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Hunahpu's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

Hunahpu's Imperial StoutHunahpu's Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,044 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2044
Reviews: 593
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 9.23%


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:
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 added by: tpd975 on 01-03-2009)
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Ratings: 2,044 | Reviews: 593 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cigar City takes NYC event at Rumble 'N' Hum, on tap. Had this the next day. Big peppers, great dinkability and edge. Very dark brown with brown lace. Cigar wood and chocolate, but the pepper is paramount.
Extraordinary beer, that I would seek out again, and I do not say that too often.
Had this again in bottle about 2 years later and it is very tasty stuff. Sour edge .

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2010 19:07:10 | More by Sammy
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UCLABrewN84

California

4.78/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to BastionShaw for sharing this one at the post Bruery Reserve Society party bottle share!

2012 vintage.

Pours an opaque black with a dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, chili, and cinnamon. Taste is of dark roasted malt, cocoa nibs, vanilla, cinnamon sticks, and a slight chili flavor that warms the back of the throat with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a nice thick mouthfeel. Overall, this is an amazing beer with a very nice balance of the ingredients especially in the taste.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2012 00:47:26 | More by UCLABrewN84
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BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Obliterative onyx with a rapidly expanding crown of coffee milkshake-like cream that overflowed onto the desktop before it could be contained. No carbonation issues here. The lid looks lovely, lasts, and should lay down some pretty impressive lace when it melts. Note: it doesn't, but this is still great looking ale.

Cigar City used an outstanding base beer as the starting point for this inventive offering. Even though my bottle is an estimated one year of age, most of the added ingredients are noted in the nose. Peruvian cacao nibs and the earthy spiciness of the Ancho and Pasilla chiles for sure. Cinnamon and vanilla bean slightly less so.

It looks like Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout plays the same role as Old Rasputin for North Coast and Yeti for Great Divide. In other words, it's a granite-solid Double/Imperial stout that tastes great, almost no matter what's added to it. This stuff is de-freakin-licous right out of the gate and should only improve with warming.

Hunahpu's Imperial is impressive quasi-aged beer that is probably even more impressive when fresh. The always generous ktrillionaire offered me a bottle of the latest vintage just yesterday. Hmmm... may have to take him up on that. Where would we be without the occasional trade for outstanding regional-only beer?

Flavors include an intense dark chocolate fudginess, sticky molasses, coconut oil, vanilla beans, a soft blip of earthy-spicy chiles, and sprinklings of warm cinnamon. The inspired additions have turned an already deep and complex beer into an even deeper and more complex beer. This is a palate pleaser par excellence.

My 750 ml of Marshal Zhukov's (thanks again Casey) had some carbonation issues. This bottle is an indication of what that bottle should've been like. The mouthfeel is the very definition of smoothly creamy lusciousness. Laid-back bubbles add just the right amount of volume, then cut out and allow beer to ooze over tongue.

Hunahpu is the Mayan god of creation. Cigar City Brewing has every reason to be proud that they have created the masterpiece that is Hunahpu's Imperial Stout. A fresh bottle might have challenged for the best of 2011.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2011 12:12:43 | More by BuckeyeNation
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mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.68/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got a bottle of Huna. Its been a long time coming and a beer I have searched for over and over again. Well the time came. I have been drinking less and less lately, but decided to go for a big one tonight. Ate dinner, enjoyed a fine sour, cleansed the palate and opened the bottle. Letting it breathe for a good while I proceeded to repeatedly pour it into a six ounce snifter over the course of the evening. Consumed on 03/30/2010.

The pour was gold, Jerry, Gold. Dark as night, with nothing, not a drop of anything coming through the other side of this beast. The delicate and evil reverse cascade of the deep chocolate colored head just sealed the deal as it rose up to nearly an inch it stays, never settling more then a couple of inches and leaving you just wondering how dark and rich can this possibly be? How downright dark and evil can it look? Just rediculous.

The aroma was heavenly. Rich cocoa layered upon warm roasted coffee with just a hint of spice are what comes across at first. Warming though brings out all the subtleties and richness that I would have come to expect. Cinnamon and vanilla and fighting it out to provide a hint of sweetness and character. Each sip seemingly more complex then the one before. It is literally just a bath in warm, malty flavors. Chocolate and vanilla, a light punch of cinnamon all combine to form a complex richness that is at the same time as subtle as could be. Truly a remarkable thing they have created. One of the fullest stouts I have run across as each sip is like chocolate mousse and even at 11.5% everything stays very well hidden.

