I was excited when I heard that Sam Adams was going to be releasing a small batch series of bombers including Tasman Red, Third Voyage, and this week's beer review - The Vixen, a Chocolate Chili Bock. This was the one I was most eager to try, and I liked the thought of the potential flavor characteristics and how they would compliment each other. I opened my bottle last night, let it warm for a few moments to reach the recommended serving temp range of 45-50 degrees, and poured.
From the beginning I noticed the dark, almost black color and the rich, creamy two finger head. The aroma is sweet and malty; I didn't pick out a lot of chocolate, but did get some roasted malts and slight cocoa. First sip presents itself with sweetness up front and warm, peppery notes on the back of the tongue. It's a double edge sword when it comes to the chili part of this beer. There will be some who see "Chocolate Chili Bock" and will want more chili pepper character, and then there will be some who will try it and will want less. I personally feel this speaks to the brew being fairly well balanced and enjoyed the transition from sweet to peppery. In addition to the pepper notes the 8.5% ABV does a helpful job with adding warmth to the finish. Beeradvocate.com gives The Vixen a B rating and Ratebeer.com scores it an 89, both of which I agree with. I found it to be an enjoyable beer, not as complex as I thought it may be, but smooth, pleasant, and easy to drink.
If you're out and about this afternoon preparing for tomorrow's holiday meal and you find a bottle, pick it up. I got mine at ValuMarket in the MidCity Mall. Everyone have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
If you need someone to stop by tomorrow, eat your food, and drink your beer, you can contact me via Facebook, Twitter, or Foursquare. I would be more than happy to join you, but please make sure that the food is good and the beer is not crappy, thanks.
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