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Benji's Chipotle Smoked Imperial Porter - Tyranena Brewing Company

Benji's Chipotle Smoked Imperial PorterBenji's Chipotle Smoked Imperial Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

222 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 222
Reviews: 121
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 8.73%

Brewed by:
Tyranena Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: AdmiralDiaz on 03-15-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 222 | Reviews: 121 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.08/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, thanks to grub for sharing.

Pours a clear dark orange, brown away from the light, thin light tan head forms and quickly settles to a very thin ring around the glass, retention isn't so great, few lace spots stick to the glass.

Smell is neat, rich and malty, raisins, caramel, grapes, brown sugar, some biscuit, a touch of chocolate milk and light roast, lots of sweet fruit, a bit herbal, pretty intense chile/pepper aroma, pretty spicy.

Taste is similar, very dry and roasty, nutty, wafers, caramel and brown sugar, some fruity sweetness, cocoa powder, very peppery, spicy and lightly vegetal in the finish, very dry and almost puckering, powdery and not too enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation, way too dry and weird character from the peppers. Thanks Russ.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2010 19:08:13 | More by Viggo
Photo of paco1029384756


3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color, nearly black with a very small tan head.

Scent of peppers, roasted malts, and oats. A simple, somewhat disappointing scent.

Taste of roasted malts, oats and some peppers. It has a nice flavor, but I was expecting a stronger pepper presence.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and thin with low carbonation, underwhelming.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2010 22:52:35 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of BeerFMAndy


3.38/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. Bottled on 24FEB10.

Thanks to Beerwolf77 for this bottle!

A - Despite the height of the pour, the beer slipped into the glass with an eerie silence. The light tan head reached no more than a sliver and was poorly retained with no left-over lacing. The beer is pitch black.

S - The cold, slightly metallic nose offers up a low level of roasted malts giving off some mellow chocolate and coffee notes. A very mild hint of smoke and pepper comes through the finish.

T - Roasted chocolate malts provide a base for a mellow rauchbier-like smoke flavor. More campfire than peat malts and a minuscule level of pepper heat.

M - Medium-full bodied and low carbonation with a thick, smooth swallow, it mirrors the pour. Dry to the finish, particularly with the lingering smokiness. No alcohol or spiciness present.

D - Somewhat of a chore to drink, it doesn't at all seem like and imperial to age. The heat and smoke, more so the heat, have diminished considerably or were never that present to begin with. The prospect of a chili beer excited me, but it's much more like a thick porter with a drop of liquid smoke accidentally added in.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2010 19:39:18 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of robwestcott


3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured relatively aggressively and cold from the bottle near pitch black to a surly darkness 10oz goblet with a 1/2 finger short lasting off white head

aroma of smoke and peppers, as advertised.

hmmm... smoky, and peppery hot, leaving a chipotle hot tingle on the tongue. its an interesting brew, though at first blush, its a bit disconcerting.

thin for the style, light bodied, pepper hot.

drinkable - one and done.

overall - A for effort. C for taste.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2011 19:58:24 | More by robwestcott
Photo of Wadsey


3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Benji's Smoked Imperial Porter

Served in New Belgium globe glass

A: Pours deep brown/black with two-inch tan head that demonstrates little retention. 

S: Chocolate milk shake with spicy peppers. Additional aromas include black pepper, earth, smoke and some morning blend coffee.

T: Sweet milk chocolate and roasted malts mixed with spicy peppers. Smoked malts are more evident in taste and add a pleasant layer to flavor. Medium bitterness. Finish is somewhat harsh with bitterness and heat talking over. Quite drying, too. 

M: Medium body with medium-light carbonation  Thin but smooth. 

O: Clearly, the finish and the body of Benji's Smoked imperial Porter hurt the beer. With that said, it packs big flavor in a low abv package, which always rates well with me. 

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2011 04:17:45 | More by Wadsey
Photo of IdrinkGas


3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From a 12oz bottle to my snifter.

A:Pours a very deep shade of brown almost black. A thin layer of tan head from a rough pour.

S: Smoky, roasted Chipotle pepper, and a hint of dark chocolate. The smokiness is not overpowering.

T: Mostly a smoky taste but finishes with a little roasted chocolate malt kick.

M: A little thin and under carbonated. It has a big flavor which would probably be better with a bigger body.

D: ABV is well hidden but due to the strong flavor its something I would only drink one of in a sitting.

I didn't think I would like this at all but it turned out to be quite enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2011 02:28:51 | More by IdrinkGas
Photo of samie85


3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Uncle Mike's Hwy. Pub in Kenosha; reviewed from notes, originally 6/6/10.

A- Pours a cola color with brown, one finger head.

S-Cocoa and chocolate upfront with a dry roasty character that's not overwhelming, and some smokey notes, the chipotle is barely noticeable.

