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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
97
world-class
58 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Hunahpu's Imperial Stout - California Brandy Barrel AgedHunahpu's Imperial Stout - California Brandy Barrel Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by MasterSki on 05-18-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
58
Ratings:
602
Avg:
4.49
pDev:
8.24%
 
 
Wants:
537
Gots:
90
For Trade:
3
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 602
Photo of jegross2
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Reviewing the California Brandy Barrel Aged Hunahpu's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing out of Tampa, Florida.

Score: 93

2013 vintage bottle served in a Hunahpu's Day 2014 taster glass and enjoyed on 03/25/14.

Appearance: Pours that typical black bodied Hunahpu's color with a thin layer of espresso colored head that settles to a ring around the glass. Okay lacing, average retention -- less so than the Double Barrel Hunahpu's. Solid oily legs. 4/5

Smell: Brandy, chocolate and light peppers. Fresher (six-plus months ago), in some bottles of this beer we sampled, the pepper and spiced characters were more robust on the nose. Alas, at least in this bottle, with just under a year of age on it, the spiciness and spiced qualities are very muted on the nose. A little bit of cinnamon and some tobacco beyond the brandy/chocolate, oak too. 4/5

Taste: The spiciness factor is substantially greater on the palate than it was in the nose -- especially side-by-side with the Double Barrel Hunahpu's. Pepper spiciness, milk chocolate, vanilla and a hint of roast on the palate. A bit of dark fruit character towards the back half too. A kiss of cinnamon, which is not nearly as pronounced as it was in the 2013 vintage Hunahpu's or the Double Barrel Hunahpu's. The spiciness of the brew last throughout the taste and lingers a bit past the swallow (along with the milk chocolate flavor) with a nice tingle sensation from the pepper heat on the front-center of the tongue. There is a very mild underlying sweetness present. The brandy aging is quite muted relative to the nose. Everything here mixes nicely. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, spot on carbonation. Has a good balance with a slight sweetness. Slightly salivating mouthfeel, with a little bit of pepper liveliness. 4.75/5

Overall: A really nice barrel aged treatment of Hunahpu's that is put to shame by Double Barrel Hunahpu's side-by-side, though the comparison is not entirely fair since the California Brandy version is nearly a year aged at this point. I think this beer was better fresher, but it has held up well. There have been numerous reports of bottle variation with this beer, but the last three I have consumed had a nice degree of spiciness -- even with nearly a year of age. Although this brew is less complex and appetizingly flavorful than the Double Barrel Hunahpu's (in fairness, so many beers are), it is nonetheless pretty delicious in its own right. It is just not as tasty as what it takes to land one at this point.

Cost: $25 for a 750 ml bottle.

 2,538 characters

Photo of jaasen64
4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into HF sherry glass. Thanks JD for brining this to our tasting, consumed right after Mexican Cake.

A- Pours a pitch black, decent carbonation, slight mocha brown head that dissipates to a flat top with just a slight brown ring around the glass.

S- Aromas of brandy, oak, dark chocolate, hint of coffee and vanilla, some light peppers hiding in the background. Incredibly well balanced, pleasant smelling, nice barrel presence.

T- Creamy chocolate, light well balanced peppers/spices, a hint of vanilla and slight coffee, subtle brandy that lends a nice sweetness, slight oak, finishes with more creamy chocolate, brandy, and subtle spices.

M- Medium bodied, goes down very easy, nice light carbonation perfect for a stout.

O- This was a fantastic barrel-aged stout that retains all the great flavors of the base beer but adds a nice well balanced complexity. I definitely recommend checking this out.

 927 characters

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.

 1,098 characters

Photo of pmarlowe
4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage. Tulip glass.

A: Pours a viscous, motor oil black with a thin film of foamy, dark brown head. A few dots of lacing and average retention.

S: A wonderful mix of cinnamon, brandy (which imparts some bright red fruit), roast, vanilla bean and oak. Loads of delicious spice are the dominant aromas here.

T: Red fruit and brandy, some vanilla, with a bit of sweet red pepper spice, coffee/roast, and mouthwatering dark cocoa at the end. Slight residual sweetness. The brandy and stout flavors don’t *quite* meld together as well as they could, though that’s not surprising for a wine-barrel stout. Just a touch of alcohol is evident.

M: Velvety medium body and light carbonation.

O: Great stuff, an improvement over regular Huna. Highly drinkable given that this is a bigger BA stout. Flavors don’t meld together as well as they probably could, but excellent nonetheless.

 893 characters

Photo of thereal_adam
4.42/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Obvious that time is starting to take its toll on this. I never had this fresh, only with age, but have had regular Huna and DB Huna both fresh, and just going off that the flavors here have blended together so nothing really stands out in its own. Still really good but don't go out of your way for it.

 303 characters

Photo of Hugonaut13
4.24/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml poured into Hunahpu snifter. Huge thanks to dachshunddude86 for the bottle.

A - Pours a very deep, murky black. Minimal dark brown head rises as it settles. Looks as though you're staring into the abyss... and I'm not talking about the beer.

S - I don't find this aspect overly pleasant like some others do. Smells of roasted malts, burnt dark chocolate, and cinnamon. A bit like an over-cooked mexican chocolate cake. I am surprised at the lack of barrel smell. Where's the vanilla?

