Benji's Chipotle Smoked Imperial Porter
Tyranena Brewing Company

Benji's Chipotle Smoked Imperial PorterBenji's Chipotle Smoked Imperial Porter
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Porter - Smoked
Ranked #9
Ranked #7,124
4.03 | pDev: 8.19%
Tyranena Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
Benji's Chipotle Smoked Imperial PorterBenji's Chipotle Smoked Imperial Porter
Notes: Big, black and smokey, an imperial porter, rich full-bodied with a silky chocolate crown. Dark roasted flavors host the smokey character of wood-fired malt while chipotle peppers add a smoldering tickle of heat.
Reviews: 132 | Ratings: 280 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

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

Black liquid. Off-white head; nice lacing.

Spicy pepper & coffee nose.

Thick mouthfeel.

Nice roast-y coffee & chocolate flavors balance well with the spiciness. A winner.

Feb 19, 2019
Photo of Tone
Tone from Missouri

4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a black color. 1/4 inch head of an off-tan color. Slight retention and slight lacing. Smells of smoke, sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, and slight chipotle. Fits the style of an American Imperial Porter. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of smoke, sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, slight chipotle, hint of vanilla, and oatmeal. Overall, weak appearance, but good aroma and blend, though the body is on the light side.

Nov 11, 2018
Photo of beergoot
beergoot from Colorado

4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark, nearly opaque brown body; thin yet lasting creamy head. Roasted, smoked malt aroma with a twist of mild green chili.
Mild cocoa flavor with a fine chili flavor developing in intensity throughout the sip. Medium body, a little thin; soft and warm; a bit of chili fire to balance things.

A gentle, easy to approach porter with a well-balanced chili kick.

Apr 29, 2018
Photo of bluejacket74
bluejacket74 from Ohio

3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, bottled on 11JAN16 stamped on the bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with almost an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The brew smells like subtle smoke, chili peppers, and chocolate. Taste is pretty much the same as the aroma, it's subtle smoke, chili peppers and chocolate. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It's also smooth and easy enough to drink. I thought this was OK overall, but I wish it had more kick to it. I think this is the 3rd beer I've tried from Tyranena and I can't say any of them have impressed me (not that their beers have been bad either). But if you like subtle chili pepper flavor, then give this a try.

Jul 15, 2016
Photo of brian44556
brian44556 from Kentucky

4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into Tulip. No date on the bottle, assume it was bottled within the last month.

Dark pour, no transparency. Nice creamy head, sticky lacing along the sides of the glass.

Campfire smoke on the nose, very faint pepper heat, mild chocolate. As this beer warms the noise becomes stronger and more defined.

Smokey chocolate, roasted chili peppers, that leave a very faint burn as it goes down the throat. Roasted malts.

Nice creamy mouthful. Spot on carbonation. Heat lingers as the beer warms.

Good imperial porter. Perfect balance of smoke, peppers, and malts.

Mar 02, 2016
Photo of Evilyak
Evilyak from Minnesota

3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

deep, reddish brown with a coffee ice cream colored head. minimal lacing.

i like smoked porters. i like chili beers. i think i like this one well enough, but i bet my beer is too cold to appreciate this one fully.

smoke was prevalent in the nose and mouth, and it took center stage, but didn't last. i got very little of the chili in the nose and just a kiss in the taste. more like chewing too many pieces of big red than smoked peppers. i would have expected a bit more. mouth is smooth.

it's a very good porter, but it's not doing it for me tonight.

Feb 05, 2016
Photo of Vierenner
Vierenner from Ohio

3.06/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not retired as indicated on BA ... the 4-pack I had was bottled 11 Jan 16. Similar to many other Tyranena beers I've had, as well as my impressions after visiting the brewery in the last year, this beer is lacking. Lacking in taste and mouthfeel, the beer is watery and misses the mark on the robustness one might expect after reading the label.

Feb 02, 2016
Photo of mjpolzin
mjpolzin from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very well balanced smoked beer. Sometimes I have not been a huge fan of smoked beers because the smoke has been too over the top for my liking. On this one though, the smoke was subtle reminding me almost of a bacon beer. I wish the pepper taste would have been a little bit stronger but that's just my preference. I enjoy a hotter pepper beer. Overall, a fine beer that is a little different and warms you up on a cold night.

Jan 21, 2016
Photo of pat61
pat61 from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From tasting notes. This poured black with no head. There are chocolate and roast malt aromas and flavors and the chipotle pepper is a surprisingly nice touch. Very drinkable.

