Hunahpu's Imperial Stout - Laird's Apple Brandy Barrel - Cigar City Brewing
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Ratings: 316 | Reviews: 103 | Display Reviews Only:
3.25/5 rDev -31.1%
It's rare to attend a tasting and find nickd717 raving about a rare, barrel-aged imperial stout while I am a little more reserved. Oh wait.
Just the same, thanks for sharing this, Nick. I enjoyed the base beer and trying the barrel version was a treat.
A: Pours a pitch black body. It looks more viscous and heavy than the base beer, with moderate legs when I swirl the glass. The head is thin and short-lived, as I'd expect.
S: I didn't get nearly the complexity that Nick did out of the aroma. The beer was noticeably leathery, with a touch of smoke and tobacco to it. Dark chocolate, roast, and a light fruitiness (green apple, as well as others I can't really place), some oak. I didn't pick up any vanilla, spices, or pepper.
T: It's tasty. Unlike the base beer, which is intensely chocolate-dominated, the barrel has introduced a charred, smoky presence that combats the sugars. Oxidation produces a leathery flavor; I'd argue it's actually too strong, because it covers up the complexity of the base beer. I don't taste nearly as much green apple as I smelled, though there is a fruitiness to the beer that is very tantalizing. I pick up a peppery heat, tannins, anise, and more oxidation in the finish.
M: Very chewy and thick body. There's a mild heat in the finish, but I attribute that to chilis, and not booze. Low carbonation. Good mouthfeel overall.
D: I liked the beer, but I'll just be frank: the base version is better. Unlike other barrel-aged beers, the base version has lost complexity and been overwhelmed by the barrel character and aging process. I enjoyed having it, but it wasn't that impressive.
06-24-2010 16:51:46 | More by Arbitrator
3.48/5 rDev -26.3%
750mL gold wax #56/84 thanks to ygtbsm94. Ink SRM pour with towering, Martian red head. Huge formation. Nice retention. No lace. Sweet vanilla nose, quite subtle, roasted chilies, some green olive. Taste is super tangy and fruity with some unlikely acidity and quenching character. Lighter palate. Palate is very soft, muted booziness, some heavy dark chocolate with lemon acidity. No apple brandy character I can detect, and I just spent 10 days touring the calvados region of France. Palate gets quite chalky and powdery. I like the acidic lemon and very bitter cocoa powder and dark chocolate, but there’s no barrel character at all. 6/4/7/4/13=3.4
09-06-2012 17:38:17 | More by tarheels86
3.63/5 rDev -23.1%
Bottle brought by Fux to the Moeder Lambic tasting a few weeks ago. Great time gents! Thanks heaps for sharing this one man.
From a 750 into a tasting glass.
Drunk next to a 2010 base beer.
APPEARANCE: A thick, dense, black pour produces a smaller, looser looking, dark mocha colored head that immediately disappears. Fades to a slight ring. Jet black body with no carbonation at all. A slight ring remains but leaves no lacing down the glass. Thick, black tar for sure, but the head is a little lack luster at this point.
SMELL: Some brandy here, with touches of vanilla and oak. Notes of cinnamon, chilies and light vanilla as well, though the adjuncts have definitely faded. The brandy barrel is a little mute as well, meaning this is a little less impressive than the regular 2010, as well as the other barreled variants I've sampled.
TASTE: Even less adjunct than the nose had showcased. Some mild brandy, oak and vanilla up front with some chilies and cinnamon at the swallow as well. Things are there, but not very convincingly. Flavor comes out more after the swallow with a lingering finish of brandy, some vanilla, milk chocolate, chilies and spicy cinnamon. Touches of roasted malt make an appearance as well. Nice, but the barrel is rather mellow at this point and adjuncts are perhaps not as forthcoming as they once were. Still very tasty, but not bold enough to be really impressive.
PALATE: Good feel here, just like the 2010 base beer. Medium-full body, oily, with medium carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down fine with a slightly oily and mouth-coating finish. Solid stuff.
OVERALL: Really happy to have tried this one, though I will say that it has probably seen better days. I never had the chance to have it fresh, but at this point, the barrel is rather mellow and the adjuncts are not as forthcoming as the regular 2010 base beer right now. This is still tasty and enjoyable, but probably not as impressive as it once was. If you have one, it's probably time to do something with it, as more time will not be kind. Thanks again Fux! This was a lot of fun.
05-10-2014 12:05:12 | More by Jeffo
3.73/5 rDev -21%
32 oz. screw-top growler graciously shared by Dave.
Appearance - Pours an incredibly flat inky black. Glass-staining, as always. Viscous, but no head. Bummer. Growler, maybe?
