Sean Coughlin's picture


July, 2017
Judges Rating: 
20 / 24
4 / 6
36 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

This beer is being evaluated in the Spice/Herb/Vegetable category from the BJCP guidelines (Category 30A) featuring datil peppers and chocolate in an Imperial Porter. The aroma is somewhat subdued overall but notes of chocolate, hazelnut, and dark roast coffee are evident. There is no sign of hops or pepper in the aroma. The very dark brown beer struggles to develop a head, even with a vigorous pour. The flavor is everything you want in a great porter – rich and complex dark malt flavors with enough bitterness to balance things. The pepper does not make its presence known until the swallow where capsaicin heat lights a fire in the upper esophagus. The heat isn’t intolerable but it certainly turns this into even more of a sipping beer than it was to begin with. The mouthfeel also offers a medium-full body and a creaminess that plays a wonderful contrast to the pepper’s heat. A very well crafted beer overall. Since the peppers don’t seem to contribute anything aside from a fiery mouthfeel, it comes across as a bit gimmicky but for dark beer lovers that also enjoy the heat, this is a clear winner.