T-Chocolate and roasted malt with some dry, dark chocolate and a slightly spicy, but pretty smokey finish. I expected way more heat and the kind of smoked quality that you expect from chipotle peppers.

M-Medium bodied with low carbonation, a little slickness to it.

D-A really easy drinking imperial porter. However when you put the word "Chipotle" on your label, I expect some more heat which just wasn't present here at all. As a brewery, I think Tyranena suffers from putting way too many words on their labels. If they had just labeled this as an Imperial Porter I would have been very happy.

Serving type: on-tap

06-19-2010 15:51:40 | More by samie85
Photo of Parrotbeak


3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black with a thin, tan head that disappears quickly, save for a few patchy strands across the surface.
Smell is chocolate and cocoa, with some coffee and faint caramel tones accompanying. Some very faint spicey notes, and some smoke that is so faint that it is almost unperceptible.
Taste is slightly smokey malts, with some faint chipotle presence. Cocoa and distant chocolate and caramel. Some slight heat from the peppers on the finish.
Mouthfeel is fairly smooth, with a light to moderate level of carbonation and bitterness coming in at the finish.
Despite this one being a letdown in terms of the chipotle and smoke presence, this one is good on drinkability. If I were rating this one in terms of a spiced beer, it would fare a little worse, but overall it's a fairly good beer. As a porter it's pretty solid.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2010 01:01:45 | More by Parrotbeak
Photo of illidurit


3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle courtesy Diomede. Pours clear brown with a small ecru head. Big chipotle influence with plenty of chocolate and coffee, reminds me of mole sauce. Coffee and cocoa flavor with a slight smokey chipotle note. Could definitely use some more body, but the flavors come together pretty well.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2010 08:22:47 | More by illidurit
Photo of JohnnyHopps


3.64/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - The beer as a thick black color, literally black as night.

Smell - The malt jumps to the front in the aroma, but the spice is detectable.

Taste - At the front, it is a pretty straight forward porter with the malts seeming a little more toasted that usual. One can detect burnt sugar and a little sweetness. The burns runs a little hot toward the back of the throat but is far from overwhelming. The aftertaste is more sweet than spicy.

Mouthfeel - By itself, the porter is very smooth. On the other hand, the spice at the end makes for a rough landing.

Overall - The spice was a little more potent when I had this porter when it was fresher. It is still quite drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2013 22:48:45 | More by JohnnyHopps
Photo of TurdFurgison


3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up at Binny's in Lake Zurich, no hesitation at all based on the bottle description. Smoke imperial porter with chipotle peppers, hot damn.

The beer pours out dark and opaque, dark brown with a thin beige head. The aroma is more cocoa than smoke, as the first inhale indicates roasted malts and chocolate. Subsequent attempts give a mild pepper heat in the background, but still no smoke.

The beer tastes about the same, a roasty porter/stout flavor with some mild peppers providing a little bite, nothing hurtful or anything. The chocolate is strong too, again if there is much smoked malt I can't detect it.

Medium-to-thick bodied, giving a pleasantly full mouthfeel that matches the robust flavors. Overall I like this beer, and won't have any trouble finishing the others in the 4-pack. Just wish the smoke was there and the peppers were added with a heavier hand.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2010 00:04:33 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of drabmuh


3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

At the time of this review, this is the #44 top beer in the category "American Porter". Served in a New Belgium globe glass.

Beer is black and hazy with a lazy thin brown head, no lacing, low carbonation, looks fine.

Aroma is sweet and spicy, nice mixture of malt, chocolate, milk, chiles, very nice aroma. Minimal smoke.

Beer is mildly smokey, a little sweet, a little dry on the finish, chocolate, chili, mild spice, good but not great. I won't have another.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2012 03:27:53 | More by drabmuh
Photo of alcstradamus


3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown pour with a half finger of head. The aroma is heavy on roasted malts and coffee beans, with faint notes of smokiness, chocolate, crayon wax, and perhaps even a dab of that chipotle spice.

The flavor is coffee bean up front, with the chipotle adding a somewhat odd aspect to the flavor that comes off almost sweet. Some smokiness in the finish.

The body is medium to full and carbonation is spot on. Overall, this one is quite unique but I'm not sure how much I like it. It is certainly flavorful and left me reaching for the glass out of curiosity, but would I want more? I'm really not sure. I may have to give this one a second shot a few months down the line and see how I feel then.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2010 16:59:05 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of smm


3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep brown with a thin John Waters-esq dark tan head.

B- Smells boozy and smokey. Big wafts of red meat.

T- Roasted malts and bitterness, dark chocolate and chipotle kind of lay back underneath the smokiness. No real spicy kick comes through which I was kind of hoping for, very subtle on the back of the tongue and throat. Alcohol isn't really present either which is nice.