Smell - Brandy, booze, and, well, standard Hunahpu aromas. Chilies and chocolate. And more booze. The brandy aroma is a little on the sickly sweet side, though. Really detracts, I think.
Taste - Awfully sweet at the start. Brandy comes through, but it isn't an imposing flavor, except for the sweetness. Chocolate and chilies are still pretty potent in this treatment. Thick and sweet and syrupy, though. Every bit of sugar is amplified by the brandy.
Mouthfeel - Thick and boozy. Still has the wonderful viscosity of Hunahpu, though, but it tastes every bit of 11.5% and then some. The sugar doesn't help.
Overall - Not an impressive treatment. It's still a fascinating combination of flavors, but not something that improves upon the original beer.
06-30-2012 03:46:48 | More by Alieniloquium
3.9/5 rDev -17.4%
750ml gold waxed bottle. 4oz. sample poured into a Founders snifter. Reviewed from notes. Shared by capra12 at a tasting on 10/16/10.
A: Pours a thick, dark mocha head with very little retention that fades quickly into a thick ring of bubbles atop an opaque black beer. Lacing is spotty with no cling.
S: Slight soy sauce covered in booze. Chocolate, fudge, very subtle roasted malt in the back. Nose is complex but a bit muted and overwhelmed by the booze overall.
T: Apple brandy is surprisingly prominent upfront. Cocoa, brownie, and a good compliment to the chili. Hot (boozy). Bitter roasted malt at the middle and end with a sweet soy sauce flavor flowing in right before the finish. Finish is booze with an aftertaste of liquorice and roasted malt and cocoa powder.
M: Medium to full bodied, lightly carbonated, oily, and smooth in the mouth. A bit hot and boozy at points. Finish is accented with an aftertaste that is sticky and lingers.
D: Apple brandy barrels is a near perfect compliment to the chilis present in the base Hunahpu's. That being said, I'm not that big a fan of the bottled version of the base beer. Worth a try but not if you have to jump through hoops or give up the half the cellar to get it.
10-17-2010 02:55:59 | More by SpeedwayJim
3.95/5 rDev -16.3%
A: Thick and viscous. The poster child for motor oil beers.
S: Apples, caramel, and cinnamon. The barrel influences are really obvious in the nose.
T: Chocolate syrup, chili, apple. A bit of a messy combination. The apple and chili together is a little odd. Very sweet, dessert in a glass.
M: Thick, thick, thick. Minimal carbonation.
O: A really unique, one-of-a-kind beer. Worth seeking out, just make sure you've got a few people to split it with, because this is some thick, heavy stuff.
01-19-2013 23:31:03 | More by kscaldef
4/5 rDev -15.3%
Thanks to Foofaa for this glass. @ OctoFFEJ.
A: After fishing an extraneous fly or two out of my glass, I settled in to enjoy the fruits of Foofaa's labors. The stout, bold and black, has a dark tan head that stands out most significantly on pour. As it settles, the head tames itself, eventually disappearing.
S: The nose is rich, the brandy barrel has eclisped all of the Meso-American mole aromas of the original. The brandy adds a fortified wooden scent, with vanilla and a grape-like intensity.
T: Incredible. The brandy has completely transferred the stout, minimizing the Mayan flavors. In their place, the barrel sings with an oaky intensity. More fortified grapes hang around, upping the intensity of the flavors. The ancho chiles hang around the end of the sip, waiting for the brandy to siddle away. The heat that the finish provides is a nice blast of flavor after the barrel. That heat is fleeting, strong before disappearing. Surprisingly, the ale offers little in the way of lasting flavors.
M: The brandy really takes hold of the ale. In fact, my last sip revealed an apple cinnamon flavor that I hadn't picked up on earlier. That is a nice twist that may be the best selling point of the stout.
D: The heat and excessive booze are a little much but the nuances, like the apple cinnamon, are divine. The brandy pushes out much of the heat, to the detriment of the ale.
07-11-2010 01:40:29 | More by akorsak
4/5 rDev -15.3%
Shared by Sean at DLD 2011, both during and after. Although after DLD I was pretty much just nursing the glass, way too many beers consumed to finish out the event with a bruiser.
The beer was on the uncarbonated side, possibly due to the growler format and the little bit of age it had. Big apple brandy aroma, overcoming all stout qualities, it just smells like apple brandy. And it tastes like sweet apples soaked in brandy as well, overpoweringly sweet and a little spicy. I don't remember peppers giving much of a bite, but then my palate was well challenged on DLD.
Thick mouthfeel, owing partially to low carbonation but also the syrupy viscosity. I was really appreciative for the chance to try this, but once is probably enough.
