Hazelnut Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout With Cocoa Nibs
Cycle Brewing

Hazelnut Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout With Cocoa NibsHazelnut Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout With Cocoa Nibs
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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #264
Ranked #1,440
4.38 | pDev: 5.02%
Cycle Brewing
Florida, United States
Hazelnut Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout With Cocoa NibsHazelnut Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout With Cocoa Nibs
Notes: Bourbon barrel aged over 1 year, hazelnut and cocoa nibs from Pinellas Chocolate Company.
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 77 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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DokiDokiLitFam from New Jersey

4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew is exactly how you'd imagine it. Pours out dark brown/black. Smells like Nutella with a strong chocolate counterpart, roasty malt, and a solid wood and bourbon presence. Taste expands upon this. It's rich with these flavors and they don't get too sweet or overbearing. Mouthfeel is dense with mild carbonation. Cycle Brewing does a great job with these flavored stouts. This one is no exception.

Jul 03, 2021
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beergoot from Colorado

4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured thick and sludgy; tar black in color; fairly thick yet fizzy light brown head although it quickly fades to a mere bubbly ring lining the edge of the glass while carbonation continues percolating from the dark depths; oily and murky; a think layer of fine foam coats the top of the beer once it has settled and opened up. Huge grain char smell combining elements of roasted nuts and burnt oak; Butterfinger candy. The taste mirrors the aroma; sweeter; more pronounced roasted hazel nut character; milk chocolate and fudge. Heavy body; oil slick density and feel; chewy; huge residual sugar notes; faint trace of alcohol warmth.

The beer belongs in the "wow" category of imperial stouts. It has a near evil blackness to its appearance and then the taste and aroma are just intense and alluring. Chill outdoor temperatures with a roaring hardwood fire would be a fine setting for knocking this beer back, and if that's not possible, it will put you in that mindset. A majestic and wondrous dark ale.

Apr 06, 2021
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.17/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: A syrupy black pour with the liquid being still; no carbonation, head or lacing

Smell: Rich dark chocolate and hazelnut tones; Bourbon and vanilla elements integrate well

Taste: The Bourbon infuses the flavors from the outset, with the hazelnuts and dark chocolate prominent; the Bourbon builds, through the middle, with the vanilla emerging; a nutskin flavor emerges, after the swallow; residual sweetness lingers along with the warmth from the booze and the barrel

Mouthfeel: Full bodied but flat; warmth in the gullet

Overall: Smells better than it tastes but the flavors are still impressive; despite the flat mouthfeel, it is still enjoyable

Nov 20, 2020
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WickedBeer from Alabama

4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #2 release, Black Label (2018 I think)

Rich, mildly earthy hazelnuts and chocolate on the nose. The palate is Nutella with a light bitterness from the nibs and a heat from the barrel. Not overly pastry; it retains a great balance. That being said, hazelnut features on this all the way.

Sep 10, 2020
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MJSFS from Florida

4.15/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Zero head. Zero carbonation. Slight barrel on the nose, mostly chocolate covered hazelnut. Chocolate and hazelnut on the tongue with a slightly bourbon finish. Very flat and syrupy feel. My least favorite Cycle BA Stout to date. Sadly, I had high hopes for this one.

Jul 08, 2019
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Viscous black with a tan head that disappears pretty fast. Smell is hazelnut forward with cocoa, vanilla, and slight bourbon. Taste has so much hazelnut, both in a creamy and nutty way, plus sweet and cool vanilla, dry cocoa, bittersweet molasses, but the bourbon was much lighter than anticipated. Feel is incredible, capturing the hazelnut perfectly in a well craft ba stout.

May 21, 2019
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pants678 from California

3.92/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Black with slight beige foam.

Bag of nuts -- accurate but almost painfully pungent. Might be the strongest smell I've had on a beer.

Taste is a pleasant back off from the smell. Alcohol's there but not a bother, barrel's there too. Touch of sweetness makes it more palatable than Grey Monday. Still, intensity level is... medium.

Creamy but also oily and a touch thin.

