Review: Beau's Channel Ocho Mexican Spiced Dark Ale

I'm having a hard time catching up to beer reviews... and quite a few of them are Beau's reviews, they keep coming out with new beers that I absolutely NEED to try!

Beau's Channel Ocho is part of the brewery's 2018 Winter Mix Pack. Channel Ocho is a creative riff on a spiced winter ale inspired by Mexican hot chocolate. Channel Ocho pours a dark mahogany with spicy and earthy aromas, and hints of stone fruits and banana.

I grew up with farmervision in rural Western Manitoba and I'd be lucky with eight TV channels.. instead, we had 4 channels... FIVE if we were lucky (a very fuzzy feed from North Dakota or Saskatchewan).. so I'm jealous at channel Eight.

Appearance: Pours a rich dark brown body with a bit of a cherrywood red hue to it. The head is yellowish-beige and only a whole finger's worth, diminishes gently and leaves behind a good amount of stripy lacing on the glass.

Aroma: While this has a definite Beaus-like aroma that reminds me of many of their beers I've had over the years, it's a rich, sweet dark ale that just may be perfect for the season. I just had overly sauced Buffalo chicken bites so this beer may be a tad spicy like Stone's Xocoveza, but my senses are overwhelmed for the most part.. so I have to wait a bit to get an thorough analysis of the beer...

..Once my senses are back to normal, I get notes of milk chocolate, a hint of coffee and a definite peppery spiciness that definitely wasn't from the chicken bites.. it's a mild chipotle/spicy pepper aroma (maybe cayenne?).. but after looking at the ingredients list, it's chipotle. There's also a hint of brown sugar and nutmeg in there - I think this would be amazing as part of a nice spicy chili (which I'd eat if it didn't have chunks of onion or beans in it). 

Taste: There's sweet notes of chocolate and brown sugar popping up right at the beginning, but then you get a mild heat presence of the chipotle pepper popping up that gives off a very subtle amount of heat on my tongue and lips. There's also notes of cinnamon/nutmeg, a bit of roasted coffee presence to give it a bit of a bitterness to it.

Overall Thoughts: This dark ale tastes a bit like a Black Forest cake with a spiciness to it. I think I should've tried this before eating some chicken bites drenched in Buffalo sauce because this beer is likely less spicy than my palate is telling me but this gives off a good amount of heat accompanied by a good amount of chocolate, cinnamon and nutmeg,  making it a great winter time treat. I first discovered Mexican hot chocolate a few years ago and I loved how smooth it was yet spiced, perfect for a winter like RIGHT NOW... where the windchill is currently -41. The longer I'm sampling this, the more I'm realizing that the chipotle pepper in this beer is popping out in every sip, giving off a bit of heat, so it's gradually more the heat of the beer and less of the chicken I ate earlier. If you've ever had Stone's Xocoveza and enjoyed it, you'll LOVE this.. if you haven't - if you love dark ales/stouts/porters and love spice, same thing.. but if you're like my mom who likes Molson 67 and hates spice (even Montreal Steak seasoning), you'll hate this. 8.9% ABV

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