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Sierra Nevada Hellraiser Chocolate Chili Imperial Stout - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Hellraiser Chocolate Chili Imperial Stout
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very good

12 Reviews
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Reviews: 12
Hads: 27
Avg: 4.09
pDev: 11.98%
Wants: 14
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jrallen34 on 02-22-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 12 | Hads: 27
Reviews by Neffbeer:
Photo of Neffbeer
5/5  rDev +22.2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From those devils at SN came this stunner, under the radar at EBF in Boston and reviewed based on several samples and notes. Poured near black, under a dense dark tan head, stayed showed moderate retention, then thick blobs of stick. Dark malt and espresso nose. On the tongue this is thick, smooth and dense with flavors of more roasty dark malts, light chocolate, some smoke and in general stout goodness. Was not able to pick up chili, as the other notes mentioned were in command. Stout lover rejoice and go get some of this stuff if you happen to see it available at the next beer fest or high quality SN event you find yourself at.

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Photo of leschkie
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of seanh99
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of claspada
3.76/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas of heavily roasted dark grains: mainly coffee and dark chocolate malts. Cannot detect and hop character or any of the alleged chiles.

The taste is where this guy shines; rich and complex with dark roasted bittersweet chocolate, some mocha and the fainted amount of smokiness from the chiles I presume.

The mouthfeel is unlike any Imperial Stout I have ever had because of the chile additions. It leaves a tingling unexpected and complex finish which is quite enjoyable as a change of pace. If you want a traditional Imp Stout look elsewhere, but this was enjoyable mainly because of it's uniqueness.

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Photo of koufax
4.67/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On draught at Rattle n Hum in NYC during their Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary takeover.

Absolutely perfect balance between spicy and sweet. Such a tough thing to do, but trust Sierra Nevada to do it and do it right. Nose gives both elements advertised: chilis and chocolate. I especially like the smell of the chilis. Gave it about 30 minutes to warm up after an initial taste, which was exactly what it needed. I honestly can't discern where the alcohol is, as the taste is also a brilliant blend of sweet and spicy. The spiciness sticks around for a good while after each drink, which I love. Others might not however. Wonderful mouthfeel.

In short, a fantastic experiment gone very right.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.34/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Churchkey. Reviewed from notes.

Pours black without much of a head or any significant lacing. Nose is nice with a good dose of chocolate, espresso, and roasted malt. The chili peppers are mild but bring a nice kick. Taste brings some slight heat with really great chocolate and coffee notes. Love the chili in the feel. Drinks quite well. Definitely a solid brew.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.91/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at ChurchKey.

As pasrt of CK's SN festivities, I think I was most excited about trying this bad boy, especially with my love of chili-pepper-infused stouts (and other dark beers, too). It pours an opaque black-brown crowned by a finger of rather dark tan foam, which lingers for a decent amount o' time before sinking into the oblivion below. Out of the corner of my eye, I see "Pinhead" grinning creepily at me as I lift the glass to my 'strils. I should have known: dark chocolate, oak, and some dark malts come through, but the lack of chili-ness and other things that end in -ness leave me kinda let down, though the smells I do get are rather nice. That creepy Cenobite bastard just loves it when things don't go as we think they should. Oh, what wonders, indeed. Now I'm not sure what to expect from the flavors. I solve the puzzle box and dive right in: There's the chili (with a tiny bit o' corresponding heat), joined by everything identified in the nose, some slightly tart berries, a flash of smoke, and a wee bit o' bitterness in the back. While enjoying all of this, I wonder if that really creepy chattering Cenobite (that noise is downright unnerving after a while) would be able to appreciate the heavy-medium body, pleasant chewiness, and extreme smoothness this brew exhibits (I mean, with that jaw constantly flapping, can he even fully drink anything?)? Doesn't matter...this stout is probably the best dark beer I've ever had from SN at this point. (Spoiler alert: this would be usurped by the next brew I had this evening...) Still, I do have to say that it didn't fully live up to my expectations; a slight disappointment, but a tasty one nonetheless.

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Photo of UnknownKoger
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of flexabull
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black color, with a pretty nice dark tan head.

