Benji's Chipotle Smoked Imperial Porter | Tyranena Brewing Company

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Benji's Chipotle Smoked Imperial PorterBenji's Chipotle Smoked Imperial Porter

Brewed by:
Tyranena Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by AdmiralDiaz on 03-15-2009

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Reviews: 129 | Ratings: 273
Photo of brentk56
4.85/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Black as a stout, with a creamy tan head that, while not massive, leaves great lacial webbing

Smell: Campfire smoke, with distinct chipotle elements; between the smoke and the peppers, it is hard to smell much else

Taste: Smokey at the outset, with charcoal, dark chocolate and prune flavors, all joined by the chipotle heat after a few seconds; after the swallow, the dark fruit, chocolate and smoky chipotle blend together and the heat leaves a memorable finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy, with moderate carbonation and a tingle on the tongue from the chile

Drinkability: Most memorable beer of 2010; just a great one all around that takes some tricky elements (smoke and heat) and works with them in a way that avoids the crash and burn of some other breweries

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Photo of Fartknocker
4.83/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this beer a few weeks ago on-tap at the Tyranena Brewery tasting room. I've had it from a growler as well.

The taste is simply a solid mix of chocolate malts and pepper. The pepper lets you know its there but is just right without being overpowering.

Drinkability is a certain. I plan to fill more growlers as long as they keep selling it there.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Black bodied beer with a nice tight cap of light brown froth. Lacing is quite full. Very nice aroma of cocoa and roasted malts and chocolate. And a little smoke and a little pepper. This is really a flavorful beer with subtly chipotle. Perfect. The ratio of roast to smoke to chipotle is perfect. Smoke subtle. Chipotle subtle. Roast and chocolate, the base. Very agreeable mouthfeel with a silky smooth feel. This is very drinkable. And very good.

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Photo of arboristfish
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer pours a black color, with a tan head. The aroma smells of smoke, chilies, and a hint of hops. The taste has a smokey flavor to it, and ends with a bit of a chili peppery taste. There is also a good roasted malt character. The mouthfeel is medium and overall is a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.57/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark brown pour to become quite black and thick with no light getting thru. Small but dense cap of dark tan foam stays put. Big spotty lacing is placed all over the glass.

Dark creamy coffee aroma thats clean, crisp, toasty, black, and rounded. Nicely blackened grainyness, partial chocolate is there along with a bold touch to chipotle spices.

Taste is moslty resonated within a blackened earthy malty crispness with some puffs of smoke behind it. Edged in is just a tad of chocolatey sweetness that arrives late as does black coffee and a light bell peppery spice that does have a pull to a chipotle creamy dressing. More black residuals perculate around the finish late. Subtle in most ways, but boldly forward where needed with a nice black smokey tang balanced well with chocolate and bell pepper sweetness. Solid.

Feel is an almost light medium, but it gathers a crescendo of earthy darkness and weight as it piles on all sorts of burntush character and roasty flavors as it grows into a heavier finish and a blackened smokey dryish finish. Carbonation is lean and mean, snappy, crisp, yet yeilding with just enough creamyness underneath to keep a soothing roastified smoothness.

Crazy drinkability. Gone in no time flat as it really offers alot to an easy drinking porter yet also says alot within its subtle complexity and tone. Each sip brings something anew to darkly discover. Especially in the back end. One fantastically solid porter from Tyranena!

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Photo of aasher
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I thought I would never get to try this but by the grace of god I stumbled upon a single bottle in a cooler window. Yes! I like chile beers, especially after having the Bourbon County Ancho Chile so this should be a treat.

It pours a medium bodied black in color with the lightest of beige heads that quickly dissipated to lace the glass. The aromas are of bitter chocolate and subdued chipotle better. The pepper is released a little more as the beer warms. It has that spice and heat that you love from a good pepper. The flavors are superb. It is initially a mix of sweet and bitter chocolates with a light coffee roast. The initial aftertaste is all pepper and in the best way possible. It is just sooo good! It's exactly what I hoped for. It drinks medium in body and coats the palate, leaving mostly a slightly spicy chocolate flavor behind. I love this. I want another bottle instantly.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

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Photo of ZAP
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Dark brown

S-Roasted malts...some mild char/smokiness...some dark chocolate...not much for peppers on the aroma...a little tobacco ash maybe....