Aug 17, 2015
Photo of kkleu357
kkleu357 from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -0.7%

From notes on 11/14/13

Pours very dark black, almost no head. Has a chocolaty chili smell. Nice robust flavor. Taste of smoked chocolate coffee. Not any spice from the chipotle, just smokeyness. Wish it didn’t have a twist top. This is a nice beer and should be better sealed.

Sep 02, 2014
Photo of gueuzedreg
gueuzedreg from Colorado

3.17/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A- Dark black with khaki medium lacing.

S- Void, kinda bland. Malt backbone is the main thing present.

T- What chipotle? What smoke? Not much of either; I would have just kept it out of the title.

M- Kinda smooth, nothing crazy here. About right on with carb.

O- My least favorite offering from Tyranena so far.

Apr 22, 2014
Photo of ThickNStout
ThickNStout from Georgia

4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from zrab11 (thanks!). If they bottle date I sure couldn't find it. Served in my Phish snifter.

Pours black with an eighth finger off white head which quickly fades to a thin ring that leaves a good deal of lace.

Smells smokey and malty with a nice touch of pepper. Pleasant.

This is all around tasty stuff! Nice roasty malts, the smoke is present without overpowering and the pepper is flavorful but not spicy. Chocolate, earthy, burnt caramel and subtle coffee. No detected alcohol. Great blend of porter, smoke and pepper flavors. Very easy to drink.

Medium body with soft yet appropriate carbonation. Smoked malt and mild chipotle finish.

Smoked beers and chili beers often fail to impress me but this is great. Excellent balance of flavors on a solid base porter. This one is worth a try for sure.

Feb 04, 2014
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill from Kentucky

3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from 2012 (I believe), poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Black body with clear reddish highlights; 1/2" head of fine light brown foam that settles into a ring and leaves spotty lace. Pretty good.

S: Chipotle pepper is prominent and pleasant, with equal parts smoke and spice. Plenty of milk chocolate and caramel malt as well. Straightforward and enjoyable.

T: Starts out sweet and spicy, with more chocolate malt sweetness building in midway through. Vanilla and coffee on the bittersweet finish, with a nice chili kick on the long, lingering aftertaste. Good stuff.

M: Smooth, slick medium body; not much carbonation, but what's there is reasonably creamy.

O: It's good, not great, overall, but I'm really digging the level of spice - it's unmistakable, but not distracting. Really well done.


Feb 01, 2014
Photo of JohnnyHopps
JohnnyHopps from Indiana

3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - The beer as a thick black color, literally black as night.

Smell - The malt jumps to the front in the aroma, but the spice is detectable.

Taste - At the front, it is a pretty straight forward porter with the malts seeming a little more toasted that usual. One can detect burnt sugar and a little sweetness. The burns runs a little hot toward the back of the throat but is far from overwhelming. The aftertaste is more sweet than spicy.

Mouthfeel - By itself, the porter is very smooth. On the other hand, the spice at the end makes for a rough landing.

Overall - The spice was a little more potent when I had this porter when it was fresher. It is still quite drinkable.

Nov 01, 2013
Photo of mfnmbvp
mfnmbvp from Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. Got a single of this at the local beer store, after eyeing the four pack for a while. Glad I got to try the single. Expectations are just slightly above average, based on my past experience with Tyranena.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter glass.

A - Pours just over a finger of creamy bubbly mocha colored foam on top of an opaque black body with just the tiniest shade of ruby shining through when held to the light.

S - Smell is of big bold roasty malt / coffee notes, and dark chocolate. None of the overt rotting log campfire smoke smell that I'm used to smelling in some smoked beers, so that's good. Not much actual 'smoke' per se, more of a charred leathery scent.

T - Taste follows suit of the nose: big bold roasty coffee, lots of dark chocolate, & maybe some dark chocolate covered cherry taste. The heat from the chipotle peppers really only becomes apparent on the finish.

M - Feel is sticky, with some roasty bitterness & chocolate lingering on the palate. Bit of dry peppery heat hanging out also.

Overall, about what I expected (hoped) it would be. Not too heavy on the smoke, not too heavy on the chipotle pepper, niclely balanced with good carbonation. Well worth trying at least once if you are a fan of porters.

Tyranena Benji's Smoked Imperial Porter Brewed With Chipotle Peppers ---4/5.

Aug 25, 2013
Photo of beatenbyjacks
beatenbyjacks from Colorado

3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - very think dark black in color. Almost oil black. Beautiful.

Smell - lots of smoky campfire smell to it. Back end hits with the chili peppers

Taste - smoky with a hint of the chipotle. The booze is hidden well with the spices!

