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Hunahpu's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Hunahpu's Imperial StoutHunahpu's Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

707 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 707
Hads: 3,549
Avg: 4.51
pDev: 20.18%
Wants: 3,591
Gots: 989 | FT: 68
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 707 | Hads: 3,549
Photo of lackenhauser
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Edited and re-reviewed 5/13/11.

Pours like motor oil. Freaking jet black with a very nice, tight dark cocoa colored head. Beer almost seems to have the same hue around the edges from the carbonation. Just stunning-like a beer float with no ice cream. Deep aroma of cocoa, dried fruit.

A great flavor-mild cocoa with a shot or 2 of espresso for good measure. Mildly roasted/grain like, with just a trace of booze to it. Almost an india ink flavor to it. Faint vanilla-it's there but underlying. Powdery, cocoa flavor.

Great body-you could stand a spoon up in this.

Just a great big hunk of RIS goodness to me. Knew nothing about this beer until I saw the hype here. Was lucky enough to score some on a recent FL trip. The complexity of the different flavors might become too much in the long run. Far different from the Abyss or DL. Well worth trying, enjoying, hording.

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Photo of craytonic
2.46/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Muddy black pour with an enormous chocolate mocha head. More carbonation than I expected

Smell: Burn/roast mix of black coffee, chocolate, and dark malts. More burnt coffee than anything, the stuff that accumulates in the bottom of the pot when you leave it on the burner for a few extra hours.

Taste: More of the same, the burnt/roast potpourri of coffee, chocolate, and dark malts. Maybe some prune and cherry juice.

Mouthfeel: Thin and a bit over-carbonated

Drinkability: Low, just not that good. Not sure what everyone sees in this one. I didn't finish the glass, much less the bottle. I thought Zhukov's was better. I guess there is a market for this but I am not it.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.42/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a very generous BA at DLD for pouring a very generous sample. Review from notes on 4/24/10

A - poured pitch black with a short lived brown sugar head that left spotty lacing. Deep garnet brown hues in the light. 4.0

S - Wow this is an intensely roasty and complex nose. I get hints of cinnamon, coffee, carob, and vanilla all over the place. Words do not do this justice. Intense and I cannot wait for the taste! 4.5

T - Very much like the nose but much more chocolatey. The roast is a bit subsided but is replaced by toffee and vanilla. A deep fruity sweetness rounds out the finish and the aftertaste brings a touch of spicy chili. A bit like Lindt's Chili Chocolate. 4.5

M - The mouthfeel was a touch thin IMO. It barely gave a coating on the palate, however the carbonation was nicely done. 4.0

D - Can't taste any of the 11.5%. Very flavorful and satisfying. 4.5

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Photo of Mistofminn
4.62/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to kbutler1 for breaking this bad boy out!

Poured into a snifter. This one is pitch black with a cinnamon looking head. Retention is lacking and so is lacing, but the pitch black beer with a reddish brown cap makes my day.

The nose is intense. I wasn't expecting the peppers to come out this much! I love spicey things and the slight chile pepper spice note in this takes this to a whole new level. Dark cocoa nibs, cinnamon and roasted malts, vanilla and cream and of course peppers. Super intense and I almost can't get past the nose.

Thank god I got past the nose, though, because this tastes amazing. The peppers don't come out as much in the taste, however, which is kind of a bummer (to me at least) but it's still great. Dark cocoa nibs, dark roasted malts, a slight heat from the peppers and a nice earthyness. Great tasting.

Mouthfeel is heavy in body, thick and sticky. Nice carbonation. Smooth feel. Drinkability is great.

Overall, not exactly a stout I will get to drink often, but probably one of my favorites of all time. The uniqueness is just unmatched by anything I've had in a long time. Thanks Kevin!

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Photo of nrbw23
4.1/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours very thick, oily, black color. A thin tan head sits atop the brew and a moderate amount of lacing coats the sides of the glass.

S- Smells of coffee, mocha, chocolate, tons of roasted malts and a little vanilla in the nose. I did not really pick up the peppers in the aroma that some other guys have mentioned.

T- A solid dose of coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts. Just a hints of bitter hops in the finish. Also a touch of spice in here too. Alcohol is hidden really well.

M- Full in body and lower side of medium in carbonation.

D- This is a very easy brew to drink without a doubt.

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Photo of gregmoscetti
4.57/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Good god this beer was delicious. Drank at a perfect cellar temperature, the vanilla comes right out and smacks you in the nose. The smell is sweet like a chili infused milkshake (hmmmm) and i have to say, this beer was about as viscous as a milkshake too.

