Hunahpu's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

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Hunahpu's Imperial StoutHunahpu's Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

686 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 686
Hads: 3,413
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 4%
Wants: 3,459
Gots: 966 | FT: 70
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: tpd975 on 01-03-2009

In Mayan myth, Hunahpu gave cocoa to the Mayans. An Imperial Stout Aged On Cacao Nibs, Madagascar Vanilla Beans, Ancho Chilis, Pasilla Chilis and Cinnamon.

80 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 686 | Hads: 3,413
Photo of pdoran10
4.63/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split this bottle as a part of my friend's bachelor party.

Appearence is amazing. Jet black with two fingers of brown sedimented head.

Smell is a mix of vanilla, cocoa, and a hint of spice.

taste is a blend of cocoa, excellent dark malt, a hint of vanilla, with chilli spiciness lingering at the end. exceptionally complex and all the flavors are tasty.

Mouthfeel is smooth and thick. Not syrupy at all as some stouts can get.

Smooth and drinkable, but the super complex flavor profile makes me very content with only 1-2 servings.

thanks again to my sister for picking this up on her trip to florida. (610 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Thanks to jyounger30 for a chance to try this one. Can't wait to see if the beer lives up to the hype.

4.0 A: Pours a syruppy black color. Two fingers of creamy dark brown head with about average retention and some spotty lacing.

5.0 S: Wonderful nose. Right up there with the best of them. Complex with all the aromas collaborating. Sweet milk chocolate is by far the most prominent aroma. Blackstrap molasses, lots of toffee, some coffee, dark crystal malts. Plenty of roasted barley and toastiness to balance, but the sweetness still dominates. Vanilla is subtle and in the background. I may be detecting the cinnamon, but I'm not sure. Can't tell there's a chile in there though.

4.5 T: Sweet chocolate is most prominent again. Black coffee and roasted barley team up to give this an equally forceful roastiness and bitterness. Vanilla bean is subtle again, but definitely there. I definitely picking up the chiles now and they add a vegetal character, but I'm glad there aren't stronger. The only problem I have with this beer is that the alcohol isn't well hidden.

5.0 M: Heavy body with a silky creaminess to it. Good moderate carbonation. Thick, smooth, and silky is the way I like my Imperial Stouts and this meets all my requirements.

4.5 D: Very tasty beer with a wonderful nose and great mouthfeel. This is definitely the real deal. Time for another ISO. (1,395 characters)

Photo of oregonskibum
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a small snifter glass. Acquired in a recent trade and there was some minor seepage in transit, but it didn't seem to affect the flavor.

A: Color is a deep black with a tinge of red along the edge of the glass where the liquid met the dark tan, almost brown head. The head was thin and disippated quickly. Vicious.

S: Wow, this is complex and only got more so as it warmed. Rich cocoa, coffee, a little smoke wood (from the peppers, possibly?), some faint cinnamon. Didn't get the vanilla.

T: Very nice and rich. Like the smell, the taste has a lot going on and changes as it warms. Lots of chocolate, some smokey tang that I associate with a fire roasted sweet pepper, some faint cinnamon, a little coffee on the finish. Finish is long with a little heat on the back off the throat. Very pleasant finish.

M: Thick, very heavy, coating the mouth. Just a little carbonation, but perfect. Enough to give the beer a little life in the mouth.

D: This was excellent. Not your everyday beer, but very, very enjoyable. It's important to let it warm a little, as the flavors really came out as it warmed. I would have liked to see a little more vanilla. But this was very enjoyable and something I'll seek out again. (1,244 characters)

Photo of xpimptastikx
4.26/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a viscous black ink that a dark chocolate head rises from, sheet stays, some webs.

S - Roasted malts, coffee, tobacco, chocolate, smokey ancho, slight vanilla and alcohol warmth.

T - This is a pretty complex beer that definitely needs to reach the correct drinking temp. Starts with chocolate sweetness, mid palate slight cinnamon, which fades into the eventual super roasted finish that reminds me of a good cup of black coffee.

M/D - The mouthfeel is perfect, think and oily with the right amount of carbonation to help it over your tongue. Drinkability only suffers for me due to the amount of roasted malts. This beer would be great with a chocolate ancho cake, but might be overkill. (701 characters)

Photo of Jmoore50
4.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this in a trade recently and decided to pull it out at a tasting on May 23, 2010.

This is another very thick and vicious black tar Imperial Stout. With a hard pour, maybe a half finger dark brown head appears. Really thick grainy legs on the sides of my glass.

