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Hunahpu's Imperial Stout - California Brandy Barrel Aged - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Hunahpu's Imperial Stout - California Brandy Barrel AgedHunahpu's Imperial Stout - California Brandy Barrel Aged

Educational use only; do not reuse.

56 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 56
Hads: 582
Avg: 4.49
pDev: 8.24%
Wants: 545
Gots: 91 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

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

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 05-18-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 56 | Hads: 582
Photo of Donco
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

6/4/14: Had this amazing brew on tap at Philly Beer Week. This was the second time in a year that I've had the pleasure of drinking this beer. Last time was October 2013. In that time, I have had BCBS for the first time and several other barrel aged stouts (my favorite type of beer). I would love to try some of the other Hunahpu variants if ever presented with the opportunity. But at this point I have to say that the Brandy Barrel Aged version is still as good as it was 7 months ago. The smell and taste are the highlights and this beer is highly recommended if you get the opportunity to taste it.

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Photo of dachshunddude86
4.94/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh my my, where to begin. I split the bottle 4 ways between myself, my wife, and my neighbors poured into snifters. The beer pours like a thick motor oil with a small amount of reddish brown, almost tawny head that dissipates quickly. In the glass it is black hole thick, there is no way a shred if light is getting through this. Staring into this glass is like staring into an old soul deep with wisdom and secret knowledge of the past. The smell is of rich roast malts, chocolate, a sweet fruitiness, and just a hint of barrel. Personally I would have liked more barrel on the nose based on CCBs other barrel aged offerings, but there is so much going on in this beer that no one element consistently asserts itself. Each sip brought something different depending on how big the sip was and what temperature it was at. On sip would bring rich brownie batter, the next vanilla, and then chilis, cinnamon, a fruitiness from the barrels. The body is slightly thinner than regular Huna or Zhukov, but it is still that nice thick rich mouthfeel that you expect from a CCB stout. Overall it was like Bob Ross set up his easel in my mouth and started painting with flavor. A happy vanilla tree here, a smiling cinnamon cloud there, everything mixed with a harmonizing note of brandy barrel to bring the entire picture together. This has been an experience that has transcended simply drinking a beer with friends.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.91/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served alongside Hunahpu's 2014.

The beer appears dark brown, near black, with a thin, oily beige collar. The aroma brings typical Hunahpu's quality: cinnamon, chilis, roast, chocolate. The aroma of the standard Hunahpu's is a bit more forward and edgy. Chili heat, booze, chocolate. Delicious. A bit smoother than the standard version, but perhaps lacking the aggressive onslaught of flavor found in the original. Splitting hairs. This is world class.

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Photo of davewlfpckfan29
4.89/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

My friend Andy was fortunate enough to get this in a trade with someone.
Andy has now privileged us with trying this, and a 2012 Huna the other day.
We poured this into small sample glasses, among four of us.

I really loved this beer.

Pours a dark dark brown, like one of those stouts that looks like straight motor oil. Hold this up to the brightest of lights, and you will still not see through it. No sign of head (if so, very little).

The smell! Oh my god the smell. It's a pleasant scrumptious, graham cracker, mixed with peppers, and the best malt smells you can get from a stout.

This has to be my favorite stout I have ever had at my young age of 23.
But I have a hard time believing anything will rival it anytime soon.
It brings all the wonderful roasted chocolaty malts from Huna, along with the perfect balance of peppery spices. Like one of those REAL chocolate bars with peppers in them.
SUCH A pleasant mouthfeel, so smooth, no hotness, the lingering tastes are just exactly what I would want from any stout.

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Photo of mverity
4.87/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I got this bottle at the brewery from winning a raffle at Proof Brewing Co. I drove to and went with the guy who I'm sharing this bottle with.

Pours an oily, inky black. A healthy amount of thick, slightly creamy, dark chocolate colored head. Head lasted well, and faded into a 1/8 inch collar that has held really well.

I get a lot of vanilla in the aroma. Some sweet, earthy, woody brandy too. A nice backbone of roasted malt and dark chocolate.

Really creamy and thick boys, very low carbonation.

Taste is the sweet brandy up front, nice dark chocolate and vanilla in he aftertaste. The mid-palate is a touch of vegetal chile, and mostly the deep malt.

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Photo of TheChef18
4.85/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had at the hunahpu's vertical dinner.

A- same as regular. black as shoe polish

S- Chocolate, chile, vanilla, with the added layer of brandy sweetness

T- Very little "boozy" taste to it. The brandy compliments the notes already in Huna perfectly. best way to improve upon an already stellar beer

M- thick and sticky. very little to no carbonation

O- simply excellent. Can't wait to see what variation is done for this year's Hunahpu's

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Photo of mlhyatt
4.84/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had at huna day. Amazing. Had it back to back with double barrel huna and this rivals DBH. Delivers exceptionally in every aspect. BA huna continues to top my list of stouts.

