Benji's Chipotle Smoked Imperial Porter - Tyranena Brewing Company

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

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124 Reviews
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Reviews: 124
Hads: 238
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 8.42%
Wants: 40
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: AdmiralDiaz on 03-15-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 124 | Hads: 238
Photo of KeefD
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown, nearly black in the glass, short lived tan head with no lacing. Nice chocolate and smoke aroma with a touch of chili pepper in the background. No single aroma is dominating the other. Taste is very similar. There's a strong base beer porter, with notes of chocolate and roast, which is followed by a pleasant smokiness, and finished with a nice, spicy chili pepper heat, but it never overwhelms. Medium full body, light carbonation, rather easy to drink. I like this beer, although it's not mind blowing. I think it's good that the chipotle and smoke flavors don't dominate everything and it's all kept well-integrated. Nice brew, but only good for an occasional sipper.

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Photo of AmberMan22
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
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. Mixed feelings.

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Photo of ZAP
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Dark brown

S-Roasted malts...some mild char/smokiness...some dark chocolate...not much for peppers on the aroma...a little tobacco ash maybe....

T-Nice roasted maltiness....very subtle pepper flavor on the long is there but very soft....more smoky on the taste than the aroma...Really blends together into a fantastic flavorful beer.

M-Medium to full bodied....creamy texture...mild heat from the peppers on the finish...

D-I'm impressed with this...from the sounds of it I did not think this would be one I would like as I am not big on pepper beers but this has a perfect touch of peppers and is a splendid multidimensional brew....well done....again...

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Photo of Buebie
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed with mildly spicie summer sausage and cheddar.

Poured from a brown 12oz stubby into a pub glass. Producing a bit over an inch of light brown head. Its frothy alright, and slow to settle. Leaving behind sticky lace drapery.
Color on the brew is black, no light penetration. As it poured it appeared inky and thick.

Aroma of roasted malt, toasted wood, bitter chocolate grains, a mild peppery spice and burnt toffee.

Mouth feel is slick and full bodied, as it appeared in the pour. Mild carbonation, this is a thick and creamy feeling brew.

Taste is of roasted malt, toasted wood, bitter chocolate grains, the peppery spice becomes more noticeable at the swallow. Spicy heat lingers and warms the esophagus. Very interesting beer. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz short bottle into a snifter. Pours a lighter brown color but fills the glass dark black. Head takes a few seconds to form, but rises to about a finger of frothy, creamy, and tan in color. Leaves pretty nice lacing on the sides of th glass.

Aroma is peppery! Coffee, malty, and sweet all at the same time. Smells like your standard porter, just with a small spice kick added.

Creamy, smooth, semi-thick mouthfeel. Carbonation is low. Malty, sweet up front with a spicy finish. The chipotle pepper flavors really leave a nice long aftertaste. The peppers really reside in the nose long after drinking as well. This is a very good and solid beer from Tyranena.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Craig for sending me yet another in the Brewers Gone Wild series.

A: The pour is quite standard for a porter with a dark brown color and reddish highlights. A mild tan foam sits on top.

S: The chipotles don't necessarily announce their presence, but there is a very pleasant smokiness from the malt and the peppers. There is a nice mix of sweetness and a faint heat, along with roasted malt.

T: A really great mix of roasted malt, smoke, sweetness, coffee, and just a touch of chili heat. This is one of the more restrained chili beers, and I'm thankful for that.

M: A medium bodied beer with a smooth, low level of carbonation.

D: All these BGW releases have been really great--especially the porters. And luckily, this is no exception. I'm usually not the biggest fan of the chili beers, but this one was good.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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Photo of Overlord
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Must admit to being a bit of trepidation about this beer. Chipotle? Really?

Pours black with dark brown edging and a deep leather tan head. Looks gorgeous.

Smells like ... roasted malt, chocolate, a bit of ... vanilla? ... maybe the faintest hint of pepper/spiciness, and ... doughy brown sugar? Huh? Not what I expected at all, and pleasantly surprised.

Taste is pretty darned good! Maybe because the peppers/chipotles are a pure afterthought? In fact, get rid of that aftertaste, I'd give it a 4.5. Molasses, malt-y sweetness, undercurrent of roast and smoke, and a surprising chocolate base.

Mouthfeel is pleasant.

These guys f***ing know their porters.

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Photo of lightindarkness
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass. A generous extra from beerwolf77. Thanks, Todd!

A: Pours a pitch black in the glass, with only the slightest edge penetration. The head is a pinky finger of dark mocha head, which retains for about 45 seconds before fallint into a thin collar and some wispy lacing down the sides.

S: Smoke, hints of peppers, chocolate, roasted coffee, caramel.