Aromas are of bitter bakes chocolate, heavy roasted grains, and hints of cocoa.

Taste is full flavored and quite complex. This beer is not for the faint of heart, or those that want subtle simplicity. But with that said, this isn't a big spice powerhouse like I thought it was going to be. Starts out with bitter chocolate, cocoa, and creamy malt sweetness. Finish is slightly bitter, with a touch of smoke from the chilies.

Mouthfeel is good, smooth, maybe a touch too heavy. But that's kind of a nitpick.

Drinkability is nice. Very good Imperial Stout, super complex and interesting to drink.

 658 characters

Photo of modernartblues
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Photo of sweatervest27
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of DefenCorps
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Churchkey.
Pouring the typical black, this beer is attractive with a dense brown head with good retention and a little lace. The nose is solid. A fantastic blend between roasted malt bitterness, dark chocolate and some dark fruit, the base stout here is fantastic. The chili presence is quite light, but that's coming from an indian who grew up on spicy food, so make of that what you will. Some licorise as well, this is great stuff. The palate opens with a really robust grainy bitterness. Dark chocolate, a little coffee are noticeable, and there's a faint chili heat. A mild sweetness is present, balancing the bitterness. Mildly drying and roasty on the finish, one that's excellent with a beautiful balance between sweetness and bitterness, this is a well crafted beer. Full in body and moderate in carbonation, this is top notch stuff. Quite creamy as well.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.28/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad

A: Black with a 1/2 finger tan head.

S: Mostly just some roasted malt and a little chocolate. Not a ton going on there.

T: I was expecting at least a little bit of a burn, but there was nothing there whatsoever. Roasted malt and some day old coffee and some off tasting earthy flavors. I wasn't a huge fan of this one.

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Photo of waiting4lunch
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of CampusCrew
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was one of the beer I had at the Sierra Nevada beer dinner at Kickbacks. easly the beer I was most excited to try since I love this type of beer, didnt let down, sublte hear balanced with nice cho flavors. well done! Was a great night. Had amazingly paired food with one of my all time favorite breweries. I would love to have this beer again as well as others from the night.

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Photo of micahmye
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of zoolzoo
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Ive never heard of this SN offering until I saw it at ACBF. What a pleasant surprise. Smells of dark chocolate and coffee beans. I was looking for some heat or spice from the chilies but alas I could not detect anything.

Initially we have a well rounded stout, it sort of reminds me of IST. I was waiting for the dark chocolate and roasted malts to build into some big chili spiciness, but it sort of went out with a whimper. I did start getting a little heat as I progressed and finished my sample, but I was hoping for something a little more prominent there.

That being said, an excellent stout as a base beer, could have used a little more spice.

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Photo of furthurgone
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was probably my biggest anticipation walking into the ACBF in 2010. I had seen it on the list of beers they had available and I knew right away that it was going to be a must have for me that day. The beer poured out as a nice dark brown color, it had a thin tan head on top. The smell had the roasted malts and chocolate from what I could tell but I wasn't getting too much pepper out of it. The taste was the same way, I struggled really hard to taste the pepper in the one at all. I wasn't even getting any heat in the aftertaste from it... I was a little bummed by this. The mouthfeel was good and overall it's a decent beer, I'd love to have it again, perhaps at a place where the keg isn't brand new and at a higher temperature.

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Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of jurbanik
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of Rau71
2.75/5  rDev -32.8%

Photo of jrallen34
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this from a tasting glass at EBF.

The beer is black with a medium tan head. The retention and lacing are both pretty solid.

The aroma is a very nice combination of chocolate and spice very similar to tobasco.

The taset is right on the nose. Its like eating a chocolate bar spied with chili peppers. You can eat anything with chocolate and this is just more proof you can mix and drink about anything with chocolate. The finish is very nice and smooth.

The hot from the chili is just enough to give you the flavor but not kill your tastebuds or its drinkability.

Boston Beer made a similar beer, but this one is clearly superior.

Great beer, I'd love to see it mass produced.

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Sierra Nevada Hellraiser Chocolate Chili Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 12 ratings.