M- Medium body, very dry finish.

O- Cost to experience doesn't really match up for me. Its a nice brew but didn't really blow my socks off.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2011 18:04:12 | More by smm
Photo of JamesMN


3.69/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pitch black with a one finger fluffy tan head. Leaving some nice lacing already where it has dissipated.

Aroma: First thing that pops out is smoked oak. Digging deeper notes of chocolate and toasted malts come through.

Taste: A bit weaker in flavor than the aroma suggested. Starts with a strange acidity that carries on through to the end. Definite charred malts in there evoking some cocoa flavor. Some smokiness in there as well. After several sips the chipotle pepper aspect starts to come through as a heat over the palate. It creeps on slowly and never gets overpowering but makes its presence known. Lingering aftertaste of heat from the pepper along with a bit of smoke and charred malt.

Mouthfeel: About medium in body and a tad over-carbonated. Some of the robust flavors become cloying after a while and make for below average drinkability.

Final Thoughts: Not hugely impressed with this one but still an interesting beer none-the-less. Would I drink it again? Probably not.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2013 02:54:07 | More by JamesMN
Photo of mondegreen


3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into an Avery Tulip. Bottle dated 2/24/10.

Pours a dark brown with a thin barely off white head. The head quickly vanishes into a thin film. A little lacing clings to the side of the glass.

The pepper shines in the nose, offset by an equal amount of roasted malt flavor. Sweet and spicy work very well together here.

The pepper doesn't come through quite as much in the taste. There is a slight spiciness on the tip of the tongue, but it vanishes in the middle and finish. Would like more pepper presence here.

Medium bodied, doesn't scream "Imperial" as the name suggests. Still, a nice porter that I'd be happy to drink anytime. I have to wonder if the pepper was any more prevalent in the taste 11 months ago when this brew was bottled. In any case, glad to have the chance to try this one.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2011 00:54:57 | More by mondegreen
Photo of AmberMan22


3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I do love a good porter, and I do like Wisconsin breweries. Seems like a match made in heaven.

And it looks like one too. Can't quite tell if it's entirely black or not because of the lower lighting in the bar, but I'll give it benefit of the doubt. Capped with a roasted mocha colored head.
The head is composed of superfine bubbles, giving it a great look. These come into the equation later to make for a wonderful mouthfeel.

Smell: bit of pepper (as in black pepper), followed by a wave of deep, roasty chocolate malt. There we go.

With this ABV and the smoked idea too, I'd expect the flavor to be more robust. Instead, it's a confusing mixture of "is this hot? no not really. Then what am I tasting?" On top of a porter that doesn't assert itself as much as it should.

While I don't appreciate how the 'chipotle' flavor factors in, the porter beneath isn't bad. As I said -- a porter needs to attack the taste buds, and this kind of groggily walks in unannounced.

It does carry a nice heft to it though, with those superfine bubbles dancing lightly on the tongue.

Overall....eh. Mixed feelings.

Serving type: on-tap

04-21-2010 14:32:22 | More by AmberMan22
Photo of Ineedabeerhere

Rhode Island

3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another one sent by Dave! Thanks man! Had this on May 10, from notes.

A shade from black with some tannish foam, abstract lace clings to the glass. Pretty nice looking.

Aromas are medium-house roast coffee, chocolate and a waft of smoke in the background. Chipotle is fairly subtle, but most evident in the finish in a kind of background way giving the impression of heat without being sharply spicy or prickly. A little bitter roast mid palate complements the smoke component. Low end of medium bodied, couldve been a little "bigger" but then again this was 'only' 7.5%. A decent beer, not as intense as one would maybe expect from the name - this was well balanced with the different flavors going on, but I still split the 12oz three ways and was satisfied with that serving.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2010 16:37:05 | More by Ineedabeerhere
Photo of kenito799

New York

3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Porter tasting.
Brown-black. Thin white head.
Smokiness apparenton the nose, not strong but present. Roasted malt.

Smoke on the palate, with a fizzy mouthfeel. Just a hint of capsacin burn hits the back of the throat after swallowing, otherwise not much chili pepper. I like this effect, restrained. Howeeverm this brew is very bitter ina charred wood way, which birngs the taste down a notch. Interesting effort.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 21:52:50 | More by kenito799
Photo of hardy008


3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a small tan head which has decent retention. Smells of chocolate, roasted malt, smoke, and chipotle pepper. The aroma is not as strong a I thought, or hoped it would be.

The taste is mildly sweet, with a lot of chocolate up front, followed by roasted malt, smoke, and chipotle at the end.

Smooth, medium bodied, creamy, low carbonation. A nice drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2010 03:26:14 | More by hardy008
Photo of MasterSki


3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single while I was in Wisconsin - buying a 4-pack of a chili beer without tasting it first seemed dangerous. Served in a FoBAB pint-shaped taster glass.

