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 Vierenner
3.06/5  rDev -24.3%
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.

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Photo of Viggo
3.12/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, thanks to grub for sharing.

Pours a clear dark orange, brown away from the light, thin light tan head forms and quickly settles to a very thin ring around the glass, retention isn't so great, few lace spots stick to the glass.

Smell is neat, rich and malty, raisins, caramel, grapes, brown sugar, some biscuit, a touch of chocolate milk and light roast, lots of sweet fruit, a bit herbal, pretty intense chile/pepper aroma, pretty spicy.

Taste is similar, very dry and roasty, nutty, wafers, caramel and brown sugar, some fruity sweetness, cocoa powder, very peppery, spicy and lightly vegetal in the finish, very dry and almost puckering, powdery and not too enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation, way too dry and weird character from the peppers. Thanks Russ.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
3.17/5  rDev -21.5%
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.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.33/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color, nearly black with a very small tan head.

Scent of peppers, roasted malts, and oats. A simple, somewhat disappointing scent.

Taste of roasted malts, oats and some peppers. It has a nice flavor, but I was expecting a stronger pepper presence.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and thin with low carbonation, underwhelming.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.37/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. Bottled on 24FEB10.

Thanks to Beerwolf77 for this bottle!

A - Despite the height of the pour, the beer slipped into the glass with an eerie silence. The light tan head reached no more than a sliver and was poorly retained with no left-over lacing. The beer is pitch black.

S - The cold, slightly metallic nose offers up a low level of roasted malts giving off some mellow chocolate and coffee notes. A very mild hint of smoke and pepper comes through the finish.

T - Roasted chocolate malts provide a base for a mellow rauchbier-like smoke flavor. More campfire than peat malts and a minuscule level of pepper heat.

M - Medium-full bodied and low carbonation with a thick, smooth swallow, it mirrors the pour. Dry to the finish, particularly with the lingering smokiness. No alcohol or spiciness present.

D - Somewhat of a chore to drink, it doesn't at all seem like and imperial to age. The heat and smoke, more so the heat, have diminished considerably or were never that present to begin with. The prospect of a chili beer excited me, but it's much more like a thick porter with a drop of liquid smoke accidentally added in.

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Photo of robwestcott
3.47/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured relatively aggressively and cold from the bottle near pitch black to a surly darkness 10oz goblet with a 1/2 finger short lasting off white head

aroma of smoke and peppers, as advertised.

hmmm... smoky, and peppery hot, leaving a chipotle hot tingle on the tongue. its an interesting brew, though at first blush, its a bit disconcerting.

thin for the style, light bodied, pepper hot.

drinkable - one and done.

overall - A for effort. C for taste.

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Photo of IdrinkGas
3.54/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From a 12oz bottle to my snifter.

A:Pours a very deep shade of brown almost black. A thin layer of tan head from a rough pour.

S: Smoky, roasted Chipotle pepper, and a hint of dark chocolate. The smokiness is not overpowering.

T: Mostly a smoky taste but finishes with a little roasted chocolate malt kick.

M: A little thin and under carbonated. It has a big flavor which would probably be better with a bigger body.

D: ABV is well hidden but due to the strong flavor its something I would only drink one of in a sitting.

I didn't think I would like this at all but it turned out to be quite enjoyable.

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Photo of Wadsey
3.54/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Benji's Smoked Imperial Porter

Served in New Belgium globe glass

A: Pours deep brown/black with two-inch tan head that demonstrates little retention. 

S: Chocolate milk shake with spicy peppers. Additional aromas include black pepper, earth, smoke and some morning blend coffee.

T: Sweet milk chocolate and roasted malts mixed with spicy peppers. Smoked malts are more evident in taste and add a pleasant layer to flavor. Medium bitterness. Finish is somewhat harsh with bitterness and heat talking over. Quite drying, too. 

M: Medium body with medium-light carbonation  Thin but smooth. 

O: Clearly, the finish and the body of Benji's Smoked imperial Porter hurt the beer. With that said, it packs big flavor in a low abv package, which always rates well with me. 

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Photo of samie85
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Uncle Mike's Hwy. Pub in Kenosha; reviewed from notes, originally 6/6/10.

A- Pours a cola color with brown, one finger head.

