Old Saint Chango | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This year's winter warmer is complemented by cocoa nibs and Mexican Chocolate, while the German wheat beer yeast strain lends banana-rama goodness. Old Saint Chongo, patron saint of our monkey friends, requested this beer himself.

Added by GRG1313 on 01-02-2012

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Reviews: 5 | Ratings: 40
Photo of BethanyB
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: The body is an impenetrable mahogany with a creamy strip of tan for a head. I expected something taller on top for a beer with a 7% ABV (still not too strong), but points are won back for the lacing--rings as evenly spaced as newfangled mattress springs emerge all the way down the glass as the beer is emptied.

Smell: A strong aroma that's both fresh and sweet. Milk chocolate, peppermint tea, and dark malt create the scent of a Milano cookie dipped in iced coffee. Unique and delicious.

Taste: This beer is about as sweet as they come, and yet, it's not cloying. This may be due to the diverse malt bill, which tempers the sweeter flavors with notes of coffee, buckwheat, and walnuts. Layered on top is a sundae of caramel, dates, plums, and milk chocolate. More malt comes through in the finish, contributing to an aftertaste of chocolate chip banana bread paired with a cup of black coffee.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, but not silky; it's thicker, like satin. Mild carbonation adds a refreshing element which keeps this beverage in beer territory and out of the milkshake zone.

Overall: The kind of beer that makes me resort to babyish words, like "yummy," for instance. Kind of embarrassing, but what can I say? This recipe brings out the child in me-- it's as if I'm at an ice cream parlor, only better, because as sweet as it is, the drink in my hand is still a beer lover's beer.

 1,394 characters

Photo of cjgiant
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I'm used to winter warmers being more towards amber, but this beer seems to straddle the two "winter" categories of armed and stout. The beer is dark, definitely on the stout side. The nose is a quite nutty, with an overall feel towards the dark malt side.

The taste, however isn't as "dark", with some tartness and to me tends towards a more standard warmer. There are definitely some light roasted coffee notes that linger. Overall, I enjoyed this beer, but think if it were re-categorized as a stout, it might be a little lower rated.

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Photo of popery
3.08/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours murky and brown. Small head. I'm normally pretty easy on appearance but this one is sorta ugly. Looks thick. Smells sweet with molasses, caramel, dough, milk chocolate, but there's also a funny medicinal note that I'm not enjoying. Taste is quite sweet in a cough syrup like way. Lots of that band aid flavor in the finish. Kind of a gummy, syrupy feel. I'm just not a fan of this beer. The flavor combination doesn't work for me. It needs some sort of a balancing note at the very least. An unusual miss from bear republic.

 530 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a sample glass at the brewery.

A: Dark, opaque maple. Light tan head.

S: Roasted-sweet malt. Brown sugar.

T: Sweet, sweet brown sugar and hint of chocolate. Rich and rewarding. Lightly spicy.

M: Smooth and exciting.

O: Solid winter warmer. Engaging and tasty. Well-made and recommended.

 305 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bear Republic 12/31/11 and listed as "This year's winter warmer." Made with cocoa nibs and Mexican chocolate.

The appearance is black with a medium thick dark khaki head that is retained for longer than most. Nice looking.

Nose is rich "chocolate malt," assertive roasted sweet coffee and malted milk balls. There is a chocolate/banana character to the nose and it is very inviting and appealing.

Mouthfeel is creamy, rich and bold with nice carbonation and you don't want to taste this one as "really drink it."

Flavor profile is what really wins the day. This beer, simply put, is delicious. There is a rich chocolate malt/banana sweet character that first really seems sweet and chocolaty, but it then goes to an appealing lightly sweet/bitter chocolate/roasted grain/coffee character.

Finish is all chocolate/coffee/rich roasted grain with hints of sweet and undertones of bitter espresso.

I'm one who is drinking less and less of these kinds of brews. However, this one is a winner that I'd gladly drink anytime. Really a nice effort and the highlight of our "full list" tasting at Bear Republic over the New Years weekend.

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Old Saint Chango from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
3.83 out of 5 based on 40 ratings.
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