Mar 25, 2019
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beersampler6 from Michigan

3.71/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

In a word, disappointing. I always look forward to these big barrel aged imperial stouts with a good mix of coffee and chocolate, especially when there are other things thrown in (like hazelnut, in this case). The reviews here seemed very solid and I was especially intrigued by the caption “Drink Fresh! DO NOT AGE” listed on the bottom. In retrospect, however, I should have realized this was a little suspect since the date of bottling could not be found anywhere on the bottle. Pours a deep, dark brown, almost black color with some faint tan head and really no lacing. Smells mainly of dark chocolate, hazelnut and some medium roast coffee. Tastes of dark mocha coffee, hazelnut, vanilla, malt, roasted nuttiness and some caramel. The bourbon and oak flavors were certainly present in there somewhere. But there was a slightly sour overall flavor and feeling to the beer - almost as if it was just not well matured. Not super pleasant. Smooth, rich, slightly full mouthfeel and just enough carbonation. Significant burn from the warming alcohol, even more so as the beer gets to room temperature. Definitely a sipper. Overall, decent, but certainly doesn’t make my top tier “4.25+ beer” group. Not when there are so many other outstanding imperial stouts out there.

Feb 23, 2019
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BerryKumquat from California

4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Very black color with small traces of red.
S: Strong chocolate
T: Alkaline notes with sharp chocolate. Alkaline aftertaste.
F: Sweet lights notes that carry as an after taste.
O: Decent beer that you drink but not sip.

Jan 30, 2019
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pkalix from California

4.17/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

says "drink fresh" but doesnt put a date on the bottle.... makes ya wonder WTF? no? hazelnut and chocolate is well pronounced and delicious... this is a distro in Cali now? very sweet.

Jan 27, 2019
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grover37 from District of Columbia

4.61/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

$30+ bottle split with Lisa at home. Phenomenal beer - hazelnut jumps out of the glass along with some dry cocoa. Taste is just a tiny step down with some heat. Feel is thick and full without being cloying. Outstanding.

Jan 08, 2019
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Jeffo from Netherlands

4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from desp59 a while back I think. Cheers!

From a bomber into a snifter
Barrel aged hazelnut imperial stout with cocoa nibs
4 beers for 4 years series

APPEARANCE: Syrupy black pour yields a 2+ finger, medium looking, fizzy and noisy tan head with good retention. Pitch black body with some carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a full cap but leaves no lacing. A slight ring remains until the end leaving drops of lacing falling down the glass.

SMELL: Lots of hazelnut, sweet cream and vanilla, milk chocolate, some light coffee notes, with some subtle bourbon and butterscotch aromas. Bold and enticing.

TASTE: Bourbon and hazelnut flavors up front, with notes of milk chocolate and sweet cream as well. Flavorful with some booze at the swallow. A bold and lingering finish of hazelnuts, vanilla cream, milk chocolate, some roasted coffee bitterness, butterscotch along with the bourbon barrel and a bit of alcohol. Really decadent flavors and very well balanced. The nut and bourbon character work great together.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Silky and creamy on the palate, enough weight, goes down smooth with a bit of a burn at the swallow and finishes rather sticky. Some heat lingers.

OVERALL: Lovely stuff. These guys do barrel aged adjunct stouts like it’s nobody’s business. I’ve said it before, but if I lived near these guys, I would absolutely hate my life. The head could be a little more robust on this one, but besides that minor complaint, the nose, flavor and feel here just scream world class. Very glad to have been able to get to know this one. Thanks again desp!

Dec 23, 2018
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kemoarps from Washington

4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ive had my eye on this one ever since it showed up in @Dragginballs76's awesome NBS BIF#8 box, especially since it says to drink fresh!
This pours thick as motor oil... I swear it practically chugged like ketchup trying to get out of the bottle. A body that is crisp obsidian with a few menacing soap bubbles of dark brown. Not much to retent, and the promise of minor lacing proves fruitless as nothing has stuck, 2/3 through the glass.

Nose is overwhelmingly nutty. Like, that dusty shell note that you get in a massive bag of nuts. Not woody per se, but shell-y. Digging in beneath that I find hints of sweet and roasty stout characteristics, but this is all hazelnut shells all the time. I could be convinced that some of the smoothe sweet supporting notes have chocolate affiliations but it certainly makes it easier when it's listed on the label.