S-Cocoa and chocolate upfront with a dry roasty character that's not overwhelming, and some smokey notes, the chipotle is barely noticeable.

T-Chocolate and roasted malt with some dry, dark chocolate and a slightly spicy, but pretty smokey finish. I expected way more heat and the kind of smoked quality that you expect from chipotle peppers.

M-Medium bodied with low carbonation, a little slickness to it.

D-A really easy drinking imperial porter. However when you put the word "Chipotle" on your label, I expect some more heat which just wasn't present here at all. As a brewery, I think Tyranena suffers from putting way too many words on their labels. If they had just labeled this as an Imperial Porter I would have been very happy.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

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Photo of Parrotbeak
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black with a thin, tan head that disappears quickly, save for a few patchy strands across the surface.
Smell is chocolate and cocoa, with some coffee and faint caramel tones accompanying. Some very faint spicey notes, and some smoke that is so faint that it is almost unperceptible.
Taste is slightly smokey malts, with some faint chipotle presence. Cocoa and distant chocolate and caramel. Some slight heat from the peppers on the finish.
Mouthfeel is fairly smooth, with a light to moderate level of carbonation and bitterness coming in at the finish.
Despite this one being a letdown in terms of the chipotle and smoke presence, this one is good on drinkability. If I were rating this one in terms of a spiced beer, it would fare a little worse, but overall it's a fairly good beer. As a porter it's pretty solid.

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Photo of illidurit
3.62/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle courtesy Diomede. Pours clear brown with a small ecru head. Big chipotle influence with plenty of chocolate and coffee, reminds me of mole sauce. Coffee and cocoa flavor with a slight smokey chipotle note. Could definitely use some more body, but the flavors come together pretty well.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up at Binny's in Lake Zurich, no hesitation at all based on the bottle description. Smoke imperial porter with chipotle peppers, hot damn.

The beer pours out dark and opaque, dark brown with a thin beige head. The aroma is more cocoa than smoke, as the first inhale indicates roasted malts and chocolate. Subsequent attempts give a mild pepper heat in the background, but still no smoke.

The beer tastes about the same, a roasty porter/stout flavor with some mild peppers providing a little bite, nothing hurtful or anything. The chocolate is strong too, again if there is much smoked malt I can't detect it.

Medium-to-thick bodied, giving a pleasantly full mouthfeel that matches the robust flavors. Overall I like this beer, and won't have any trouble finishing the others in the 4-pack. Just wish the smoke was there and the peppers were added with a heavier hand.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

At the time of this review, this is the #44 top beer in the category "American Porter". Served in a New Belgium globe glass.

Beer is black and hazy with a lazy thin brown head, no lacing, low carbonation, looks fine.

Aroma is sweet and spicy, nice mixture of malt, chocolate, milk, chiles, very nice aroma. Minimal smoke.

Beer is mildly smokey, a little sweet, a little dry on the finish, chocolate, chili, mild spice, good but not great. I won't have another.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.69/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown pour with a half finger of head. The aroma is heavy on roasted malts and coffee beans, with faint notes of smokiness, chocolate, crayon wax, and perhaps even a dab of that chipotle spice.

The flavor is coffee bean up front, with the chipotle adding a somewhat odd aspect to the flavor that comes off almost sweet. Some smokiness in the finish.

The body is medium to full and carbonation is spot on. Overall, this one is quite unique but I'm not sure how much I like it. It is certainly flavorful and left me reaching for the glass out of curiosity, but would I want more? I'm really not sure. I may have to give this one a second shot a few months down the line and see how I feel then.

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Photo of smm
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep brown with a thin John Waters-esq dark tan head.

B- Smells boozy and smokey. Big wafts of red meat.

T- Roasted malts and bitterness, dark chocolate and chipotle kind of lay back underneath the smokiness. No real spicy kick comes through which I was kind of hoping for, very subtle on the back of the tongue and throat. Alcohol isn't really present either which is nice.

M- Medium body, very dry finish.

O- Cost to experience doesn't really match up for me. Its a nice brew but didn't really blow my socks off.

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Photo of mondegreen
3.72/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into an Avery Tulip. Bottle dated 2/24/10.

Pours a dark brown with a thin barely off white head. The head quickly vanishes into a thin film. A little lacing clings to the side of the glass.

