El Paraiso
Wicked Weed Brewing

El ParaisoEl Paraiso
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #1,447
Ranked #4,357
4.09 | pDev: 6.11%
Wicked Weed Brewing
North Carolina, United States
El ParaisoEl Paraiso
Notes: Ale brewed with coffee and cocoa nibs
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Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 188
Photo of jpkand
4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a jet black with beige head. The nose is muted but nice, with more chocolate and some coffee blending well, and a whiff of heavily extracted vanilla. Before the taste I notice the smooth medium-full mouthfeel. The flavors aren't surprising for a barrel aged stout. Roasted coffee, a little sweetness in the mid, and a nice bourbon finish. I like that the bourbon notes complement without overwhelming. A hint of bakers chocolate comes through. As it warms just a hit I'm getting some more roasty malt flavors that are very nice

This is a very good, if straightforward, imperial stout. I would never be sad to drink this beer, especially at the holidays!

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Photo of avalon07
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown / black color and a thick, opaque consistency. There was a half inch of creamy, tan-colored, fairly long-lasting head. Fantastic lacing.

S: A solid aroma of coffee, malt, chocolate, molasses, and vanilla.

T: Tasted of a moderate amount of malt (present throughout), a decent shot of coffee (less than expected, though), a hint of vanilla, some chocolate, a little molasses, and a boozy quality. An interesting, if a little odd, favor. There's a weird kind of astringency that mutes the coffee; most likely this is caused by the booze. Nonetheless, the chocolate helps balance it out.

F: A decent amount of carbonation with a super dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: An uneven beer, but somehow still likable. Worth a look.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.14/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Bottle to goblet.

Look: dark black, medium tan head fades, retention is ok.
Aroma: Coffee and vanilla are upfront and very aromatic. Touches of coffee and brown sugar.
Taste: coffee and dark chocolate are prominent up front. Hint of fig or raisin. Little bit of rum. Touch of baking soda at the end.



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Photo of farrago
4.26/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

An aggressive pour gets you about a finger’s worth of light brown foam, rippled surface, for what it starts with the retention is good, thin if broad sheets of lacing. Pure black throughout, the liquid is very clean, can’t see any bubbles. Layers and layers of milk chocolate, café au lait, butterscotch fill the nose, chicory and tar accents help stiffen it up, the raisin, cherry fruit scents all but lost in the roasty lift. Medium-bodied, not as thick as expected and the carbonation gives it a steady churn to help separate the flavors. Subtle tones of licorice, anise break up the pleasingly monotonous chocolate and coffee flavors. Stronger presence here in the plum, cherry flavors but these are still nowhere near dominant. Again, ends with a nice chicory burst. Flavorful without getting over the top.

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Photo of Pencible
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured an opaque cola with some tan head.
S: It smelled like molasses and bitter dark chocolate, with some smoky espresso and vanilla bean.
T: It tasted like smoky espresso and bitter dark chocolate, with some molasses and vanilla bean. It had a clean and bitter aftertaste.
M: It was thick with frothy carbonation. Nice full body.
D: This was a nice imperial stout with fairly basic scent and taste. Bold and well balanced, but nothing unique. The body was solid and the finish was fairly smooth with well hidden alcohol, so it was pretty easy to drink. Age would likely help improve. Fresh is good not great.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks for the share, Mark.

This one pours a fairly dark black, with a small head, and not much lacing.

There's a touch of slightly sweet green pepper on the nose, with lots of coffee otherwise, tons of cocoa, and slight roast.

Luckily, the taste brings none of that green pepper from the nose. The coffee is a tad muted, but adds a nice fruitiness, almost like chocolate covered berries, with just a hint of roast. I wish this had a beefier and thick roasted malt backbone to stand up to the sweet flavors, but it's still very tasty.

This is medium bodied, a tad wet/syrupy, with a normal level of carbonation.

This is very solid, but the barrel-aged edition of this is definitely a big step up.

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Photo of russpowell
3.46/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very effervescent mahogany with a pinky of tan head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Coffee, vanilla

T: Dryness, coffee, some astringency up front. Some caramel as this warms, mostly coffee grounds & dryness. Coffee astringency, some dry woodyness & a little vanilla in the finish

MF: Medium body, firm carbonation, body thins out as this warms, some warming

Okay, but had so much higher hopes for this one. Probably my first let-down from these guys

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown to pitch black pour with a frothy off white colored head.

S - Cocoa, roasted chocolate, vanilla.

T - Mild chocolate, some cocoa, a mild coffee cream bitterness on the back end, some charcoal, and dry on the back end. The ABV is very well hidden in this beer.

M - Big medium body, silky texture.

O - Coffee is very mild in this but definitely worth a try.

