It’s breweries like Angry Chair that ease the pain of missing Perennial Artisan Ales in St. Louis. These guys know the hell out of their stouts, specifically sweet stouts, or better known as the stouts I enjoy most. My wonderful wife got me a couple bottles of this a few months ago. I traded one to a buddy and held on to the other until tonight. So, I’m cracking it open. I’ve had this beer on tap, in a small pour at Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe in St. Petersburg, Florida, but it’s just not the same as a full pour.
Barrel Aged El Cucuy is described by Angry Chair as a “Russian Imperial Stout with peppers, cinnamon, vanilla beans, and cocoa aged in Bourbon Barrels.” It pours black, like ink, in the tulip with a very thin dark brown head that dissipates to nothing. Swirling the beer in the glass does nothing to reinvigorate the carbonation. There’s only a dark film in the glass as it travels around the inside of the tulip.
Bourbon on the nose, heavy, almost medicinal. The aroma is really not what I like about bourbon barrel aged beers. This worries me. The aroma is not something I care for in my stouts.
Barrel Aged El Cucuy is thick, like motor oil. This beer is sweet. It’s very chocolate forward as you inhale with a pinch of cinnamon. There’s a touch of vanilla in there as the beer finishes with more chocolate, a splash of bourbon and then the heat. This is a burner! Remember Batch 200 by Calusa Brewing? Same ingredients minus the barrel aging, and this beer is very similar. Batch 200 had a thinner mouthfeel but the taste is similar. El Cucuy is just as hot on the back end. Perhaps there’s too much pepper here? Damn. It’s bringing the heat like a 100 mph fast ball. Damn.
I love the names of Angry Chair beers. I don’t know who comes up with them, but they’re very inventive. The legend of El Cucuy is quite interesting (Google it!), and the artwork on their beer is top notch. The demon depicted on this beer is something you might find on a death metal t-shirt. I love it. Hell, it would make a fantastic tattoo! I’m sure this is the artwork of Will Ralston, who is a fantastic tattoo artist out of Sarasota.
BA El Cucuy isn’t my favorite Angry Chair stout, but it’s pretty damn good. This is another winner.
- ABV: 10.5%
- Untappd Rating: 4.28
- # of Ratings: 767