For those not familiar (and believe me, my spell check isn’t familiar, considering it’s suggesting “chippendale” here), a chipotle is a smoked jalepenio pepper used in Mexican/South American food that can add a smoky heat to dishes like chili or salsa. So, a novel and interesting ingredient to try in beer.
I tried this before while eating mouthfuls of the best chili I’ve ever had (if you ask nicely I may acquire and post the recipe). I completely ignored the taste of the beer while I was enjoying the spicy chili, and I was tempted to write off the beer altogether. I thought that the chili eclipsed the taste enough to not warrant a review at that time, but my curiosity for a chipotle flavored ale got the better of me, and I soon brought another bottle of it home.
This time, I tried it before eating my dinner although I did pick mango-chipotle salmon with mango lime salsa to pair with it.
The smell of this dark brown ale is almost completely chipotle and peppery. It smells like what you would smell if you accidentally tipped over your spice rack, pouring chili powder onto a bowl of boiling water. It isn’t something you have to inhale, it’s already in your nose. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.
The taste is immediately a little spicy, then beery and dry, then spicy again as the chipotle leaves a hot aftertaste on the mouth. I’m not talking about any kind of heat that would make you sweat, but just enough of a pinch to your tongue to make you aware of its presence, and it sticks to your lips with a little fire. There isn’t much smoothness to this beer. I feel like it’s fighting it out in my mouth. Hot-Beer-Hot-Dry-Beer-Hot.
As a novelty, or to pair with a lot of pepper-heavy meals, this is kind of fun to try. I guarantee that you’ve never tasted anything like it. I don’t think I could really sit down and have several of these in a row, nor could I recommend this as a must-try. But, not every beer reviewed here ends up my new favorite.