Well, here’s a review I never thought I’d write…
Before I begin, I must thank the awesome Kyle Jones at Lauderale for giving me a bottle of the 2016 Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout (Imperial Stout, 11.5% ABV, 80 IBU).
If you’re not familiar with this particular brew, allow me this little story:
It starts with the story of Hun Hunahpu, ancient Mexican figure and the father of the Mayan Hero Twins. It’s a big, involved story with Hunahpu being tricked and murdered by the lords of the underworld, becoming a cacao tree, spitting on a village maiden and impregnating her with the aforementioned twins who promptly get revenge on their father’s murderers.
Or something like that. I’m assuming tequila was involved when it was created.
Anyway, it’s the inspiration behind the yearly bottle release coming from Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing. Bottles are quite the collectors item, and there’s really only one time of year Hunahpu can be found: mid-March, around a Saturday now referred to as Hunahpu’s Day.
The event has had its ups and downs, and in 2016 moved to a new home in the municipal park cross the street from the Amalie Arena, home of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Hunahpu Day festivities have become quite the beer festival, with the hefty price tag of $200 getting you 4 bottles of Hunahpu, plus unlimited samples from breweries across the country (and farther).
One of the breweries at the event was Lauderale, which is how Kyle received a bottle, which made it back to South Florida, and found its way in my hands.
For starters, it’s dark. And thick. Think motor oil thick. There’s a frothy head and the aroma is so heavy with extremely dark, roasted malts that it comes off smelling, well, like soy sauce.
The rest of the beer is focused on an excessively dark and bold malt experience, rich with dark molasses, coffee, and some plum notes.
It’s this brooding malt bill that the rest of the adjuncts tend to have to overcome to be noticed. Hunahpu has two kinds of chilies, Pasilla and Ancho, and they’re not completely noticeable except for a little tingle on the back of your tongue when the beer is going down.
I couldn’t determine any cinnamon at all, and I was the only one in my group who couldn’t find the Madagascar Vanilla, either. That malt is really that strong.
The cacao, however, is everywhere. It’s intense, and is no doubt helped along with the rest of the dark roasted qualities of the beer.
In the end, it’s a very strong, very intense Imperial Stout, just a hop, skip, and jump from Cigar City’s Marhsal Zukhov. I’m definitely glad I tried it, but I’m not sure I’m going to make it a tradition to jump through the hoops it takes to get the bottles.
And I definitely do not want to be spit on by a magical Mexican impregnating chocolate tree.
Drink Florida Craft,