bdigital (658) - Ft Wayne, Indiana, USA - JUL 10, 2010
Tap @ the brewery release on 5/22...pour was such a deep, black color with almost no head to speak of. Nose had strong notes of the barrel, chocolate and cinnamon but the brandy notes seemed to hide the chiles more than I expected. Thick as f*#@...coats the glass like no other brew I’ve had outside of Dark Lord. Flavors consisted of heavy woodiness, brandy, some plum, chocolate and spice...again, the chiles seem to be missing. Very minor complaint about the chile notes, not enough for me to dislike this in any manner though. World-class brew. callmemickey (4543) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 10, 2010
UPDATED: JUN 9, 2012 On tap at hawthornes. 8oz pour in tulip glass.
A: Pitch black. No head, no skim, no lacing. Just a thick motor oil look alike.
S: Light apple brandy lays atop the profile from start to finish. Underneath are spicy chili peppers, cinnamon, roasted malt, cocoa and traces of vanilla and oak.
T: Like the nose, its clear right away that the beer was treated with some time in apple brandy barrels. It isn;t overwhelming however and complements the rich spicy flavors of the base beer well. Chili peppers pop out on the tongue and are rounded out with sweet cinnamon, cocoa, vanilla and a bit of caramel.
M: Thick and smooth. Lightly carbonated (in a good way). A bit of warming heat, but not overpoweringly boozy.
O: I plowed through this beer fairly quickly (unintentionally). It just went down real well despite its massive body and substantial flavoring. As noted above this was much better than the pour I got the day before at Capones. Its amazing how different they were. Capones was almost all brandy, killing off the peppers and cinnamon. The Hawthorne’s sample really was like Hunahpus + Apple Brandy... which was nice to get. Cigar City guys... do you guys know what happened to the Capone’s keg??? largadeer (17) - California, USA - JUN 30, 2010
Thanks for sharing this rarity, Nick.
Black as pitch and quite viscous, there isn’t much of a head, but it does have nice legs.
It smells strangely muddled. Bittersweet dark chocolate, a touch of tart apple, some leathery oxidation. The barrel aging seems to have actually simplified the beer and covered up most of the pepper, vanilla and cinnamon. As it warms, it becomes dominated by heavily roasted, tarry, almost burnt malt and sweet brandy. Not bad, but haphazard.
The apple brandy flavor comes through pretty strongly on the palate. It hints at apple, but it’s more of an indistinguishable fruity sweetness. There’s a little vanilla and oak, lots and lots of bitter baking chocolate, barely perceptible chili pepper. This is a huge, chewy imperial stout, almost Dark Lord-esque in viscosity. The finish is mildly boozy with lingering flavors of bitter chocolate, licorice, earthy oxidation and faint chili pepper. Barrel aging seems to have covered up the boldness of the adjunct ingredients in this beer, transforming it into something that’s enjoyable but ultimately muddled. Perhaps Hunahpu’s wasn’t the best beer to put in a barrel. Pretty good, I enjoyed my glass, but it’s not outstanding. There are a number of better and less rare barrel aged imperial stouts out there. kramer (6682) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 28, 2010
On tap, RBWG 2010. Pours a thick pitch black body, rather inky looking, with a large very dark brown head. Identical to the Bourbon version. The nose on the Brandy is a little more to my liking, not quite as dominated by the barrel character. Great brandy and Stout balance, a little sweeter smelling, with light chili pepper, heavy roast, and rich dark chocolate. The alcohol doesn’t seem as prominant as it was in the bourbon version as well. The flavor is very brandy dominated, and I like it. It works much better than the bourbon with the chocolate and (although light) chili notes. Some light woody notes on the back end where the chili comes out a bit more aggressively as well. Mouthfeel is full and oily with moderate fizzy carbonation. A little sticky on the finish. Identical to the bourbon version. Pretty great. A slight improvement over the regular version and better than the bourbon. TomDecapolis (4618) - Milton, Delaware, USA - JUN 25, 2010
Tap at Capones during PBW10. Thanks weeare138! Pours a deep black with a smaller creamy tan head. Basically got all the same character out of this one as I did the regular version. Carbonation was lighter and the Brandy really added to the complexity and was not over powering. Also added some woody character to an already really solid beer.