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Photo of SHerninko
4.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

PBW-2014, Resurrection Ale House (very small, understaffed to have Hunah on tap, got in line, begged for 15 min for a glass, got one!!! It kicked in about 20 min.)

Appearance-classic big stout, dark, some big tan head and lacing, some carbonation that dissipates.

Smell-very nice with all the oaky, chocolate, coffee, cinnamon & sweet from the brandy barrel. As it warmed it smelled like a cinnamon Danish fresh from a bakery. Mmmmm

Taste--another slight layer on top of classic Hunahpu (one of my all time faves). Base stout is wonderful, as it warms and changes you get more pronounced tastes from the brandy, the chocolate and the slight evening out bite of the chilies.

Mouthfeel--not too thick, but not thin--just right really. Coats the tongue before, during and hangs on after the sip.

Overall--better than original ?? A bit different nuance on the classic, one of the best in the world (to me) barrel-aged/flavored stout. Cigar City---you ARE the reigning champions.

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Photo of dar482
4.81/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The aroma hits of fruity brandy, cinnamon spice, fudge, peppers.

The flavor is a bit less smooth than the aroma. It hits of a chunky chocolate bar, cinnamon candy, some brandy sweetness, a touch of alcohol towards the end, a balancing of bitterness of coffee and cacao. The spice is subdued with mostly pepper flavor coming through.

Up next to DBH, this was lesser of the two, but still phenomenal. It is closer to the base than DBH.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.79/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A - Dark chocolate brown with light brown head to it

S - Sweet vanilla, chocolate, light marshmallow and a brandy sweetness. The brandy coming through also gives it a slightly booze

T - Mexican chocolate, light pepper, sweet vanilla, caramel, dark fudge to it. The brandy comes through that gives it a light alcohol kick and a great sweetness. The brandy really adds a nice complexion to it the beer. Cinnamon comes through more as it warms up

MF - Thick creamy body with a light spice from the pepper. Not much booziness that comes through.

O - Really an amazing beer where the California Brandy adds some subtlety and complexity to regular Huna.

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Photo of timc100
4.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours like a CCB stout - pitch black oil/melted brownie with a burnt mocha head, very minimal - some lacing sticks around - stains the glass brown when swirling in the glass. Not as dark as MZ but beautiful menacing stout none-the-less.

Aroma of muted Hunahpu spices, rich chocolate, and brandy. All integrated very beautifully - as it warms chili, cinnamon, and vanilla come through. Not a very aromatic beer, but very nice.

Tastes astounding - incredibly vibrant, rich, decadent, smooth, sticky, slick. The brandy adds a great element to the base beer with sweet fruits and boozy apple, some heat as well. The chocolate explodes as it does in Huna and MZ, smooth vanilla and some spices. Just excellent.

Outstanding beer - not necessarily better than Huna or Zhukov, just another fantastic take on a great beer. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Juuroumaru
4.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours a Midnight black almost like motor oil with a lovely dark Brown Head.
S- the smell of Brandy barrels is all over this one with a nice lovely hint of cacao.
T- tastes of Brandy with a nice Chocolate background working together.
M- thick almost like syrupy oil.
O- this thing is amazing and im so thankful that i was able to try a bottle of this. thanks Jonathan for hooking it up.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
4.76/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

L: Dark with minimal head

S: Very interesting. It changes with each swirl, starting with cinnamon and spice, then apples and peppers, boozy brandy, then back to spice again.

T: Wow. Awesome in every way. A burst of cinnamon spice , then dark fruit, followed by chocolate and roasted malt, and a beautifully integrated brandy barrel.

M: Far more thin than regular Hunahpu. A bit strange, actually.

O: This is as good as it gets when it comes to barrel aged spiced stouts. Definitely in the top three of greatest stout flavors ever.

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Photo of linnymtu
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Not initially impressed at 45deg but as it warmed to 55ish the vanilla started to push through the coffee and became very well rounded on the taste and the nose. I'd say this was only a tad behind DBH overall.

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Photo of Culture
4.74/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I got two of these bottles by winning a raffle at WOB Sarasota. I basically hit the PowerBall!

Smell- You get the smell of Cocoa, Brandy , Cinnamon, vanilla, and espresso.

Taste - You deff can taste the barrel flavor. There is also some espresso and peppers on the back of the pallet.

Mouth- Thick mouthfeel. You can drink it cold or room temp. Either way it is enjoyable.

Overall-Excellent ! You cannot go wrong with anything from CCB.

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Photo of GameFreac
4.73/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Got this in an IP trade from Ben from Angry Chair. The best IP trade ever.

Appearance: Pours a motor oil black with a half a finger of a brown head - almost identical to Zhukov. Blackest beers I've ever seen.

