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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

16 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 16
Hads: 37
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 17.53%
Wants: 14
Gots: 3 | 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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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 16 | Hads: 37
Reviews by Neffbeer:
Photo of Neffbeer
5/5  rDev +23.5%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

 637 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.66/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours opaque, dark brown, with 1/4 inch head. Taste is sweet chocolate, cream, some dark chocolate, and pepper heat at the end. The peppers become more dominant as the beer warms. Above average and tasty combination. Not sure if I would rush to get this again, but it is tasty.

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Photo of KingEdward
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Roguer
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful black beer, tan head with good retention.

A bit of chocolate and caramel on the nose. A touch of banana from the yeast.

Plenty of chocolate and roasted barley on the palate, with a kiss of chilies up front. Rich espresso and chocolate tones throughout, coming in waves. Sweet and dessert-like.

Thick and full feel; nearly chewy. Slight heat from the peppers.

Pretty sure this is the right beer: on tap, 9.8%.

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Photo of leschkie
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at the House of Brews. Deep almost inky black. Medium khaki head that settles to a wispy surface and collar. Chocolate aroma. Roasted malt. Booze and some licorice. Tastes of rich chocolate. Roasted coffee malt. The faintest of peppers, but not much. Heavy and a little boozy. Good stout, but not very dynamic.

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Photo of seanh99
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of claspada
3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
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 +15.3%
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 +7.2%
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.

 374 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

 1,695 characters

Photo of drewone
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of UnknownKoger
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of flexabull
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
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 +23.5%

Photo of sweatervest27
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of DefenCorps
4.17/5  rDev +3%
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%
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.

 353 characters

Photo of waiting4lunch
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Slatetank
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I guess they must have re-brewed this since it was just listed as Chocolate chili Imperial stout at the local taphouse -served chilled in a pint.

the color is black as night with thin cream colored head with fine bead and ringlets of lace stick while retention is good. The smell is a mix of roasted malt with strong cocoa like dark chocolate with a mild dried fruit almost prune-like odor. The feel is very good -nice texture of malt balanced by subtle yeast creaminess with roasted textures and moderately sweet body with semi-dry finish with almost no alcohol detectable.

I like how the chocolate is the first thing you taste since that comes first in the name with a very subtle spice and nice clean yeast flavor which supports the roast in the malt with the sweetness level balanced perfectly with mild bitterness and you really don't taste any alcohol until the very end. This is a well brewed stout with very mild chili which comes off as fruity almost dark cherry-like in the taste. I would recommend trying this if you have the opportunity it was the best beer I have tasted recently

 1,095 characters

Photo of CampusCrew
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

 381 characters

Photo of dleiner
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of micahmye
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of zoolzoo
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
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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Sierra Nevada Hellraiser Chocolate Chili Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 16 ratings.