T-Nice roasted maltiness....very subtle pepper flavor on the long is there but very soft....more smoky on the taste than the aroma...Really blends together into a fantastic flavorful beer.

M-Medium to full bodied....creamy texture...mild heat from the peppers on the finish...

D-I'm impressed with this...from the sounds of it I did not think this would be one I would like as I am not big on pepper beers but this has a perfect touch of peppers and is a splendid multidimensional brew....well done....again...

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Photo of PurpleCloud
4.48/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark and thick obsidian black.

S: Malty roasted nose with a unique hint of spice.

T: Rich in barley and smoke. The chipotle is light but enough to give the beer a fantastic aftertaste.

M: Smooth like velvet with just the right amount of carbonation.

D: It's awfully heavy, but so good you could have a few.

Overall: WOW! This is the most unique beer I've ever tasted. I love the smoky barley taste and the thick, smooth texture. This is a MUST!

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Photo of scaliasux
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Cola brown. Appears clear. Thin tan head with good retention.

Smell - Rich sweet malt. Licorice or molasses. Not catching a lot of the chipotle. Very nice porter aroma, nonetheless.

Taste - Dark roasted malt dominates. Dark coffee, maybe some very dark chocolate, smoke. And, oh yeah, the chipotle flavor, while not overpowering, sneaks up on you. Even leaves a hint of heat in the finish. The pepper works with the porter a lot better than I would have expected.

Mouthfeel - Seems a little thin for style.

Drinkability - This is the first smoked imperial porter brewed with chipotle pepper that I've tried, and I love it. Full flavored, unique, and great tasting. I vote for this as the Tyranena winter seasonal from now on.

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Photo of Mississipping
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks StayWhatYouAre2 for sending me an amazing Wisconsin care package!

A: Pours an almost completely black brown with a very small khaki colored head that doesn't last long. A very thin film and ring remain, leaving sparse lacing on the glass. Really, really nice looking for a porter.

S: Nice roasty/smokey smell that is really pretty subtle. This is a definite plus for me, as overly smokey porters are not even close to the top of my favorites list. Other subtleties include dark chocolate, dark fruit, and chipotle peppers. Despite being subtle, the chipotle peppers are a little stronger than other "chipotle" beers I've had. This smells fantastic!

T: Dark chocolate, roasted malts, and hints of smoked bacon are at the fore. The smokiness is a little stronger than the smell would have your believe, but this is really tasty, and would probably be even more so for someone who enjoys this style more than me. It finishes much like it starts, but the dark fruits and chipotle peppers come out at the end really rounding it off and providing a great complexity that some other porters just don't have. A slight tingly bite is felt at the back of the throat. Nicely done, Tyranena!

M: Body is on the fuller side of medium, with moderately low carbonation, but enough to give it a velvety creaminess. Just slightly coating on the back of the tongue. A bit drying at the finish, but not unpleasantly so.

D: This is really, really drinkable. Flavorful, balanced, and alcohol is completely hidden. This one went down quicker than I was anticipating and left me searching my refrigerator for another bottle that I knew wasn't ever there.

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Photo of russpowell
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got this one from Beertracker, cheers Jeff!

Pours Mahogany with a finger of creamy mocha head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Rich chocolate, roasty maly & smokeyness

T: Follows the nose, some coffee & then peppery smokeyness up front, along with charred grain & cocoa sweetness. Dryness, dark chocolate, faint pepper burn as this warms, some herbal & woody hops too. Finishes with mocha, slight pepper warmth & faint oakyness

MF: Chewy, creamy, & smooth, a touch of warming sensation as well

Drinks sooo easy, seems less spicy than the growler I sampled, on a another occasion, but I was drinking other chile beers & my tasted buds were wasted after awhile... This one really worked for me...

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Photo of zeledonia
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 24 Feb 2010. Unfortunately didn't get to try it fresher, but curious to see how it's held up.

Pours essentially black, but dark brown at the edges with light behind it. Minimal medium-tan head; even an aggressive pour couldn't bring many bubbles out of it.

Smell is everything it's billed to be - porter, smoke, and a bit of chile pepper. These are in really nice balance, and all meld together. Smoke, dark roasted malts, smoky pepper. It's like minor variations on a theme, and I like it.