The smell is of straight Swedish milk chocolate. Pepper, coffee, and a spice that has to be the cinnamon. Great chocolate smell, maybe this isn't a beer but just a melted down chocolate bar.

The taste is great, thick body just sits the flavors on the palate. Chocolate, sweet cafe con leche, roasty grain, cocoa, and a peppery taste towards the end. Delicious cinnamon flavor once the brew warms up a bit.

The mouthfeel is thick, mean, heavy, whatever way you want to put it this beer has body. Like a thick black leather boot it kicks you in the mouth. This beer was good, what it could improve on is the head retention, the chile flavor was not as good as a beer like Chocolate Yeti, and it was a grainy. Overall the beer is spectacular and worthy of the hype.

(1,044 characters)

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Kevin for sharing this!

A- Body is thick and solid motor oil black. Pours with a 1 finger foamy dark brown head that has good retention and some lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- The highlight is spiciness-hot pepper and a hint of cinnamon. This is really in balance with rich bittersweet dark chocolate, anise and licorice.

T- Upfront is an accent of spiciness over prominent roasted malt and rich dark chocolate. Some anise is in the background. The finish is quite smooth and adds a hint of vanilla sweetness. A slight alcohol heat lingers.

M- Medium carbonation with a smooth, syrupy, and exceptionally smooth and creamy body.

D- I am very impressed with this brew. Has to be one of my top stouts. I love the addition of cinnamon and hot pepper and think it compliments the stout qualities very well. Would love to have this one again! (856 characters)

Photo of zoolzoo
3.96/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks to gford217

A: Pours "pitch black like an oil slick blah blah". Actually Hunahpu scores high marks in appearance because of its massive milk chocolate colored head. I cant chalk it up to my Duvel tulip because Ive been seeing plenty of impys pour into this glass with no head lately. This black liquid actually appears to be staining my glass brown as I swish it around.

S: Chocolate, coffee, some spice. Is that heat from the chili peppers or sharpness from booze? Hunahpu smells pretty good, but not terribly complex.

T: Opens with sweetness/dark fruit bordering on cloying, which mellows to reveal chocolate, vanilla, and a bitterness akin to fresh roasted coffee beans.

Theres definitely spice on the back end but I wish it developed just a little bit more. I found some cinnamon toward the end of the palate, but then again I was looking for it. The chili's become most apparent during Hunahpu's aftertaste, when you notice a bit of heat left to mingle on the palate. Overall the flavors are just huge, palatable, and pretty complex. High marks for taste, but I was hoping for a bit more defining character and less subtleness in regards to the spice.

M: Thoroughly thick and coating.... might stain your teeth. Low carb.

D: Another huge stout suitable for a 6-8oz serving in my opinion. Drinkability suffers due to sweetness, ABV, and general palate assault. For what it is, a great beer that I am glad to have tried. (1,442 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thank you to Kevin for cracking this one open at the Bruery 2nd Anniversary party.

A: Quite an ominous pour from the bottle. Viscous and black, creating a sturdy mocha head in the glass.

S: I was worried that the chili peppers would overwhelm the beer, but they provide only a subtle spice to the beer which works nicely with the sweet components. Chocolate and vanilla, along with caramel and roasted malts complete the nose.

T: A much more balanced flavor than the BA version offers. An inviting sweetness up-front of chocolate and vanilla, followed by a touch of bitterness and spice (chili and cinnamon) on the back end.

M: A very thick and chewy feel on the tongue. The carbonation is minimal, as it should be and just helps to enhance the creaminess.

D: The alcohol is nowhere to be found, but this one does pack quite the punch. A fantastic stout and one of the first CCB beers I've been really impressed by. (920 characters)

Photo of thepeter
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a-a dark little head on a black as night beer

s- chocolate, coffee, tobacco, hops, charred wood.

t- cocao, pine, dry wood that has been lightly charred, tobacco and coffee and alc warmth at the end.

md- Silky smooth and very drinkable closer to a medium bodied porter the way it felt. I could drink a bit more and found it to be very drinkable considering it's weight. (371 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
4.21/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a viscous jet black color with a dark mohagony colored dense head. huge thick velvety lace

S-the nose brings something different every time I swirl it. the chilies and pepper notes will show through on one. the cocoa nibs on another, a good bit of roasted malts throughout with a touch of vanilla. anise and molasses in the back with a touch of dark fruits. hints of fusel alcohol in the back but still solid.

