Xocoveza Mocha Stout (Insurgente Release) Collaboration by Chris Banker, Stone Brewing and Cerveceria Insurgente de Mexico

Rating: 6.25/7

Xocoveza Mocha Stout (Insurgente Release) Collaboration by Chris Banker, Stone Brewing and Cerveceria Insurgente de Mexico is a 8.1% ABV World Class Milk/Sweet Stout brewed with cocoa, coffee, peppers, vanilla cinnamon and nutmeg.

Se Un Insurgente, Toma Artesanal

Xocoveza Mocha Stout is the result of the homebrewing spirit and a cross-border collaboration. In 2014, Stone Brewing invited us to join them on this Mexican-Hot-Chocolate inspired creation. Based on Chris Banker’s winning recipe, we created this rich and decadent Imperial Milk Stout with traditional Mexican ingredients. In your hands you have Insurgente’s version of this for the first time on this side of the border. ¡Salud!


Xocoveza has been an important staple in terms of what makes great Mexican Spice and Chocolate beers. It is one of my favorites and it was one that was done very well. The version I am bringing today is the one made in Tijuana Mexico, the one from Insurgente brewing. The purpose of this is to see how different it differed from Stone’s release. It is the same recipe but the process might be different. I did try this one sometime last year when I went to Tijuana for a brewery run with my friend Oscar. While I tried to remember, I could tell it was damn delicious. However, is there subtle differences from this one to the Stone one? Let’s see, Salud!

Mocha Coffee, Roasted Coffee, Mexican Coffee, Mexican Hot Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, , dark fruit raisins, currants, dark cherries, capirotada raisin bread pudding, Cinnamon, Ancho chile spice, bananas, clove spice, vanilla, dulce de leche cajeta/caramel, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, nutmeg, champurrado, piloncillo sugar cone, Molé and pan dulce.

Rich Abuelita Mexican Hot Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Mocha Coffee, Roasted Coffee, Mexican Coffee, Cane sugar, Cinnamon, Ancho chile spice, bananas, clove spice, vanilla, dulce de leche cajeta/caramel, Peanut Butter, Reece’s Pieces, Molé, pan dulce, dark fruit raisins, currants, dark cherries, capirotada raisin bread pudding, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, nutmeg, champurrado, piloncillo sugar cone, Kahlua Coffee Liqueur, flan, sweetened condensed milk and peanut mazapan.

Finishing off with Dark Chocolate, Dulce de leche caramel, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Mocha, chile notes, earthy notes, vanilla and peanut butter hints. No alcohol in the taste, pitch black body, ridiculously smooth, very creamy and velvety mouthfeel along with a moderate drinkability.

Damn! This one is different than the Stone release by a good amount. While I feel both beers overall are supreme World Class but this one emphasizes sweeter flavors while the Stone one balances out with earthy hops. This one shines more in the Mexican chocolate department big time! I love this version so much but I think I love both for the differences as well. This series of beers from both breweries are definitely some of the best Mexican Chocolate and Coffee beers ever. I highly recommend getting these!

Anime Corner:
Yoruichi Shihouin from Bleach and May from Backstreet Billiards for the PS1 were chosen in this pairing as they were chosen in the previous iterations of Xocoveza. The original Xocoveza I used May as she represents the Mexican culture of where the recipe was inspired from especially the Mexican brewers that helped Stone with the creation. I used Yoruichi for the bourbon barrel aging version, but bringing one of my favorite anime characters into this to be the main focus is to showcase the roots of the ingredients in Mexico. Yoruichi is a Goddess of Thunder, like Quetzacoatl!


Xocoveza Mocha Stout Collaboration by Chris Banker, Stone Brewing and Cerveceria Insurgente de Mexico

10613149_10102062009258880_8324233477455469383_nRating: 6/5

Xocoveza Mocha Stout Collaboration by Chris Banker, Stone Brewing and Cerveceria Insurgente de Mexico is a 8.1% ABV World Class Milk/Sweet Stout brewed with cocoa, coffee, peppers, vanilla cinnamon and nutmeg.

Pronuced (SHO-CO-VAY-ZA)

The impact of homebrewers on the American craft beer industry has been immense. The comfort level and lack of inhibitors provided by a domestic brewing environment fosters a near limitless brand of experimentation, allowing homebrewers to push te beer envelope to its breaking point. Many of the professional brewing world’s best recipes–from West Coast IPAs 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 their recipe brewed and distributed nationwide by Stone. This year’s winner, Chris Banker, helped keep us grounded to our homebrewing roots by introducing flavors consistent with our regional palate. His chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, chile 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 the American homebrewer is not only alive and kicking but thriving at an all-time high.

