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The Beer Circle » Beer, DuClaw Brewing Co., Stout » DuClaw H.E.R.O. 2012: Heating Up the Charity Scene

DuClaw H.E.R.O. 2012: Heating Up the Charity Scene

DuClaw, which started distributing to DC mid-last year, is starting to take off in popularity. Their eXiled series is highly sought after, for good reason, and their everyday options are surprisingly tasty. DuClaw also likes to give back whenever it can, focusing specifically on their Honest. Excellent. Robust. Original. (HERO) Homebrew competition, where the brewery picks their favorite from a host of submitted recipes, brews and bottles it, and gives all the proceeds to charity.

The winning entry in our 2012 H.E.R.O. homebrew competition, this silky, Chocolate Chipotle Stout is full-bodied with warm aromas of chocolate and roasted malt, and a spicy, chipotle pepper bite perfectly balanced by silky smooth chocolate flavor making it one unique and very drinkable beer. EVERY SINGLE PENNY from the sale of this beer goes directly to charity, so drink up, help out, be a H.E.R.O.


I came across a bottle of 2012 H.E.R.O. at Perfect Pour in Maryland, and decided to jump aboard the hype train. Let’s see if this beer brings the heat!

DuClaw H.E.R.O 2012: Chocolate Chipotle Stout
HERO pours out of the bottle black, with shades of brown at the edges. The beer isn't the most viscous of stouts I've come across, but the head does build up nicely, with a light brown hue. The remnants of the head lace gracefully down the side of my glass.
The aroma is very focused on dark chocolate with some roasted malt as a compliment. The peppers are there, hinting at the heat that is sure to come once a sip has been taken. The combination of spicy and sweet makes my mouth begin to water.
This chocolate chipotle stout starts off sweet, with rich chocolate being the only thing I can taste. As soon as you make an attempt to swallow the liquid, the peppers make their presence known, attacking the taste buds and the back of the throat in the best way possible. The burn is juxtaposed perfectly with the sweet, velvety chocolate. I really wish the roast, or some other character, made an appearance here, however. The chocolate just wasn't enough to balance out the peppers over the course of the 22oz bottle.
It has a velvety smooth body without as much carbonation as I would have liked. The balance between chocolate and pepper was nice at first, but my palate waned of it after the first glass, hurting the drinkability.
With a price tag of $8.99 you can't go wrong. Especially considering all proceeds go to charity.
This was a good beer in a category I hope to see more brewers take a shot at in the future. As someone who really enjoys spicy food, I've found the peppers to be a great thing to add to beer. Bolster up the front of this beer and DuClaw would really have something!

Beer Stats
Style: American Stout
Serving: Bottle
Size: 22oz
ABV: 7.50%
BA Score: 87
RB Score: 86

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Written by Russ Beck

Russ can trace his beginnings in craft beer to sitting in Zeno’s Pub in State College drinking various craft beer options from across Pennsylvania. Since then, he has never faltered in finding new brews, whether they’re rare, delicious, or hopefully both. Russ will be writing on a large variety of subjects, including but not limited to: reviews, homebrewing, and how to take labels off of beer bottles. He’ll drink just about anything, but prefers a nice Stout, IPA, or Weizenbock. Find Russ Beck on Google Plus

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