T-the pepper spice is right up front, roasted malts, dark chocolate and vanilla behind. the cinnamon comes in towards the back with a fair bit of dark fruity sweetness to close the deal. lots going on here and it works fairly well together.

M-this is very smooth on the palate, full bodied and slightly dry in the back. so soft in my mouth. just enough carb to allow this to fall softly down the throat.

D-this has some interesting stuff going on, the sweetness is very nice in the back to balance the peppery spice up front. it is a well done contrast with a nice balance to it. not something I can drink a ton of but still a tasty brew! (1,060 characters)

Photo of Avagadro
4.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: The bottle is saturated with adjectives, so it must be good, right? Hunahpu's is extremely thick and equally dark. A single drop is enough to completely hide a white surface. Carbonation is nearly non-existant, and a head is hard to coax out of this thick liquid. Swirling the glass results in a viscous black film that never really settles, but simply clings there, like paint on a wall.

S: Bouquet is well presented. Chocolate and molasses dominate, with little else perceptable through their strength.

T: Flavor begins with a mountain of chocolate supported by smooth vanilla and finished with a delightful touch of chile heat. It is quite sweet, but not cloying. The chile adds a great counter to the aggressively sweet nature of this brew.

M: Thick, creamy, sticky. This reminds me of a milk shake.

D: I had to try this after seeing it rise so quickly to the #9 spot. I can definitely say that it deserves the attention, as it is both innovative and delightful. Many thanks to Jconhead1 for splitting this one with me. (1,030 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
4.67/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, 11.5% abv. Pours a great looking pitch black color with a tan head. Very good retention. Head moves to a fat ring, leaving no lace.

Dark chocolate, cocoa, a bit of roasty malt. Some dark fruit comes out. A bit of vanilla. A bit of cinnamon at the end.

Smoother dark chocolate blends well with some peppery flavors. A hint of vanilla and dark fruit. A bit of cinnamon in the finish. Dry at the end.

Thick, chewy mouthfeel. Lower carbonation. A fair amount of heat. Very nice beer here. (505 characters)

Photo of mcallister
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic looking beer. Jet black with an amazing dark mocha head of an inch that fades into a nice crown topper.

Thick roasted aromas with fudge and chocolate cake batter aromas. Hints of vanilla and some hints of cayeene.more peppery aromas come through as it sits in my glass.

Man what a rich complex yet delicate treasure. Fudgey as hell with dark chocolate galore, the pepper flavors compliment the chocolate very well. Hints of vanilla and cocoa tannins on the finish. Nice roasty malts.cinnamon in the moderate finish as well.

Thick creamy and delicious. Seek this one out. (583 characters)

Photo of umopuew
4.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark as the night itself. Exceptional lacing.

S: Vanilla, chocolate, and coffee notes.

T: Rich in flavor. Creamy, malty, and THICK

M: It's like butta!

D: A bit heavier beer than I normally pursue, I appreciate it for what it is, but it's definitely best reserved for special occasions. (292 characters)

Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared a bottle with CarbonIS...thanks Bill! Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Portsmouth snifter. Pours an extremely dark black, murky and oil like. Has a great looking dark brown head, creamy with awesome retention. This looks amazing!

Aroma is spicy, malty, coffee-like, and boozy. Smell is super strong and very inviting.

Great full bodied and creamy flavor! Tons of sweetness, chillie spiciness...huge maltiness and thickness. Wow, this beer comes with a lot of anticipation, and it definitely doesn't let down! Low carbonation...but perfect. For 11%+...its not entirely boozy! Very impressed, a great beer from Cigar City! (631 characters)

Photo of Donerik
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black, Good head, As expected, could have been picturesque to get a 5

S: Great smell, many aromas, Hops, Chocolate, Vanilla

T: Hopsy for an RIS, reminded me a lot of Nightstalker by goose island. Good malty thick flavor, Enjoyable Just not as good as the other stouts at the tasting and thus it trended down in comparison

M & D: Thick, Full, Good, Not too boozy, but we moved on to another beer beer after so I'd say drinkable. (433 characters)

Photo of Chico1985
4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade from wavers1, much thanks. I am weary of beers that zoom up the top 100, but that ingredient list made me want this stout right away. I wanted to drink it fresh in case aging made the flavors die down.

