Goose Island Pepe Nero 2011

I’m automatically predisposed to a beer called ‘Pepe Nero’. It’s cute, cool and full of attitude – the perfect name for a Chihuahua, in my opinion. I can just see myself, walking down the street in the mean streets of Leeds, Chihuahua on a short lead; a snarling, spitting mass of teeth and fur, mixing it with the ubiquitous Staffies and Chocolate Labradors.

Anyway, enough of these insights into how my fevered mind works. Pepe Nero (6%abv) means ‘Black Pepper’ in Italian, and the taste is the inspiration for Goose Island’s beer. I was looking forward to it, to be honest; Black Pepper is a flavour that – done right – could add loads of depth to a beer, if you ask me.

As it happens, things didn’t quite work out for me with this one. Yes, it was a decent beer – pleasingly dark, with a cherry-skin streak running through it when held to the light. Coffee, roasted malt notes and a slight, sweet nuttiness holding things up – but where was the pepper? Instead of an intense, earthy finish I got lightness, more cherry-fruitiness and a quickly-drying end.

Oh well. Maybe I held too much for it to start with. Maybe it was a bad batch. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a good beer – but I expected a Rottweiler – and got a Chihuahua.


About leighgoodstuff

Blog: I'm Leigh Linley; born and bred in Leeds, and writing about it since 2005. TGS exists solely to highlight the great beers that are out there; brewed with passion by Craft Brewers around the World. I also edit the 'Tavern Tales' section of Culture Vulture, which looks at Pubs and Pub Life rather than the beer in the glass.

Posted on 08/04/2012, in Beer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. We enjoyed it but found it a bit thin-bodied. Sometimes, they don’t do themselves any favours with the overblown packaging, setting up expectations they can’t deliver on.

  2. Drank mine last night, was okay but wasn’t keen on any of the four smaller “vintage” with the eexception of Sofie…blog to follow somewhen

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