's really nothing like the bottle would suggest. It's fairly light, very very mild spiced, mostly mildly chocolate beverge.

 657 characters

Photo of Another6Pack
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of bob727
5/5  rDev +42%

El Mole Ocho from New Holland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.52 out of 5 with 419 ratings