The only thing that made it tough to knock down was that it was still a bit hot. Not that it was unexpected but it definitely made it a little less drinkable. I worked on my bottle over 3 days... I hope to try this beer with even a little bit of age on it... i think it will be unbelievable...

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Photo of tblfan04
5/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sharing with my wife poured into a snifter

A: by far the darkest stout I have ever poured with great dark brown head just a great looking beer.

S: it has a great roasted smell that pulls chocolate and vanilla also smells like a great cup of coffee.

T: with the first taste it has 3 or 4 flavors that seem to come at me at different times which makes that much better and complex and I don't really taste the alcohol even though it is a big boy in the ABV section

M: this Imperial stout has good mouthfeel with good carbonation and the taste just stands out and lingers great flavor

D: By far the best Imperial Stout I have ever come across and if it wasn't so expensive and hard to come by I would love to drink one after work with some buddies or my wife because it is that good.

The Hype is Real and if you get a chance at one of these take it because I know they are out at CCB

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Photo of mothman
4.23/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kbutler1 for cracking this at a recent tasting.

Poured into KBS glass.

Pours 1/2 finger of a red hued tan brown colored head. Fades down a bit, but then has great retention. Color is an oil black. Very thick.

Aroma: Tons of pepper, rich chocolate/cocoa, caramel, and vanilla. Too many peppers.
EDIT: the aroma in the duck rabbit snifter was way better. More cinnamon, less peppers, more vanilla. Very complex. Much better.

Taste: Very complex beer. Vanilla, rich cocoa, caramel, more vanilla, not as much peppers but still present. A light amount of cinnamon. This beer just has so much going on for it. The flavors blend together so well.

Mouthfeel: Spicy and smooth. Interesting. Full bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends dry with some cocoa flavors.

Overall, a very solid beer that is well done. Lots of unique flavors. The chilies were an interesting touch to this type of beer. Decent drinkability as well.

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Photo of pmccallum86
4.35/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade with PALMEJ1, thanks!

Appearance is spectacular, pours a ultra dark midnight black color with a huge cocoa colored head.

Big and rich smell, huge roasted malts with a sweet licorice and burnt sugar smell in the back. So rich and complex in the nose, I cannot wait any longer to try it.

Wow! This is unlike any other double stout I have come across. Bitter dark chocolate up front with a spicy pepper component in the back. So rich and complex, very big and thick in the mouth as well. One of the more interesting beers I have had.

Mouthfeel is thick and viscous with a bitter flavor lingering on the tongue.

Overall a great beer, glad I got the chance to try it.

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Photo of rye726
4.88/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a thick, oily black deep shades of espresso. Silky mocha head has excellent lace and retention. Possibly the best looking beers I have ever seen.

Nose has chocolate, roasty malts, molasses, floral hops, booze, vanilla, spicy chili peppers, fresh roasted coffee and dark pitted fruits.

Taste has rich cocoa, vanilla, espresso, dark roasty malts, molasses, chili pepper, ripe plums, figs, dates and just a hint of cinnamon.

Thick, creamy body is perfectly carbonated. Present, but not at all in the way. Long, decadent finish.

Simply fantastic. Really impressive stuff.

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Photo of jjanega08
4.87/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A= Got this in a trade with Mikeyv35. Thanks Mike!!! Poured this straight into the glass because I've read it's a little low on carbonation and I wanted to produce a little head on it. The pour is possibly the thickest darkest pour I've ever seen. Usually when you have a pour you can see a little light through the pour at least. This beer... nothing. The head is a nice deep dark brown color just shades away from a black head. It rises to just a half finger on it and holds some average retention with some spotty lacing on the side of the glass. Impresive to say the least.

S= It's a treat to smell for sure. There's a lot going on here. One of the most unique things I smell is the chilis. They present a little smokeyness and a little "heat" in the nose. They sort of meld with the other notes in it so while you do notice them they are not really their own entity. There is a lot of nice chocolate in it and coffee notes. To be honest everything melds together so much that it sort of has it's own unique smell to it. There is nothing really like this beer in smell and picking out individual odors in it is very very difficult to do simply do to the complexity of this beer and the way the smells fit together like a puzzle.

T= The taste is just like the smell. Sooo unique. The chilies aren't as dominant in the taste as the nose however it's a different mix. The mix has a lot of nice chocolate in it. The chocolate is easily the most dominate flavor. Things are a little more easy to pick out in the taste that's for sure. You get a nice coffee flavor to it but not much. The vanilla and cinnamon that the bottle says is added sort of falls in the mix. The finish is nice and had a little bit of a smokey flavor and a little bit of chili to it.

