Brian Eichhorn's picture

Judge's Review: 82 Rating - Situational Ethics - Mezcal by Monday Night Brewing

February, 2020
Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
5 / 6
35 / 40
7 / 10
Overall Impression: 
14 / 20

Situational Ethics - Mezcal by Monday Night Brewing is being judged as a 33b- Specialty Wood-Aged Beer due to the use of spirits barrels, with a base style of 30a- Spice, Herb or Vegetable Beer due to the inclusion of cocoa nibs, vanilla, chili peppers and cinnamon.

The beer pours with a nice enough thin brown head that falls on top of the deep black-brown beer with auburn highlights. Opaque.

The nose is super perfumy, led by aromatic cinnamon that comes across like the thinner ceylon cinnamon. Once you work past this, there is a slight phenolic note that reminds me of a generic smoky mezcal, slightly vegetal. This also could be partially a function of the peppers as well, though cinnamon steals the show here. Light roast in the background, along with a hint of milk chocolate. Pleasant.

On tasting, I end up a bit lost. The cinnamon is so dominant, it comes across as a cinnamon roll-type flavor with some tangy and tart notes. Wow, does the cinnamon dominate. It takes a while for the chocolate to peek through, but it fades into a tart cinnamon finish with some notable pepper heat. I would like to see more of the chocolate flavor pop through, along with the base beer, to really make me believe in the Mexican chocolate idea, but it doesn't. The balance is again lacking here, unfortunately.

Overall, this beer really drinks more like a cinnamon beer than a Mexican chocolate beer, which is a shame. I think the cocoa is adding tangy notes and not much else. Neat idea but a bit off on execution, and the barrel is lost in the end as well.