Sierra Nevada Hellraiser Chocolate Chili Imperial Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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59 Ratings

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jrallen34 on 02-22-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 59 |  Reviews: 24
Reviews by modernartblues:
Photo of modernartblues
5/5  rDev +23.5%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Dbrulet
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Billolick
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From those devils at SN came this stunner, under the radar at EBF in Boston and reviewed based on several samples and notes. Poured near black, under a dense dark tan head, stayed showed moderate retention, then thick blobs of stick. Dark malt and espresso nose. On the tongue this is thick, smooth and dense with flavors of more roasty dark malts, light chocolate, some smoke and in general stout goodness. Was not able to pick up chili, as the other notes mentioned were in command. Stout lover rejoice and go get some of this stuff if you happen to see it available at the next beer fest or high quality SN event you find yourself at.

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Photo of tigg924
3.66/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours opaque, dark brown, with 1/4 inch head. Taste is sweet chocolate, cream, some dark chocolate, and pepper heat at the end. The peppers become more dominant as the beer warms. Above average and tasty combination. Not sure if I would rush to get this again, but it is tasty.

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Photo of KingEdward
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Roguer
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful black beer, tan head with good retention.

A bit of chocolate and caramel on the nose. A touch of banana from the yeast.

Plenty of chocolate and roasted barley on the palate, with a kiss of chilies up front. Rich espresso and chocolate tones throughout, coming in waves. Sweet and dessert-like.

Thick and full feel; nearly chewy. Slight heat from the peppers.

Pretty sure this is the right beer: on tap, 9.8%.

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Photo of leschkie
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of cjgator3
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at the House of Brews. Deep almost inky black. Medium khaki head that settles to a wispy surface and collar. Chocolate aroma. Roasted malt. Booze and some licorice. Tastes of rich chocolate. Roasted coffee malt. The faintest of peppers, but not much. Heavy and a little boozy. Good stout, but not very dynamic.

 317 characters

Photo of Rizzy17
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Neffbeer
5/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of seanh99
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of rjp217
3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mini from the 16th St. Albertson's but a bunch of places are seeing a keg of this one… Pours with a nice dark brown head… Pretty dry throughout… Chili and Coco both are pretty light… Not much sweetness.. Dry char.. Interesting, but could be a lot better with a bit more sweetness.

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Photo of Absolut
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at twisted oak just after Christmas.

Dark pour.

Taste is dark cocoa, malt and a bit of spice at the end. Little warming from the spice, but more suble that most chili beers.

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Photo of marieli
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Draft January 2016. Starting temp 50+ degrees, took my time. Looked good. Aroma was minimal chocolate with a hint (or was my mind just expecting it) of spice. I did get a full flavor and the chili was mild at best. A creamy mouthfeel could have rescued this beer for me. Assuming this was brewed in 2010, would have liked to have compared to a few years ago.

 358 characters

Photo of claspada
3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas of heavily roasted dark grains: mainly coffee and dark chocolate malts. Cannot detect and hop character or any of the alleged chiles.

The taste is where this guy shines; rich and complex with dark roasted bittersweet chocolate, some mocha and the fainted amount of smokiness from the chiles I presume.

The mouthfeel is unlike any Imperial Stout I have ever had because of the chile additions. It leaves a tingling unexpected and complex finish which is quite enjoyable as a change of pace. If you want a traditional Imp Stout look elsewhere, but this was enjoyable mainly because of it's uniqueness.

 608 characters

Photo of koufax
4.67/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On draught at Rattle n Hum in NYC during their Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary takeover.

Absolutely perfect balance between spicy and sweet. Such a tough thing to do, but trust Sierra Nevada to do it and do it right. Nose gives both elements advertised: chilis and chocolate. I especially like the smell of the chilis. Gave it about 30 minutes to warm up after an initial taste, which was exactly what it needed. I honestly can't discern where the alcohol is, as the taste is also a brilliant blend of sweet and spicy. The spiciness sticks around for a good while after each drink, which I love. Others might not however. Wonderful mouthfeel.

In short, a fantastic experiment gone very right.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Churchkey. Reviewed from notes.

Pours black without much of a head or any significant lacing. Nose is nice with a good dose of chocolate, espresso, and roasted malt. The chili peppers are mild but bring a nice kick. Taste brings some slight heat with really great chocolate and coffee notes. Love the chili in the feel. Drinks quite well. Definitely a solid brew.

 374 characters

Photo of AngusOg
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jeff1973
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TMoney2591
3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at ChurchKey.

As pasrt of CK's SN festivities, I think I was most excited about trying this bad boy, especially with my love of chili-pepper-infused stouts (and other dark beers, too). It pours an opaque black-brown crowned by a finger of rather dark tan foam, which lingers for a decent amount o' time before sinking into the oblivion below. Out of the corner of my eye, I see "Pinhead" grinning creepily at me as I lift the glass to my 'strils. I should have known: dark chocolate, oak, and some dark malts come through, but the lack of chili-ness and other things that end in -ness leave me kinda let down, though the smells I do get are rather nice. That creepy Cenobite bastard just loves it when things don't go as we think they should. Oh, what wonders, indeed. Now I'm not sure what to expect from the flavors. I solve the puzzle box and dive right in: There's the chili (with a tiny bit o' corresponding heat), joined by everything identified in the nose, some slightly tart berries, a flash of smoke, and a wee bit o' bitterness in the back. While enjoying all of this, I wonder if that really creepy chattering Cenobite (that noise is downright unnerving after a while) would be able to appreciate the heavy-medium body, pleasant chewiness, and extreme smoothness this brew exhibits (I mean, with that jaw constantly flapping, can he even fully drink anything?)? Doesn't matter...this stout is probably the best dark beer I've ever had from SN at this point. (Spoiler alert: this would be usurped by the next brew I had this evening...) Still, I do have to say that it didn't fully live up to my expectations; a slight disappointment, but a tasty one nonetheless.

 1,695 characters

Photo of drewone
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of smcolw
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Near black in color where no light shines through. The head settles to rim bubbles, leaving a blanket of lace.

Clean smell with a low stout (toasted to burnt malt) profile.

A bit sweet, but I taste mostly deep dark chocolate. Light chalk with deep, dark berry base. The swallow features alcohol and bitter cocoa. I don't get any coffee. The body is richer than typical stouts. I don't get any chili flavors in the taste.

 424 characters

Photo of UnknownKoger
4/5  rDev -1.2%

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Sierra Nevada Hellraiser Chocolate Chili Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 59 ratings