M= Amazing! This beer drinks like a milk shake. Thick and creamy. Literally like a milk shake. Soooo chewy.

D= Really an amazing beer. This beer is a truely unique drink. There is absoloutly nothing that I have ever had that will match this beer. This beer is the real deal for Impy Stouts. If your looking for a unique elegant experience seek this beer out.

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Photo of lightindarkness
4.41/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A privilege to try thanks to drink1121.

Maybe the blackest brew out of the bottle I've ever seen, with a denseness to back it up. Large well formed dark dark chocolate head sits on top for quite a while, finally settles to a nice collar and dense patch in the middle.

Given the description on the bottle and the wildfire reputation it's gotten, I wasn't altogether sure what to expect. On the nose it's roasty, dark, and almost sharp. Blackened grains give off a bitter aroma that's deepened by some very interesting smells - dark chocolate, leather, tree bark, and kind of an old smell of dark wood paneled rooms long hung with tobacco smoke and years of winter fires burned in the fireplace. Complex and interesting. Hard to nail down.

Taste is similar, but a little more distinct. Definite strong smoky tobacco overrides chocolate (but it's still in there), with a sensation like a partially smoked pipe or cigar, some smoke already infused in the tobacco flavor, but without being too smoky at all at the same time. Coarse toasted bread holds the foundation, but it's enhanced with a lot of damp bitterness and and a dry raspy warmth, likely from the peppers. Becomes more bitter at the end, where the rawness of the cocoa also shows through with some more hints of leather, earthy soil and tree bark. Some hops are definitely present at the finish, but don't stand out as much on their own. Vanilla seems really mild and only shows some in airy flavors left after the sip. So much flavor piled on top of itself that it doesn't quite all show through, but it doesn't necessarily need to.

Feel is really quite ideal as a compliment to the flavors and style. Strong and full, but not too thick or too dense. Seems to be as strong as it needs to be without being too much. Not quite chewy, but with a rather enormous presence. Carbonation tingles and cuts the body slightly, with the bitterness drying it out some at the end.

Drinks nicely. A bit sharp up front, with very little alcohol showing through but plenty of bitterness and dry dark notes to keep an edge on it. Very little sweetness is evidenced, but there must be some in there somewhere to keep it balanced. Each sip improves the complexity and overall experience. Strong, and definitely not for drinking a lot of with any sense of regularity, but a fantastic one to have and to try. Excellent overall.

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Photo of Freethyhops
4.71/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

multiple BAs have provided bottles of this beer, so I will just say "thank you Florida BAs" every trade has been awesome. 75cl bottle split between a close friend and I.

a- seriously, it pours so thick it almost doesn't look like liquid coming out of the bottle. a ridiculously dark brown head eventually reduced to a spotty film and collar. the lacing was light from the little head that was produce but the beer coats the glass like few other stouts. just a menacingly dark beer.

s- huge roasted character dominates the nose. its difficult to define what else is in there because it smells so strong of Starbucks like coffee. not you standard cup of foldgers but more like the newest vanilla whatchamachino. it could be a bit more complex and clean though, to be nit picky

t- really a massive beer. the huge roast hasn't gone anywhere, but the cocoa nibs and other forms of chocolate are nearly just as big and doesn't let the coffee dominate. the vanilla isn't extremely noticeable until it gets to room temperature. at first it tastes more like it's been in an oak barrel. the big ABV is incredibly well masked. as the flavors stay in you mouth the chiles create a bit of heat on your tongue and back of the throat, but I couldn't detect them anywhere while sipping the beer.

m- super sticky, thick and coating stuff. very subtle carbo adds to the desert-like feel of the beer.

d- one of those especially delicious beers that keeps you reaching for the glass. nothing manages to overwhelm and my glass was gone all to quick. good to know I have more :)

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Photo of jsanford
4.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decided to share this with a couple of buddies, as the cap was leaking slightly and I didn't want the beer to suffer. Poured into my New Belgium globe at around 50 degrees.

A - Black. Tar. Pours like old engine sludge, with zero light getting through. No real head to speak of, got a bit from swirling my glass. This beer literally coats the inside of your glass, not unlike the syrup in the glass bottles at a Dennys. Evil.

S - Very roasty. Tons of chocolate. Slight smokiness (perhaps from the chilies) and slight vanilla. Complex, but it's difficult to make out the individual aromas.

