Year of New Beer: Arbol Pepper Brain Check, Akasha Brewing (Louisville)

Written By: Dion on 03/01/2020

Very complex nose features a rich chocolate note that is nearly fudge-like layered over a significant coffee presence. A very slight temperature increase brings on a potent cinnamon, foreshadowing the assault that is about to hit the taste buds. With the very first sip, the arbol pepper, previously unknown to me, asserts itself in aggressive fashion. This is hot. Like "am I going to be able to finish this" hot. Thankfully, warmth brings out a deep, slightly bitter chocolate, smoothed out by a sweet vanilla note. Plenty of robust coffee bean, with hints of caramel and charred toast. But the heat never really goes away, becoming only marginally less threatening. This paired very well with some sweet BBQ pork ribs, which I believe really served to balance all of the spice. Excellent beer, but definitely not for the spice-sensitive folks out there.