The chili beer: an example of America’s willingness to toss out tradition and brew boldly. The typical chili beer is an atom bomb of capsicum, a bottle of hot sauce under the guise of beer. Jalapeños, serranos, and even the dreaded ghost chili are often used to spice up brews but, as the American craft beer industry matures, it—like all things that mature—begins to mellow. Face-melting peppers can still be found in most chili beers but now there are more approachable options, too. Behold, #42 Poblano Stout (5.7% ABV) from Big Choice Brewing.
Color: Inky black, #42 Poblano Stout is topped with a mocha-colored head. There are no discernible highlights save for a touch of dark brown around the top.
Aroma: The smokiness of the poblano is apparent and chocolate undertones complete the aroma. The roasted, smoky scent increases as the beer warms.
Flavor: Big Choice is quick to point out how mild #42 Poblano Stout really is: “[it] is not a chili beer. It is an Oatmeal Stout that has been dry hopped using roasted and de-seeded poblano peppers resulting in…no heat.” It’s hard to argue with that description—#42 Poblano Stout is really a stout first and a chili beer second. It features dark chocolate flavors with roasted malt bitterness that pops up later in the taste as the poblano plays back-up. The poblano imparts a smoked flavor that gets stronger until the beer’s gone. As advertised, #42 Poblano Stout is not hot.
Mouthfeel: Velvety and slick as a good oatmeal stout should be, #42 Poblano Stout is a thick, oily, viscous liquid.
The spice-adverse have an intro-level chili beer in #42 Poblano Stout: pepper flavors, no chili heat. This rustic beer is a perfect complement to a summery campfire or a sizzling Southwestern dish. To experience the non-heat of this beer, pick up a four-pack tallboys from any of the places listed on this link.