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Photo of jopezu
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a dark brown with a thin layer of bubbles. nose; coffee, milk chocolate, & light vanilla. taste; roasted dark malt, coffee, vanilla, hazelnut, creamer, & light hops. nice 'roasty & nut' aftertaste, with some definite lactose feel. medium carbonation & mouthfeel. decent, but overall, just a bit too much on the sweet & debittered (ie, porter) side for me.

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Photo of Ltdsaint
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fluffy khaki brown head that dissipates quite quickly with spotted lacing as the beer is enjoyed. Kind of a thin in its texture, but has a nice opaque color with mahogany shades. The scent of cocoa nibs is strong along with a dark roasty smell of coffee and malt. Taste is similar, the cocoa hits you right off the bat with an added punch of the malts and the high abv. Burnt coffee beans are also in the mix.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 2/15/2017. Poured into Wicked Weed Belgian glass. It pours almost jet black with dark walnut hues, and a thick, two finger, toffee colored head and lacing. It's smell features roasted malt, coffee, toffee, and nuts. The primary taste is burnt coffee, dark roasted malt, nuts, and a hint of bakers chocolate. It has a medium body, with light carbonation, and the hefty 9.5% ABV gives it a lot of substance. Overall, it's a nice, but not extraordinary, coffee stout. I reviewed it at approximately the same time as Kane's Morning Bell and there's really no comparison.

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Photo of tigg924
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap. Pours opaque, dark brown in color with 1/4 inch head. Taste is coffee, vanilla, cocoa, and dark chocolate. Sweet and roasty with a heavy body. Makes for a really tasty coffee stout that mixes well with the roasted malt. Well worth seeking out if you enjoy coffee.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.37/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500 ml Bottle
Date Bottled: 02.15.17

Poured into a tulip a pretty nice dark brown color, pretty nice carbonation, with a pretty nice thick/creamy one-finger tan head, which also leaves some pretty nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, roasty, with some really nice chocolate/toffee notes, a nice touch of coffee, with some vanilla. The taste is pretty nice, malty, roasty, with some chocolate/toffee, coffee, vanilla. Medium body, ABV hidden pretty well. Overall, a pretty tasty brew.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.07/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a nice tan head that dissipates quickly while the beer itself has a nice and dark coffee black color with a hint of a dark brown hue. The appearance is a little bit thin but not much. It's still a pretty good looking beer.

The smell and taste are good. There is a moderate and ever present cocoa nib note that is surprisingly strong compared to other beers that use coca nibs. It adds a slight cocoa sweetness to it. The coffee note is bitter but seems to come second to the cocoa nibs and there is also a light bitterness in the aftertaste.

The feel is decent. It's a heavy bodied beer but is a bit thin and creamy in the texture. The carbonation is biting and adds some nice tingliness to what would have resembled a feeling like actually coffee.

Overall, a pretty good beer and worth getting your hands on for the cocoa nib notes alone.

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Photo of DenverHopHead
4.07/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16oz bottle with a bottled on date of 2/17/17; into a tumbler.
Appearance- completely black with no light coming in, just a little noticeable carbonation bubbles along the sides. Head is a fluffy, pillow mocha and lacing is thick and sticky!
Smell- nice assortment of coffee beans, cocoa and brownie mix!
Taste - dark roast coffee with an excellent vanilla bean and cocoa nib combo!
Feel - big body with a creamy mouthfeel and robust coffee and sweet chocolate flavors!
Overall - an outstanding pint of beer that both warms and refreshes the tastebuds at the same time!

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Photo of Smakawhat
4.29/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a Wicked Weed globe/goblet glass. Bottled on February 15th 2017.

Light and creamy tan topped brew, with a good easy two finger height and mix of fine and swiss cheese sized bubbles. Settles slowly with real nice ring lacing. Dark walnut brown body, quite opaque but not quite black though. Just a faint hint of clarity as well. Real nice looking stout.

Excellent aroma. Creamy coffee and vanilla with minor hints of chocolate. Soft real nice creamy vanilla tones, and excellent soft coffee acidity. Chocolate angles take more of a back seat but add a nice subtle support and contrast. Nearly KBS like territory going on here, very impressive.

Very nice palate as well. Light and porter like body on first sip, with a simple roast depth. Good amounts of coffee warmth but also a thick cream and vanilla mid palate. Aftertaste is quite a surprise. A good spicy finish, hints of sharp hop pine and bitter like cinnamon on the swallow.

A pretty nice coffee amped imperial stout. Sticks to basics but does them so nicely.

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Photo of Roguer
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Prodigious head production and good retention, along with tons of fluffy lacing.

On the nose, reminiscent of FIS, as there's a banana note from the yeast mingling with the chocolate, coffee, and roasted barley. A tinge of sour grapes along with char round out the profile. Inviting but not ground-breaking.

Thinner than desired on the palate, although it's quite drinkable. Overall medium-full bodied. Very smooth. The feel allows the presentation of powdered dark cacao and coffee beans to really shine: we're talking bitter chocolate, like Young's Double Chocolate or Samuel Smith's Organic Chocolate stouts. The same goes for the coffee beans: nearly woody in the organic presentation.

