Elysian Brewing Company

Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Elysian Brewing Company
Washington, United States
Chile Beer
3.52 | pDev: 22.16%
Apr 20, 2020
Apr 16, 2012
Notes: Chocolate Chili Ale (Apocalypse Series No. 4).

Peste will plague you with the rich flavors of cocoa, chilies and cinnamon. A blend of Peruvian cocoa, Ceylon cinnamon and chipotle, guajillo, pasilla, ancho and cayenne peppers make this beer a unique distraction from the approaching end of the world as we know it.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of woodychandler
Reviewed by woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.54/5  rDev +29%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25
For a long time, before I started The CANQuest (tm), before I became a "serious" beer writer, I was "The Beer Pest(e)" with an irregular column detailing my misadventures with beer. It was especially apropos as I had one column that personally incensed Dick Cantwell! All is forgiven, or so I am told. Such was never my intention. I really wanted the entire series in this lineup, but our distro from Elysian here in PA was spotty at the time of release. 8=( I am a HUGE fan of Charles Burns & his work so this should be interesting.

From the Bottle (!): "12 Beers of the Apocalypse"; "Peste Chocolate Chili Ale"; "4 Black Hole Peste"; "If the world were coming to an end, what beer would you brew? Utilizing artwork by Seattle native Charles Burns from his graphic novel classic, Black Hole, Seattle's Elysian Brewing and Fantagraphics Books team up to answer the question with The 12 Beers of the Apocalypse."; "Beer #4: PESTE Chocolate Chili Ale brewed with cocoa, cinnamon and a blend of chipotle, cayenne, ancho, guajillo and pasilla peppers. Infectiously good - Pass it on."

I Pop!ped the cap & started a slow, gentle C-Line pour into the awaiting glass. Unlike others, I was surprised by the formation of a finger of roiling, fizzy, foamy, deep-brown head that quickly fizzled into an oily skim of wisps. The beer was infused with all manner of chiles! What did you expect? Sheesh. Color was Very Dark Brown to Black/Opaque (SRM = >34, < 44) with cola highlights throughout. Nose smelled like one of those cinnamon hard candies, the ones that were like a dare to suck until they melted away! 8=O Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium. The taste was an initial blast of spice! I generally fight with my sinuses, especially in the Winter, but tonight, they were totally clear. 8=( I felt an eruption of heat through my nostrils, behind my eyeballs, in my ears. Phew! My eyes were watering uncontrollably & my ears were really ringing (tinnitus in the L ear). Wow. My tongue felt as though it had been flash-seared. My ever-expanding bald spot was covered in a sheen of sweat. Oh my. Fortunately, I had the foresight to take a GIRD pill before starting in or I might have been hitting the Panic Button. Wahoo! The chocolatiness was almost, but not quite, lost in the heat. I began to taste it, but only once the heat gradually subsided. I was not their target audience for this one. That honor would be conferred onto my younger brother, "Young" Gefe, who scarfs down wasabi as though it is nothing! He might have really liked this, but he resides on the West Coast & for me, no time like the present, especially now in the face of COVID-19. Man, over time, the spices had simply mustered their forces & shoved the chocolate out of their way. This was packing an intensity that I am unsure they intended. Frankly, I was lucky that the bottle did not shatter. I've had some that have done so. The peppers cause a reaction, refermentation (?) and BLAM!, gone. 8=( Finish was peppery-hot & extremely dry y extension. The chocolate reappeared intermittently amongst the unrelenting heat. Phew! I won't soon forget this one! YMMV.
Apr 20, 2020
Photo of LouZ
Reviewed by LouZ from Washington

2.83/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
It was an older bottle, so may have been less than perfect but poured with zero head and light aroma. Taste was chocolate and you definitely got the chile heat on the back end, lasting in your throat. That I didn't mind, as it was anticipated. But the flavors were not balanced - again, possibly due to age. Overall, this just fell flat and I not only did not finish it.
Mar 24, 2015
Rated: 4.05 by Slatetank from Pennsylvania