This fall, Stone’s home brew competition winner along with Insurgente from Mexico brew up a beer that could quite possibly be the next New Belgium’s Cocoa Molé beer. I have had many awesome Mexican Chocolate stouts like Chocolate Sombrero, Luchador en Fuego from Clown Shoes, el Molé Ocho from New Holland or even the almighty, Cigar City Hunahpu’s and Three Floyds Dark Lord de Muerte. Each one being exceptionally awesome in their own ways. Now Stone not only makes a beer but brings in cultural expertise to help make it awesome. This Mexican Independence Day, I drink this! Salud!

Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, mocha, roasted coffee, fancy coffee, Ancho chile spices, Piloncillo sugar, Chocolate Abuelita, Flan, milk sugar, dark fruits like raisins, capirotada raisin bread pudding, Molé, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, dulce de leche cajeta/caramel, champurrado, Kahlua hints, earthy notes, molasses, pan dulce and Nutella.

Chocolate Abuelita, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Vanilla, Dulce de leche cajeta/caramel, Ancho Chile spices are subtle but not heat, Molé, dark fruit raisins, dark cherry, Milk sugar, flan, cinnamon, capirotada raisin bread pudding, roasted coffee, fancy coffee, Kahlua hints, piloncillo sugar cone, cinnamon, nutmeg, champurrado, earthy notes, molasses, clove spice, banana notes and pan dulce.

Dark chocolate, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Vanilla, Caramel, mocha, earthy notes and spicy chile hints linger. No alcohol in the taste, ridiculously smooth drinkability, very creamy and slighly velvety mouthfeel, and pitch black body.

Madre es Dios, que es esto? I meant that in like a mind blow type of way. This is a lot closer to a Mexican Hot Milk Chocolate beer than may that I have tried. All around, it really feels like you are drinking Chocolate Abuelita Hot Chocolate. All around, the fact that it is a milk stout, it makes it to where it is just well balanced, flavorful and smooth. There is no heat at all, but I really believe that is not the point. The point is to make this as approximate as Chocolate Abuelita as possible. I really think that maybe even the pre-craft beer drinker may actually find this one very appealing. It really is ridiculous and better the Cocoa Mole. The only bitterness is really from the chocolate and coffee roast. Highly recommend getting this one before it is gone for good! Going to go pick up a couple bottle now… Hasta La Proxima y Siganme Los Buenos!

Anime Corner:
May from Backstreet Billiards for the PS1 was chosen for this pairing because I wanted to do something in relation to my culture en Mexico. I used May once for Cocoa Molé so I wanted to bring her back for this round as well. I am glad I did too. She fits greatly with the beer label, the history of Mexican pride and the indigenous as well as the roots of Chocolate and possibly the name as it seems to be a derivative of Nahuatl and Spanish. The fact that is fall also brings forth not just the Independence Day of Mexico but also closer to the Months of the Dia De Los Muertos Celebration which this beer totally is best suited. Overall There was so much I could think of with this pairing but I would rather leave it to the reader to decide how to view this one.

**Update 2015 Version: As awesome as EVER!



The Three Philosophers by Ommegang (New Label)

526229_10101069453857860_931053769_n 313764_10101069469122270_1245414941_n 382348_10101069469087340_1594364830_nRating: 5/5

Already did a review on this beer a while back. This is the version with the new label. Still one my top favorite beers in the world.

The Belgian motto is “Strength in Union.” No phrase better describes Ommegang’s delicious Three Philosophers Quadrupel, which unites malty Belgian-style ale with Liefmans Kriek, authentic cherry ale from Belgium. Dark, mysterious cherry-chestnut color. Pair with Strong Cheeses, desserts, or sip as an after dinner ale. 


Mayan Apocalypse Judgment Day Ale by The Lost Abbey

224949_10100956403816050_40157343_nRating: 5.25/5

Mayan Apocalypse Judgment Day Ale by The Lost Abbey is a 10.5%ABV Belgian Quad brewed with Raisins, Chiles and Spices. The original Judgment Day Ale with the 4 horseman of the Apocalypse is one of my top 10 favorite beers. So this will probably give it a slight twist 😛Label:
Five thousand years ago the Mayan Calendar last turned over. Since then, Nostradamus. The Book of Revelations and random Shaman have all prognosticated that mankind would meet a fateful end. Currently, our demise is is scheduled for December 21, 2012for it has been so decreed our world is about end not in a Christian Judgment Day but rather a Mayan Apocalypse.

Funny thing is. The Mayan’s don’t actually believe in the concept of an Apocalypse. We at The Lost Abbey didn’t want to miss an opportunity to update our original judgment Day recipe to accompany us as we collide towards this impending Rapture. Like us, we’re pretty sure you can believe in dried chiles. Cinnamon and Tamarind working well together in this beer. This means, you can count on this little bottle of beer to help you survive this cultural Armageddon. Please pop the cork and enjoy this version. We’ve got you covered. See you on December 22nd wherever life may take us.