Taste is really good. It reminds me a lot of Deschutes Black Butte XXIII, though that's probably the pepper talking. But this beer is lighter and better balanced (at least vs. BBXXIII fresh). The porter flavors are solid, with dark chocolate, some smoke, a little bitter. And then there's the chipotle, dancing with those darker flavors, bringing the lightness and pop such beers so often need. I really like it.

Mouthfeel is a mixed bag. Body is nice - starts out medium, but feels thicker and chewier as it rolls around my mouth. A little flat, though, as expected from the appearance. Very low carbonation, would be better with a bit more. Long loose finish.

A very tasty porter. The chipotle pepper works really well, and the rest of the beer would be great even without that. Main complaints are the appearance and mouthfeel, both of which could do with a little more fizz.

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Photo of secondtooth
4.36/5  rDev +7.9%
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!

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Photo of RickS95
4.36/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Loterbol tulip.

Bottled On 24FEB10

A: Pours pitch black with faint black cherry highlights at the edges. The head reaches one finger of khaki colored creaminess before evaporating after about a minute. The ring left behind does leave some pretty lace behind, though.

S: Hard to pull much of an aroma from this (when compared to the taste). I picked up dark and milk chocolate, faint smoke, roasted malt, and maybe a hint of plums.

T: Wow! First taste is roasted malt and chocolate. This is quickly followed and overrun by spicy and smoky peppers. It tastes like fresh Chipotle peppers have been steeping in my beer glass. Literally. Fantastic interplay between the deliciously smoky and spicy peppers and the roasty malt. Wonderful!

M: Exactly as I had expexted. No porter thinness to be found here. Rich and full with a creeping tingle from the spicy peppers that builds and builds. Fantastic peppery burn settled into my mouth for ages.

D: I wasn't sure what to expect with this beer, so I approached it with an open mind (and palate). Man, I was so not disappointed!

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Photo of nlmartin
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was lightly chilled and served in a pint glass. The beer was allowed to warm up to a desirable drinking temperature.

Appearance: The body of the beer is black. The head of the beer is light brown and resolves to a thin ring.

Smell: Nicely smoked dark roasted and toasted malt. Cocoa espresso and fudge combine with a very understated peppery aroma.

Taste: Tyranena has a fantastic Imperial Porter. The aromas promise is delivered in the flavor. All the expected cocoa, fudge, dark espresso, very nice smokey notes throughout the beers flavor. A very understated peppery bite is a pleasing undertone of this beer.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The body of the beer is full. The carbonation is low but works really well with beers character. This is a beer that works really well. I could throw back a couple of these in an evening but am satisfied with the one beer. Well played!...

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Photo of jera1350
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a syrupy black with just a thin tan head that leaves a little lacing.

Smoky roasted malt fills the nose. Not really smelling any of the pepper, but there is a little cayenne like tingle after smelling it. A bit of chocolate too.

Oh yeah, this is an imperial porter. Overflowing with toasty malts, quite a bit of chocolate, with some smoke. There is a light peppery taste at the end with the chipotle coming out a tad more in the finish. Not spicy though. Smokey chipotle pepper lingers in the aftertaste.

Rich, thick and creamy. Really nice feel on the palate. Full body for this imperial as well.

Great beer. I was afraid to buy a four pack of this not knowing how much chipotle would be in it, but now regret only buying a single. This is an awesome porter that is absolutely imperial and outstandingly drinkable.

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Photo of mynie
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the kind of beer where if you hear about it and don't want to try it then you probably don't know much about beer.

Smoke? And Peppers?!? Hell yes!

But do they pull off such boldness? Let's see:

Pours dark reddish brown with a medium head. Nothing exceptional, but certainly nothing offputting.

Smells like a wonderful mess of malt and smoke. Not picking up any pepperiness, this is more like a traditional smoked brown. A little bready, a little nutty, and a little like jerky.

