Garlic_of_Doom (483) - SWEDEN - NOV 25, 2014
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
2014 release, Bottle received in a trade, thanks!
Pours pitch black with a espresso coloured ring.
Aroma has dark chocolate, coffee, chili and vanilla.
Taste has dark chocolate, molasses, fudge, coconut (and lots of it), vanilla, chili and cinammon.
Full body, soft carbonation, thick yet smooth.
A fantastic Imperial Stout where the chili plays second fiddle, nice with a mellow heat for once in a while.
Chad9976 (1226) - Albany, New York, USA - NOV 23, 2014
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
I try not to get caught up in the hype of beers like Cigar City Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout that are only released once a year on a special day at the brewery for which you need to buy tickets in advance (i.e. Dark Lord, Kate the Great, etc.). But since two friends of mine in Florida were generous enough to send me a bottle of the last two editions, I figured it was okay to get a little excited. And now that I’ve tried the beer I can definitely see why it receives the praise it does. This is a very unique and impression imperial stout brew as it utilizes a variety of spices and flavorings to give it a taste you’re not going to find in any other beer of the style. It’s not quite world class, but it is damn good.
NOTE: The scores are indicative of the 2014 vintage.
The 2013 vintage was given to me by Christopher G. and the 2014 vintage was given to me by Matt S. Thanks to both of my friends for sending me these beers! I split each bottle with four friends. We poured them into various stemmed tulip glasses and goblets.
Appearance: Both vintages are, not surprisingly, completely opaque black and a very dark shade of black at that. Both had a dark brown, frothy head, though the 2013’s was slightly lighter. Both heads faded relatively quickly and only left a little bit of lacing.
Taste: My friends and I started out with the 2014 edition, which at the time of drinking was an 11-month-old bottle. Right away there was a huge sensation of dark baking chocolate – intensely bitter, but also rich with chocolaty sweetness. Dark cherry and other fruit flavors are prominent as well, probably likely derived from the use of massive amount of malt in the brew (a lot of imperial stouts tend to have similar characteristics). On the second half, a strong surge of cinnamon spice sweeps across the palate – creating for a Christmas cookie-like taste. As it goes down, there’s a warmth from the peppers, though I would not consider it spicy in a peppery way. All in all it’s quite delicious, though a bit repetitive. I’d probably prefer a touch more sweetness, but what’s here is extremely pleasant.
The 2013 edition was noticeably different. The pepper character had faded, though the chocolate component had not only strengthened, but gone from bitter dark chocolate to sweet milk chocolate. The alcohol was also a bit more pronounced, ironically enough, though it did create for a slightly smokey, bourbon-like flavor. Cinnamon was still quite potent on the finish, though it was more a sweetness than a spice. It left a residual cloying/sticky sensation which is common for many imperial stouts. I don’t think anything was gained by aging this vintage, in fact, it was probably hindered a bit since the spicy character was weakened (though if you don’t like spice, cellaring a bottle is the way to go).
Drinkability: It was clear right away that both of these beers were pretty beefy. I believe the 2013 edition was 11% ABV and the 2014 was 11.5%, though neither had any kind of “extreme” quality to their weight. The mouthfeels were, of course, full-bodied, but with a soft texture and smoothness as it went down. Not much in the way of alcohol warmth, though the fresher vintage definitely had some noticeable heat from the peppers (but again, nothing too extreme). The 2013 vintage traded Scoville heat for alcohol heat and it was actually rather cloying in the aftertaste whereas the 2014 was remarkably dry. I’m glad I split these bottles with friends, though I was certainly feeling the weight of the brew bearing down on me afterwards. Splitting a bottle with friends and family is definitely the way to go.
kkleu357 (334) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 22, 2014
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark thick black pour. Not much head at all. Chilli pepper aroma with lots of cocoa smell. Slight pepper bite with a sweet toffee taste. Sticky thick mouthfeel. Hints of molasses, chocolate, fig. Delicious.
Sarlacc83 (901) - Oregon, USA - NOV 21, 2014
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle sent as extra. Thanks! 3/9/13 bottle.A: Pitch black with a waft of dark mocha head. Legs.N: Espresso, vanilla, molasses, chili, cocoa, leather, black licorice, roast and char, tobacco, black peppercorn and earth.T: Sweet and spicy. Not cloying and not over-chilied.M: Thick, oily body. Alcohol is hidden. Slight carbonation. O: Shared this with non-beer drinkers. They enjoyed the complexity. As did I. Prefer it to the BA versions.
arn8897 (32) - Trenton, Ohio, USA - NOV 8, 2014
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
The best beer I have ever had. Pours pitch black with small dark brown head. Aromas of malt and chocolate and coffee. Thick mouth feel. Flavors of the same thing with a little smokeyness at the finish. Little booze but not much.
thomashall (117) - New Hope, Minnesota, USA - OCT 24, 2014
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle shared at Darkness day. Pours black like motor oil with dark brown head. Strong bourbon smokey smell. Taste the bourbon with some chilli peppers. Really good stuff.
BREWMUSKCLES (2288) - New Jersey, USA - OCT 18, 2014
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
stinging licorice and cinnamon with a bit of tobacco and full of malt and hop resin. deep dark black and a bit of chew to this oily brew. one to marvel. some cocoa to break things up.
zizzybalubba (1484) - Elizabeth City, North Carolina, USA - OCT 13, 2014
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Sampled at GABF 2014. Black pour with virtually no head. Aroma of coffee and what appears to be cinnamon. Incredible taste of coffee, brown sugar, dark chocolate, and cinnamon. Lingering bitter finish with some warmth. Unique, incredible, and worth the hype.
HIGHB4LL (638) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - OCT 12, 2014
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at GABF 2014. Appearance: slight brown head, black color, Aroma: prune, roast, chocolate, mat and molasses. Palate: full body, oily texture, soft carbonation, light dry finish, Taste: sweet malt into a very nice fruit taste, coming back to a chocolate sweetness and dark chocolate bitter finish. Overall, the smoothness of taste transitions are amazing, the balance is superb, absolutely love this beer! Lives up to all the hype. Maybe my new favorite for the style.
coldbrewky (1431) - Hippetown East, New York, USA - OCT 9, 2014
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle donated to my cause by UDbeernut. Muchas gracias amigo. Magnum equals dark chocolate infused silk in liquid form. Plums and happy drunken gnomes. Look out undead mexican garden gnomes!