Mouthfeel - leave a lot of smoke in your mouth. Finished with some pepper, but lots of flavor.

Overall - great beer to try. Not my everyday beer, but a fun experiment for sure. Excited for more of their beers

Aug 21, 2013
Photo of JamesMN
JamesMN from Minnesota

3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pitch black with a one finger fluffy tan head. Leaving some nice lacing already where it has dissipated.

Aroma: First thing that pops out is smoked oak. Digging deeper notes of chocolate and toasted malts come through.

Taste: A bit weaker in flavor than the aroma suggested. Starts with a strange acidity that carries on through to the end. Definite charred malts in there evoking some cocoa flavor. Some smokiness in there as well. After several sips the chipotle pepper aspect starts to come through as a heat over the palate. It creeps on slowly and never gets overpowering but makes its presence known. Lingering aftertaste of heat from the pepper along with a bit of smoke and charred malt.

Mouthfeel: About medium in body and a tad over-carbonated. Some of the robust flavors become cloying after a while and make for below average drinkability.

Final Thoughts: Not hugely impressed with this one but still an interesting beer none-the-less. Would I drink it again? Probably not.

Jul 13, 2013
Photo of jaasen64
jaasen64 from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into Gandhi-Bot snifter. Thanks Josh (thebigredone) for this! Served just below cellar temperature and reviewed live with a full pour.

A- Pours a dark mahogany brown that appears a pitch black in the glass, about a quarter finger's worth of creamy mocha brown head appears that slowly fades to a thin layer, about average carbonation of consistent rising bubbles.

S- Dark chocolate, some spicy peppers, light smokiness on the back-end, about average aroma strength, decently balanced with the peppers maybe coming through slightly more especially as it warms.

T- Dark chocolate, lightly roasted malts, and balanced chipotle peppers come through on the front end. On the finish the smokiness comes through more with a richer dark chocolate taste and some lingering peppers. Overall well balanced, tasty, and unique.

M- Medium bodied, slightly silky, very drinkable, fairly robust (although definitely not the most robust porter I've had), decent carbonation.

O- This was a pretty nice unique beer from Tyranena and definitely did not disappoint. It had the qualities of a decently solid porter with a unique twist with the addition of the chipotle peppers and smokiness to give it further complexity and flavor while not adding too much spicy heat or dominating the profile. Overall this was pretty solid and I would definitely drink it again, but by no means was it mind-blowing. Definitely worth trying if you get the chance.

May 12, 2013
Photo of brewtus
brewtus from Ohio

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

Pours black with an off white two finger head. Smell is smokey, chocolate, woody, some dark fruits. tastes is smokey, dark malts,some vanilla, chocolate, hint of this chipotle peppers. Overall it's a great smoked porter with a nice smooth texture but I wish it was spicy, you get some pepper it no heat, I want heat in a beer made with peppers. This beer was very enjoyable, glad I got to try it.

May 02, 2013
Photo of secondtooth
secondtooth from Indiana

4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours nearly black, w ith ruby highlights. Head is thick and sudsy, and tan in color. Lace is loopy and erratic.

Aroma? I get spicy pepper and cocoa. There's a little smoke in there, too, somehow. Very nice!

Body is silky smooth, and very nice. Plenty of cocoa and smoke in the taste. The chipotle pepper comes in later near the finish, but remains subtle, and only adds to the distinctive and unique flavor profile.

A very delicious and complex porter with nuance and high drinkability. Recommended!

Apr 14, 2013
Photo of rlee1390
rlee1390 from Indiana

4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Black in the glass, one finger off white head, clear brown when pouring.

S-Smoke, spices, roasted malt, coffee and chocolate.

T-Some smoke, good deal of spiciness, roasted malt, some coffee, not much chocolate though.

M-Lighter, not much carbonation and a tad watery.

O-One of Tyranena's better brews, their Brewers Gone Wild series seems to be worth checking out when news ones are released.

Apr 11, 2013
Photo of TheSSG
TheSSG from Illinois

4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, dense, tan head. Acidic, toasted notes with a touch of chiles. Black. Starts acidic and roasted with notes of coffee and chocolate with a nice smokey backing to it.. Builds to a low-medium bitterness and the malt comes in through the finish. A TOUCH of poblano makes its way in.

Overall, a VERY nice Imperial Porter that is smoked.
Poblano? Yeah, sure, I guess....
I think the smoke adds an opaque layer of complexity that keeps the mild poblano from shining.