09-04-2011 14:34:51 | More by TurdFurgison
4.05/5 rDev -14.2%
A. Pours black with amber edges with little carbonation.
S. As it warms the barrel really starts to come out.
T. A bit of the brandy with lots of dark chocolate that comes out. Not getting the spice with it warm.
M. Seems a bit thinner than expected, but good.
D. Gets better a it warms.
10-19-2011 00:12:41 | More by BeerAndBourbon
4.1/5 rDev -13.1%
32oz growler courtesy of LoPo87. Thanks! Small 3 oz pour.
A: Thick as motor oil. No head. Legs on the glass like the lamp from A Christmas Story.
N: Intense caramel, cotton candy, brown sugar, coffee, fudge. This is mostly sugar, though, hence the score.
T: Good god. Diabetes. Cinnamon, chocolate, coffee, a little bit of soy sauce. A very slight pepper. Lots of dark fruits. Alcohol is well hidden. Pretty much the epitome of throw everything into the kettle.
M: Heaviest beer I've ever tried. A little bit of carbonation. Expands and contracts all over my palate.
O: There's almost no apple brandy so deducting some points there. Honestly, this is amazing, and then it's way too much. I compared it to the way Nibbler must feel in Futurama as well as making the Mitch Hedberg joke that it's like pancakes: When it starts, it's amazing, by the time you're done, you're sick of 'it.
08-02-2012 03:00:53 | More by writerLJBerg
4.18/5 rDev -11.4%
On tap at Capones during a great Cigar City event made even more special by the opportunity to meet and talk with Joey. Thanks as always to Matt for another great event.
A - had two of these, one during the morning and one later on during the evening. The morning flights were all pre-poured so it was served in small 5.5 oz snifters. Black with a very small film on top of the glass.
S - Significantly muted when compared to the regular Hunahpu. Brandy and vanilla are present with a slight booziness but the rich dark choc and pepper in the regular Hunahpu take a back seat.
T - As others have said, a very different profile than the regular Hunahpu. The brandy and vanilla compliment the cocca and chilli, making this an easy drink. To be honest, I think I prefer the regular Hunahpu a bit more. The brandy has been introduced perfectly and it is smooth as can be, but the incredible flavor build is not as evident here as in the regular version.
M - Slick, oily, and very nice.
D - Really, really good. It is smooth and refined.
Another great effort by CCB. Thanks Joey and Matt for a great day yesterday. For the record, I had the Batch 69, Espresso, Bolita Brown, and both Hunahpu's. They were all really good.
06-06-2010 15:09:16 | More by Beerisheaven
4.2/5 rDev -11%
Bottle. This thing pours a very, very thick black/brown color wtih minimal head. Coats the glass and almost leaves legs running down. Whoa! Brandy, brandy, and more brandy are in the nose along with dark, raosted malts, vanilla, and some spice but for sure the brandy takes center stage. The flavor is extremely intense and complex at the same time. The brandy again is the first flavor you are hit with followed by the roast, vanilla, and spice. Heavy mouthfeel. Some tobacco and leather in the taste as well. A very intense sipper that is pretty well done. Tough to drink a ton of it for me due to the intense brandy taste, I wish the brandy was just a little dialed down.
09-13-2010 18:57:23 | More by kbutler1
4.2/5 rDev -11%
Had this one on tap at Capone's (6.5.10) during the CCB event they had. As always Matt throws an amazing event with killer offerings.
Let me note that there has been lots of talk on the boards (and in this beers reviews) about this batch tasting different from another batch served at Hawthorne's. I didn't attend the Hawthorne's event so I can't say for sure, but about 10 people sitting on the corner end of the bar were pretty unanimous in being let down by this one. I have also heard that the base beer Hunahpu's has lots of variation as well. Some say that some bottles are chocolatey and muddled while other bottles have loads of chili spice. I've had one bottle of it in the past and it had no really detectable spice notes for me.
Appearance: Pours dark brown to black with faint crimson red slivers and a 1 finger khaki crown. Retention and lace were were both moderate in the tulip.
Smell: Deep roast malt, a touch of coffee, minimal brandy note, and a whisper of chilies (or maybe that was my imagination as it was that faint).
Taste: Same as the nose but not as pungent. Good flavors here but I'm not enjoying the execution of there integration.
Mouthfeel: Thin body with decent carbonation but a bit lack luster in my opinion.
Drinkability: Light body and no really challenging flavors so its pretty drinkable.
I'd like to try the Bourbon Barrel and would probably give this Brandy Barrel version another chance considering all the consistent reports about the offering at Capone's being substandard.
06-14-2010 00:14:15 | More by koopa
Hunahpu's Imperial Stout - Laird's Apple Brandy Barrel from Cigar City Brewing
100 out of 100 based on 316 ratings.