Xocoveza Mocha Stout

Review Date 5/16/2021  By John Staradumsky

What to drink tonight? That was the question. I wasn’t quire sure what I would crack open, but I decided I would rummage through my office beer fridge and see what I could find there. And there it was….a bomber bottle of Stone Xocoveza Mocha Stout-2014 edition no less. Since this thing was about 7 years old, I considered it good luck to drink it. I looked it up on my spreadsheet of brews imbibed, hadn’t I had this before?

I had not. Somehow, I think, I confused it with Stone Coffee Milk Stout.

From the painted bottle label:

The impact of homebrewers on the American craft beer industry has been immense. The comfort level and lack of inhibition provided by a domestic brewing environment fosters a near-limitless brand of experimentation allowing homebrewers to push the beer envelope to its breaking point. Many of the professional brewing world's best recipes - from West Coast IPA's to Imperial stouts and even sours - began as homespun standouts so spectacular they had to be unleashed on the world in order to improve it.

With this in mind, each year we hold an American Homebrewers Association sanctioned homebrewing competition, the champion of which gets his or her recipe brewed and distributed nationwide by stone. This year's winner, Chris Banker, helped keep us grounded to our home brewing roots by introducing flavors consistent with our regional palate. His chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, chili pepper and coffee infused milk stout was built to mimic the flavors of Mexican hot chocolate, a beloved specialty from our neighbors to the south, as our collaborators from Baja California, Cervezeria Insurgente, will attest. Layered with tiers of earthiness, spice and roast, this creamy, semisweet blue ribbon beer confirms that the spirit of American homebrewers is not only alive and kicking, but thriving at an all-time high.

Brewers promoting the homebrewing skill is not a new development; Pete’s brewing did it back in the 90s to get the recipe for Pete’s Wicked Winter Brew, the old Beer Across America beer-by-mail club held a competition to get the recipe for their Fat Chance Brown Ale, and of course Samuel Adams launched their Longshot line around the same time that went on for decades, Longshot Hazelnut Brown Ale being amongst the very first of that brand.

Although this may have been intended as a one-off, it has grown into a seasonal release last offered in the fall of 2020. Stone says on their website:

This is a beloved stout. When first introduced as a limited special collaboration release with Cerveceria Insurgente and San Diego homebrewer Chris Banker (after his recipe won our annual homebrew competition) , it was an instant hit and fans began clamoring for its return. Seeing as how its amazing flavor profile is evocative of Mexican hot chocolate, featuring coffee, pasilla peppers, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and a generous amount of chocolate, we concluded it was the perfect stout to re-release in celebration of the Holidays and the entire winter season. This is now a highly anticipated yearly tradition that we are pleased to present from us to you, and makes a perfect wintry gift from you to your friends, loved ones, or simply to yourself. Cheers!

Ingredients from the website:

FEATURED HOPS: English Challenger & East Kent Golding


Cocoa, coffee, peppers, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg & lactose

No mention of the malt used.

Stone Xocoveza Mocha Stout (pronounced SHO-CO-VAY-ZA says the label) has an alcohol content of 8.1% by volume with 50 IBUs. I have no idea what I paid for my bomber bottle in 2014, but the beer will run you $14.99 a six-pack at Total Wine these days. My bottle says DINK FRESH. I didn’t.

Stone Xocoveza Mocha Stout pours to a jet-black color with a thick creamy tan head and an intense nose of coffee grinds and spicy peppers. Taking a sip, the beer is medium in body, smooth and chocolatey with powdery cocoa, a hint of pillowy marshmallow vanilla, black coffee and coffee grinds, spicy cinnamon, and hot peppers, and at the last, drying nutmeg. Just a delightful beer that has held up so well over the past 7 years! All the flavors meld in perfect harmony, none overpowering, all leading into a roasted malty coffee bitter finish.

I loved this and will have to try it fresh(er).

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, canned