Wintertime is upon us and so is the time for dark beers, such as Porters, Stouts, Dunkles, and other various dark type beers. They warm you with thick rich high alcoholic flavored sips. Stone Brewing in Escondido California brews Xocoverza, 8.1% ABV, which is a milk stout brewed with cocoa, coffee, peppers, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Xocoverza started out in 2014 as a homebrewed beer that won Stones annual homebrew competition. Xocoverza was only to be produced one but due to popular demand they keep on producing it. Xocoverza is Stone idea of a Mexican hot chocolate. Xocoverza pours a quite black color with a thick two finger beige head that sticks around for a while and does leave some decent lacing. The aroma is ashy with a peppered spice and cinnamon note along with a very faint sweet vanilla note. Taste is ashy and slightly roasted at first then a bit of spicy and slight cinnamon comes on your taste buds with some very faint sweet notes. I know this is milk stout but I am not getting much of the common sweetness you get from milk stout. There is a nice roasted spicy note toward the back. Mouth feel is full with a nice spicy pepper coffee finish with much the same on the after taste but with a hint of sweetness and cinnamon. The fact that the spicy coffee masks the sweetness from the vanilla and coca rates Xocoverza an A-. The coffee characteristics are good on this beer, and that makes Xocoverza not have lower grade. This is a complex beer and isn’t for everyone, so I am kind of recommend this beer, but only with caution. I enjoyed it and I like dark spicy coffee beers. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!