703: Cucapá Chupacabras

703 - Cucapa ChupacabrasName: Cucapá Chupacabras
Brewery: Cucapá Brewing Company
Country of Origin: Mexico
City & State: Mexicali, Mexico
Style: English Pale Ale
Alcohol Content (ABV): 5.8%
First Brewed: 2002
Price: $5.99

Tasting Notes
The aroma bounces with roasted nuts, dark-chocolate, and stone fruits, giving way to a palate of earthy hops with chocolate and caramel malts before a long hoppy finish.

Ricky’s Thoughts

We found this bottle in November when we were in San Diego. My buddy Erick invited us to lunch on our way home, and this place was awesome! It was a restaurant, bottle shop, beer bar… With a sick selection of bottles in the back. I found a clearance section, literally in the back, and started digging through rows and rows of bottles. I ended up buying $100 worth of beer, including a bottle of Cucapá Chupacabras.

I have never seen anything from this brewery, but there is a Cucapá Chupacabras sign on display at Papago Brewing Company here in Scottsdale. I figured this beer would be hard to find, or we would have to visit Mexico to find it. There are still two more beers from this brewery on our list… So a trip to Mexico isn’t out of the picture just yet.

Really excited to try this beer. I hope, since we bought it in November, the beer still has a good flavor… That is a long time to wait for a hoppy beer, and I am not sure how many moons it had been sitting on the shelf.

Erick, what was the name of this place?

In the Glass: Whoa, lots of foam. The beer did travel from San Diego in the back of a car, but it has literally been sitting in the fridge since then. Not sure why there is so much head on this one. Nice color, though. Lot of bubbles racing to the top. Surely there is a name for that… The bubbles. Is there? I don’t know…

Seriously, there is so much head on this beer. It might be a half hour before I am ready to smell it. Nah, I will start now.

Nose: This is a pale ale, therefore I expect some hops both on the nose and in the overall flavor. At first, I get a roasty metallic note. Oh, and we are drinking this from our new Fate teku glasses we got during Arizona Beer Week. Anyway, this beer smells more like wood and dirt, if that makes sense, than it does hops. Remember, this could have been sitting on the shelf for months, maybe years for all we know. I just hope the flavor is somewhat tolerable.

Flavor: That is actually REALLY good. There is a nice coating of hops on my palate, and the finish linger, dries and is quite bitter. I have been watching Chopped on Netflix this weekend, and they use the word bitter to explain the flavor of certain menu items. No way anything they are cooking with is as bitter as the beers we drink. Remember, I am a hop head!

Mouthfeel: Whoa, that is carbonated. Based on the head, I should have expected that, but it is almost champagne carbonated. I don’t know enough about brewing to know if that means there is an issue with the beer. Anyone out there have some advice on what causes a beer to become overly carbonated in the bottle? Maybe it was supposed to be that way… Not sure. But that is the first thing I experience when drinking this.

Aftertaste: The aftertaste is drying and lingers for a few minutes. There is another flavor there I am not sure about… But I like it.

Overall, this beer is really good, and was well worth the $5.99 price tag. Sure, it might be old. But it is delicious. There are two more beers from this brewery on the list, so hopefully the next two are just as delicious. Cheers to whatever you are drinking tonight!

Cucapá Chupacabras – The bottle says: “Chupacabras; a mythical extraterrestrial said to inhabit both of the Americas. The name translates literally from spanish as “goat sucker”, an activity avidly performed by this creature. Sightings of this cryptid have been reported all the way from Puerto Rico to Maine crossing all of Central America and Mexico in his journey.”

Rating: 3.5/5 (I REALLY want to give this a 4, but it is just not quite there. Can I rate this 3.75?)

Sheryl’s Thoughts

The first thing I noticed about this beer is the huge amount of head it had. Ricky poured it into the glass, and several inches of head were there. He did a good pour too, and it just had a ton of foam. Even after sitting in the glass for a few minutes, it still kind of looked like a root beer float.

Other than the head, the beer is kind of a dark honey orange color in the glass. Not very cloudy, but lots of tiny little bubbles, so it seems like it might be a bit carbonated. I don’t get much smell out of it at all… just the typical “beer” smell. It smells wet and bread-like.

After getting past all the foam, I took a sip. It’s definitely got a hoppy taste to it, and there is some of that carbonation that the little bubbles indicate. It’s good if you are a hophead. I’m really not. But it’s got a good balance to it. It’s not overly hoppy. It’s actually pretty drinkable if you kind of want a nice, balanced, hoppy beer. To me this is almost what I would want from a session IPA, but it’s actually just a pale ale.

I’m not sure if this is one that I would buy again. Not because it’s not good, but because it’s just not my first choice of style. But who knows, maybe one of these days I will wake up and be like “I’m in the mood for hops” today. If that happens, this might be one that I turn to. It’s actually one of the better beers that I’ve had from Mexico.

Rating: 3.5/5

702 bottles of beer on the wall…

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