T: This tastes pretty much like a regular porter with hints of smoke. The pepper is only faintly there, and that's probably because I'm actively looking for it. As a porter, this delivers chocolate, roasted coffee, caramel.

M: Thicker and more viscous than I expected for a porter. A lightly spicy finish that carries smoke and pepper into the aftertaste. I figure if you're going to go to the effort of introducing these ingredients, you might as well step it up a bit and have them be stronger in the flavor.

D: Went down pretty easily. A good beer overall. Now I'm curious to see how Hunaphu's stacks up.

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Photo of levifunk
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

just had this on tap at Brickhouse BBQ.

its a good beer, but the chipotle factor may be over stated. I had a hard time tasting the pepperness in the beer. Its a solid beer, I just don't know if its something I'd seek out. If you like porters, give it a try.

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Photo of Parrotbeak
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Loterbol tulip.

Bottled On 24FEB10

A: Pours pitch black with faint black cherry highlights at the edges. The head reaches one finger of khaki colored creaminess before evaporating after about a minute. The ring left behind does leave some pretty lace behind, though.

S: Hard to pull much of an aroma from this (when compared to the taste). I picked up dark and milk chocolate, faint smoke, roasted malt, and maybe a hint of plums.

T: Wow! First taste is roasted malt and chocolate. This is quickly followed and overrun by spicy and smoky peppers. It tastes like fresh Chipotle peppers have been steeping in my beer glass. Literally. Fantastic interplay between the deliciously smoky and spicy peppers and the roasty malt. Wonderful!

M: Exactly as I had expexted. No porter thinness to be found here. Rich and full with a creeping tingle from the spicy peppers that builds and builds. Fantastic peppery burn settled into my mouth for ages.

D: I wasn't sure what to expect with this beer, so I approached it with an open mind (and palate). Man, I was so not disappointed!

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Photo of mynie
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the kind of beer where if you hear about it and don't want to try it then you probably don't know much about beer.

Smoke? And Peppers?!? Hell yes!

But do they pull off such boldness? Let's see:

Pours dark reddish brown with a medium head. Nothing exceptional, but certainly nothing offputting.

Smells like a wonderful mess of malt and smoke. Not picking up any pepperiness, this is more like a traditional smoked brown. A little bready, a little nutty, and a little like jerky.

Tastes wonderful. The peppers come to the fore, tangy and lightly hot. Then big bursts of smoke jump into it and it's like you roasted chipotle over hickory. Then the spice gains some intensity, and while it's never fully *hot*, it's still the spiciest chipolte beer I've ever had. Very smoky, very meaty and cheesy. And after each sip the burn sticks around for a little bit and makes the back of your throat tingle.

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Photo of jera1350
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a syrupy black with just a thin tan head that leaves a little lacing.

Smoky roasted malt fills the nose. Not really smelling any of the pepper, but there is a little cayenne like tingle after smelling it. A bit of chocolate too.

Oh yeah, this is an imperial porter. Overflowing with toasty malts, quite a bit of chocolate, with some smoke. There is a light peppery taste at the end with the chipotle coming out a tad more in the finish. Not spicy though. Smokey chipotle pepper lingers in the aftertaste.

Rich, thick and creamy. Really nice feel on the palate. Full body for this imperial as well.

Great beer. I was afraid to buy a four pack of this not knowing how much chipotle would be in it, but now regret only buying a single. This is an awesome porter that is absolutely imperial and outstandingly drinkable.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a deep black showing some clarity as it pours. Once collected in glass, it appears opaque. A silky looking whitish brown head forms and leaves spotty lacing on the glass

S: first is huge chocolate followed by hickory, smoke, coffee, roasted barley, and a slight hint of pepper

T: chocolate and molasses on the front with a huge smokey and roasty malt profile, the chipotle pepper doesn't seem to be joining the party... maybe a slight heat on the end but nothing significant

MF: silky, creamy, chewy body, low carbonation

D: another solid imperial porter by Tyranena. They are quickly climbing their way up in my list of favorite brewerys.. they seem to have the porter/stout style down to a science

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Photo of trbergman
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Pours an opaque dark brown with one finger of tan head.

S - Chocolate, roasted grain, and a bit of smoke.

T - A very well-integrated beer, with no component in particular standing out. Has flavors of chocolate, coffee, and smoke. Chipotle peppers are very subtle and contribute just a touch of heat. A bit of alcohol is evident, but doesn't detract. Bitterness is low to moderate.

M - Full bodied, rich and smooth. Silky body works well with the smoke and spice.

D - While this is the sort of beer I only want one of per sitting, it's certainly one I wouldn't mind returning to. Nicely done.

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Photo of bound4er
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. One finger tan head that breaks pretty quickly. Dark brown to almost black appearance. Minor lacing present.

