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Hunahpu's Imperial Stout - Laird's Apple Brandy Barrel - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Hunahpu's Imperial Stout - Laird's Apple Brandy BarrelHunahpu's Imperial Stout - Laird's Apple Brandy Barrel

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

319 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 319
Reviews: 103
rAvg: 4.72
pDev: 7.84%
Wants: 843
Gots: 14 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gtreid on 03-13-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 319 | Reviews: 103 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DeltaFoxtrot
4.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to MEAT at Mr. Beery's Sarasota for pouring samples of bottle 32/84.

My first review, and I find it fitting since it's one of the best imp stouts I've ever had the pleasure of tasting. Thick as mud and little head when poured.

On the nose, obviously brandy, and that's a good thing. Spices and chocolate follow but they are definitely in the background.

Taste was ridiculous, the brandy came through immediately and lingered as the chili, charred wood and roasted characteristics came through. The booze was very present, lightly masked and hot, which I happen to enjoy... this could be a turnoff for some.

Overall I wish I could get my hands on more of this brew, it's a shame there are so few, but I'm glad there are people willing to share it.

Photo of orangesol
4.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was the first beer I ever took notes on...and still one of the best beers I have ever had...Served on-tap into a mini snifter at Capone's during the Cigar City party for Philly Beer Week 2010...wow that was a lot of words...

A - Pours absolutely pitch black with a small dark brown head that leaves sticky brown lacing down most of the glass.

S - A bit on the sweet side with a strong aroma of brandy. A bit of chocolate and some sort of spices? Could that be the chillies from the non-BA version? I might need another glass to determine if it is...

T - Starts out with some mild sweetness from the apple brandy slowly developing into an amazing line-up of cinnamon, chocolate, and some faint spices. Most of the things I don't like about the normal version of hunahpu's are all cleared up with the barrel aging. Absolutely one of the best stouts I have ever had. I can only hope to have it again in the future.

M - Heavy body and flavor with good carbonation. It has a very full body but it is very well rounded. The brandy flavor is strong but not too overpowering.

D - I could drink this all day. I drank it side by side with regular version and it was like drinking a completely different beer. This one was so much more complex and smooth. Absolutely amazing. So glad I got to try this one.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.9/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of mothman
4.82/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to tytoanderso for sharing this one!

Poured into ccb snifter (how appropriate)

Pours a small tan head. This beer is motor oil black. Very thick. A swirl around the glass and it coats it with beer.

Aroma: There is so much going on with this beer. Deep roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, chipotle peppers, caramel, vanilla. It is sweet. The brandy adds an awesome layer of complexity to this beer. Oak shows as well.

Taste: Right up front is the chipotle peppers. Then some vanilla and caramel with cocoa and roasted malts. Coffee flavors hit with some brandy and oak next. Then a mix of dark fruits (dried apples), and molasses hit. Very rich.

Mouthfeel: Rich, sweet, warm. Full bodied with a decent amount if carbonation. Ends very roasted, leather like.

Overall, this beer is legit. Tons of awesome flavors. Great amount of brandy. One of the best BA stouts I have had. SO much awesomeness. CCB has brewed magic here. I wish I had more of this to drink.

Thanks Ty for sharing this gem!

Photo of kbutler1
4.22/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of JAXSON
4.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Draft at Capone's Cigar City event. Pours black with no head with some fine legs, later glasses had a rich dark mocha cap. Sweet, mild brandy on the nose, some lightly bitter chocolate, and a really pretty collage of sweet spices focusing on cinnamon. Flavor starts out with some mildly sweet apple brandy, very soft, then blossoms into this amazing array of cinnamon, cardamom, maybe pumpkin. Absolutely awesome. The bitter, charred elements of the regular version were erased by the brandy barrel, but in contrast to some others I found the spices far more prominent in this one, especially the cinnamon. A later pour near the bottom of the keg were a bit chalky and lost some of the glory of the first pour. One of the best beers I've had, not really a classic imperial stout, but just amazingly expressive and the flavor progression was in my mind for the whole day.

Photo of AgentZero
4.5/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank at our Epic Chicago Tasting on 7.31.10. Bottle #59/84.

A - A little bit bit flat, not as viscous as I would have thought, but still a pretty good, heavy looking beer. Head rose up about a finger, tan colored.

S - Vanilla, cocoa, not quite as roasty as I would have guessed. The chili is nicely present and cuts through some of the sweetness. Oak is present as well as a nice sweet, brandy smell.

T - Loved the regular Hunaphu, this one is great as well. While the barrel aging mutes a lot fo the original characteristics of the beer, I think it just makes them more subtle. Nice brandy sweetness and the chili/chocolate combo on this one is pretty much perfect. Vanilla and oak add to a myriad of flavors in this.

M - Full bodied, a little bit sticky.