Overall sublime, everything I wanted it to be and more. I would have no problem drinking one every night and could be a happy man. One of the best stouts I have had.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2010 01:12:00 | More by mikesgroove
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womencantsail

California

4.45/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2010 03:33:12 | More by womencantsail
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brentk56

North Carolina

4.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives with an espresso color and a dark head that drops to a ringlet but leaves quite a few dots and dashes of lace

Smell: Dark fruit, bittersweet chocolate, tobacco, black cherry, and cinnamon red hots

Taste: Dark fruit and chocolate, up front, with a growing red hot cinnamon flavor that brings in a smoked chili aspect by mid-palate; after the swallow, the tobacco enters the profile and the heat builds; the chocolate and dark fruit flavors underneath refuse to fold and stand up into the finish with an underlying cherry sweetness; the hops also make an appearance, late, and add a bitter element

Mouthfeel: Full body with low to moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Incredibly complex, with layers of flavor that seem to change with each sip; the heat limits the drinkability but adds a very interesting dimension

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2009 01:23:29 | More by brentk56
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Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4.71/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle: Poured a deep pitch-black color stout with a medium size deep brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of deep velvet chocolate notes with light spicy notes and some light vanilla and cinnamon can also be detected. Taste is a mix between some deep chocolate notes with light cinnamon and vanilla a with some residual sugar notes with dry bitter notes subtle finish. Body is full with limited filtration and with a smooth texture with almost motor oil-like consistency. Extremely complex while retaining a good level of drinkability. I found it very hard to do justice to this beer as I am missing work to explain how good it is.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2013 16:06:14 | More by Phyl21ca
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BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.53/5  rDev -0.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2010 03:27:46 | More by BEERchitect
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Thorpe429

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at Cigar City early in the afternoon right after I got my ticket to buy the bottles.

A: Pours a very viscous dark, dark brown with a very nice tan head with plenty of lacing.

S: Whoa, lots going on here. Everything is almost overpowering, yet fits so well together. Lots of chocolate up front, followed by more subtle hints of roasted malt, vanilla, roasted chilis, and cinnamon.

T: Even better than the nose. Right up there with the absolute best imperial stouts I'd had; definitely top three. All that's there in the nose is there with the first sip, and the complexity of this beer only improves with each sip as it gets a bit warmer. The chocolate is definitely the base, and the light touches of cinnamon, vanilla, and chili peppers are fantastic and make this such a well-rounded beer.

M: Very thick and huge. Nice and chewy, yet incredibly smooth. Fairly low carbonation, but entirely appropriate. No alcohol heat.

D: Insane. Each sip brings forth new nuances. I spent less than 16 hours in Tampa, waking up a 3:00am on consecutive days for early flights (one of which didn't pan out), and if I hadn't gotten bottles, I'd still be supremely happy and thought the whole trip worth it.

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2010 21:32:44 | More by Thorpe429
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ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.28/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black, turbid body with a thin, bubbly, dark tan head.

Smell: Highly roasty nose with full notes of dark chocolate, black coffee, spices, a big pinch of Captain Black tobacco (white blend, natch), and a sharp, vegetal note from the chilies contained within.

Taste: A heady mixture of roasted maltiness, chocolate, and vanilla give you a sip of Kahlua garnished with a sprinkling of cinnamon. Before long the heat and spice from the peppers kick in, but it's very well-integrated and complimentary to the overall flavor. A few careful drops of prune juice. More tobacco, which really is all too appropriate coming from a joint called Cigar city. Earthy hops with a modest amount of bitterness. Packed with flavor to the very end, there's even a bit of persistent heat beyond the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-low carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Very nice. Beers with peppers have come a long, long way since the infamous Cave Creek Chili Beer, haven't they? Without a doubt, I'm sure Crazy Ed is smiling down from heaven at Hunahpu's Imperial Stout.

Serving type: cask

02-02-2009 19:26:32 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a glass mug.

Huge thanks to Gtreid for this whale carcass!

'Twas indeed a tragic prelude to the brewing, when this bottle flung itself from the table, shattering its world, leaving an expanding sea of dark, roasty blood. We salvaged what we could from the wreckage, and the impression gotten therefrom is below. Full disclosure, home slices.

