Hi-Wire Brewing

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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #976
Ranked #4,007
4.17 | pDev: 5.52%
Hi-Wire Brewing
North Carolina, United States
Notes: Imperial Stout brewed with coffee, chocolate & vanilla.
Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 92 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of bret27
bret27 from California

4.09/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can courtesy of BellsRinger.
2018 version.
L: dark thick blk, minimal dark brn creamy head.
S: coffee, chocolate
T: coffee, toffee, chocolates. Sweet but just the right amount. Roastiness, slightly bitter. Flavors are pretty well-blended. No alcohol presence. Slight off-flavor. Not really sure if can, old coffee, or oxidation. Not strong or overly unpleasant.
F: slightly thick, but not overbearing.
Overall: Pretty tasty. The odd flavor shows itself as it warms. It’s widely known coffee stouts don’t necessarily do better with age.

May 20, 2020
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hottenot from North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am not generally a stout drinker.
Mostly because of the high ABV of the style.
Hi-Wire has produced a Stout that even I can dig.
Currently they have made a Chocolate Macaroon version that is as black as the Coal Sack nebula.
Hence 10W40.
Chocolate, Coconut, lactose.
Smell is muted as is often the case with me and stouts.
Nice thick mouth feel too.
Not chug-able unless you are also a Stout.
Joke. I defy anyone to chug a stout.
Young dumb asses need not apply.
Asheville NC is home to some fine breweries.
And Hi-Wire is among the best.
10W40 is an excellent line of Stouts for sure.
If this is not thick enough for you.
Get a can of real 10w40 and drink that.

Mar 26, 2020
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VABA from Virginia

4.09/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours a dark color with a slight head and lacing
A-Aroma has a dark chocolate hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a dark chocolate flavor
M-A medium bodied decently carbonated beer
O-A good Stout

Feb 16, 2020
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hoptheology from South Dakota

3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16 oz can, 11/13/19, BOMB snifter, $14.99 4 pack

Pours a thinner than expected but still relatively thick black body with a creamy head of 1 finger leaving lace behind as it recedes to 1/2 finger.

Aroma of vanilla cookie, caramel, slight chocolate, and slight metal.

Flavor is pretty metallic, with hints of vanilla and slight chocolate. Some flecks of caramel in there as well.

Feel is thick and slick and resinous. Best way I can describe it. Mild alcohol warmth. Medium bodied.

Overall, not as impressed as I thought I'd be with the high scores here. My can was pretty metallic and I don't like metallic stouts. Beyond that it is flavorful and smooth though.

Feb 12, 2020
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BillRoth from Maryland

4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Well crafted tasty Imp Stout. Black and Tan ring as expected. Head and feel both displayed some fizziness. Very nice nose and even better taste. Rich extra dark chocolate with an above average dark roasted coffee are both excellent and make this a more stand out brew. Some vanilla but not a primary flavor. Decent mouthfeel. Some heavier body but fizzy carbonation tends to distract. All in all consistent with the abv and style. Overall a very nice bigger stout. Would love this if flavor could be paired with a bit less effervescence.

Dec 14, 2019
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CHickman from New York

4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a black as tar with a foamy 2 finger+ tan colored head that was full of tiny bubbles, dissipating very slowly and leaving good spotty lacing. It seemed like the foamy would be more clingy, but it wasn't to be. Now on to the good stuff (coffee, chocolate & vanilla).

Smells of roasted malts, charred wood, smoked grains, burnt coffee, dark chocolate, minerals or sheet metal, light soy sauce, faint vanilla and a hint of piney hops. It had everything listed on the can in the nose and zero alcohol presence. Tastes pretty much like it smells with more vanilla plus espresso beans added to the dark chocolate, sheet metal, malts that were roasted/burnt/smoked, charred firewood, smoked grains, burnt coffee, light soy sauce, chocolate syrup and a hint of piney hops. It has a nice level of bitterness and tons of chocolate malt flavors, a really solid stout.

Jun 15, 2019
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buschbeer from Ohio

4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

1 PINT can
Served in a snifter

This beer pours black and is topped with an inch of mocha head that leaves spotty lacing.

The coffee, chocolate, and vanilla are all present. It is quite a pleasant aroma.

It starts out with a goodly some of coffee. The chocolate and vanilla follow the coffee flavor. The finish is more of a dessert.

Full bodied with a slick mouthfeel

This is a pretty darn good stout. I enjoy all the flavors and how they interplay.

Mar 29, 2019
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Sabtos from Ohio

4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Guinness black with a thin fuzzy tan head, 10W-40 is roasty and chocolatey with notes of Tootsie Roll, nougat, bitter coffee, and sweet vanilla via a round medium body, crisp fizz and a semi-sweet marshmallow exhale. Unexpectedly decadent.