T - Much better then the smell. Starts off with rich chocolate dominating. Followed up by a menagerie of different flavors. Cinnamon, roast, a hint of sweet vanilla and charred pepper, and oak. Not much of the brandy to be found though. Still, this is one of the most complex beers I've ever had.

M - Thick and viscous. Coats every pore in your mouth and begs you to go slow with this. The glass retains a brown hue after swirling. This beer begs you to share it with 2-4 people. The flavors hang around for a good 5-10 minutes after each sip. I'm doming it though, so to press on I'm sipping a glass of water with it. For 12.5%, the alcohol is no where to be found, and I mean NO WHERE.

O - I'm really glad I got to try this. I'm also looking forward to seeing what CCB does with this beer in the future. I would like to try one though that has a strong barrel presence, but perhaps that wasn't the point with this beer. The bit of oak plays well with the base Hunahpu and is just an explosion of taste. Well done, CCB.

 1,517 characters

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.

 209 characters

Photo of Treebs
3.42/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ml waxed bottle served in a Funky Buddha snifter. Thanks to Matt for the share.

A: Pours a dark black color with a dark tan head forming on the pour. It recedes slowly to a thick ring that has some splotchy lace.

S: Brandy sweetness and fruitiness upfront. Pretty boozy on the nose with a nice chocolate character. Dark fruit with some light acetone/nail polish on the finish.

T: Lots of chocolate and cinnamon notes with a light brandy sweetness. Mild fruitiness from the brandy, a little oak and some dark fruit as wel.

M: Thick bodied with a medium low carbonation level. Smooth finish.

O: Probably the worst of the Huna barrel treatments I've had. The brandy didn't compliment the base at all and it was far too fruity for my liking. Apple Brandy or GTFO.

 768 characters

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.

 537 characters

Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.61/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Was able to enjoy this with a few fellow beer nerds at my house recently as a preamble to a Whale share the following day. This was an amazing brew! Nose on it suggested it was going to be super boozy but the palate was actually very smooth as the years mellowed it out IMO. The normal cinnamon finish that Huna as was muted by the Brandy and the Brandy barrel was the finish. Excellent!!

 392 characters

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

 1,011 characters

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.

 652 characters

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I would honestly rather have a reg Huna

A- motor oil, very little carbonation, no lacing.

S- Muted form of Huna. I get some chocolate. The vanilla aroma has been torn off from this Brandy aging. Smells pretty good, but not reg Huna good.

T- Muted Huna again. Very little vanilla, not sure how much good the brandy aging did. I had a friend who is Catador who told me to not bother with trying to get this bottle, and he was right. I would rather have traded this for two Hunas.

M- No carbonation, the mouthfeel is actually made way thinner from the barrel aging.

O- I see a lot of people trying to trade for this bottle. I don't see why.

 645 characters

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.

 663 characters

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.

 174 characters

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.

 979 characters

Photo of jivex5k
3.58/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

This beer has fallen off. Had it last month with a good friend, it's nothing but Brandy now.
In fact we all preferred a 2012 Black Tuesday over this beer. It's got an awesome aroma if you like Brandy, I do, but the taste itself is just too damn harsh. Compared to when these were first release this beer is a pale ghost of it's former greatness.

 345 characters

Photo of 4amepiphany
4.51/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Trent Steel for the share!

Pours like darkness, very little head. Prominent Cinnamon, but no heat from spices. Chocolate. Did I mention cinnamon? Reminiscent of my unicorn Abraxas, but I feel Abraxas finishes better. A little thin, but definitely not thin at all. Almost feel bad for guzzling mine, but at least I smacked my lips a lot to get the full flavor across my palate. I've been waiting to try Hunahpu for quite some time since I had the revelation that I love my chili stouts. This did not disappoint. A great whale to share.

 545 characters

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.

 836 characters

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.

 858 characters

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.

 1,032 characters

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

Review from a bottle generously shared at last Borefts. I originately wanted to try it side by side with my bottle of Laird's Apple Brandy Huna and missed the opportunity. Whatever, I guess I'll have others!
Pours dark, opaque, very thick.
The barrel ageing is obvious from the nose with more booze than the regular huna, some brandy and white fruits on top of the roasted malt and chocolate. Peppery finish.
The taste is less focused on the balance between chocolate and chili than the regular version, the chocolate isn't actually the dominant flavor, being mellowed in roasted malt and some coffee flavor. The complexity comes from the barrel treatment with some noticeable booze, hints of pear and apple and a vanilla sweetness. Finishes with spicies and chilies with a moderately hot aftertaste.
Thick and heavy mouthfeel, not sticky, but a bit too hot considering booze and chili.
The barrel ageing changes the base beer quite a lot, it brings more complexity but withdraw some of the delightful fudge and chili chocolate from the base beer. I'm now curious to see the effect of other barrel ageing on Huna.

 1,113 characters

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.

 1,443 characters

Photo of indurTheB
4.19/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Did not like this as much as the other Hunahpu variants, and I know it's a favorite of some. I think the bottle that I had was not taken care of very well by my buddy who opened it. I was hit in the face by the chilis and that is abnormal (for me) for Huna. Overall a world class beer, but doesn't hang with even the regular Huna.

 333 characters

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.

 603 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Hunahpu's Imperial Stout - California Brandy Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe