Thursday, 17 May 2012

Mikkeller In May
17. Mikkeller Mexas Ranger 6.6%

Tonight is Mexican night! Ok, it's not actually Mexican night, but it is Mikkellers-Texas-Ranger-but-brewed-with-Mexican-inspired-ingredients night! Too much? You wait until you see what's been added to this beer! Malts: Maris Otter pale, smoked, chocolate, Cara-crystal, brown, and hops: Tomahawk, Centennial and Saaz, so far so good, but add some almond milk, cocoa, 4 different types of chilli, black beans and avacado leaves to the mix and this could be very interesting. Putting the tongue-in-cheek label aside, purposefully designed to cause a few murmurings Stateside I think, it's time to see what it's like.
|It pours a dark dark brown, shiny and thick, there's certainly no light going to get through this one. The light brown head flares sharply, desperately trying to cling to the glass before collapsing in on itself like a boxer with no fight left in him. There's a big hit of coffee, smokey malt and chocolate in the aroma, some creamy herbal notes, quite milky and the chilli spiciness actually attacks your nostrils. It's quite astonishing. Smooth sharp and a little oily over the tongue as you might expect, sweet milk chocolate hits the tip of the tongue before a big herbal chilli flavour with a little background heat comes barrelling in. These spicy and herby notes build, becomming almost overwhelming in the mouth before bursting into a deep rich smokiness covering everything before fading into creamy milk chocolate. The finish is sweet with tropical fruitiness from the hops, with a lovely lasting chocolate malt edge.  The flavours come thick and fast here, twisting and turning, building, diving, clashing and complementing into a wonderfully complex and enjoyable ride. Mikkeller have managed to combine some unusual (for beer) ingredients into something that somehow works incredibly well. This is more than a beer, it's an experience.

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