Feb 04, 2019
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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

4.31/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Snagged a pounder for about 4 bucks into a pint.
A - A good pour only produced just a 1/4 inch of deep mocha head. Beer itself is similar to the name very deep dark black motor oil color.
S - Good sweet chocolate and vanilla notes. Mild coffee espresso overall impressed.
T - Caught me off guard at first just a very mix taste of dark chocolate meets fudged chocolate mixed with some vanilla goodness. Coffee roasts in their is good love the low bitterness.
M - Very smooth silky liquid. Easy to crush.

Overall after drinking bitter beers all night this one surprised me on it's sweetness and simplicity. Would get again!

Jan 06, 2019
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Apellonious from North Carolina

4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16 oz can , canned 11/23/28,poured into a tulip glass. Pitch black, a thin layer of tan lace. Aroma of chocolate and faint coffee . The first sip adds vanilla and cocoa into the coffee/chocolate mix. More toasted and anise notes appear as it warms. Gets a touch sweeter as well. The mouthfeel is medium, a touch sticky, and the carbonation is low. Though it is sweet, it never overrides the chocolate and coffee base. Recommended.

Dec 19, 2018
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours like its namesake with a one finger head of tan foam; strands of lacing

Smell: Rich chocolate aromas with coffee and vanilla

Taste: Chocolate forward, with vanilla and toffee tones emerging to add some sweetness; coffee flavors emerge, through the middle, creating a mocha effect through the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: A bit sweeter than I really like but this is still a good, dessert-like imperial coffee stout

Dec 18, 2018
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Tilley4 from Tennessee

4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Really really tasty stout.... loaded with chocolate chip cookie and coffee aromas and flavors... needs a bit more body but I'm just being difficult... I will be honest...this shocked me... i like Hi Wire stuff but this is really tasty stuff and it surprised me with the depth of flavor... not overly sweet.... like a liquid fudgy dark chocolate brownie...definitely a repeat buy for me...

Dec 06, 2018
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

In what is universally known as the trifecta for decadence, Hi-Wire Brewing takes their viscous imperial stout and slathers it with generous coffee, chocolate and vanilla additions to pull this stout into the world of latte.

Using yet another hyphenated title, 10W-40 pours a dark, rich and silky black while slowly releasing a creamy, tight blanket of froth, looking the part of an espresso rich cappuccino quite well. Appetizing aromas of fresh baked brownies with a hint of tiramisu tease the nose with opulence before its taste waltzes onto the front of the tongue with a chocolate dominant toffee and sweet cream introduction.

As the middle palate adjusts to the beer's bold and roasty taste, the dark ale begins to release the taste of French pressed coffee, bittersweet chocolate, walnut, burnt toast and a slight savoriness of scorched cream. Together, those brownie-like flavors combine for a smooth, rich and decadent late palate of chicory, woodsiness and smooth milk chocolate.

Full bodied, but retaining a remarkable sense of drinkability for an imperial stout, the beer's texture doesn't quite live up to its motor oil insinuations, but it trends creamy, velvety and lush with the texture of marshmallow fluff and coffee-laced hot chocolates with a pep of kahlua in finish.

Dec 04, 2018
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the tall boy can in a snifter. This fantastic solid standard imperial stout
pours a rugged pitch black with a nice head of brown foam that settles to a
thick ring, thin swirling pool, and displays some nice sudsy lacing. Nose of
dark coffee, dark bakers chocolate, mild vanilla, and deep roasted notes.
Flavors hit the perfect note and show a deft solid balance of flavors.
Dark chocolate and mild sweet vanilla mingle nicely with coffee and
char over a bed of nutty roasted malts and toffee notes with accent
on the char with a touch of bittering hops on the rear. Nice mouth feel;
full body---really full----medium low carbonation that is light enough to
give this beast some lift, and a rich roasted finish.

A stout lovers dream----now if only my cars motor produced something
of this quality. Excellent!


Dec 01, 2018
Photo of ONUMello
ONUMello from Ohio

4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16oz can, batch 812 canned 12/20/17 poured into a snifter
A: Pitch black with a thin tan head
S: Tons of cocoa, some coffee, vanilla, roasted malt, a hint of bourbon, some caramel. Very complex
T: Reminds me of a Moon Pie. There's a chocolate cookie component to it complemented by pure cocoa, vanilla and a touch of malt. Not quite as complex as the nose but tasty
M: Medium to full-bodied, there's a smootness but also a bitterness
O: Other than the color this doesn't really remind me of oil. Regardless a very well-made, enjoyable stout

Jul 01, 2018
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NathanBeets from South Dakota

4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours out oil black. Mocha colored head with lacing that coats the glass nicely.

Strong coffee aroma, along with some vanilla and chocolate. No surprises here.

Pretty weak on the mouthfeel unfortunately.