It pours a straight deathly dark brown topped by what seems to be a finger of brown foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, blackened pretzels, molasses, maple syrup, oak, vanilla, cocoa, and whiskey. The taste holds notes of heavy roasted malts, molasses, chocolate, sweet peppers, soy sauce, vanilla, and brown sugar. The body is a hefty medium, with a light carbonation and a kinda syrupy feel. Overall, this seemed a bit of a disappointment. A lot of dark, sweet, and spicy tones, but they don't really seem to truly mesh together properly. Honestly, though, because of the circumstances, this guy held up fairly well. I plan on trying to acquire a new bottle, though, so that we can determine how this ought to be. Until then, though, these were my impressions: take them as you wish.

Update (2/26/11):
Thanks to the generosity of florida9, I've been able to give this giant another chance. The taste comes up much cleaner, tastier, with the soy sauce now thankfully gone and the peppers coming in nice and subtly near the end. Everything comes through nicely this time, much more well-blended and neat. I'm glad I was able to try this as it was intended to be consumed, as it is definitely better than the literal wreck that the above bottle was. The scores have thus been appropriately adjusted.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 07:46:01 | More by TMoney2591
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MasterSki

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to someone (Chris?) for opening this at the Hunahpu's showdown. I've had this beer numerous times, but never gotten around to reviewing it. 2011 vintage reviewed, but 2010 sampled at the same time. Served in a Hill Farmstead glass.

A - Looks like all the barrel-aged Hunahpu's we had, but with more foam. Angry dark red foam that settles to a thick collar, leaving spotty lace as well as a glass-staining brownish film. Pitch black body.

S - This is the first time I've sampled the new 2011 vintage, and I'm shocked how present the cinnamon is, as it's a flavor I never really picked up from the 2010. Plenty of vanilla, chocolate, and roasted malts, as well as some vegetal chile notes - you can tell these aren't the super-spicy varieties. Alcohol is well-hidden, even as the beer warms up, and there's great complexity and richness.

T - The taste is similar, but there's less of the sweet and cacao and vanilla and more of the charry, roasted malts of Zhukov. Chocolate flavors veer towards the dark and bitter side of things, and the finish is slightly tarry. Still, these are only minor quibbles, and on the whole the flavor is delicious. Less chile pepper and spice presence here as well.

M - The massive body, chewy and viscous, has always been one of Hunahpu's main strengths, and the carbonation is low but sufficiently present to support it. Creamy, thick, mouth-coating, and with shockingly little alcohol presence.

D - An instant classic in the US craft beer scene, and a beer that holds up extremely formidably with its barrel-aged brethren. I'd actually prefer to drink this over the Virgin Oak version, and probably the bottled Bourbon edition as well (Four Roses I think?).

Unfortunately the 2010 vintage is not holding up so well - the adjuncts seem to be fading at non-linear rates resulting in unpredictable and strangely unbalanced flavor combinations. I don't recommend holding onto this beer for more than 12 months.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2011 08:05:01 | More by MasterSki
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drabmuh

Maryland

4.35/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this bottle in a trade -- thanks. Poured into a snifter. Beer is noticably thick as I pour, leaves legs on the sides of the glass. Beer is pitch black, black black. You can't see through it at the corners to through the thinnest part of the beer. Its just not happening. Forms a brown head, overall thin of smallish to medium sized bubbles and it leaves some lacing on the glass - although I think the alcohol is hindering the lacing overall.

The aroma is surprisingly spicy. I can get some alcohol, very slight, but I can definitely smell some chilis. This makes me nervous slightly but not too. The more I smell the more subtle characters of sweetness and a slight chocolatey bitterness come through. Smells good.

Beer is full bodied in the mouth. There is not a spicy / chile flavor as I was expecting in the beer after the initial aroma. There is a lot of roast in the back of the palate and nice carbonation / connectivity on the palate. There is some sweetness up front and nice chocolate based / roast based bitterness on the trailing end. No aftertaste to note and drinkability is high. I enjoyed it. It was complicated and some of the complexity is lost by the size but overall a very good stout.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2010 15:47:05 | More by drabmuh
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Mora2000

Texas

4.4/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to ericandersnavy for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a inky black color with a brown, small head. The beer is oily and coats the sides of the glass. The aroma is roasted and burnt malt with dark fruit. The flavor is cinnamon, dark fruit, roasted/burnt malt, semi-sweet chocolate and pepper. The mouthfeel and thick and chewy and the carbonation is pretty low.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2010 04:40:46 | More by Mora2000
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zeff80

Missouri

4.63/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a one-finger, reddish brown head of foam. It had great retention and left soapy rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of tobacco, coffee and chocolate. Interesting and nice.

