Hug The Despot | Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery

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Hug The DespotHug The Despot
53 Ratings
Hug The DespotHug The Despot

Brewed by:
Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery
Virginia, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Hug the Despot
Vanilla + Bourbon Barrel Russian Imperial Stout
11.3% ABV, 78 IBU
Only 500 Bottles Produced

Added by ThisWangsChung on 02-18-2015

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 53 |  Reviews: 11
Photo of Raziel313
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of rudzud
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Shared with JLindros. Bottle #189

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark black hue with a good two finger mocha head that fades to leave creamy blanket and a nice lacing.

S - Aromas of nice bourbon barrels oak, dark fruit, vanilla Russian imperial, and overly bitter hops.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, very nice vanilla, almost too much. Nice chocolate and rich barrel notes, really nice though there is a bitter hop on the finish that clashes.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, rich and creamy. Bitter finish though.

O - Overall this was a very solid beer, however, the hops really kill the finish. That bitterness ruins the barrel and additives. Really really unfortunate.

Serving Type: bottle

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Photo of jlindros
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ridiculous fluffy creamy thick mocha head, heads very slowly, thick lacing, pitch black thick beer

Nose.loads of dark choc, cocoa, little roast, vanilla, cookies dough and canning.vanilla

Taste big sweet malt, little toasty, big candy malt roast, char, fair spice butter spicy hop, bitter go for

Mouth med to heavier bod, little creamy, decent carb, fair alcohol burn

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Photo of JMUbrewz
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Eziel
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: pours lighter / thinner black with two fingers of tan head. Pitch black in the glass the glass
S: slight barrel, with a nice chocolate and vanilla mix.
T: starts with some chocolate, then turns to the hops and molasses body with a vanilla finish. The barrel is there throughout but only slightly.
F: medium/thin thickness, slick feel and goes down easy.

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Photo of Jamison85
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of IckyT2012
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of brocktune
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of PA-Michigander
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Stevedore
3.46/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

750ml bottle. 2016 release. Served in a snifter glass. Dark brown body, one finger white head, fair retention, no lacing. Smell is intensely hoppy, pine resin with milk chocolate and dark fruit. Touch of vanilla, but not very much of it. It's very hoppy. Flavour follows; hoppy pine resin mixes in with milk chocolate, dark fruit, touch of barrel. Again, not much vanilla. Mouthfeel is thinner bodied, a little undercarbonated, nothing too special here. The hops linger from the front all the way to the backend. Too hoppy, not enough chocolate, roast or vanilla to go along with it. A messy over-hopped stout.

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Photo of Dactrius
3.32/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Photo of CDCNAM
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an extremely dark brown color. It's not quite pitch black, but it's close. The head is amazing - two fingers high, tan in shade, and amazingly creamy. Retention is fantastic, as is the thick wall of lacing left behind on the glass.

The aroma provides plenty of vanilla, like I hoped for. This note really works well with the subtle barrel presence coming through. Letting this open up will show off some of the base beer, especially the hoppy touch. It hides behind the big vanilla presence, but it does make an attempt to balance things. Additional notes of roasted malt, chocolate, and espresso also appear. It doesn't seem perfectly cohesive - it skews a bit vanilla-heavy overall - but the nose works great otherwise.

At first, the flavor brings a wonderful amount of vanilla - frankly, just the right amount. It could have been too sweet, but the second half of the beer comes to save the day. Like every single LCCB imperial stout ever, there's an assertive hoppiness to finish it off, alongside an impressive roasted touch. I think the downfall of this brew - as good as it is - is how the barrels don't add a huge amount of depth or nuance. It's seemingly smothered by the vanilla, come to think of it. The lack of multiple dimensions ultimately keeps this just out of elite territory.

I find the relatively slender, dry mouthfeel a double-edged sword. On one hand, it's absurdly easy to drink for a big, sweet, vanilla-laden stout (certainly, it drinks closer to 6% than over 11%). But it doesn't really have the mouth-coating fullness truly desired from a barrel-aged monster. Carbonation is a bit above-average for the style.

I really, really like this beer. It satisfies the craving for vanilla nicely, and it's stupidly easygoing for something so big. I just wish it had more depth and a bigger mouthfeel. Still, it's a rock-solid offering that's worth seeking out a second time.

3.9/5: I'm being hugged by the vanilla

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2016 vintage, poured from a 750 into a snifter, the beer is jet black, with a solid, foamy, bubbly, light tan head. Good flow of carbonation feeding the head. Aromas of bourbon booze, rich vanilla sweet, bittersweet and milk chocolate, rich toffee, molasses, and subtle wood char notes. Flavors are heavily roasted and slightly charred forward, with a blend of bittersweet chocolate, solid bourbon notes, rich vanilla, wood and booze spice, and bitter roasted coffee all to follow. Very dynamic palate, and the bitter roasted coffee and charred notes really build at the back of the palate, further hiding that creeping warmth from the bourbon and elevated ABV. Smooth, slick, full mouthfeel, with a bittersweet chocolate and burnt coffee aftertaste. The finish is smooth, slow, and with a solid linger of chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon, as well as a solid building warmth.

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Photo of NickyDee21
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of maximum12
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to cejaev for this 750ML bottle: tonight, the last Despot goes down. Just call me Bush. Sherriff Bush. Split with my Cheney, er, wife.

Pours black; no WMD are found in the bottle. Like the rest of these freedom hating beers, the nose is light: light chocolate, light barrel, light sweetness. Light.

Hug the Despot squeezed the barrel a lot more tightly than its brethren. Unlike the others I’ve had, the barrel is up front, boozy & thick. Right behind it is sharp, cutting hops, bittering up the place without regard for my bitter beer face. Nice chocolate, vanilla, edge of roast follow, while black licorice & an ICC indictment complete the profile. Bit thicker than the others, & I’m all over this.

An incremental improvement over the others, this is a very good beer. But I’m going to hold out for the Mother of All Dictator series that they bury & dig up a few years later.

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Photo of OneEye78
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of HeartofMiami
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Sweffin
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kylehay2004
4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of HopBomb515
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with a tan head and good lacing. Notes of coffee, toasted malt, toffee, light vanilla, oak, coconut and wood barrel. Smooth, creamy and lower carbonation with a drying finish. Overall another great barrel aged beer from an underrated brewery.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into a snifter
2016 vintage, bottle #50

A- pours an opaque black color with a small foamy khaki colored head that reduces to just a ring around the edge of the glass

S- aroma brings dark chocolate & roasted malt, along with vanilla bean, vanilla biscotti & heavy cream. Spicy and woody bourbon follows, with hints of caramel & toffee.

T- taste brings an immediate hit of spicy bourbon, along with wet wood, caramel and char. Mid-palate brings flavors of cocoa, along with sweet vanilla cream, even some hints of spicy rum. The finish brings more vanilla & cocoa, with a linger of heavy bourbon

M- medium-heavy body with low carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel that finishes slightly creamy with a warming linger

O- plenty of flavors to be found in this one; the bourbon is prominent throughout and the vanilla surprisingly holds up to the other ingredients. Very well done

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Photo of montman
4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JMFP
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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Hug The Despot from Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 53 ratings