5 Vulture – Ale Brewed with Ancho Chili

Oaxacan-Style Dark Ale brewed with Latin flavor and flair. 6.4% ABV

5 Rabbit Cerveceria, Bedford Park, IL

Another welcome brew from 5 Rabbit, just in time for Cinco de Mayo. 5 Rabbit prides themselves in creative brewing, and utilizing traditional Latin ingredients. This dark ale employs some roasted ancho chili and unrefined sugar (piloncillo). It’s named for one of the five Aztec gods of excess; 5 Vulture symbolizes the excess of lust and envy, and stripping them away from oneself (the vulture’s role as scavenger), as well as being associated with wisdom and longevity.

I don’t know if the beer itself possesses any of those qualities, but besides being a craft beer aficionado and certified hop head, I am also a bit of a chilihead. So a dark ale with ancho chili sounded right up my alley.

I chose a stemmed tulip glass (consistent with the brewery’s suggestion on the label). The beer appeared opaque mahogany in color with deep red-amber highlights. The warm beige head of tightly-knit foam started out over a finger’s width in height, then slowly faded to a collar and central island.

Aroma was an appetizing blend of tangy dark malt notes, toasted and caramelized, with ancho chili detectable.

Medium-bodied with a light, fine carbonation bite and creamy texture.

Tangy up front with dark malt flavors – toasted, lightly roasted, richly caramelized and sweetish. The ancho chili appears late followed by a pleasing, light burn which serves to balance the malt moreso than the bittering. This leads into a drying finish with some lingering roastiness and chili flavor. Very tasty. Left a subtle burn on the tongue.

Food seems to bring out the Munich-like malt character. I paired this with 2 Mexican-style tacos; Al Pastor and grilled fish. The maltiness and well-integrated chili flavor complemented the food beautifully.

Rating:     Appearance: 4.5/5     Aroma: 8/10     Palate: 4/5     Flavor: 8.5/10     Overall: 16.5/20

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Great complement to grilled meats.


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