Our annual winter seasonal stout is back with a twist as we release Mocha Dolce Nitro Stout – an all-new seasonal beer infused with premium Madagascar vanilla beans, cocoa nibs, and fresh-roasted coffee beans, made to warm your soul as the weather turns cold.
Mocha Dolce is available for a limited time at our online store and three locations in Paso Robles, Buellton, and Venice. It’s also rolling out to all Firestone Walker markets. Use our Beer Finder to locate it near you.
In the words of Brewmaster Matt Brynildson, “We enhanced our classic nitro stout and took it to the next level with these new additions – all of which meld perfectly with the beer’s rich, chocolaty character. Meanwhile, a touch of lactose brings a mellow sweetness to the mouthfeel, in the classic milk stout style. The result is a smooth, creamy beer that tastes like your favorite latte.”
The base beer is brewed with dark-roasted specialty malts that impart hints of caramel and chocolate. The beer is then infused with the vanilla beans, cocoa nibs, and coffee. Finally, the beer is nitrogenated for a creamy, velvety texture.
Mocha Dolce follows last year’s seasonal release, Cinnamon Dolce Nitro Stout, continuing our tradition of iterative stout brewing to keep things fresh each winter. This tradition dates back more than 15 years to our original Velvet Merlin oatmeal stout, followed by Nitro Merlin Milk Stout, which launched in 2018 as our first-ever nitro stout. Other seasonal iterations have included Chocolate Cherry Stout and Coconut Merlin Milk Stout.
To create Mocha Dolce, we partnered with three of our favorite local and California purveyors: HoneyCo Coffee Roasters in San Luis Obispo, Cooks Flavorings in Paso Robles, and TCHO Chocolate in Berkley.
“For the coffee beans, we landed on HoneyCo’s single-origin Columbia Granadilla medium roast,” Matt said. “HoneyCo never overdoes their roasting, everything is silky and delicious and of the highest quality. We tried a bunch of different coffees and ultimately landed on their Columbia Granadilla as a perfect complement to the beer with its nougat and spun caramel flavors.”
He added: “We don’t grind the beans at all – we circulate the beer through the whole beans. It’s a less efficient way to gain flavors, but it prevents any of the bitter qualities you might expect from over-extraction.”
The Madagascar vanilla beans are sourced from Cooks Flavorings, a third-generation family enterprise renowned worldwide for its vanilla and other spices. Finally, the cocoa nibs come from TCHO Chocolate, with whom we’ve worked for several years.
“These are all amazing ingredients that work really well together,” Matt said. “We never want any one flavor to stick out – we want them to work in concert together to create this seamless mocha dolce character.”
Master The Surge Pour
As a “nitro” beer, Mocha Dolce contains more nitrogen gas and less carbon dioxide (CO2) gas compared to traditional beer. The foam created by nitro bubbles is thicker and lasts longer. Also, because there is less CO2 in the beer, carbonation is minimal, paving the way for a velvety smooth texture.
As with all canned nitro beers, you will want to master the “surge pour” to get the most out of your Mocha Dolce. This includes turning the can over a few times in your hands, then cracking and “hard pouring” by holding the can upside down as you pour the beer into the glass.
When a nitro stout is poured properly, there is a cascading “waterfall” effect – the dark beer temporarily whitens as the nitrogen bubbles rise to the top. Once the bubbles fully rise, the beer becomes brilliantly clear, and it is crowned with a strikingly rich head.
This is the way of Mocha Dolce Nitro Stout – your new go-to beer for cozy moments this season.