Pours black with easily the DARKEST head I have seen on a beer. Wow! Almost as dark as the beer itself. Dark brown, like a hershey bar, with almost a red tint to it. A little lackluster on retention and lacing - turns to a cap, leaves a bit of foam. But, this head is so gnarly and dark.

Lots of cocoa and vanilla present in the nose. Coffee and roastiness. Chiles noticeable if you try hard enough.

Rich, thick chocolate (fudge brownie-esque), roasted malt and sweetness seem to be up-front mostly. Very good vanilla bean and spiciness from the chiles seem to blast you randomly and are especially present in the aftertaste and towards the end. The spice even makes me sweat a little at times, nice! Alcohol is 11.5%? What? Really?

Mouthfeel is a decent thickness and carbonation is low, alcohol is extremely well-hidden. The sweetness and spice may be a bit much for some. For me it was the best part.

Well, for a 11.5% 750ml stout I drank this pretty damn fast (under an hour). It's very complex and I love the flavors, but it didn't quite blow me away like I thought it would. I'm not sure why. This is still an excellent beer, a must-try for lovers of the dessert stout and spicy foods. (1,419 characters)

Photo of hardy008
4.66/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Dark black color with a large 4 finger head. The head on this beer is the darkest color I have ever seen on any beer. It also has great retention.

The aroma has dark chocolate, vanilla, and cocoa. The aroma is very nice, but not as strong as I thought it might be.

The flavor is very bold, much more so than the aroma. Dark chocolate, cocoa, and vanilla. Also tastes like there is a little bit of cinnamon?

Full bodied, rich, smooth, creamy, sweet, and perfectly carbonated. I can not even detect the alcohol which is 11.5%. This is an exceptional beer for sure. I only wish I had another bottle. (628 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

How to make a Russian Imperial Stout better? Just add complexity: Chocolate, sure! Vanilla, why not? Chili peppers, yea that too. Just make sure it's 12% or so. Sounds easy doesn't it. By the way, make it a top 10 beer to boot.

Hunahpu pours with a thick and viscous colapse into the chalice. As dark brown as possible and without emitting any light. The dark brown froath looks stained by roasted malts, cocoa, and espresso and is as creamy and rich looking as any beer imaginable- with the visual texture of a rocky milkshake. The head lasts 'til the beer's all gone. Extremely handsome and masculine to the eye.

Very strong roast early on with emphasis on espresso, charred cocoa, and nail-polish remover alcohols. No sign of esters or hops to the nose. Malty/milky with bold brownie and unadulturated freshly ground espresso beans. As the beer warms, the chili peppers release their capsaisen aromas giving yet another layer of joy.

Even stronger flavors deeply favor espresso and bitter cocoa. The cocoa and vanilla weave seamlessly with the deep and dark roasted malt flavors, making the burnt grains mellow and creamy flavored. Alcohols and grains form a strong licorice, cherry, and currant flavor that wasn't present in the nose. All the while, the chili pepper flavor sits in the wing, giving a slight sharp and spicy layer to the already amazing beer. Bitter from both the hops and from the strong roasted grounds; again espresso-like.

Crazy thick and creamy, yet quite easy to drink; lightening up just as the beer passes the tongue and making the beer very easy to drink for its strength. Thinned only by the alcoholic strength and peppery warmth, the beer never gets hot or fusal.

With every sip, I keep thinking that this beer's flavor profile (in a nutshell) can be summed up as a deeply rich cocoa brownie with freshly ground espresso added to the mix. But there's a part of me that thinks this beer is trying just a bit too hard. But I'm sure the Myan god will appreciate Cigar City's efforts.

Much thanks to RomaniIteDomum and BlueOkie! (2,061 characters)

Photo of KeefD
4.46/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to cyrusthepup for this trade!!

Another review from notes:

Hunahpu!!

Dark black, viscous, and decent sized dark pumpkin orange colored head. Most interesting looking stout I've ever seen! I've never seen a head on beer that looked this orange in the light.

First thing in the nose is chocolate, followed by a solid roastiness, and a touch of green chili. Hard to pick up on cinnamon or vanilla in the aroma.

Wow!! Great taste. Huge, thick, creamy, chocolate and roast, lightly roasted coffee -> cinnamon and vanilla come in towards the middle, with a very light pepper finish. Just a touch of heat, but the chilis really don't stand out too much, wish there was more -> more integrated than anything. Sweet, sticky lips.

Huge body! On the level of BT and Ten FIDY. Almost chalky, dry finish though. No alcohol detected. YUM! Light carb is perfect. Fuck YEAH.

