Tasting: June 5, 2015
Style: Imperial Stout
Beer # 750
According to various accounts, Hunaphu Day 2014 transitioned from beer geek nirvana to a nightmare with each passing hour. The event was clouded by a substantial amount of counterfeit tickets to the event and the influx of these unauthorized party crashers easily depleted allotments of the prized stout, its variants and overcrowded lines for tap lines for other rare offerings. For those that thought buying a ticket would assure them a limited number of take home bottles, surprise, disappointment and anger swelled when the inventory had prematurely gone dry. The ensuing frustration took the form of “Cigar City Sucks” chants to pounding on the doors sealed by retreating staff.
Cigar City didn’t create this mess – but they were somewhat forced to appease their customer base. They were classy in their reaction refunding everyone’s money and opening the tap-room the next day for free pours for those that still held wristbands. The brewery owner swore that it would be the last Hunaphu Day.
I’m happy to say that the event did go on in 2015 and I was happy to see a number of photos posted from the event that signaled that 2015 was a much better event.
Since these bottles are only sold at the event, I had to acquire this 2014 Hunaphu bottle in a trade. In fact, it was my first ever trade. From the conversation about the event leading up to the trade, I’m fairly certain that my trade partner was a legitimate attendee.
What’s all the fuss? Hunaphu is a perfect scoring imperial stout with aged with cacao nibs, Madagascar vanilla beans, ancho and pasilla chilis, with cinnamon. On the occasion of my seven-hundred and fiftieth beer entry, I’ll crack this bottle open and find out what the fuss is all about.
The label doesn’t indicate the alcohol by volume but a quick web check reveals 11%. The label does go on to explain a Mayan myth involving Hun Hunahpu and his brother Vucab Hunahpu. Apparently, they were tricked by underworld dark lords and were killed. Hun Hunahpu turned into a cacao tree and a seed pod from the tree impregnated a young maiden who gave birth to hero twins Hunahpu and xbalanque (sorry, no pronunciation help there). The offspring avenged their father and uncle and by defeating the dark lords. They ascended to the heavens as the sun and moon.
On to this motor oil thick stout swirling around in my oversized cognac glass. Wow. Truly spectacular. Beautifully complex and decadent. Initially tastes like a dark chocolate coconut candy bar. Dissecting it a bit I easily get the advertised vanilla, prominent coconut, marshmallow and the spice of cinnamon over the top of fresh green vegetable and roasted grains. Shoots nearly to the top of my list 98 points. Now, I need to find another bottle — road trip?