T - Simply amazing. Vanilla, chocolate, coffee, cinnamon and tobacco. One of the most complex and unique flavored stouts that I've ever had.

M - It was crisp, sharp and very smooth. A medium bodied stout with a dry finish.

D - This is a really great imperial stout. I'd love to get my hands on some more.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2010 02:36:07 | More by zeff80
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jlindros

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had as part of the mini Whale Stout tasting back in mid December. Thanks a ton to Chris aka FluffyMcTingle for sharing this.

A super dark black creamy head fades slowly with a thick syrupy heavy beer that coats the glass and has nice legs.

Nose is loaded with dark malts, roasty, dark chocolate, strong vanilla beans with a bit of a chili pepper under, some coffee, lots of dark chocolate, caramel, oatmeal, dark bitter scortched malts, just a ton of dark chocolate, coffee, and vanilla.

Taste brings lots of vanilla at first, light spices like a cinnamon, chili pepper, lots of chocolate, baker's choc, dark choc, creamy milk choc, vanilla again, dark malts, chewy oats, a nice mouth coating that sticks everywhere, with some nice bitter tastes, a slight fluffy and earthy hop character. All the flavors are blended well despite so many peaks of various flavors.

Mouth is super thick and luscious, creamy, with decent carbonation and touch of warming booze.

Drink is good, not much of a booze feel for being 11.5% and how heavy it is, it still drinks decent, a big mouth coating that never fades takes away slightly, but for the style of beer that's what it should be.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2011 04:52:29 | More by jlindros
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Gueuzedude

Arizona

4.58/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2010 16:26:38 | More by Gueuzedude
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Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.23/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This poured out as a rich deep black color with a creamy looking brown head on top. The retention fades over time with a light lacing. The smell of the beer is a little boozy, there is molasses on the nose, deep roasted malts and some sweet cocoa. The taste of the beer is pretty complex, the spices come through pretty strong, the vanilla is very subtle in the finish. The flavors are very rich. The mouthfeel is thick, oily and heavy. The carbonation is minimal. Overall I was hyping this up in my mind to be much better than what I felt it turned out to be. You win some, you lose some. I enjoye trying it but I don't feel the need to get it again.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2013 23:32:56 | More by Knapp85
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: black in color with a wispy head that breaks down to a clean surface quickly.

Smell: loads of alcohol, pepper, vanilla, and roasted malt tones are easily detectable.

Taste: big flavor as roasted malt is accentuated by some pepper spice, cinammon, vanilla, coffee, and a hint licorice. Alcohol is a bit overwhelming in the beer's flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: a bit thinner than expected for the style. Smooth at the start, smooth and a bit syrupy late. Long lasting alcohol, spice, and roasted tones linger around in the mouth a while.

Drinkability: this is a one glass per session beer. I found this to be a bit hot from the alcohol and spice for me.

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2010 12:09:15 | More by Gavage
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barleywinefiend

Washington

5/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured a sluggish near pitch black with a huge brown cap, loads of lacing, amazing!

S: Big fresh cocoa, like hot chocolate, some spice, heat, wood, coffee and wow it smells so good

T: A rich cocoa presence here, dark and light chocolate, roasted malt, booze, cinnamon and light spice from the peppers. Big sweetness with some roasted marshmellows and vanilla. Extremely decadent and flavorful. Among the best of not the best Imperial Stout I have ever had.

M: Where do I begin? Big, rich and sweet. Big body, well carbonated, loads of taste!

O: WOW!

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2012 01:45:55 | More by barleywinefiend
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mdfb79

New York

4.3/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 3/27 notes. Got to share with some other BA's thanks to a great trade with bobby8405... thanks Bob! Poured from 750ML bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a deep, dark black color with one finger of brown head and a little bit of carbonation evident. Great rentention on the head.

s - Smell is a mixture of cocoa, chile, chocolate, and vanilla. The chili was very interesting and gave it an almost fig/dark fruit taste. Very interesting mix, but enjoyable.

t - Tastes of chile, cocoa, and vanilla. Also some roasted malts. As the beer warmed up a bit, I got some cinnamon and some more of the chile. A very interesting mix.

m - Full body and low carbonation. Very thick.

d - I thought this was very interesting. It was probably the best beer using chile that I've ever had, and had a load of interesting smells and tastes that worked well together. Quite complex. All that being said, it's not my favorite stout. Don't get me wrong, this was a very good beer and I would love to try it again, but I felt, as did some of the others who tried this with me, that it did not live up to the hype surrounding it.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2010 01:50:37 | More by mdfb79
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at Capone's. The stout was tapped on Saturday and lasted until today! Just my luck.