Tastes wonderful. The peppers come to the fore, tangy and lightly hot. Then big bursts of smoke jump into it and it's like you roasted chipotle over hickory. Then the spice gains some intensity, and while it's never fully *hot*, it's still the spiciest chipolte beer I've ever had. Very smoky, very meaty and cheesy. And after each sip the burn sticks around for a little bit and makes the back of your throat tingle.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

dark brown porter emerged from the bottle with a huge billowing four inch head of foam in its wake. Enormous retention left this one hanging back for what seemed like forever, and even after it started to settle,

Started out very sweet, with nice notes of chocolate and sugar running through it. Not at all what I was expecting. Some touches of vanilla and a bit of coffee as well coming through. There was a slight bit of pepper way in the back but it was not dominating by any means.Sweet milk chocolate and sugar a tingle on the tongue, a warming in the throat and a fire in the belly. Subtly the chili comes through, warming you as it goes, but by no means is this too big. This is perfectly blended in the flavor, rising subtly to a crescendo that then backs down as easy as it came up

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Photo of stakem
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz stubby brown bottle gifted to me by CaptinRedBeard, thanks Corey! No indication of bottle date (not that it matters all that much with this particular style/offering) but curiosity does strike home here with the special ingredients in relation to freshness.

Poured into a pint glass, this brew appears a very dark brown to black color with a finger of smooth dark brown head that slowly recedes and hangs close to the edge of the glass. Only after holding the brew up to the light do I acknowledge the clarity this brew displays and the deep brown and ruby coloration. Swirls and sips produce and interesting formation of lacework which ranges from spotty patches to thin leggings.

The aroma of this brew is deep and roasty with a smoked almost pete'd quality that is quite enjoyable upfront. Dark charred scents give way to a depth of sweet chocolate character and a slight sting of both alcohol and peppers in the back of the nose. The more sniffs I take, the more the chipotle character comes forward and has a very light citrus aspect before returning to the smoked and roasty chocolate character. This brew has me salivating before I have even taken a sip.

I tip my hat to brewer(s) of Tyranena after taking a sip of this offering. The aroma of this brew come full tilt into the flavor profile. This brew tastes roasted with dark chocolate malt indications and a light smoked aspect on the backend. A flavor of burnt grains resides predominantly throughout this brew with a subtle indication of citrus that is somewhat imparted by the hops and somewhat imparted by the peppers. The spice of the peppers is perfectly incorporated in this brew, it imparts a pleasant nuance in the finish that perks this brew and takes it to the next level. Instead of providing and in-your-face blast of pepper heat, it is a creeper that is warming and only readily noticeable as I enter the second half of my glass.

This brew we have here is absolutely fantastic stuff. It is medium bodied with a level of carbonation that is perfect. It is carbonated enough to let the flavors sit along the palate yet bubbly enough to keep it light and lively. This is only my second offering from Tyranena and seriously, color me impressed. I need to get my hands on some more of their offerings to see if they can pull it off with a style other than porter/stout.

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Photo of Winter
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a thick tan head. Aroma consists of chocolate malt with a slight smokiness to it. The mouthfeel is full-bodied and soft. Rich roasted malts upfront. The smokiness adds a noticeable dryness to the porter. Chipotle peppers arrive midway and linger into the finish. The spiciness from the chipotles adds a really unique spin to this imperial porter with the heat from the peppers being pretty minimal.

I can envision this pairing really well with Mexican dishes (ie. chile poblanos) and even smoked BBQ meats from the grill.

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Photo of sholland119
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Blind beer #7, Blind Beer BIF Round 3. 12 oz. bottle labeled #5.

A-Dark brown with just a sliver of ruby highlights at the bottom of the glass. Frothy mocha head has great retention.

S-Chocolate, toffee, caramel malt, a hint of bourbon I think. Very appealing.

T-Tastes pretty good too. Some roast, sweet malt, vanilla, caramel and some light smokiness in the finish. Can't decide if the smoke is a peaty, whiskey barrel aged character or if it's smoked malt, but leaning to the former. Just a bit of heat.

M-Medium bodied, a little slick, medium carbonation.

D-Quite tasty and delicious. A nice pleasant drinking beer in cold weather.

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Photo of PaterMorse
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
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"

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a shaker pint glass.

Great to see a pack o' this left on my Binny's shelf. It pours a dark black-brown, highlighted in ruby, topped by a finger of light tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, molasses, brown sugar, and cinnamon. The taste follows this line of reasoning, adding some dark chocolate and a slight pepper heat in the back, adding an additional layer of complexity without overwhelming the tongue. The body is a heavy-ish medium, with a light carbonation and a feel that yearns to be chunky and chewy. Overall, a very nice and tasty pepper-infused porter that doesn't overplay its hand and goes down very easily.

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Benji's Chipotle Smoked Imperial Porter from Tyranena Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 273 ratings.
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