T - Dark Chocolate. Sweet, but not overly so. Very roasty, nice amount of depth was added by the vanilla and the cinnamon. Not as much chili flavor as I expected, more of a tingling in the back of my throat.

M - Thick and sticky. Completely coats the inside of your mouth. Decent carbonation and no where near as "boozy" as I would have expected. Masks its 11.5% well.

D - Glad I shared it with 2 buddies, would not have made it through by myself. Flavors are really well balanced and towards the end it went down easier and easier, but I was happy with my single glass. Definitely a sipper.

Overall a very interesting and memorable beer. Would be happy to find a few more of these. Great to share with non-beer drinkers to showcase just what beer/brewers are capable of.

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Photo of afausser
4.58/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours like old, dirty, chunky and sludgy oil that's been run a couple thousand miles too long through a diesel engine, with about a finger and a half of the darkest head I think I've ever seen on a beer. It is the color of extremely dark cocoa powder, and is nice and fluffy. As I write this, it's disappeared--all but a fine ring around the edge of the glass and a nice filmy fluffy foam across the top. Placid and still. Nothing as I hold it to the light--not even a hint, though as I swirl it in the glass the head seems to have a slight cherry or mahogany tone. Very slight amounts of patchy lacing.

Smell: Smelling something that looks like the oil I just changed a week ago can be a little disturbing. Smells of chocolate, mint, coffee and raspberry syrup--reminds me of the chocolates behind the counter when I worked at a Godiva, which is a memory that is just about as diametrically opposed to changing the oil in your car as you can get, I think. There's some bitter hop and burnt malt notes, flavored by sour cherries, raspberries, and limes. Smells slightly like breakfast as well--toast, pancakes, bacon, and slight smoke. Slight blueberries are present in the nose, as well as faint coffee. Vanilla ice cream is heavily in the background, and smells very much like a milkshake made with thick whole milk and just a bit of vanilla bean. A lot lighter and more sour/abrasive than the taste.

Taste: Whew, this one is heavy. I feel drunk having taken the first sip. That's not to say it's hot--there's only slight hotness--and there's really only slight alcohol apparent in the taste, but it's so rich. In a way, the taste is very similar to the smell. I'm getting creamy chocolate truffles still (which carry through to the aftertaste), as well as plenty of smoky, burnt toast and meat notes, and that creamy milkshake is still definitely there (though with far less vanilla than in the nose). And the cream is extremely heavy in this, which is interesting since the first notes you get in a sip are the bitter hops, burnt toast, and a bit of lime and raspberry sourness, as well as a syrupy note, sort of a cross between pancake syrup and coffee syrup. The aftertaste is creamy as well as providing bitter hop notes and very very dark chocolate truffles. The rest of the brew is dominated by cream, even when this is flavored by the heavy chocolate truffle notes--particularly coffee, raspberry, and dark chocolate truffles. It's now pointed out to me by a friend that the heat is more chili-like than alcohol like. I guess that makes sense, and now I'm tasting that a bit more in this brew.

Mouthfeel: I'm not initially impressed by the mouthfeel here, though I'm certainly going to be playing around with this number a bit as it warms. At times I think it could use more carbonation, but I think this would be a difficult brew to play around with. The carbonation that is there is voluminous, but composed of extremely small bubbles that disappear as you hold the sip in your mouth. After that, this brew is extremely odd. There's a very long lasting chocolate truffle aftertaste, and the thickness of the brew sticks around. A lot of times I would describe the mouthfeel on a thicker beer as "chewy." This one is creamy throughout, which is very odd with the heavy carbonation out front. And I mean creamy--once you finish the sip the cream lingers, coating your mouth, as if you had just drank heavy whipping cream, texture and all. It makes this one really hard to rate. That all said, I suppose the carbonation level is about right, though wow, what an interesting brew to try to work with on this.

Drinkability: Easily drinkable, and I never would have guessed what the ABV was on this. An interesting and truly great brew, and by far the best I've had from Cigar City. The flavors and scents at times blend in rather strange ways, but it's a delicious brew and overall works well. Major kudos for creativity.

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Photo of younger35
4.46/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received this brew from ihaveyourkids and thought I better open sooner than later since there was a bit leaking around the cap. I've been pumped to try this one since I heard that it contained chilies and vanilla. Boner. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip.