A: The stout is pitch black, dark as the darkest mole, darker even. A reddish-brown head stands out against the black ale.

S: The nose is dark and rich, plenty of chocolate, both powdery and semi-sweet, abounds, along with cinnamon spice. I was hoping for a hint of smoky ancho heat but didn't come across anything. The dark malts create a a richly sweet body that has me anticipating the first sip.

T: The 11% strength of the ale hits you square on in the first sip. Mixing with the booze is plenty of chocolate, cocoa powdery and sweet, along with more spices, cinnamon and vanilla, although neither is dominant. The richness, and this ale is rich, is remarkable, sweet and filling. I was disappointed that the ancho chiles never made their way into the ale; I think that a touch of heat would be welcome amongst the decadent chocolate malts. A good, scratch that, very good stout.

M: I'm pleased to have a Cigar City stout that lives up to the hype (thanks for nothin' 110K + OT). The semi-sweet, powdery chocolate is reminicent of a sweet mole sauce.

D: I was not expecting to see this on tap, what a surprise. I was pleasantly surprised from the first sip, a crazy rich, warming, strong stout.

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2010 01:02:16 | More by akorsak
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

2.76/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

I've had this on a couple occasions now. I was entirely underwhelmed by it the first time, so I had to give it a second try in order to understand why this beer is praised so much. And I still don't get it. This just simply is not a good beer.

The look is good enough: dark brown-black with a wispy tan head that dissipated almost completely; few legs on the glass. Aroma was pretty basic for a stout, dark malts, some roast, with distant spice notes. For all that's put into this beer, the flavor profile is extremely weak. Dark roasty malts typical of a basic stout, some sugary sweetness with a hint of cinnamon, cocoa powder, anise, something vegetal that could possibly be construed as hot pepper, but comes off more like dill pickles, with no real burn or nice peppery taste going on. The mouthfeel is on the thin side, which seems to be what makes this beer suffer the most; body is medium, very light for a stout, much less an imperial stout, and the alcohol warmth, while present, isn't too intense.

Of all the over-hyped uber-beers, this one probably impressed me the least, and to think that there is an entire day devoted to this beer, kind of baffles me.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 21:46:45 | More by Rifugium
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.72/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks goes out to cyrusthepup for this brew.

750ml Bottle

Poured into a chalice a thick black color, some carbonation, very nice almost fizzy/creamy one-finger dark tan head, with some nice big oil slick in the middle of the glass. The nose is very nice malty, with lots of chocolate/toffee notes, some vanilla, some roast notes. The taste is exceptional, malty, chocolate/toffee up the ying/yang, very nice sweetness from the vanilla, with some very nice roast notes, slight cinnamon note comes up. Full Body, this is one very smooth/creamy brew, the ABV is hidden very well. Very Drinkable, Very Well Done CC.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2010 23:42:37 | More by Wasatch
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this in growler and bottle form and now twice on draft. This review is for the draft version served at Capone's.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a two finger frothy mocha colored head that has excllent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap. Th glass is left coated with chunks of mocha lacing. Looks amazing!

Silky chocolate malt aroma with subtle roastiness. This is balanced by the sweet chocolate notes and subtle spicy cinnamon and peppers. The peppers aren't as prominent in the nose.

Chewy full body with lots of luscious chocolate malt sweetness which is balanced out by faint roasty byes and a strog spicy/peppery finish. Hints of chocolate, oatmeal, toffee, cffee bean and lactic creaminess balanced by a delicious peppermint, cinnamon spiciness in the finish as well as some slight spicy heat from the ancho chili peppers. Amazingly complex, full bodied and dangerously drinkable at such a high ABV. Highly recommended!

Serving type: on-tap

06-05-2010 19:21:09 | More by corby112
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Hunahpu's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
100 out of 100 based on 2,044 ratings.