The pepper shines in the nose, offset by an equal amount of roasted malt flavor. Sweet and spicy work very well together here.

The pepper doesn't come through quite as much in the taste. There is a slight spiciness on the tip of the tongue, but it vanishes in the middle and finish. Would like more pepper presence here.

Medium bodied, doesn't scream "Imperial" as the name suggests. Still, a nice porter that I'd be happy to drink anytime. I have to wonder if the pepper was any more prevalent in the taste 11 months ago when this brew was bottled. In any case, glad to have the chance to try this one.

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another one sent by Dave! Thanks man! Had this on May 10, from notes.

A shade from black with some tannish foam, abstract lace clings to the glass. Pretty nice looking.

Aromas are medium-house roast coffee, chocolate and a waft of smoke in the background. Chipotle is fairly subtle, but most evident in the finish in a kind of background way giving the impression of heat without being sharply spicy or prickly. A little bitter roast mid palate complements the smoke component. Low end of medium bodied, couldve been a little "bigger" but then again this was 'only' 7.5%. A decent beer, not as intense as one would maybe expect from the name - this was well balanced with the different flavors going on, but I still split the 12oz three ways and was satisfied with that serving.

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Photo of Evilyak
3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

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Photo of AmberMan22
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I do love a good porter, and I do like Wisconsin breweries. Seems like a match made in heaven.

And it looks like one too. Can't quite tell if it's entirely black or not because of the lower lighting in the bar, but I'll give it benefit of the doubt. Capped with a roasted mocha colored head.
The head is composed of superfine bubbles, giving it a great look. These come into the equation later to make for a wonderful mouthfeel.

Smell: bit of pepper (as in black pepper), followed by a wave of deep, roasty chocolate malt. There we go.

With this ABV and the smoked idea too, I'd expect the flavor to be more robust. Instead, it's a confusing mixture of "is this hot? no not really. Then what am I tasting?" On top of a porter that doesn't assert itself as much as it should.

While I don't appreciate how the 'chipotle' flavor factors in, the porter beneath isn't bad. As I said -- a porter needs to attack the taste buds, and this kind of groggily walks in unannounced.

It does carry a nice heft to it though, with those superfine bubbles dancing lightly on the tongue. Mixed feelings.

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Photo of kenito799
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Porter tasting.
Brown-black. Thin white head.
Smokiness apparenton the nose, not strong but present. Roasted malt.

Smoke on the palate, with a fizzy mouthfeel. Just a hint of capsacin burn hits the back of the throat after swallowing, otherwise not much chili pepper. I like this effect, restrained. Howeeverm this brew is very bitter ina charred wood way, which birngs the taste down a notch. Interesting effort.

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Photo of hardy008
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a small tan head which has decent retention. Smells of chocolate, roasted malt, smoke, and chipotle pepper. The aroma is not as strong a I thought, or hoped it would be.

The taste is mildly sweet, with a lot of chocolate up front, followed by roasted malt, smoke, and chipotle at the end.

Smooth, medium bodied, creamy, low carbonation. A nice drinkable beer.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single while I was in Wisconsin - buying a 4-pack of a chili beer without tasting it first seemed dangerous. Served in a FoBAB pint-shaped taster glass.

A - Pours with a late rising quarter-finger of dark tan foam that settles to a thin ring and a partial filmy cap. Body is very dark brown, with a faint hint of transparency at the fringes.

S - Dark roast malts, dark fruits, chocolate, smoke. If you stick your nose right up to it, there's a hint of chipotle, but I probably wouldn't have noticed if it weren't in the name of the beer. Pretty nice porter though.

T - Taste as more over chipotle flavor, and isn't nearly as sweet as the nose. Dark chocolate, burnt malts, and an bitter espresso finish that lingers into the aftertaste. The combination of the nose and taste gets me thinking mole sauce.

M - This is a weak spot for the beer, as it has a medium-light watery texture and somewhat harsh carbonation burn. While I appreciate that porters and stouts should retain some differentiation in texture, this is a little wussy. There's some residual stickiness which is pleasant. Maybe a bit of faint peppery warmth lingers.

D - Went through my 6oz pour pretty quickly - other than the annoying feel this is another solid porter from Tyranena. If you like a little peppery kick this is a solid choice.

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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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