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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 419 |  Reviews: 156
Photo of TMoney2591
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
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 ejimhof
3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Duff27
2.5/5  rDev -29%

Photo of sendbeer
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of BeerOps
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of IPAchris
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of tommy5
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.56/5  rDev +1.1%
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 pat61
4.5/5  rDev +27.8%

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 beergorrilla
2/5  rDev -43.2%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to blutt59 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a clear red-amber color with an off-white head. The aroma is heavy on the peppers with some earth, dirt and caramel malts. The flavor is fresh green peppers (jalapenos or serranos) with some coffee, chocolate, caramel and earthy hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. The overall flavor of this beer is kind of a mess, but I liked it. Definitely an interesting idea from the brewers at New Holland.

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Photo of n2185
3.76/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear mahogany with two fingers of off-white head that recedes into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Cocoa and cayenne . . . smells a lot like a mole sauce, unsurprisingly. There are some roasted malt aromas in there as well. Simple, but pleasant.

T: Similar to the aroma, there are some roasted malts at first followed by some dark cocoa. The cayenne comes in on the finish, not overpowering though, and leaves a little burn. There are some smoky flavors

M: Medium body with low carbonation, this beer is a bit slick feeling with just enough carbonation to provide a little extra bite with the spicy notes.

O: A very unique beer and while it's good, it's also very simple. True to its name, it tastes like a mole sauce somehow turned into a beer. I enjoyed it, but at nearly $9 for a bomber, I probably won't be seeking it out again.

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Photo of Stinger80OH
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of Rhettroactive
2.22/5  rDev -36.9%
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 Haybeerman
3.37/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Red/amber color. Fizzy white head that dissipates quickly. No lacing.

S: Pepper and musty tomato aroma. Wet grains and burned wood. A bit of a floral character.

T: Sweet malts and wet grains. Burnt flavors to a building chili heat. Warming alcohol too. A little vegetable/tomato lingers; almost ashy aftertaste.

M: Light body. Moderate carbonation. There's just a lot going on in this beer on the heat side, I noticed little else.

D: Interesting for sure, but I really didn't like it. I almost didn't want to review it.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.07/5  rDev -12.8%
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 mattmarka1
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of KAF
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of beerthulhu
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A deep burgundy red when held against the light revealed a fair clarity and a rapid, medium state of effervesce. The head was slight in statue, short in rentention, dirty cream in color while leaving random patches for a lacing.

S: The nose was malty with an alcohol spiciness of applesauce and nutmeg. A hefty dose of dry cocoa powder also figures into the mix. On the trail was as yeasty character of freshly cut apples and pears along with a close of wet coffee grounds, all which surprisingly worked well together.

T: The flavor starts off malty with a spicy alcohol and habanera pepper twang which brought some heat. Chocolate malts with strong cocoa influences meets a yeasty character of alcohol soaked apples and pears that provide a smooth and complimenting warmth to habanera chili pepper like twang. Sweet grains and dried maple syrup adds some sweetness and light moments to the mix before a warming of moderate proportions finishes things out. Overall warm, malty with a bit of habanera chili twang which all works surprisingly well together here.

M: Love the malty character as well the medium body that had an oily and fluid feel to it when swooshed around the tongue. Warming with a malty residual coating and a dry alcohol heat finishes things up on the swallow.

D: Overall drinkability was moderate, though found this to be quite interesting. Drank a bit warmer then expected from its 8.0% abv nature. A big interpretation of style ultimately subtracts a bit from drinkability.

Overall my best summary of this would be a double Vienna lager maltiness meets the fruitiness and alcohol content of a double bock meets the spicy twang of a chili beer (think rogue chipotle). Definitly doesnt drink like your typical herb/spiced beer which is a good thing.

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Photo of pathman
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of jbaker67
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of Dactrius
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of bluejacket74
3.19/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a clearish ruby red/brown color with about a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both low. Aroma is nice, but light. The beer smells like chocolate, cherries, and some chilies. Taste is similar to the aroma, but with the addition of a bit of coffee and raisins. The spice gets slightly stronger as the beer warms, but even then the spice flavor isn't really strong. I don't think the flavors mesh together very well, for whatever reason I just don't care for the taste of this brew. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's a bit coating but also seems thin at times. Drinkability is decent, it's smooth and not hard to drink at all. I don't think this is a bad beer, but I didn't exactly think it was good either. It's worth trying once, but I don't think I'd buy this again.

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Photo of crobinso
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of DrDemento456
3.92/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up the new 2012 version for $6.99 at Beer Nutz in Verona. Now clocks in at 9.79%

A - Pours a very dark honey brown but is very clear. Very minimal head but I did get a 1/4 inch of mocha colored atop that quickly reduces to a mild lace ring.

S - Smell is very mild I do get some mild cocoa powder, touch of coffee and very little spice in the nose which is pleasant and sweet smelling. Hope it's not too spicy.

T - I am actually quite impressed... for the first pour. It was advertised as being a straight up "mole" tasting beer. Starting off with sweet cocoa like powder then the spicy twang of pepper but incredibly integrated leaving little burn and then finishing with some mild coffee/sweet malts... But as it warmed (second pour) the grains got a bit harsh and the peppery spice got to me a tad. Still went down rather smooth.

M - Medium to heavy with so much going on I wasn't too surprised it overwhelmed me a tad.

Overall I may revisit again since it was one of the best beers I had by New Holland. Even better than the 2011 vintage of Dragons Milk. Worth trying if you like Mexican mole.

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