There's a touch of roasty char to the finish. Really wonderful flavors throughout.

So, is this a ground-breaking, deep and complex imperial stout? Not really. Is it a damn tasty stout, really well made throughout? Absolutely! Color me impressed.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.72/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated 2/15:
Coming out of the bottle, it looks deep brown with less than expected viscosity. Head is a thin and complete tan top to the beer. A nice wispy shape covers the surface after it settles; medium rim and spotty lacing remain.

Nose is more subtle than many a coffee stout I've had. The cocoa nibs actually gain a little more of my nose than the coffee - which is present but weak. There seems to be a more whole grain toast than roasted malt. Beyond this, there's a generic impression of damp woods, of all things.

The taste is similarly not as big and bold, with the same characteristics from the nose - toast, coffee, chocolate, in that order. The coffee that joins the toast early is more obvious than in the nose. It morphs to a slightly astringent weak coffee before the cocoa notes rise. The lingering taste is that of a lightly bitter and maybe even chalky chocolate including just a little bit of char. There is a bit more of a roasted nature as it warms, but it comes with a weird astringency to me that cancels it out. The beer is thin in feel, but does grab my full palate. The carbonation is moderate and fits the beer just fine. The 9.5% from this bottle is hidden well.

A bit lighter than expected. This really works more like a porter to me in feel, lack of a more roasted malt profile, and the lingering dryness and bitterness I am experiencing.

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Photo of Buck89
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle (2.15.17) into a pint glass. Opaque brown with a two-finger tan head. Great foamy lacing and tracks. Milk chocolate dominated the nose with fresh coffee, toast, and faint floral hops. The taste was slightly different with fresh coffee up front melded nicely with dark chocolate and a nice bitter counterbalance. A rich, creamy feel but not too sweet. Warming on the end appropriate for a 9.5% ABV beer. Very nice.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle $7.99. Looks just like the barrel aged version. Best way to describe this after having the barrel-aged version is that this one has more robust coffee and chocolate aromas and flavors. It is a better beer.

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Photo of nick_perry
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color, foamy head with a lot of retention. Aromas of malt, coffee, and chocolate. Taste matches. Creamy mouthfeel, dry finish chocolate notes that linger for quite a while.

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Photo of brentk56
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours fudge brown with a brownish head that fades to a ringlet while leaving a smattering of lace

Smell: Moderate roast, chocolate and coffee

Taste: Chocolate forward with the coffee tone developing, along with a touch of roast, in the middle; the finish blends both chocolate and coffee flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A very pleasant coffee stout that hits all the buttons for the style

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Photo of Jason
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500ml brown bottle, sample from the brewery.

Black as night, good lacing ... the expected appearance of a beer of this style. Fresh coffee character likens some black cold brewed, roasted grain enhances that with the mellow chocolate tone of the cocoa nibs. Sweetness is kept to a minimum, that is perhaps the best quality of this brew. Just down right exceptional.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2016-10-01 in Columbia, PA from a 500ml bottle

A - Opaque dark brown with a 3/4-finger light brown head and mild-moderate lace.

S - Mocha latte, nutty and mild spice.

T - Coffee, prune, fig, dark chocolate milk, burnt caramel and tannin. Finishes with a combination of roast and hop bitterness but the chocolate and roasted coffee flavors never disappear.

M - Medium body and light-medium carbonation. Smooth but not overly-creamy and somewhat astringent in the finish.

O - A tasty stout but not in the same league as something like Firestone Walker's Parabola.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.91/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a dark brown color. The head is two fingers high and mocha in shade. It looks good topping the body off with its fluffy texture and decent retention. In addition, webs of lacing stick to the glass nicely.

The aroma suggests plenty of black coffee, as expected. Having said that, it comes across slightly vegetal. There are also subtle hints of dark chocolate and baker's cocoa. I think the base stout could express itself better, frankly. Still, the coffee and chocolate notes are quite nice.

It first opens up with nice flavors of dark chocolate, giving way to coffee in the middle and ending. Black coffee, mostly. There are some vegetal qualities as well, also creating an unwanted finishing bitterness. That and its simplicity relegate it to unfortunate mediocrity.

There's no other way to put it: it feels too thin. Though it's dry and easy to drink, the feel screams "6% porter" in almost every fashion. On the plus side, since it does feel like a 6% porter, no alcohol comes through whatsoever.

Not everything Wicked Weed makes is a winner - this being a prime example. It doesn't seem well balanced, nor does it have a very enjoyable flavor profile. I won't buy bottles again, but I will give it a second chance on tap (if I find it fresh).

2.91/5: El...Mediocre?

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El Paraiso from Wicked Weed Brewing
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 188 ratings