Smell: Smells of brandy, chocolate, dark chocolate mainly with some sweet milk chocolate hidden at the end. Cocoa, coffee, espresso, roast, cinnamon, sweet syrupy scent. A faint spicy heat from the peppers and vanilla.

Taste - Taste mirrors the nose with that barrel character coming out more in the taste followed by a hint of that heat from the peppers that slides down your throat and warms.

Mouthfeel: Almost no alcohol (until it warms a little - then it get a little boozy). Thick mouthfeel - feels oily.

Overall: Amazing amazing stuff. This is one of the best beers I've ever had and it's in the same league as regular Huna or Zhukov. They're all amazing.

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Photo of corby112
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pitch black and completely opaque with a two finger, pillowy dark mocha head that very slowly settles into a thick, lasting cap/ring. Great retention, taking a while to settle with large splotches of soapy lacing clinging to the glass on the way down. Dark oily legs coat the glass.

There's a prominent barrel presence in the nose but thankfully it doesn't completely obliterate the characteristics of the base beer. Slight charred oak/wood and sweet and spicy brandy along with vanilla and a strong toasted coconut presence. Excellent brandy character in the nose. Not sweet like the apple brandy, but more of a spicy booziness yet doesn't smell just like fusel alcohol. Underneath, the elements of the base beer are still present. Subtle roast with robust dark malt notes. Hints of coffee and bitter dark chocolate along with oatmeal, smoke and toffee. Some vanilla bean but not sure if that's from the barrel or hunah. Also, quite a bit of cinnamon and chili after it warms. Complex, inviting nose with great barrel character that's not overly boozy.

The mouthfeel of this beer is perfect and I can't image how it could be improved. Thick and chewy luscious body that's not oily or slick. Feels like a boozy chocolate shake with chilies and cinnamon. Probably best mouthfeel of any beer I've ever had. Again, there's a really strong barrel presence but it's perfectly integrated into the awesomeness of Hunahpu. Subtle dry oak wih a touch of char along with silky vanilla bean, cinnamon, marshmallow and toasted coconut. The brandy and barrel flavors really add another dimension to the luscious, silky chocolate and robust, smokey malts while the strong cinnamon and chili presence compliments the spirit perfectly. Deceptively drinkable with prominent alcohol/spirit flavor but only has slight heat in the finish. Another incredible beer from CCB and probably the best Hunahpu variant yet.

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Photo of Tone2467
4.71/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a wax sealed bottle in a snifter.

A: Just how I like my Imperial Stouts. It pours almost pitch black with the tiniest blood red tint. A small head that disperses quickly leaving a mirror like surface staring back a you. Reminds me of a lake on a moonless night.

S: The first whiff is of strong chocolate with some sweetness hiding in there. No signs of Brandy at my first pour. As it warms though the sweet smell dirs of a bit giving way to the same strong Choclate aroma but, now their are hints of chili and just a little Brandy aroma comes peaking through. I got no signs of Vanilla or Cinnamon from my nose but I'm not complaining.

T: Similar to the aroma at first. Strong tastes of Chocolate and a burnt sweetness settle on my tounge. The breath out reveals some vanilla and definitely some Brandy in there. As it warmed the Chili and Cinnamon step up to the plate as well as a more pronounced Brandy flavor. Throughout the entire experience the slighty burnt flavor plays on the toungue. A complex beer on the palate for sure.

M: She's a thick one. A full bodied Stout with low carbonation. Slides right off the tounge and down the throat. There's some spiciness and heat that follow. I almost want to call it a lingering silky or oily feeling. Perfect for a Stout.

O: If you get the opportunity this is definitely one to try. A deep complexity with a great smoothness. Definitely on my list of great beers to watch for.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Woah! Whale. This and/or the Baird apple brandy version have been long-time wants of mine. Thanx, as always, to Cam for sharing during another epic Stoutfest.

Typical Hunahpu's appearance. Thick and oily black pour, dark brown head, decent retention, legs on the glass.

The smell is absurdly decadent and interesting. Tons of fudgy chocolate desserts, granny smith apples, brandy, truffles, some dark fruits and roast. Light spiciness and vanilla presence. Awesome and potent, didn't want to stop sniffin' this one.

Taste, wow. Apple brandy and chili spice are definitely upped in the profile, still tons of chocolate vanilla dessert madness. Less roasty than the scent and the original Hunahpu's, but there is just enough of it to balance out the sweetness. Lingering spice in the aftertaste.

A little less hefty than the regular version but otherwise similar, oily texture with lowish carbonation. Brandy is prevalent but not much for booze.

Enlightening beer for me. Unique, complex, crazy stout - rich chocolate fudge, apple brandy, chili spice?? Quite drinkable somehow too. Very awesome.