Appearance- Literally glugs an intensely dark black, perhaps the blackest and thickest looking beer I've ever had the pleasure of looking at. A beautiful one finger dark brownish red head forms atop the beer maintaining a ridiculously awesome cap and collar along with a bit of random spotty lacing.
Smell- The smell is a lot like Marshal Zhukov's as the beer is insanely roasted with tons of big malty char. Loads of chocolate and caramel spew out of the beer and are accentuated by a big bouquet of earthy vanilla bean. Not quite as hoppy as the regular version (maybe the chocolate and/or vanilla tone it down a bit) but I still get a nice herbally/pine sort of hoppiness. Maybe a touch of smoky pepper in the nose but nothing extreme.
Taste- Starts with an intensely charred roasted bitterness that is somewhere between harsh and earthy but still really good. The chocolate is very raw and earthy and mixes well with the vanilla bean. Speaking of, the vanilla is fairly light and sort of just does its own thing. I definitely don't get any cinnamon and the chilies are very light on the tongue in the aftertaste. The beer is plenty sweet though as it MAYBE gets a touch cloying at times. The finish is full of caramel with a fleeting glimpse of some sort of mocha coffee thing.
Mouthfeel- Big and thick and rich with an extremely creamy feel that is velvety and lush. The carbonation is light and spot on... Thankfully the slight cap slip didn't harm the beer's feel one bit.
Drinkability- Really tasty beer that is right in my wheelhouse of flavors. The only thing I wish about this beer is that the chilies were kicked up quite a bit. I want more of that heat on the back of my throat. Other than that, not much else to complain about. Really enjoyed this beer and thanks to Joe for sending it my way!

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Photo of drabmuh
4.33/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.4/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of Anthony1
4.2/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours absolutely pitch black, ridiculously dense and thick, with a gorgeous mocha head. The head slowly settles down into a thin but dense cap, with excellent stickage and fantastic walls of lacing. Nose is roasty, light notes of smooth espresso and dark cocoa, bit of tobacco, and a mix of dark fruits and licorice. The taste, however, lives up to the expectations. Huge, deep chocolate and beautiful roastiness up front segue into big dark fruit, blackstrap molasses, more chocolate, and a nice smokiness. Alcohol emerges with a bit of booziness right before the finish, smoky pepper heat, and a firm, sharp, roasty bitterness that carries hints of burnt sugar. Mouthfeel is thick and full-bodied, decadent, with a firm underlying carbonation.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.44/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from a 22oz bottle into my Orval glass.

The beer pours super dark black, hardly any brown highlights in the light. The head is also a very dark brown, however, sadly it only rises about half a inch and is gone right away. Light lacing.

The aroma is on the lighter side but its vey complex, wish it was a little more robust. There is so much going on here, on the front roasted malts, almost smokey, then small notes of vanilla, and cocoa. The smoke might also be presenting as light ancho chiles.

The taste is pretty good, lots going on as well. Lots of roasted malts on the front, cocoa nibs that are incredibly sweet with a hint of the chiles, very nice and unique. The finish is super sweet. Great to have a stout that isn't dominated by coffee, there's no coffee at all and its refreshing.

The feel is nice and coating.

Oveall, this is really good, a taste that keeps you guessing. Its really hard to get an exact point of something, keeps you guessing.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.32/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jrallen34 for popping this open during a tasting.

A - Jet black, very big stout looking. Very small brown head that dissipated quicly, not leaving much lacing, but a nice ring of brown bubbles on the edges.

S - Very subtle scents. Was expecting a stronger aroma from this, but it's pretty subdued. Nice roasted malts, hints of vanilla, and nice sweet cocoa. As it warms up, it becomes much more brownie like, very pleasant.

T - Little bit of burn on something, must be the chilis, although i'm not actually picking up that actual taste. Nice chocolaty malts, impressive vanilla notes, this is all nicely subtle and complex. Exceptionally smooth, with all flavors blending together well.

M - Very smooth, full bodied. Nicely thick.

D - I'll give it a very drinkable for a 11.5%. Don't get any alcohol, and none of the flavors are overpowering.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.8/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Lightly chilled bottle into a small glass... Many, many refills off this one. Thanks to HonusWagner for the trade.

My bottle was filled right to the brim and it leaked in transit, but it was still carbed and tasted great.

A: Pours one of the deepest, richest blacks I've ever seen in an imperial stout. It's capped by a thick inch of dark mocha head, with very solid retention, especially for its ABV. The final product is a nice collar on the brew. It's mildly leggy in swirls, leaving some residue on the sides of the glass.

S: Cocoa, vanilla, coffee, anise. A mild aroma of roasted, even charred, peppers comes through.