S. No peppers on the nose but a nice dose of roasted malt and some chocolate.

T. Yeah, there's chipotle pepper in this beer. Not overpowering - just a subtle hit of it especially upon entry. It comes through rather smokey with a minor amount of spiciness. There is also dark roasted malt flavors here. Quite intriguing.

M. Smooth with good body. Low carbonation.

D. I wasn't sure what to expect from the chipotle pepper - it worked out better than I thought it would. I like this beer and find it very drinkable. I very unique effort from Tyranena - recommended highly.

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Photo of Jerktookmyname
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the brewery last weekend.

A - Brown porter, off-white head dissipated before I got my pint back to the table.

S - Big, smoky aroma. No pepper in the nose like I was hoping for.

T - Roasty, discernible heat or even tickle from the chipotle.

M - Similar to other tyranena porters.

D - Since there's no real burn to it, one could easily suck down a few of these.

Overall - The tyranena porter is in itself a very good beer. Like several other variations on the porter they've done, I just think this beer could be more better then what it is. The smoke is there on the nose, but I'd like to see the pepper more aggressively featured if they brew this another time. All things considered, a nice beer that could've been better.

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Photo of cokes
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, dark, opaque, chocolate brown with a tight trimming of beige.
Fudgey aroma, deepened with smoke, roasted grain. Not much chipotle to be found, but the imagination seems to pick up a hint of it in tow with the smoke. Like all of 'Nena's big porters, chocolate is king.
Doughy, wet brownie batter is the domination taste component. Smoke seems amped-up here compared to their previous porter incantations, though not in a chipotle sense. Roasted grain and coffee notes rear up and add burnt note and traces of acridity. Fudge stay dripping all over this. At the very end of the sip, a tracer of spice pokes up and provides a grainy snapshot of pepper.
Beefy, medium-full bodied with a struggling, but steady carbonation.
I've said it before, but I like the "base" porter in these Tyranena experiments an awful lot. But similar to their recent BGW Cherry porter, the namesake element may be too slight for its own good. Neither the pepper nor the smoke make a loud statement here. It's still quite good, but I expected something a bit wilder.

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Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on draft at alchemy prior to a fishfry

cellphone notes

appearance: very dark brown, bordering on black body...creamy chocolate cap and strong retention. nice appearance for this one

smell: hard to pick up much pepper on the nose but there is a nice whiff of smoke, roasty, a touch of chocolate

taste: i didnt get the chipotle/pepper i was looking for as the presence was rather subtle. as a smoked porter this did quite well (though i didnt really feel the "imperial" aspect either). smoky, roasty, dry chocolate. interesting beer

mouthfeel: creamy and rich

drinkability: good, quaffed

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Photo of BoitSansSoif
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Poured a brownish-black w/foamy light-beige head. Retention was decent and some lacing remained.

S-Smoke dominates w/dark roasted malt, dark chocolate character, faint tobacco and leather, and although I was looking for the spice in the aroma, I couldn't pick out any pepper until it warmed some and I'd already tasted it.

T-Light roast marshmallow, smoke, and prickly peppery spice. Faint hops in the finish. The taste is an interesting blend of slightly sweet, spicy, smoky, and faint bitterness that works well.

M-Medium-bodied w/smooth texture that is cut by moderate carbonation and the prickly spice and pepper. The result is an interesting sensation that amps up the mouthfeel without overpowering. Pretty awesome.

D-This brew is not only tasty, but it must also have some interesting food-pairing potential. I will buy this bottled if I ever see it and save it for this purpose.

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Photo of Fartknocker
4.83/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this beer a few weeks ago on-tap at the Tyranena Brewery tasting room. I've had it from a growler as well.

The taste is simply a solid mix of chocolate malts and pepper. The pepper lets you know its there but is just right without being overpowering.

Drinkability is a certain. I plan to fill more growlers as long as they keep selling it there.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thoroughly black, this, with a good-sized, roasty brown head.

Toasty malt nose, char, tobacco, a bit of smoke...not much pepper, though. Oh wait, there's a little bit in there, it's shy at first, but it's coming out.

Taste: Full and rich on the palate at first, a real mouthful, dark and deep, big, fat malt. How about that pepper? Again, not prominent, not dominant, but wait...there's a little. Getting bigger. And the alcohol is calling out, too, though it not "that" strong, at 7.5%.

Chocolate rises up and demands attention, with the pepper's fire behind it. Espresso tinges round the edges, with char and smoke after, nice and roasty, and surprisingly smooth.
Some have found the pepper missing and been disappointed by this brew. I feel that an understated flavor may just be the way to go sometimes. I've had over the top, hit you in the head chile beers, and could not handle much more than a few ounces.

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Benji's Chipotle Smoked Imperial Porter from Tyranena Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 124 ratings.