Feb 19, 2015
Rated: 4 by kwm5067 from Pennsylvania

Dec 12, 2014
Photo of jellikit
Reviewed by jellikit from Washington

3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
Appearance: flat cola. No head.
Smell: molasses and dried chili peppers.
Taste: dark malts with a bit of heat from the chills.. Especially in the aftertaste. A touch of cinnamon.
Mouthfeel: medium carbonation. Medium-heavy body. Heat from chili peppers.
Overall: not a bad beer. Definitely one and done though. The chili peppers dominate the palate. Meh.
Oct 11, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by WillieThreebiers from Connecticut

Aug 11, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by Liverocks from Delaware

Jun 29, 2014
Rated: 3.25 by Vogt52 from Maryland

Jun 11, 2014
Rated: 4 by Belittle from New Jersey

Apr 29, 2014
Rated: 3 by JoeMans from New York

Feb 22, 2014
Rated: 2 by Thesoundandthefury from Washington

Jan 21, 2014
Rated: 1 by CSpoons from Maryland

Nov 20, 2013
Rated: 3.75 by jaydoc from Kansas

Nov 16, 2013
Photo of scottbrew4u
Reviewed by scottbrew4u from Pennsylvania

4.19/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Beer was served in a tulip glass with an opaque, black color and a two finger frothy tan head. Some lacing develops on the glass as it goes down. The aroma is of dark roasted and burnt malt with intense chili pepper notes and rich, dark chocolate with hints of dried plums. Hops are not really making there presence known in this beer.
First taste the chili brings a heavy hit of spice that comes riding on the remaining head. The flavor quickly unfolds to layers of chocolate and cream with a rich malty backbone. Hops silently add balance and leave the finish on this beer not too sweet. As this beer continues, the heat from the chiles becomes more faded and the rich layers of malt shine. Velvety smooth mouthfeel with a medium to full body body and creamy carbonation. Alcohol is well hidden in this flavorful beer.
This is a must try for any lovers of spicy foods and lovers of stouts. A great idea for a beer this is well made and in balance and would be a hit for desert as well.
Oct 29, 2013
Rated: 1 by IPAchris from Pennsylvania

Aug 09, 2013
Rated: 5 by DJMonroe from Washington

Aug 02, 2013
Rated: 3.75 by devilben02 from North Carolina

Jul 28, 2013
Rated: 3 by Kjanisch7 from New Jersey

Jul 15, 2013
Rated: 4 by MarvinSnyder from West Virginia

Jul 12, 2013
Rated: 3.5 by Rand_ale_Thor from Wisconsin

Jul 11, 2013
Rated: 3 by KevinDiana from Washington

Jul 07, 2013
Rated: 3.5 by InspectorBob from New Jersey

May 23, 2013
Photo of dbrauneis
Reviewed by dbrauneis from North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
A: Pours a slightly hazy dark cola brown (like a Coke) in color with minimal amounts of visible carbonation and some very dark amber highlights. The beer has a very thin beige in color that quickly reduces to an extremely thin ring at the edges of the glass. Minimal amounts of lacing are observed.

S: There are light to moderate amounts of chile spiciness that intensifies as the beer warms.

T: Upfront there is a light amount of chocolate malts with some lighter hints of cinnamon but the overall flavor of this beer is really dominated by the chiles. There is a light amount of smokiness from the chipotle pepper and a decent amount of heat which lingers through the finish and beyond.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Slight amounts of spicy heat that builds as you drink the beer.

