By Iron Chef Leftovers
There are some beers that are available once a year in a very limited window that are worth the wait. These generally tend to be really over the top hoppy IPA’s that have a huge following. For me, it is the obscure styles of dark beers, generally ones that have been sitting in a barrel aging. Sound Brewing Mayan Cave Bear has been a bit of a white whale for me – the last couple of releases I wasn’t able to get to try the beer and I have been wanting to for quite a while since their Imperial Stout – Ursus Spelaeus is one of my favorites. Fortunately for me I went to the cask festival and Mayan Cave Bear was available, so I figured what better time to try it.
The beer pours jet black with significant amounts of vanilla, chocolate and coffee with hints of malt and chilies on the nose. The beer starts off with huge notes of chocolate and coffee on the palate before throwing in a hint of green chili pepper that brings a touch of heat to the party, but not in an overpowering way, and some fruitiness from the pepper. The beer finishes long with chocolate, coffee, toffee, roast malt and a pleasant background heat that ties this beer altogether. The beer is big and complex and 10% ABV but well balanced and smooth making it easy to drink. This beer is one I probably couldn’t drink all day, but it would be a great one to have a snifter or 2 of on a cold winter day.
Sound Brewery Mayan Cave Beer staves off extinction with a spectacular 5 human sacrifices out of 5.