D - Sad I had to split the bottle on this one. Fantasic beer I would love to drink all the time.

Photo of jrallen34
4.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another casualty of the top 100 from our Chicago Epic Tasting...After the regular hunaphu rocked my world...Bottle no 54 out of 89...Nice dark black with a medium tan head but low carbonation in general...The aroma is medium in strength, chili and chocolate dominate, such a great and unique taste. Not sure if the ba adds anything here, would really need to have them back to back...The taste is utterly awesome, especially as it warms up just brings out more and more flavors; chocolate, chili peppers, and wood, can't really pull out any of the apple brandy.

This is up there with hunaphu, both should be sought out vehemetly.

Photo of Axic10
4.5/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Capone's for the Cigar City event during Philly Beer Week. Served in a 5.5oz "mini snifter".

Appearance: Pours a very dark brownish/black with a thin layer of mocha head.

Smell: Brandy, espresso, chocolaty malt and a slight hint of pepper in the nose.

Taste: Brandy bite, smoked/roasted malt, dark chocolate, espresso and a peppery bite at the end.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and extremely smooth.

Drinkability: Very good beer. Not my first barrel aged stout, but my first brandy barrel aged stout. I could have easily drank at least 3-4 more of these while I was there, but they were limiting it so that everybody goto to try this amazing beer and I also wanted to try to regular Hunaphu as well as the other CC offerings. Would definitely seek out again.

Photo of akorsak
4.02/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.65/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks to the incredibly generous Bill who went out, picked up a growler, came to TJ's, shared it with anyone who wanted it, and saved a glass for me. He even waited there til I arrived to make sure that I got it! Here's to lots of good beer karma for Bill.

Pours a nearly opaque deep brown that borders on black. Only the edges of the glass betray the black hole of this beer. The beer is flat as anything. Reminds me of BA Speedway. In that case, I am encouraged. The swirl produces only slight bubbles that subside quickly, though it does adorn the walls of the glass with a sticky wall that produces very sexy legs.

I give the glass another quick swirl before burying my nose in it. Not surprisingly, there is a gnarly aroma of brandy right off the bat. As I continue to swirl and smell, tobacco, toffee, oak, and some warm vanilla notes also manifest themselves nicely. The brandy doesn't seem to overshadow the beer at all. Instead, it is like a nice accompaniment to the guitar solo that is the beer.

Finally, it is time to take a sip. I gently tip my glass towards my lips and take some in. The brandy really sits back here and allows the beer to shine in all its glory. A nice light roastiness really brings out warm woody oak and vanilla notes. The tobacco is again a focal point, this time flanked by some light spices. Cinnamon is the main one that I can make out. For a big beer aged in barrels that begot booze, there are no alcohol flavors. The finish brings along dark fruits - dates and raisins, that really round this out. What a top-notch brew!

Incredibly smooth, which is probably obvious from the lack of carbonation. The finish has a nice creamy texture to it. The consistency is thick, almost Dark Lord-esque, but it all works together flawlessly. If not for how utterly unattainable this beer is, I could drink this every day. I really had to force myself not to drink it too quickly, knowing that I might never have another chance to try it.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.57/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was thrilled to be able to finally try this one. I honestly did not think I was going to be able to get a hold of it, but lucked out. Served chilled and poured into a snifter.

The pour was dark as night, thick, viscous looking like motor oil with a light ring of tan around the edges that quickly faded and left behind no lacing to speak of. Just a thick, still, black liquid.

As I reach in for a sniff, warming comes through the air. Rich cocoa, light, very light hint of spice, oak, hints of vanilla and a light touch of tart fruit as it comes up to room temperature. Nicely done here. The depth of the profile seems to show no bounds. When compared to the regular Huna, this just seems to have less of the thick chocolate edge to it and more of the brandy shine through which is nice. As a side this also seems to have tempered the chili a touch as well. Really nicely done I have to say. Then the first sip rolls across the tongue with a gentleness that seems like I have longed for it forever. Really fine swirling vanilla and brandy notes are tucked away behind coffee and chocolate, I got a nice little boost of the chili on the palate at the end, nicely done again, and really brought it around full circle for me. Smooth, delicious, needed a bit fuller profile for me, but very well done.

Overall this was a great, great beer. For all the hype I was expecting a perfect beer, which this is not, but it is very, very good. Still dying to try the bourbon version, hopefully one day.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.23/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of largadeer
4.94/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Edit: New batches are amazing. Scores changed to reflect the later growler batches.

Original rating: 3.6

Thanks for sharing this rarity, Nick.

Black as pitch and quite viscous, there isn't much of a head, but it does have nice legs.

It smells strangely muddled. Bittersweet dark chocolate, a touch of tart apple, some leathery oxidation. The barrel aging seems to have actually simplified the beer and covered up most of the pepper, vanilla and cinnamon. As it warms, it becomes dominated by heavily roasted, tarry, almost burnt malt and sweet brandy. Not bad, but haphazard.

