Sierra Nevada Hellraiser Chocolate Chili Imperial Stout
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RATINGS: 42   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.77/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 294   ABV: 9.8%
This massive Imperial Stout is infused with cocoa and dried chilies. Rich and complex aromas, heavy with roasted grains, mask the layers of flavor within. Notes of bittersweet chocolate, mocha, and a mild smokiness give way to a tingling and complex finish from the influence of the peppers.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
JoeMcPhee (9004) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 13, 2010
Tap at Birch and Barley. Deep black pour with a thick tan head. The nose is really chocolatey with lots of soft milk chocolate over a fairly toasty malty middle. A little bit of soft sweetness that is cut through by a touch of peppery booziness. Fairly sweet, but it is quite well-balanced. A touch of sticky malt sweetness. The chili in here is basically undetectable though... I get a touch of a peppery dryness... but itís more like alcohol than actual chili heat. Itís intense but itís a bit of a one-trick pony. Thick dark chocolate and very little else. Itís well-made but it just doesnít deliver on the promise. 8 4 7 4 14

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Dickinsonbeer (5075) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - SEP 13, 2010
Tap EBF 2010. Pours a deep dark brown nearing pitch black with a slight foamy head- dissipates. Aroma of chili peppers, chili powder, smoked malts, big chocolate backbone, with medium roast hints of coffee, bell peppers, light ash and campfire. Flavor is nice chocolate malts, some roast, chocolate covered chillies with some raisins mixed in (?), and some ashy smoked malt. Everything goes pretty good and was surprisingly easy to drink. nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
craftbeerdesign (2254) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JUN 5, 2010
On tap at ChurchKey in DC. Dark black pour with a quarter inch tan head. Coffee, chocolate and roasted malt nose with a touch of chili pepper. Medium smooth body with a rich roasted quality. More chocolate notes with a touch of bitterness up front. Nice finish with a lingering chili pepper aftertaste. Very well balanced.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
argo0 (12498) - Washington DC, USA - JUN 5, 2010
Draft. Black body with small tan head. Aroma is moderately sweet, cocoa, coffee, some caramel, light chili pepper. Taste is moderately sweet, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, some caramel, light chili, alcohol. Smooth medium-full body. Very mild spiciness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
brainlair (236) - Maryland, USA - JUN 4, 2010
On tap at Churchkey, 6/5/2010. Pours a dark black with a lot of light tan head. Aroma is fairly weak, some sweet chocolate an a hint of alcohol. The first aspect of the flavor that presents itself is chocolate, with a touch of alcohol. Not too sweet, with a faint jalapeŮo flavor as it tails off, but you really have to look for it. To be clear, itís not spicy at all, but has a hint of pepper flavor. Finish has some roasty bitterness with a touch of astringency and alcohol. It could really use some hop bitterness. Overall, itís inoffensive, but unimpressive.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
EricE (1367) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUN 4, 2010
Pours an opaque black with a light tan head. Roasty aroma with s bit of chocolate. Bitter roast flavor. Some coffee with chocolate throughout. Slight spice on the finish. Hides the alcohol well.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
nosniv (11) - California, USA - MAY 5, 2010
On Draught at Sierra Nevada, aroma of dark chocolate with sweet pepper under notes, dark black color. A mouthful of malt and chocolate nicely balanced with a slightly spicy savoriness of the chilis balancing the sweetness.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
SamGamgee (2452) - down the whirlpool, California, USA - MAY 4, 2010
Draught pour into a tulip glass at the brewery. Pitch black with a small tan head that leaves behind sheets of lace. The aroma is a mix of chocolate cheese cake and smokey dried chilis. One whiff and I know this is going to be good. Lots of rich chocolate fudge malt character that is tempered just as much my light chili spice in the finish as the moderate hops. Not overly sweet, but again the peppers lend a great balance. Smokey and a touch savory, with a full and silky body. Somehow SN managed to get the chilis, malt, and hops all working in harmony, with the chilis adding more savory, smokey character than outright heat, which mostly serves to temper the malt sweetness. Alcohol is merely an afterthought in the profile. Awesome beer, and the most interesting and tasty stout that I have had in awhile.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
J_man (834) - Tustin, California, USA - APR 18, 2010
Pitch black with a strong roasted malt aroma and a thin, quickly dissapating head. Dark chocolate and cocoa dominate with a woody cask flavor in the background (although I donít think this is aged in wood at all). The hops are there but are overpowered by the malt which is intense. Very smooth and creamy on the tongue. Strangely, I didnít really detect the chilies although Iím guessing that they added to the flavor in a way thatís not directly spicy. In the same league as Old Rasputin. A delicious Imperial Stout!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
puzzl (3257) - New York, New York, USA - MAR 20, 2010
Tap at EBF. Aroma is thin, a bit lacking; some roast and fleeting chili. A bit of burn on the lips, but that may be from the fairly aggressive carbonation. Pretty weak for an IS, and neither the chocolate nor the chili have made themselves apparent.

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