I was expecting straight nutella with this, but it's not. It's more... nuanced than that, and I appreciate it. There's big hazelnut shell again on the front, and some chocolate sweetness (but like fudgy rich chocolate... not milky, but not bitter like dark/baking chocolate. It's interesting) as well as espresso bitter stoutitutde and malts falling somewhere between the roast and charred spectra.
Thick and smoothe as the pour promised, I love how full the body of it is, and the viscosity...
I have no idea what the ABV is since it's not listed on the bottle, nor on their websitel, nor here, nor on the tracking app, nor... anywhere I can find. But I have no doubt that the number is comfortably in the double digits. If I had one complaint about this it would be about how hot it is. The smoothe rich fudge and hazelnut and espresso play together so nicely, and there's some barrel spiciness, but after a couple of sips (I'm about halfway through the first glass-pour, so maaaaaybe 1/4 through the bottle), the alcohol builds to become pretty domineering.
This one is FANTASTIC as a slow sipper. Take your time with it. Share it with some friends if you can. Maybe split it over multiple sessions if you need to, because the beer itself is incredibly delicious. A full 22oz bottle just builds up to be a bit much for one sitting.
Mucho gratitude to Mike for sending this delicious concoction my direction. I'd not heard of Cycle before this, but this is an incredible (if quite large) stout that is right in my wheelhouse. Thanks Mike!!

Dec 05, 2018
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Hopheadjeffery from Illinois

4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Tasted in a Rastal Teku from a bottle on October 5, 2018. Bourbon barrel aged for over one year. Brewed with hazelnut and cocoa nibs from Pinellas Chocolate Company.

Oct 09, 2018
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CaptCleveland from Ohio

4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2018 bottle shipped via Kolo.

Is there anything like a Cycle ink black stout? Vigorous pour yielding a one finger, fudge brownie head which quickly dissipates to a thin rim. Scant lacing, thick legs.

Aromas of fresh roasted nuts, bourbon, baker's chocolate, charred malt and wood.

Such a combo of flavors that meld together: hazelnuts, chocolate, bourbon, oak and char.

Cycle stouts are known for their thick, viscous feel and this one is no exception. A standard by which most BA stouts are measured.

Such a wonderful explosion of flavors, nutty chocolate balanced by the bourbon, oak and char with a nice smooth bourbon aftertaste.

Sep 30, 2018
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.72/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery. Smells of chocolate and Hazelnut. Bourbon and alcohol. Tastes of intense alcohol, chocolate, bourbon, oak, and, of course, lots of hazelnuts. Strong sweetness and alcohol. Heavy and difficult to drink, but tasty in minute quantities. The hazelnut adjunct flavor is delicious.

Sep 13, 2018
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a very dark inky black, with a small head, and no lacing.

This smells like hazelnut creamer, with some vanilla, nuttiness, milk chocolate, sweet bourbon, and molasses.

Cycle almost always delivers with pastry-forward goodness, and this is no exception. There's definitely a lot of hazelnut here, and it comes across as authentic, and not at all artificial. It's laid on top of a big and beefy fudgy chocolate base. Like most Cycle stouts, there's not a ton of barrel here, it seems like the barrel resting time was used to make the beer smoother and more harmonious.

This is creamy and a bit thicker than some of the other Cycle stouts I've had, with a lower level of carbonation.

I'm admittedly an unapologetic Cycle fanboy. This very much works for me.

Apr 24, 2018
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cosmicevan from New York

4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazelnut has long been one of my favorite cycle brews. Was fortunate to have batch 1,which if memory serves was a palate? The others including the trademark version were all great...I thought, and this one is also fantastic. Now with a big heavy barrel and cocoa nibs hazelnut takes a bit more of a backseat but is still the centerpiece of the flavor profile. That said, not sure hazelnut needs a barrel or cocoa nibs...it distracts from the magic. Make no mistake though, still a killer.

Mar 04, 2018
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Radcpa from Washington

4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very dark appearance with slight tan head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is a mild hazelnut with a touch of bourbon. Taste is a very pleasant blend of hazelnut and bourbon. A little thin.

Dec 13, 2017
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mothman from Minnesota

3.85/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

4 beers 4 4 years

Tan head. Black color.

Lots of nutty hazelnut flavors. Almost tastes like peanut butter. Chocolate and cocoa. Some bourbon and vanilla. The hazelnut is overpowering in this beer.

Nov 26, 2017
Hazelnut Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout With Cocoa Nibs from Cycle Brewing
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 77 ratings