During a recent journey way up north to Palm Beach County, I set out to visit Boynton Beach’s Due South Brewing Company and check out a very special can release. Mexican Standoff – as the name might imply – is NOT a beer experience where any party is exposed to danger. In fact, quite the contrary. I would go so far as to put this on a VIP (Very Important Porter) list. A hearty porter made with chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla and habanero peppers, this spicy goodness packs quite the punch at 8.5% ABV.
Released in cans twice a year in conjunction with two Mexican holidays – Cinco de Mayo and Día de los Muertos – Due South’s limited offering is worth checking out now. So what did I think? While I love chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla and hot peppers in their own right, I wasn’t sure what to expect from these flavors together in a beer. Sure, I’ve had chocolate porters before, even chocolate porter chunk ice cream which blended perfectly. This wasn’t going to be the first time I’ve had spicy with sweet either, beer or otherwise.
At the brewery I had it straight from the source, on tap. It doesn’t get much better than that in my opinion. Dark and aromatic, this full-bodied porter hit my taste buds in all the right places at the right times. Each of the four ingredients were present from start to finish, with the chocolate-vanilla-cinnamon front and center. The combination of these three render this porter a tasty one, but it’s the chili pepper kick that takes it to another level. The brewers at Due South get it right – the heat arrives with the other flavors but doesn’t really set in until the finish, where the spice coated the back of my tongue but didn’t attack it. Yin and yang. After a few sips I could feel the heat on the inside of my lips and it had a semi-permanent presence in my mouth. I liked what I was experiencing, and I think you will too. This beer was definitely one I savored, sip after sip. Perhaps the chili presence demanded that I not drink quickly; perhaps knowing the higher alcohol content would hit me faster also slowed down my pace. Whatever the reason, Mexican Standoff is a mighty fine craft beer worth your own investigation. Since it’s only available in cans twice a year, I took home a 4-pack to enjoy as I write this piece. My advice to you is to head out to Boynton Beach and enjoy the expanded taproom (still in progress at time of this writing) and get you some of this porter while it’s available. Have a seat, play cornhole or Jenga, people watch, beer drink and be happy. Take a 4-pack home while you’re at it. Trust me, you’re going to want to continue the warm heat that you feel from this solid porter. If you can’t make it to the brewery in person, worry not. They distribute widely in most of Florida, so click here to find you some of that choco-chili goodness. If you’re nowhere near Florida, time to plan that craft beer trip you’ve been meaning to!