Apr 27, 2015

Lickinghole Creek Heir Apparent

Much like the Peanut Butter Porter, the Mexican-spiced stout/porter is the next trend on the craft beer watch list. It seems as though everyone is making one lately. Some of those examples of the newest in new taste decent enough while others, well, not so much. Lickinghole Creek’s take on the style — Heir Apparent — certainly leans on the tastier side, but not without its own faults.

This big 11.5% ABV imperial stout is brewed with a blend of spices (including cinnamon, cayenne), cocoa, vanilla and a handful of Ancho and Serano peppers. The spice blend adds good flavor to the stout, but after about half the bottle, it starts to wear on the tastebuds a bit — this is with any spiced beer, really. The peppers had a bit of latent heat in the background that tingles the senses, but won’t leave anyone grasping for a glass of water to quench the pain. All in all, a pretty solid offering.


Heir Apparent pours thick and black with a dense, creamy cap of brown foam. It certainly looks good.

Lickinghole Creek Heir Apparent photo


All sorts of spices lead the way for cocoa, coffee, a touch of anise and a hint of vanilla. A bit of a nose tingling peppery kick arrives swiftly after.


A wonderful array of flavors code smoothly over the tongue — cocoa, a hint of vanilla, spices, soft coffee notes and a welcome roasty char all present themselves cohesively. A subtle warmth from the peppers tingles the tastebuds in the lasting finish which also warms the chest with a good bit of alcohol. The beer is nicely full bodied, not too robust and carries a clean character.


Heir Apparent is a tasty treat of a beer. I’ve many beers in the “Mexican Coffee” style as of late and this is one of the better ones. That said, each has brought just a bit too much spice to the party, often overriding the flavors of the base brew. That’s sort of in play here, as well. That said, I still finished the bottle, savoring the distant pepper heat and roasty stout character.

Rating: 4/5

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