A - Pours with a late rising quarter-finger of dark tan foam that settles to a thin ring and a partial filmy cap. Body is very dark brown, with a faint hint of transparency at the fringes.

S - Dark roast malts, dark fruits, chocolate, smoke. If you stick your nose right up to it, there's a hint of chipotle, but I probably wouldn't have noticed if it weren't in the name of the beer. Pretty nice porter though.

T - Taste as more over chipotle flavor, and isn't nearly as sweet as the nose. Dark chocolate, burnt malts, and an bitter espresso finish that lingers into the aftertaste. The combination of the nose and taste gets me thinking mole sauce.

M - This is a weak spot for the beer, as it has a medium-light watery texture and somewhat harsh carbonation burn. While I appreciate that porters and stouts should retain some differentiation in texture, this is a little wussy. There's some residual stickiness which is pleasant. Maybe a bit of faint peppery warmth lingers.

D - Went through my 6oz pour pretty quickly - other than the annoying feel this is another solid porter from Tyranena. If you like a little peppery kick this is a solid choice.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2010 00:25:25 | More by MasterSki
Photo of beatenbyjacks


3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - very think dark black in color. Almost oil black. Beautiful.

Smell - lots of smoky campfire smell to it. Back end hits with the chili peppers

Taste - smoky with a hint of the chipotle. The booze is hidden well with the spices!

Mouthfeel - leave a lot of smoke in your mouth. Finished with some pepper, but lots of flavor.

Overall - great beer to try. Not my everyday beer, but a fun experiment for sure. Excited for more of their beers

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2013 04:19:51 | More by beatenbyjacks
Photo of lightindarkness


3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark soft black body with a fuzzy khaki head that leaves patches for a long time to linger. Nice swaths of lace with some spottiness.

Smells good. Not overly strong. Dry coarse grains and mild smoke with kind of a muddy earthiness over corn. Rustic and warm smelling. Faint cinnamon spice.

Taste is pleasant, following the nose, remaining fairly mild. A distinct lack of sweetness makes the beer seem dry and lightly bitter, accentuating the roastiness. There may be some sweetness in there, but I'm pretty sure the pepper and smoke subdue it quite well. Mild porter flavors with a nice soft dark roasted grain. Smoke is pleasantly mild, adding character without too much stand-out flavor. Finishes with a nice subtle bitterness. As for the pepper, chipotle seems a great choice to pair with smoke in a porter, leaving less actual 'pepper' flavor and more of a roasted dry warm bitterness. I really like that about this beer.

Medium body with a nice easy dose of carbonation. A little thickness to the coating left in the mouth. Decent.

Overall a very tasty and nicely done beer. Nothing seems excessive about it, and a particularly well crafted pepper/smoke beer. Glad I had a chance to try it. Would enjoy drinking a couple, but not a style I generally develop a taste for.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2010 15:02:35 | More by lightindarkness
Photo of rwdkosak


3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a little cooler than I should have producing a nice centimeter head that didn't last long over a dark, dark brown. (I let it warm just a bit) I was truly expecting an intense smoke nose with spice but was happy to be greeted with a much more complex scent of smoke and roasted malt with a nice rounding of spice to even things. Taste was no different. Quite a bit going on in the glass and much more of a full porter that I really enjoyed. The smoke and spice is very well balanced. Mouthfeel was good...'chewy' and drinkability only down a bit as it's still 7.5%ABV...as it should be as an Imp.
Overall a great beer...gonna have to search out another!

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2010 01:11:17 | More by rwdkosak
Photo of sweemzander


3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled Feb. 24th 2010. Thanks to kstrickler for this one!

(A)- Pours a pitch black color. Didnt really form a head, but left a thin film of brown bubbles & froth.

(S)- A bid roastedness with a light spicy pepper smokiness. Bits of coffee & molasses & cocoa. I am glad the name doesnt overpower the main components of the porter. A good aroma with a BBQ/Smokehouse nuance.

(T)- Dry, with almost a woody profile. Bits of bitter coffee & cocoa. A light smokiness that merges into that dry wood well. Has that tiny touch of hot pepper that leaves a slight kick in the throat after each swallow.

(M)- A good carbonation level & balance. I am glad to see that the chipotles & smoke are well integrated into the main profile of the beer; they do not overpower the other nuances. Its dry, spicy, bitter, & lightly sweet at the same time.

(D)- Normally, I am not a huge fan of smoked or spicy beers, but this one is right on target for me. Its still a porter, yet it has the nuances of the smoke & peppers.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2010 23:33:47 | More by sweemzander
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Benji's Chipotle Smoked Imperial Porter from Tyranena Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 222 ratings.