Mokah is an Imperial Stout brewed with chocolate and roasted coffee beans. This is a blended beer, which contains Southern Tier’s “Choklat” and “Jahva.” I reviewed this two years ago, and looking back at my old photo, I see great improvements on the label, including the entire Southern Tier identity. Aromas are dominated by chocolate, giving a simple impression of Hershey’s milk chocolate, chocolate cereal malts, and details of vanilla extract.
The palate makes a lactic introduction like a chocolate milkshake. As malt grains begin to flow in, the character shifts into a chocolate cake vibe with details of oats. Caramel-flavored sweetness gathers in the middle. Dull bitterness develops on the back-end, where flavors of roasted coffee begin to rise and resonate. Alcohol is gently exposed, giving rise to a weak impression of dark fruit, followed by a subtle hint of vanilla. The mouthfeel is quite viscous like heavy cream, then thins out as oils descend.
Overall, Mokah just isn’t quite as good as I had hoped, but there’s certainly enough content to appreciate here. It’s probably best to share this one with a friend, because this is like dessert in a glass. I do like how it’s sweeter than it is bitter, so hops play a purely supportive role without divulging much, if any, intrusive flavor. Since reviewing this in 2012, I notice Southern Tier decided to lower the ABV by 1.2%, which makes this a little better at hiding the alcohol (and subsequently easier to drink). For constructive criticism, I think it needs more malts to create a bigger, more sustained body. If you love this style, you’ll find plenty to appreciate, but there are better options out there, so I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it.
Malts: 2-row barley, barley flakes, caramel, chocolate, black
Hops: Columbus, Chinook
Lakewood, New York