nickd717 (4691) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUN 23, 2010
Bottle via trade from askofficerfriendly. Thanks, Greg! Pours pitch black with a tan head that fades to thick but spotty foam. Some legs - this is very thick. Aroma is absolutely amazing. Rich chocolate, roast, caramel, oak, and brandy. Super intense. Flavor is Hunahpu’s and brandy. That doesn’t sound great, but it was AWESOME! Roast, rich dark chocolate, toffee, coffee, oak, brandy, vanilla, cinnamon, and chili peppers. So much going on. One of the best and most complex RISes I’ve had, and that’s saying something! It’s my favorite style and I’ve ticked well over 100. On the palate, wow, this is very heavy, like Guinness almost. ALMOST. Syrupy and slick with very full body. Mouthfeel is really the only place it fails. Otherwise it’s incredible. Oh, and drinkability I guess. I took down my 5oz or so with no problem, but may not want all that much more. But otherwise, damn dogg, this is legit! Probably top 10 among beers I’ve had up to this point. wavers1 (916) - Notown, California, USA - JUN 23, 2010
UPDATED: JUN 10, 2011 thanks to shadesofgrey for this rarity. i guess. completely flat, not a bubble to be seen in this viscous pour. completely flat in the mouth, just seems more like a strong prune-ish port or something. maybe there is some cool stuff from the apple brandy barrel, but the absolute flatness and staleness of it make me not even want to seek anything out. hopefully i can rerate this in the future from something other than a hand bottle.
edit/re-rate: ok this is weird. the first pour from this hand bottle was dead still, and the second one has some light carbonation and some head. weird. head is super dark brown, one of the darkest i’ve seen. the aroma is about the same, very distracted by heat, but good. however, just the bit of carbonation really opens up the myriad of subtleties in it. sweet apples, hot peppers, licorice, cacoa, etc. still a bit flat in the mouth, i imagine i might rate this another 0.2 -0.6 higher if it was in proper order. yobdoog (1888) - Kingston, New York, USA - JUN 22, 2010
Thick viscous awesome brew. Oily slick mouthfeel. Lots of alcohol with some fruit and roasted malts. A bit creamy and really nice to drink. Toffee, cocoa and wood with a bit of vanilla and apples. Nice and rich. tyler_mn (1475) - SLP, Minnesota, USA - JUN 21, 2010
UPDATED: JUL 2, 2010 16oz hand bottle. Holy god... this beer looks sexy as hell in the glass. Super thick and viscous with about the darkest brown head of any beer I’ve ever seen. A gentile swirl in the glass leaves a slightly golden brown motor oil stain on the sides of my glass. As with the bourbon version, the barrel aging mutes some of the original awesomeness of the aroma. Very light pepper/chili notes. Fairly heavy on the alcohol, but thankfully the stink of isovaleric acid that was so prevalent in the bourbon version is absent here. Mild wet wood notes. The vanilla and peppers come up a bit more as the beer nears room temperature. Decent... but fairly average barreled aroma. The barrel shows itself much more on the tongue than on the nose. Lush flavors of peppers, vanilla, decadent milk chocolate, toasted nuts immediately come to the tongue. Further warming brings out the wood and brandy flavors. The base beer is pretty much gone with the barrel leaving a goddamn decadent imperial stout. Slightly tart granny smith apples, plenty of warming (but not distracting) alcohol, wet wood... Huge mouthfeel but never syrupy or cloying. Damn near reminiscent of cask Darkness. Ultra velvety and smooth throughout. Bitter chocolate with a kiss of heat and wood tannin on the finish.
Lubiere (13911) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 18, 2010
It’s been a very, very long time since I have been this impressed with an Imperial Stout (much less a Barrel Aged version) but make no mistake people, this is the real deal. Color me impressed. Thanks a ton Ryan!
A deep dark stout with no head, thick and oily. In aroma, more soy sauce saltyness, alcohol and chocolate, intense and enticing. In mouth, a classy imperial stout with bitter chocolate, coffee, prunes, warming alcohol, just wonderful. On tap at Cigar City, May 22 2010.