Released in early 2015, Freckle is an imperial stout that comes in at 10.8 percent ABV and is brewed with spices and cocoa nibs to simulate Mexican molé. The beer is packaged in 750ml bottles and was produced specifically for the Placentia, Calif.-based brewery’s Preservation Society, in which members receive three special release beers each quarter.

The Bruery Freckle bottle

The Bruery’s website has a bit more information about the beer:

Freckle is a robust imperial stout that has been infused with the essence of an elegant Mexican molé. The dark, roasted barley in this 10.8% abv stout has been accented with a touch of rich chocolate and a hint of south of the border spice for our interpretation of the unique, sweet & savory sauce used throughout southern Mexico.

Visually, Freckle pours a coal black with a finger and a half of mocha brown head that slowly dissipates to a nice, thick lacing that continues to stick around as I drink. Aroma from the glass is a combination of dark cocoa, espresso beans, raisons, vanilla, oak and a touch of cinnamon.

From the first taste, a combination of dark and bitter cocoa powder and cinnamon are dominant, followed closely by other flavors of aged oak, bitter coffee, green peppers, fudge, licorice and tobacco . There is some light vanilla sweetness on the finish, along with a very slight burn from the molé spices that really only shows up at the very end of the finish. Carbonation is low but spritzy, and works well with this beer, while the mouthfeel is creamy and a bit slick, coating my moth every time I take a sip.

The Bruery Freckle

As it warms, the cinnamon in the profile takes over the dominant slot, and it is hard to distinguish any other flavors. All of the vanilla sweetness, creamy oak and dark chocolate continues to fade as the cinnamon overpowers them.

The Bruery Freckle
BREWERY: The Bruery
LOCATION: Placentia, Calif.
STYLE: Imperial Stout
ABV: 10.8 percent
IBU: 25
PRICE: $16.99
RELEASE DATE: February 2015
AVAILABLE IN: 750ml bottles
This is basically a poor man's Cigar City Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout or Westbrook Brewing Co.'s Mexican Cake, and that is meant as a compliment, not a slight. The flavors in the profile of Freckle are distinct as well as decently balanced—at least while it is cold—with the heat from whatever peppers were used only showing up on the tail end of the finish. Unfortunately, the mouthfeel is a bit thin for my tastes, the overall profile is not nearly as complex as the aforementioned beers, and the flavors really fall apart as the beer warms up. Having said that, this is a fairly enjoyable beer, and one that I would have no problem with drinking again.
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