It's #FloridaBeerFriday. Every Friday, we take a look at a beer brewed in the Sunshine State, giving analysis to the burgeoning craft beer movement of Florida.
Introduced over the winter, Mexican Standoff from Due South Brewing Company in Boynton Beach has quickly become a fan favorite, with beer geeks clamoring for it every time it goes on tap.
Luckily for them, it popped up again this week at the brewery.
The style of a chili focused beer is probably best represented in beers like Dogfish Head Theobroma, Rogue Chipotle Ale, and the New Belgium Lips of Faith Cocoa Mole. Many others will contain chilis as an addition, but these will have a bigger focus on the heat and flavors.
This beer from Due South is a porter infused with cocoa nibs, vanilla, cinnamon, and chilis. It's touted at 8.5% which is a little high for a run-of-the-mill porter, but doesn't hit 'imperial' quite yet. It's brewed every so often when employees feel the need to hand slice dozens and dozens of spicy peppers.
The color is a nearly opaque root beer color, and looks attractive with an off white crown that dissipates slowly, leaving little lacing.
Right off on the aroma, are heaps of roasted grain, vanilla and cinnamon. It belies the heat contained within, as it's a fresh cinnamon smell as opposed to that confectionary cinnamon aroma.
The flavor is mix between a dry and sweet porter, but the heat kicks in almost immediately, so any attempt to ascertain the subtleties of the malt get blown away. At first sip, the heat from the peppers grabs hold of your palate. The cinnamon helps to calm that down, but there is a loss of some of the nuances of the vanilla flavors. The heat really lingers, right at the back of the throat, but not to a degree of unlikability.
At the end, the mouthfeel is close to that of cola in body and carbonation, so it drinks like a peppered soda, in a way.
Mexican Standoff is currently available at the Due South Brewing taproom.
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Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers, and has been a homebrewer since 2010. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.