O: The spiciness of this beer builds in intensity as you continue to drink it and it intensifies after each sip, also it lingers for a good while. It reminds a bit of Mexican hot chocolate but with a lighter amount of chocolate.
May 18, 2013
Photo of metter98
Reviewed by metter98 from New York

3.54/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
A: The beer is nearly jet black in color - traces of brown are visible near the edge of the glass when it is held up to the light. It poured with a thin off white head that disappeared almost instantaneously, leaving only a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
A: Light aromas of chilies and other spices are present in the nose.
T: The beer doesnt start off too spicy, but the chili spices start kicking in towards the finish and linger through the aftertaste. No chocolate flavors are noticeable.
M: It feels medium-bodied and somewhat dry and spicy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: Compared to other beers in the style, this beer isn't that difficult to drin because the chili spices aren't overpowering.
May 18, 2013
Rated: 3.5 by smithj4 from New York

May 18, 2013
Rated: 3.5 by Bandi from New York

May 18, 2013
Rated: 3.75 by Imstillthegman from Delaware

Mar 28, 2013
Rated: 3.5 by SadMachine from New Jersey

Mar 22, 2013
Rated: 3.75 by ShemRahBoo from New Jersey

Mar 11, 2013
Rated: 4 by imperialking from Illinois

Mar 05, 2013
Rated: 3.5 by Gonzoillini from Illinois

Feb 23, 2013
Photo of AdamBear
Reviewed by AdamBear from Pennsylvania

3.54/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
A-Dark brown with a thin tan head

S-dark chocolate syrup with a hint of spicy chili. It's a pretty faint scent.

T-comes in with a surprisingly spicy of red chili pepper and dark grains. It's almost watery too though somehow which is making this almost disappointing. I love the amount of spice it has though. Has a nice cocoa after-taste to it.

M-very light carbonation, almost watery.

O-I always get so excited for chili beers. I was not completely let down by this. I hated the watery aspect to it, but I loved the heat! I was a fan of the chili flavor and that it lacked any smokiness common in chili beers.the cocoa was kept to a decent amount but could've been stronger.
Feb 07, 2013
Photo of oline73
Reviewed by oline73 from Maryland

3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

Pours a very dark brown with a quarter finger of off white head that disappears quickly. There are lots peppers in the nose, but it's a hot sauce sort of burn with a note that reminds me of cumin. Roast shows up in the smell, but the pepper dominates. The taste is full of hot peppers. The cumin shows up here as well. The roast shows up behind the heat with some dark chocolate as well. The finish is quite hot. The body is a bit syrupy and the carbonation bubbles are large.

This is a rather hot beer, but the pepper burn was unusual. Reminds me of hot sauce.
Jan 28, 2013
Rated: 3 by fitz284 from District of Columbia

Jan 23, 2013
Rated: 4.5 by KiMiRaiK from Washington

Jan 20, 2013
Rated: 3.25 by Jspriest from Pennsylvania

Jan 14, 2013
Rated: 3.25 by Kevlee722 from Washington

Dec 24, 2012
Photo of sam_bliss
Reviewed by sam_bliss from Washington

3.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5
On tap into a tulip on the night of the apocalypse 12/21/12 at the Elysian Capitol Hill Brewpub

A- Not super impressive. Good dark color but the head didn't stick around for long.

S- Smells of bittersweet chocolate. A bit of heat is detectable in the aroma, but nothing could have prepared me...

T- On the tip of the tongue there is a bit of sugar, but the chocolate malt/dark chocolate taste is only detectable until the chipotle, guajillo, ancho, etc peppers kick in. They kick hard and hold the tongue and throat hostage for quite some time. The cinnamon doesn't go well with the chile flavors and probably even adds to the spicy.

M- Burning sensations mostly. It's difficult to pinpoint many other details of the mouthfeel because my mouth was on fire. No stickiness.

O- It is ridiculous to try to put a numerical score on this beer, since it is so unique. I have had a few chili pepper brews but never anything as spicy as Peste. The apocalypse occurred on my palate. I will not try this again, but I am quite happy I ordered it for the experience. I recommend you try it if you can handle spiciness.

If they decide to brew a batch without the cinnamon or with some vanilla creaminess I would try it again.
Dec 22, 2012
Rated: 3.75 by mportnoy from Pennsylvania

Dec 09, 2012
Rated: 4.25 by Jasonrm72 from Colorado

Nov 25, 2012
Peste from Elysian Brewing Company
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 98 ratings