So it has finally come….opened this one at 12:00 AM on the dot 12-21-2012…trying this one for the occasion, the special Judgment day Mayan Apocalypse Ale. So let’s get into it…before the world ends today…. Immediate fragrance of this was something else. Being a fan of chiles and spices and Belgian quads (Ale fermented 4 times). Aromas of Cinnamon, Mole, chocolate abuelita (Dark chocolate Mexican hot cocoa), guajillo, chipotle, dulce de leche/cajeta caramel, candy sugar, some minor capirotada fragrance (Mexican Raisin bread pudding with pecans, bananas, spices and other fruits and flavors. Definitely rich in smell. The flavors of the end of the world are a Mexican and Belgian clash. I have never had a quad that was melded like this… WOW….. It took Judgment day to a new level. Immediate Dulce de leche/ cajeta, Capirotada with mild chile peppers (not too hot but enough to notice you are drinking chiles), coffee cake, Belgian candy sugars, pan dulce/sweet bread, dark fruits like figs, raisins, plums, cinnamon, dark chocolate like that of abuelita, and some tamarindo/tamarind at the end of the flavor. In the after taste, the Tamarindo calms anything that has to do with the chile spices leading them into Belgian Abbey redemption. Even the Devil can redeem for his sins…. lol although the Mayans and early indigenous did not believe in such things…but greater beings from the stars. Great Mathematicians creating meaning for the moon sun and the stars… and that is what this is about. It may not be the end of the world just yet, but the beginning of something new…something else. Keep in mind, as my dearly mother one said: “The end of the world comes to those who’s time has run out” explains that no matter what..whether it is the end of the world today or tomorrow…every one is on a schedule to someday pay the piper a.k.a death and will do so regardless of Apocalypses, End of Times, Armageddons, Raptures…you name it….I leave this this…. and the message explained from the original Judgment day ale…Belgian and Mexican alike will love this creation…. so if you seek this after 12-21-2012….try it out… as for finding meaning in your lives and this whole End of the World business…According to the original label: 

“Live an inspired life. Find opportunities in everything to make a difference. Seek out new and spontaneous adventures and when you find them, embrace them as if they were the devil’s song. For an interesting life is one worth living. Challenge yourself to embrace passion, persistence and a motivated way of life. So that when Judgment Day arrives from nowhere, you’ll go out knowing full well that you’ve lived your life on your terms and they can’t take that away from you.”

The Three Philosophers by Ommegang

Rating: 5/5

The Three Philosophers by Ommegang is a 9.8%ABV Belgian Quadrupple ale blended with 2% Belgian Kriek (Cherry Belgian Ale). This, is my third next best beer in the world, right next to Trois Pistoles and St. Bernardus 12. It is simply remarkable. This is the 2012 edition and I have tried this beer several times to know I really like this one. This beer is now available at Downey Brewery. 

Created by blending a rich, malty, Belgian-style ale with authentic Kriek, a classic cherry ale from Belgium, our Quadruple is cultured yet wild, curious yet wise.
And remember “Phisolophy Begins in Wonder” – Plato

The fragrance of the beers is like that of mix of sweet bread, vanilla, caramel and cherries. It is really robust with fragrance. The flavors are very rich. While in some reviews I mentions flavors where in small amounts, medium or rich, this is really rich. Dulce de leche bread, vanilla, capirotada (Mexican Bread Pudding with raisins, except this is with cherries and raisins), cinnamon, tangy cherries, raisins, dark fruits like figs and plums, some banana clove, minor pecan, hint of dark chocolate, brown sugar, alittle bit of wine sour grapes but not a lot, just a hint. Many people that have tried this beer enjoyed it. So I don’t see why it would be one of the best. This talking from my personal experience. It is widely available year round in 750ml bottles or in 330ml 4 packs an many craft beers places. Yes, amazingly enough, some of the best beers in the world for me are closer to home than some of the other beers I tired 😛

2011 Review:
SO….. this year I tried the 2011 version. LOL well it is almost the end of the year :P. The Three Philosophers by Ommegang is a true Belgian Quadruple brewed with Cherries. This style is called Kriek where you find a diversity of wine like/beer like flavors as a cherry ale is mixed with this Belgium beauty. Caramel, cherry, bread, unique deliciousness as only found in brews that are the best in 
the world. This is one of my top 10 beers. Originally introduced by my friend Chino, this is a world class for sure. Once that is often missed but surely a necessary pickup. Sometimes I wish they could invent an X-ray tongue tasting device where I can walk into the bev mo or any other craft brew store and learn to pick out the brews of ultimate deliciousness for myself. Sure, there are reviews and all but taste is everything. Until you try it for yourself then you will understand for sure….For anyone that reads my albums here on Facebook you should probably send me some feed back let me know what kind of brews you would like to see posted on here and I will try them and write about them….let me know :)…thanks for reading 😀