The apple brandy flavor comes through pretty strongly on the palate. It hints at apple, but it's more of an indistinguishable fruity sweetness. There's a little vanilla and oak, lots and lots of bitter baking chocolate, barely perceptible chili pepper. This is a huge, chewy imperial stout, almost Dark Lord-esque in viscosity. The finish is mildly boozy with lingering flavors of bitter chocolate, licorice, earthy oxidation and faint chili pepper. Barrel aging seems to have covered up the boldness of the adjunct ingredients in this beer, transforming it into something that's enjoyable but ultimately muddled. Perhaps Hunahpu's wasn't the best beer to put in a barrel. Pretty good, I enjoyed my glass, but it's not outstanding. There are a number of better and less rare barrel aged imperial stouts out there.

Photo of nickd717
4.64/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle via trade from tpd975, #47 (or 67) of 84. Thanks, Greg!

Pours pitch black with a tan head that fades to thick but spotty foam. Some legs - this is very thick.

Aroma is absolutely amazing. Rich chocolate, roast, caramel, oak, and brandy. Super intense.

Flavor is Hunahpu's and brandy. That doesn't sound great, but it was AWESOME! Roast, rich dark chocolate, toffee, coffee, oak, brandy, vanilla, cinnamon, and chili peppers. So much going on. One of the best and most complex RISes I've had, and that's saying something! It's my favorite style and I've ticked well over 100.

On the palate, wow, this is very heavy, like Guinness almost. ALMOST. Syrupy and slick with very full body. Mouthfeel is really the only place it fails. Otherwise it's incredible.

Oh, and drinkability I guess. I took down my 5oz or so with no problem, but may not want all that much more. But otherwise, damn dogg, this is legit! Probably top 10 among imperial stouts I've had up to this point.

Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.6/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #300!! Had on tap twice in 2 days(4 glasses total) during Philly Beer Week 2010 at both Capones and Hawthornes Cafe. Then had another glass from a growler a couple days after. Reviewing from notes and from on-tap at Hawthornes. Pours an extremely...infact completely pitch black. There is no beer darker in color. Old engine oil consistency. Super thick and super dark, I can't elaborate anymore than that! A very small dark brown head rises late and dissipates pretty quick...leaving only slight fizz laces. Even better than lacing, is the deep coffee like stains on the sides of the glass that form from the drinking and swirling!

Aroma is amazing! While the regular Hunahpu's is a great beer, and a great smelling beer...this one comes as advertized! Once you pick up the chocolate and chillies, maltiness and slight mollasses...the Apple Brandy is definitely present and is an awesome addition! It also compliments the regular Hunahpu's perfectly! At this point, so far...so good!

Could it get any better than this?!? Wow, all I can say over and over is WOW! The chocolates, the chillies, the mollasses and dark sugars, the thickness, the complexity, everything...and then add in the dull sweetness from the apple brandy than somewhat mutes the sharpness. A very warm burn slides down the throat from the booze, but is very much welcomed in my book! Super full body, extremely low carbonation, super complex...overall...a great RIS! A winner in my book!

Photo of Overlord
4.32/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ffahp for the brew!

Pours dark black with a slight brown crust. Looks black.

Smells faintly of brandy, with some alcohol heat, some chocolate, some roastiness, and a ton of dark fruit. Pureed raisins/prunes come to mind. The brandy is uber faint.

Taste has no brandy that I could detect. Some alcohol heat, a muddled spicy alcohol backing, some chocolate and a boatload of dark fruits. MAybe that's the brandy influence. Not sure.

THick, syrupy. Sweeter than I recall the base ber being.

Photo of koopa
4.22/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.48/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap, served in a tulip

Pours an extremely viscous ink black with no head by the time it reached the table. Just some loose mocha bubbles around the edges. When swirled, the beer leaves a thin, oily coating on the inside of the glass. It's like motor oil.

The aroma is sweet and rich. A layer of apple skins on top of deep roast, booze, coffee, dark chocolate and a steady spice.

Hearty roasted coffee and dark chocolate with sweet apple and booze. A steady dose of spice throughout. Coffee and chocolate come back in the finish with a good amount of heat.

Smooth and creamy. The sweetness from the apple barrel really cut through and hurt the overall richness of the feel. Still full and creamy, but not nearly as lush as the regular Hunahpu.

This is a tasty stout and does a ton of things really well. An easy sipper that I really enjoyed.

Photo of HopHead84
4.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

6/11/2010

Bottle 76/84 with gold wax. A huge thanks to Dstructo for the trade! Poured into a snifter, the beer appears black as night with a great one inch devilish dark auburn head. The head displays good retention and lacing is scattered.