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Photo of drmcleod10
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle shared among friends and poured into a mini-snifter
I think I got one of the good bottles that are still left out there

A - Dark as night with a minimal mocha foam head. Pours very viscous and thick. This was poured at around 55 degrees and was allowed to warm up quickly using the mini snifter. Very very dark pour with not much carbonation

S - Smell is of brandy, chocolate, roasty coffee bitterness, with hints of cinnamon but not much heat. This smelled really good we all agreed.

T - Taste is more of chocolate fudge in your face with hints of cinnamon on the back-end that pairs with some vanilla and brandy notes. People say this is a shell of it's former self, but this was just as good as 2014 reg hunahpu

M - Thick, chewy, creamy and smooth. Cigar city never disappoints on this aspect

O - Overall, better than 2014 Hunahpu, but it doesn't stack up to DB Huna. I thought this was still excellent and might be worth seeking out again seeing as how the value has dropped pretty significantly

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Photo of homebrew311
4.64/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick and viscous black with minimal head. Oily appearance and a dark coating left on the glass. The nose starts with heavy dark chocolate followed by bright notes of cinnamon. The brandy adds some sweetness and seems to accentuate the cinnamon and vanilla notes. The taste is sweet up front with darkish chocolate and deep brandy notes which linger throughout. Notes of syrup, honey, vanilla, and wood come through in addition to the pepper and chocolate from the base beer. Mouthfeel is super heavy with light carbonation. Overall, fantastic beer with tons of flavor.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.62/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Had on-tap at CCB tasting room while waiting for El Catador Club sign-up. Served in a snifter glass.

A: Essentially jet black, opaque, with a thin tan head and no visible carbonation.

S: Dark fruit, liqueur, deep dark roasted malts, cacao, molasses, chiles, cinnamon, and spices with sweetness on top.

T: Follows the nose, with some light oak character as well. Not overly boozy - actually, almost not at all boozy - but that lets the cacao, pepper spices, vanilla and molasses show up better and compliment the barrel and light liqueur aspects.

M: Thick heavy body, sticky mouthfeel, restrained alcohol presence for style. Low carbonation sensation but never seems flat.

O: Very very good. Significantly better than last year's Apple Brandy variant in my opinion. The lighter barrel character adds depth while letting the flavors that make Hunahpu such a good beer come through.

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Photo of RCM505
4.62/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks Axic10 for opening this for my engagement. Poured into a 2012 Huna Day snifter

Appearance: A decadent opaque deep espresso brown with one finger of mocha head that eventually dissipates into a spotty ring. Very nice retention here. Nice dark coating on the glass reminiscent of the base beer

Aroma: Cinnamon and cocao dominant with light brandy sweetness; in no way overbearing.

Taste: Dark chocolate and roasted malts; brandy sweetness really brings out the vanilla and other base beer ingredients. Although unlike in the nose I do not detect any cinnamon. Lots of dry oaky goodness in the finish; charred oak. This is a very complex beer.

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy with low to moderate carbonation and a very dry finish

Overall: Excellent. What you would expect from a Huna variant. Very complex flavor profile really brought out by the brandy

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Photo of Skrypt
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Shared a bottle with Dan (netdigger2) after tasting the set of barrel-aged Mexican Cake variants.

A: Pours a viscous, pitch black with minimal head. Leaves behind oily legs between sips.

S: Wonderfully sweet brandy and chocolate notes with hint of pepper and a decent amount of alcohol.

T: There is a complex sweetness that comes up, but evolves quickly into a bitter dark chocolate. There is a ton of smooth, roasty malt flavors in here with hints of vanilla and toffee. Decent amount of pepper, too. The after taste is a bitterness similar to a good dark chocolate.

M: Very thick and lightly carbonated. Leaves behind a dry finish similar to a good, dry wine.

Overall: Absolutely delicious brew. I mean, it's a Hunahpu so of course it's good, but the brandy barrels don't really seem to play a big role here. Not sure the hype on this is merited.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours a very thick and dark brown. Settles into the glass as a black looking liquid with no head to speak of. Poured almost syrupy, so even with a vigorous pour there was no head.

S- Sweet sugary vanilla, caramel, hints of dark fruits and cinnamon, the brandy comes through as a sugary candy aroma. Very nice and not overpowering.

T- A big, rich stout with tons of roasted malts giving way to some cinnamon and vanilla, with lots of sugary sweetness. Lots of sweet liquor-like flavors in the middle, with the sweetness giving way to a hint of spicy pepper and cinnamon on the finish. Lots of interesting flavors come out and share the spotlight.

M- Thick, rich, syrupy, huge mouthfeel, one of the fullest stouts I have ever had. Carbonation is at a low level, which works nicely with the body.

O- This is a great beer that showcases lots of complex flavors, good use of a barrel and a great mouthfeel. Well worth seeking out.

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Hunahpu's Imperial Stout - California Brandy Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.