Gotta love transcribing notes word for word! (930 characters)

Photo of boothbeer
4.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Reviewed from notes. Thanks to rhinos00 for splitting this 3 ways with me.

A: Pitch black with very dark tan colored head. Reduces to a thick film. This beer is exactly how a RIS should look. Absolutely perfect.

S: Smells like sweet chocolate with a little spiciness and coffee coming through. Hint of cinnamon.

T: WOW. This is great. Lots of coffee in the taste. Especially at the end. Burnt roasty malts in the finish complemented well with dark chocolate. Pick up a little chile and cinnamon in the middle. Vanilla comes through in the finish. Very complex flavors going on with this beer.

M: Super viscous. Very thick. I love this mouthfeel in RIS. Not overcarbonated.

D: 11.5%....never would have known. Went down easy. Very little alcohol burn at all. Really enjoyed this beer (789 characters)

Photo of AleWatcher
4.66/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I got 2 of these bottles, so I'm not sure which one I brought to the tasting, but thanks to DosBeerigos and HeyOhhh for each hooking up some Hunahpu! And thanks to DVelcich for hosting a killer tasting with fellow BA stoutfest.

I poured this into my Duvel tulip--

This is black and inky, dark and viscous, motor oil looking beer. Even on the pour you can't see through it at all. This is the only substance Superman can't see through! This is dark dark dark. On a good swirl you see the tannish legs with slightly redish hues just coat the sides of the glass so thick that when it cascades gently back into the body of the beer, it looks like sand running down an hour glass. Great streaks of reddish brown lace from a nice 1 finger head of the same color. The bubbles are small and fine, very tight. Amazing retention, and though the head isn't huge, it remains for most of the drink.

Nose is pretty well balanced with some roasted chocolate and some sweeter vanilla notes. I do pick up some of the spiciness-- cinamon is there along with dried and seeded peppers-- not really spicy smelling, but the flavor seems to be there. The flavor of the chiles translates to the taste too, not so much the spicy heat of peppers, but the actual earthy flavor. This reminds me a little of a homemade chili recipe-- just toss everything in and see how it comes out. I can imagine this took quite a few batches before they found the right recipe on this, but they nailed it here. Such a great balance.

The first sip was big cinamon, which mellowed out to some sweet vanilla for just a second before the hefty cocoa and a little alcohol sting come into play. That boozy sting is where the chile peppers really ride in too. The finish is sweet and spicy, but in nice harmony. I still can't get over how well balanced this beer is! Huge roasted malt bill is great!

The body is one of the thickest stouts I've had. Huge. The carbonation level is perfect. Nice and creamy feel that is very easy to drink.

This beer deserves to be hunted down and traded for. If you get a chance to try it, by all means, pick it up. (2,103 characters)

Photo of WynnO
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance
SCARY. Did I screw up and buy used motor oil instead? No---it pours smooth, has tiny bubbles, and leaves a questionable sheen on the side of the glass :-) The head is late to appear, but it does appear, and it's creamy.

Smell
Nice. Hard to pin down what's there, but your nose says, "whatever it is, you MUST DRINK IT". There are so many attributes here, that I cannot discern a single one.

Mouthfeel
Smoooth. One senses a gritty feel, but I believe this to be a mental illusion. The look of the beer makes you believe it is gritty, but closing the eyes resolves this. It is a very smooth stout in your mouth.

Drinkability
100% body immersion and ridiculously complex. It is as advertised, yet that common grimy aftertaste is non-existent here. After swallowing you get similar effects to having a small taste of diluted moonshine, that is it warms the paths as it travels into your stomach. Then---your stomach remains warm for a time. How do they do that?

Obviously NOT a session beer, but after a 1/3 pint, you start toying with the idea that you could probably drink more than two. This is probably the smoothest stout ever tasted by this reviewer. The closest relative I can think of is Yeti --- HOWEVER as much as I like Yeti, it is quite apparently the red-headed stepchild of Hunahpu.

After 2/3 of a pint, the alcohol, which was previously hidden by the various flavors, makes its appearance with a big "HELLO!, remember me?"

After a full pint, my first thought was, "Now THAT was a beer!" Having been sufficiently filled, I had no more for a few minutes.

Cigar City---you guys are rockin'!! How can you possibly beat this? (1,650 characters)

Photo of steve8robin
4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this bottle in a trade with kfsv034, thanks Karl...

