A Quest: Brandy Barrel Aged Hunahpu’s
Cigar City Brewing gets a lot of love from Brew/Drink/Run. This is a story to confirm that love. A few months back Cigar City offered several barrel aged versions of their ever popular and difficult to acquire Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout though a lottery system. They announced a lottery time on Facebook and Twitter and you had so many minutes to email in in the hope of catching one of these elusive bottles. I dutifully sent in my emails, and emails for my wife, parents and children, at each opportunity. A few hours later Cigar City sent out golden ticket emails letting the luck winners know they had been chosen. Sadly I was never one of the chosen in any of these lotteries. Eventually it was announced that all the bottles were gone and no more lotteries would be held. I resigned myself to never tasting a barrel aged Hunahpu’s and moved on.
Moved on to Beer 30, that is. Beer 30 is my local bottle shop in Jacksonville, Florida. There I purchased a six-pack of CCB Jai Lai to drown my sorrows in. At Beer 30 my Hunahpu’s lament was met with a solution. Cigar City had given a number of bottles, in the form of vouchers, to Florida bottle shops they wished to support. Beer 30, my favorite bottle shop in Jacksonville, was given a several of these vouchers to be distributed as they saw fit. They could have made a fortune off those vouchers but they chose to raise some money for a good cause, in this case to donate to the Oklahoma tornado victims. Beer 30 sold off raffle tickets, the proceeds went to tornado relief and some lucky winners were to take home some exciting beer. You could buy as many tickets as you wanted, each ticket entitling the winner to not one but TWO bottles of Brandy Barrel Aged Hunahpu’s. The only catch was that you had to turn in your voucher directly to the Cigar City Brewery within a set period of time. I bought a few tickets and waited the week until the drawing happened.
Obviously I wouldn’t be writing this story if I didn’t win so you know what’s coming next. I received that email from Beer 30 right on time. The only downside was I had to pick up my voucher and then pick up the Hunahpu’s within a four-week window so I decided to make a crazy trip. It was a marathon seven hours in the car from Jacksonville to Tampa and back again but I did it. I even managed to have a sampler and dinner at the brewery.
The pay off was worth all the effort I made to get this beer. You can read Keith’s great Hunahpu’s review for the 2012 and 13 vintages HERE and get a good idea of what Hunahpu’s tastes like. Now image all that flavor topped off with a smooth brandy nose and finish and you have the Brandy Barrel Aged version down. I wasn’t sure how you could make Hunaphu’s better but there it was in my glass. Maybe it had something to with all the effort and driving but man did it taste good. Good thing I’ve got a second bottle to test later on down the road.