Mar 30, 2013
Photo of RickS95
RickS95 from Indiana

4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Extremely dark pour, almost black with just some lighter brown shades sneaking out the sides. The head is about as dark a brown as I've seen. Darker than tan, kind of a fawn color. The head cascades in formation and ends up looking very much like an A&W Root Beer pour. A couple fingers thick and long-lasting. It's very foamy and plasters its lace against the glass.

Scent is one dimensional...dark. It's very malty and the smokiness, while not offensive, makes its presence known immediately. As it warms, the chipotle peppers become more aggressive in the nose.

Taste follows the lead of the nose, only better. Very malty, a bit of chocolate, and a kick from the peppers. Just enough smoke to be pleasant.

Lots happening. Very smooth and creamy. Medium to full bodied. Some heat from the alcohol and peppers. Smoke is there from the beginning. Not dry or crisp, leaves you wet and licking your lips, but still wanting more.

My second Tyranena beer and I'm a fan. Very easy to drink, alcohol is well hidden. All the ingredients work very well together making a nice drinking experience.

Feb 25, 2013
Photo of PaterMorse
PaterMorse from Indiana

4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great chocolate opening, spicy tongue finish. Memorable, fun, complex. Bravo!

A: Pours black; but top 1/4" remains a thin watery layer. Head looks like a rootbeer float; dissipating all too quickly (but leaving a wide lace dusting). Big suds stick to side. Nice enough; but appearance s only aspect that's not all that special about the beer.

S: Interesting! Cocoa powder meets bacon & bite. Roasted, like blackened jelly toast with butter. Don't sense the pepper in the aroma, but do on the taste (and especially the "walk away").

T: Disarming. Simultaneously sweet, smooth, and bitter (with a bite). Chocolate notes, smooth like ice cream. Has some real spice to it. Earthy feel meets chocolate sundae. Light peppery aftertaste.

M: Medium body. The "swish" actually helps brng forth the bacon & pepper... and the heat. Thick hold-together.

O: Very interesting, very fun little beer. Smoky chocho on the front end, Steak N Shake peppers on the back. Probably a beer I'd limit to once in a sittng; but I'd surely repeat that sitting again and again. A fun experience.

Repeat? Definately. Again, not in the same sittng; and maybe not on a weekly rotation. But I think I'll have a few on hand at all times to share the experience with other newbies and to capitalize on those occasions where such a unque (and good) beer will, alone, do the trick. [NOTE: I don't mean to suggest it's overly unique or really limited; one certainly could enjoy a few of these at once or on a regular rotation. The non-spicy aspect of this porter is impressive in its own right.]

Where Best? Tailgates. Campire, hayrides. Just prior to heading out for the evening. State Fairs!

Two Word Description: Either "Spicy Sundae" or "Chocolate Bacon"

Feb 25, 2013
Photo of BarryMFBurton
BarryMFBurton from Indiana

4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I’ve been enjoying this series so far – nothing I’ve had has let me down.

Brewed a month before the date of this tasting (“BOTTLED ON 17 JAN 13”).

A: Dark chocolate brown, letting absolutely no light through. Rising to a full inch is a head of tan cream, falling slowly to a fizzy retention – in its wake is foamy lacing tracing all the edge of the glass.

S: Cocoa powder and smoky chipotle pepper aromas emanate from the body with force – earthy sweetness with a natural spice (not just hot sauce and chocolate). The smoke is enhanced with tones of campfire and bacon, a testament to malt dried over an open flame. Slight mineral tones toward the back end conjure images of a British porter, or with all the smoke, a Bamberg rauchbier.

T: Immediate tastes of milk chocolate and vanilla ice cream – a full helping of sweetness – before the tastes evolve into smoky complexity. Burnt sugar and roasted wood lend that campfire character to the palate in a slightly drying manner, assisted in bitterness by a mild, grassy hoppiness. Overall, chocolate rules the palate, but it’s in no way the only big flavor. Tastes of wet oak round out the palate, though a final kick of what tastes like red pepper flakes is able to sneak its way through.

M: Creamy carbonation and a full body give this a chewy mouthfeel; it definitely feels bigger than a 7.5% porter. A slight bit of heat is apparent, likely from the peppers – a welcome change from the norm within this style.

O: This is just one of those beers that’s a blast to drink. A smoked beer with chipotle, the ultimate smoky pepper: here, Tyranena shows that this is a combination that doesn’t just work on paper. Good, interesting beer.

Feb 19, 2013
Benji's Chipotle Smoked Imperial Porter from Tyranena Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 280 ratings