Other than the lacking mouthfeel. The taste and smell are phenomenal!

Mar 23, 2018
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strohme2 from Michigan

4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16 ounce can, batch 81? Poured into tulip.
That’s a dark, rich beer. Smallish light tan head that leaves a small ring on the perimeter of the glass. Lacing as I drank it down. Coffee, chocolate, vanilla, roast and hint of molasses on the nose. What you’d expect.
Very smooth medium roast but sweetened coffee, chocolate and vanilla, plums, dark cherries. Slight cloying aftertaste. Smooth and medium bodied, great for an 8%er.

Mar 01, 2018
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KTCamm from New Jersey

3.24/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12/26/17...pours pitch black, still. Some tan foam rings the top. Coffee ground nose. Slick mouthfeel, boozy some astringency. Closing bitter. Thin. Well titled, but so so overall.

Feb 04, 2018
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Buck89 from Tennessee

4.31/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can into a snifter. Fairly viscous and dark brown on the pour. A nice fluffy tan head formed which settled slowly. Great aroma: a burst of coffee but quickly followed by milk chocolate and vanilla. Some roasted malt elements to remind you that this is beer. The taste followed - the coffee and roasted malt appeared first and they were then enveloped by rich chocolate and more subtle vanilla. Somewhat silky and full bodied feel, and on the sweet side. A slight warming on the finish. Really enjoyed this one.

Jan 25, 2018
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KRubes from North Carolina

4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: 16 oz can poured into a Teku. Dark brown/auburn. Half-finger, tan head that dissipated into doughnut, and ultimately into a thin ring around the glass.

S: Strong coffee aroma resonated as I poured the beer. Getting in closer I collected more coffee, vanilla, roasted malt, dark chocolate.

T: Bitter coffee, vanilla, roasted malt, chocolate syrup. Rich. First time I've had a Hi-Wire beer in a few months, but the house yeast is familiar.

F: Mild carbonation. Medium body. Sticky, slightly chewy mouthfeel.

O: Great imperial stout and a must try for coffee beer lovers. Vanilla and chocolate add a complementary component that meshes well with the coffee and malt. Need to keep my eye out for the BA version.

Jan 19, 2018
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Roguer from Georgia

4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big boozy aroma: char, dark fruit, red grapes, vanilla, chocolate, brown sugar.

Lighter and more vinous on the palate at first, before the chocolate and vanilla take over. Plenty of sugary caramel malt; coffee is present, but definitely second fiddle to the other adjuncts.

Medium-full bodied.

Mar 18, 2017
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LAp from Ohio

4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An interesting beer with vastly different component parts. The pour and nose are classic Imp Stout, with the thick black pour and accompanying mocha head leading into a predictably roasted coffee bean and bitter dark chocolate nose. The palate is absolutely incredible. Coffee beans for days, with a great underlying vein of chocolate. The mouthfeel leaves something to be desired however. It's far lighter than expected, which doesn't detract from the beer per se, but certainly feels uncharacteristic for the style. It is nonetheless an excellent beer all around.

Mar 09, 2017
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mntlover from Tennessee

4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a like motor oil pitch black, no highlights when held to the light just inky black with a thumb sized coco colored head tat falls to a ring with some lacing.

Aroma is nice big roasted malts loads of coffee int he nose, dark chocolate but lightly sweet good doses of vanilla. Pretty much what you read on the can is what you get.

Taste is thankfully like the nose, rich roasted malts coffee and chocolate about on par in the flavor. Almost like a cold mocha with some extra vanilla added. Nice sweet stout with lots of coffee notes. Easy drinking and smooth not a sipper.

Mouthfeel seems little lighter then you would expect, just a touch over medium. Carbonation level is nice and smooth which is good.

Overall another great beer from Hi-Wire, about the only thing not perfect is the mouthfeel just kind of expected bigger.

Feb 08, 2017
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Casey3236 from Pennsylvania

4.49/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours like a layered dessert shooter; black with a 2 inch thick caramel foam. Smells of cold roast coffee and chocolate. Taste is coffee, roast, chocolate, and more coffee. Delicious!

Jan 29, 2017
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Dragginballs76 from South Carolina

4.36/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours black like used motor oil, thin mocha colored head not much lacing.

Aroma - First thing is an amazing coffee aroma, bitter dark chocolate, vanilla and roasted malts. The aroma of this is super.

Taste - The flavors are much more balanced than the nose, the coffee is not as prominent but noticeable. Dark chocolate and vanilla roasted malts and a mixture of cold coffee and coffee grounds.

Feel - High side of medium full coating well carbonated very smooth.

Overall - A very well done coffee stout great flavors and excellent aroma.

Jan 19, 2017
10W-40 from Hi-Wire Brewing
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 92 ratings