In the nose I find a moderate roasted malt character, accompanied by oak, vanilla, burnt sugar, cocoa, and cinnamon. The chilies are noticeable but their presence is stronger in the regular version. A light brandy sweetness permeates all aspects of the aroma, and there's a subtle apple quality to it. Again, it's light, but it's definitely there and adds depth to an already complex beer. I also get light oxidation notes and a whisper of coffee. The chocolate is dark and rich.

The flavor is of oak, cinnamon, vanilla, and chilies, with delicious apple brandy sweetness and notes of roasted malt. The chocolate is decadent, and the booze is understated. The finish displays a subtle spiciness in addition to rich chocolate, apple brandy, and lingering booze.

The beer is full bodied. Carbonation is at a moderate low level and the mouthfeel is thick, silky, creamy, and sticky. A complex and decadent beast.

Photo of weeare138
4.57/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appears a dark brown nearing black with ruby edges when held to the light. Tiny speckles of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of oaky vanilla, black grapes, red wine, brandy, and brown sugar.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a dry punch of cocoa powder
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, slick, and warming.

Photo of regspeir
4.52/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at capones; Matt is THE MAN. Poured black with mocha edges to create a smallish head and good albeit surprisingly thin lacing. Nose is brandy, vanilla, chocolate, cocoa. Taste is a wonderful battle of the apple, brandy of the barrel and the chocolate, vanilla, pepper and especially the warming and booziness of the brew. The feel was creamy and almost chewy with a very nice level of carbonation to hold it up. Drinkability is also a battle between my desire and the abv. but price and availability probably push me over the edge. All-in-all a great imperial stout.

Photo of ffejherb
4.43/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Capone's on 6/5/10 during the Cigar City event for Philly Beer Week.

A - Appeared in my mini snifter as a raisin black liquid with royal purple tones and a very slim light brown head that reduced to a wispy ring of retention and traces of spotted lace around the edges of the glass.

S - Aroma is surprisingly somewhat muted overall. After I gave the liquid ample time to warm up, hints of apple brandy and barrel wood emerges as well as a hint of chocolate, cherries and vanilla.

T - Whoa! It took me a few seconds to really wrap my head around this one. The aftermath? This beer is freaking incredible! Sweet and dark fruit mingle with mild brandy and woody notes, while a hint of vanilla adds a bit of depth and more sweetness to the mix. Meanwhile, lots of dark bitter chocolate notes begin to emerge in the backend, followed by a dominant apple flavor that really expands into the finish, giving this beer such depth and complexity that it made my head spin. The alcohol never becomes overbearing, which allows the apple notes to really shine and blend nicely with the chocolate and woody attributes. Simply delicious!

M - Full bodied with an oily, viscous and somewhat sticky texture, yet all the while it retains quite a soft, creamy mouthfeel throughout. Finishes with a slight dryness on the palate in the midst of moderate alcohol and bitter notes.

D - While the aroma was a bit lacking, the flavor more than made up for it. Complex, delicious, amazing and decadent are some of the words needed to describe this fantastic creation from Cigar City. This 5 1/2oz. pour alone was worth the trip to Capone's.

Photo of ChrisPro
4.32/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

6/5/10 on Tap at Capone's. Pours midnight black with no head and only a couple bubbles. Aroma was solid cherry, apple and alcohol, with only hints of coffee. As it warmed, you could pick up a bit of smokiness from the peppers and a touch of cinnamon, but the brandy still dominated.

Flavor was very sweet dark chocolate covered fruit. Slightly dry smoky tobacco finish. As it warmed, you got a bitt more flavor from the peppers and felt the slightest tingle on the tongue.

This is an incredibly smooth and drinkable imperial stout that needs no further age.

Overall, this tasted like a solid imperial stout aged a bit too long in brandy. However....

6/6/10 at Hawthorne Cafe: This was like a completely different beer. I got a ton of pepper and smoke in the nose right from the start, but just balanced with the cinnamon and brandy. This was much more balanced and tasted like what I would expect from taking a great base imperial stout (Hunahpu's) and throwing it in brandy. The aging was a great complement.

I'm not sure why such a disparity between the two kegs, but my rating is essentially my averaged impression of the two beers.

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.73/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After I had the regular Hunahphu's and downed a glass of water I went with the Brandy barrel version.
Not much different than it's brother but what it lacks in the taste department ( which is not much ) makes up for with the brandy taste and aroma. Everything is still present in the nose and taste as well as the look. The mouthfeel in which I stated was a little buttery is gone. Making this drink even better for me. How do you make an excellent beer more excellent stuff it in a brandy barrel for a while. I hardly ever give a perfect rating but this is damn near perfect in ever way.

Hunahpu's Imperial Stout - Laird's Apple Brandy Barrel from Cigar City Brewing
100 out of 100 based on 319 ratings.