A: The deepest darkest stout I have ever seen! Awesome thick 2 inch deep chocolate colored head that slowly fades. Darkest head I've ever seen. Perfect!

S: Oaky raisin upfront blended perfectly booze. I get chilis, cocao, vanilla, and chocolate blended in the middle with deep earthy roastiness on the backend. So good!

T: Roasty, raisiny, booze blended upfront. Bitter chocolate chili in the middle with bitter hoppy vanilla on the backend. Sheesh, this is comparable to KTG with a unique twist, from the chilis, that I've never had in a beer before. It can definitely hold it's own to the greats of the stout world, WOW!

M: Super thick. Leaves sticky flavors bouncing around your entire palate. Very good.

D: It's definitely unique at first and the hoppy booze makes this one a little harder to get down at first. Good.

All in all, I am so glad I hunted this one down. This is essentially Kate The Great with a unique twist. The chilis bring some new flavors to the table for beer. This is definitely the darkest stout I have ever had and one of the best for sure, hands down! If you cannot get your hands on a Kate, then this is the second one I recommend you hunt down. Awesome! (1,244 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled March 2010
A vigorous pour produces a very, very dark brown colored head that is four-fingers in height and just crests the rim of my 25cl tulip glass. The beer is inky, perfectly black and remains opaque and black in hue even when held up directly to the light. The aroma smells of a restrained mix of cinnamon, dark chocolate, vanilla, espresso, and roasted fruit, all the while being quite huge; meaning the aroma on this is quite over the top big, but there is a lot of competing complexity without the individual components not being in balance with each other. There is a touch of a salty, maybe peat smoke like character that seems to be a combination of rich, umami laden dark malt, perhaps some chipotle like notes (which is strange that this beer smells faintly of these smoked chiles when none are included in the recipe) and some general spiciness that is more wood-like than anything from the chiles. Roast malt character plays a big role here, but this is not nearly as big and unbalanced in its roast character as one might expect for a beer of this color. The roast character seems a touch chalk-like at times, but is incredibly smooth, with ample toasted whole grain character in addition to the mellow, deep roasted grain component. Ah, there is actually a hint of peppery chile, seems almost like green chiles at times; this last might be induced somewhat by the roasted malt. The vanilla is almost the most subtle ingredient in the nose, but the chiles seem to be quit subdued too; though I think some of the fruit character comes from the chiles. As the beer warms up more the alcohol becomes more noticeable and actually increases the burnt vegetal note just a bit too much unfortunately, but also compliments a peppery note that does work. And on closer inspection, the green note is not so much the green, burnt broccoli like note that some stouts have, but rather it is a bright, green bell-pepper like note that is really not objectionable; my wife thinks it smells like fresh cut green vegetables.

Thick, viscous and creamy as it first hits my palate, but some carbonation lightens things up just a hint. Huge roast malt flavors dry the finish out just a touch with some chalky notes, charcoal bitterness and a dry, rich dark malt character. Surprisingly this is not as sweet as something this sweet seems like it should be; the roast character helps with this, as does a really rich, darkly complex malt character, some smoky grain notes, evoked flavors of peat and the sea (with an almost salty quality), dark cocoa notes, and an Ethiopian full-city roast coffee quality that is quite nice. Rich fruit notes lurk just below the dominant roast character, suggesting flavors of black-berries, a big blueberry note that almost seems shocking, roasted dried fig flavors as well as some roasted prune like notes. The chocolate character is big (well actually it is huge) here as well, one definitely finds a rich dark chocolate character, though it makes me wonder how much is from the base beer versus the added cocoa nibs. Some spicy, peppery flavors start to emerge as this really warms up.

I like that this is thick and lush without being so cloyingly sweet. Rich, berry-like, dried chile, ancho flavors start to become more noticeable as this warms up as well. I like that the chile flavor serves a sort of "hop-bitterness" like role to this beer, it is fairly subtle to this particular chile-head, but I like the hint of subtle heat it adds as well as the touch of fresh chile character that is found in the finish.

I was fully prepared to not like this (though truthfully I was fully prepared to like it too), but I definitely do. It is quite well balanced, much more than I was expecting and truthfully I would have liked a touch more ancho and pasilla character (speaking of which, does this mean that both dried pasillas (aka ancho chiles) and fresh pasillas where used here, or are this two distinct chiles in the Florida / Cuban culture?), but in the end this would have brought the so carefully crafted balance of this beer a bit too far off. (4,090 characters)

Hunahpu's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
99 out of 100 based on 686 ratings.