T: Very rich and vibrant. Initially I was disappointed by restrained spiciness, but it grows on me after a few sips. It's very cocoa-y on the initial taste, with a nice assortment of molasses, coffee, and very light vanilla (and that's only because I'm looking for it) complementing the flavor. I get mild anise near the finish. There's a mild peppery bite that carries well into the aftertaste (where I pick up some char, but not enough to complain about). Absolutely a top-notch flavor. Lots of things going on here, but the balance between the peppers, cocoa, and anise is very inviting.

M: Full-bodied in flavor, though not super-viscous. A mild alcohol warmth in the finish is all that hints at the ABV. The flavors are oddly integrated; at times, they're very smooth and play off each other well, but some sips are dominated by cocoa and others by char. It's not a deal-breaker, but it's a flaw. I'm not necessarily a huge fan of thick, syrupy stouts -- i.e. they won't automatically get a 5.0 on mouthfeel just for having a lot of residual sugar -- but when the flavor has this much going on, I'm impressed.

D: This is HEAVY. I tackled the bottle alone, and it took me over 6 hours to finish. It made me so full that it was uncomfortable. Maybe I should have split it, but since it leaked in transit (a major ding for this), I had no choice. Anyway, it's tough to finish and rather expensive, not a thrilling combination.

EDIT: I've tried additional bottles since the first. This beer varies a lot from bottle to bottle. I downgraded the appearance and taste scores slightly to accommodate the other ones I tried. I recommend it, but with reservations.

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Photo of gford217
4.43/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle.

Pours a spectacular suck-the-light-out-of-the-room black underneath one of the darkest brown heads I've ever seen in a beer. There are some boozy legs on the side as well.

The aroma is big and roasty with lots of dark chocolate malts and espresso. There is also a noticeable sweetness from the vanilla as well as some tobacco/leather notes and a hint of the peppers, though not much.

The taste is just as roasty with maybe a tad less sweetness to balance things out. Chocolate malts, maybe a hint of vanilla, but what stands out more is the pepper in the finish. Spicy, boozy and chocolaty all in one.

The mouthfeel is thick and creamy with low, but sufficient, carbonation and a very roasty character at all. Very, very dessert-like.

Having had the bourbon version last week, I think this is probably a step below, but it's still a great beer with tons and tons of things going on. Certainly a sipper so not incredibly drinkable but I wasn't expecting it to be. Great stuff.

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Photo of Overlord
4.43/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cigar City hasn't been too kind to me. While I really appreciate the chance to try them, neither of the Zhukov blends were all that impressive (unless you like 750 ml of tasty, liquid volcanic ash) and the rest of the lineup has ranged from "meh" to "bleh."

But, considering how this brew has shot up the charts, I had to have me some honey-puss! Thanks beeruser for this and the awesome shirts!

I sat down and prepared for this tasting by heating and jostling the beer by tossing it into my dryer in order replicate the tasting conditions that the brewer prefers. I then poured myself 2.3 oz (it almost touched my lips before I realized it was a mere 2.15 oz or so. I quickly corrected the amount).

Gorgeous beer. Stand-up-and-applaud worthy. Lustrous and black, it absorbs light and defecates darkness. Dark, dark, dark brown head ... one of the darkest I can recall, and it settles down to a pleasant dark foam crust.

The aroma lets me know this isn't going to be the volcanic char ash bomb that Zhukov was. Cocoa AND dark chocolate on the nose, along with some dark fruits ... some interesting roasted malt/licorice ... maybe a touch of vanilla and molasses. Thankfully, no pepper/spiceiness to the aroma! I was not looking forward to that component of the beer.

Taste is also very, very good. Strong chocolate mixed with sweet malt mixed with a roasted background mixed with a lingering acrid aftertaste sprinkled with a hint of dark fruit/anise/licorice/molasses. And vanilla. I wish the vanilla was a bit more prominent, as it might liven things up even more.

Nice silky, deeply thick mouthfeel. Not as drinkable of a beer (of its kind) as Darkness, Black Tuesday, or a few others, but an excellent brew. Great job Cigar City.

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Photo of jbone78
4/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured Black like the stallion of midnight and stuff. I noticed a light tan fizz on top that disappeared fast, like Grease Lightning. Smelled different not like the uncle you rarely see, but more like a Mexican pinata before it is filled, not really but it sounds fun. I guess the smells are from the chiles? The taste is blended nicely with hints of nutmeg or cinnamon, chocolate (unsweet), the blend of chiles and finishes quite dry.


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Hunahpu's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
100 out of 100 based on 707 ratings.