Review: Iron Monk Chocolate Habanero Stout

A keg only release for Iron Monk finally sees its launch in cans. This beer made has made some solid impressions in the Iron Monk tap room and various events in the OKC Metro. I’ve had this beer twice before, once at Oak and Ore and once at Tapwerks for Stout Day and remember it being very rich and chocolatey with the perfect amount of heat. It should be noted that I’m generally not a fan of spicy beers, but if dialed in just right with a subtle burn on the finish I can get on board.

Alright, let’s see how this brew holds up to a larger release.

Company: Iron Monk Brewing Company

Location: Stillwater, OK

ABV: 8.1% ABV

Style/Description: Stout with chocolate and habanero peppers

Price: $13 for 4-pack 12oz cans

Appearance: Pours a brilliant translucent caramel, almost like a brown sugar simple syrup with a medium, fizzy light brown head.

Nose: Light and malty with some roasty notes, a hint of bitter chocolate, and some pepper pith.

Taste: Like the nose the first word that comes to mind is “light”. The texture is pretty thin for a 8% stout and the primary vibes I’m getting are some light roast, malt, and some light milk chocolate. Heat starts to creep in with a bit of brown sugar sweetness.

Finish: With the majority of the flavors being so light, they are quick to fade leaving behind a subtle dark chocolate bitterness and a very pleasant amount of heat. The heat lingers long after everything else is gone and leaves my mouth and throat warm.

Overall: Looking back at notes on this beer from earlier tap-only encounters, Kate and I both mention things about the chocolate and mouthfeel of this beer. Either our tastes have drastically changed or this canned release just doesn’t live up to previous batches that we’ve had. There really isn’t much to this beer until the end when the heat kicks in. I can’t believe that the heat would ever be my favorite part of a beer, but in this case it is. The pepper is perfectly dialed in and the lingering spice is pretty nice. The problem is starting over on the next sip, just waiting until the finish when it gets good again.

Rating: 2.5/5

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