Ska Brewing Company of Durango, Colorado, is on a campaign to encourage year-round stout drinking: they're releasing a new stout for each of the four seasons. Will that mean citrusy stouts for summer and peppermint stouts for winter? We'll see, but I like the idea of adapting the style for every type of weather. The first release is this Saturday, 9/22, and it's a milk stout brewed with ancho, guajillo, and Anaheim chiles, plus cocoa nibs, cumin, cloves, and cinnamon. Ska's Autumnal Mole Stout will be available everywhere Ska is distributed.
I didn't know quite what to expect when I cracked open the can. Sometimes spiced beers can end up with an odd dried-spice flavor that tickles the back of your throat. This stout has a quite sweet—and recognizably mole-like—scent, with hints of dry chocolate and peppers, but the flavor is pretty mellow, with prominent (but integrated) spice, and especially prominent clove. The flavors are somewhere between milk stout and chocolate phosphate; this isn't a particularly rich or viscous beer, and may leave you craving something a bit creamier. It's pretty lightly carbonated (almost not foam upon pouring) but fizzy enough to clean the palate after some barbecue—try brisket or burnt ends. It would also be delicious with big bowls of chili, especially if you make it Cincinnati-style with cinnamon, allspice, and clove.
Sample provided for review consideration.