Guerde (1217) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - SEP 30, 2011
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
(bottle) Pours jet black even when held up to the light with just a thin dark tan head. Aroma starts out rather interesting, with a scent that smells exactly like fudge, but when smelled again the smoke really comes through and yields the scent of smoked gouda cheese. Another scent yields some of the floral element of the honey, and yet others provide a spike of tart dark fruit. I enjoy how each scent yields a different component of the beer. The flavor, however, doesnít live up to the aroma, and it just feels muddled and clunky. The smoke, while seamlessly integrated in the aroma, crashes in and dominates the flavor, and itís coupled with some heavily roasted malt that has a borderline charred quality. The fudge, honey, and dark fruit attempt to rise through these flavors, but only show faint glimmers. Mouthfeel is somewhat fizzy and stings the tongue, and the finish just lingers on a smoky note. Overall the aroma was unique and interesting, but the flavor was a real letdown.
CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - SEP 30, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22oz bottle: Pours an oily opaque black with a spotty-lacing beige head. Has a sweet toasty dark caramel and roasted nose with a touch of molasses. Starts with a rich dark caramel and honey sweetness with some chewy maltiness and dark fruity notes with hints of tobacco, before a slightly warming roasty bittersweet finishs. A pretty unique and enjoyable imperial stout. Cheers to Alaskan Brewing on 25 great years!
Beaver (1456) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - SEP 28, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22oz bottle. Pours a dark brown/black with a big creamy tan head that retains fairly well and leaves some lacing.
The aroma is very surprising for a stout - sweet floral honey with some fudgy chocolate and a bit of smoke. A little black licorice and roast comes out as it warms.
The flavor is sweet lactic fudgy chocolate and some smoke with a good sized roast bitterness in the finish mixed with some residual sweetness. As it warms the roast char bitterness starts to dominate the sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.
Overall, an interesting stout. The honey and sweetness with smoke and roast was interesting.
TomTiedemann (250) - Levittown, New York, USA - SEP 28, 2011
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
So I found my 5 beer. 651ML bottle from Malt & Vine. Pours a magical dark black with the hint of the syrup sweet smell with coffee scents and wood smoked smells. Light brown, chocolate looking head that hung around a little bit. So having the chance to visit Alaska on many occassions I took the liberty to read about this tasty treat before I tasted. I couldnít believe all the home grown items stuffed into this delicious treat. First taste was sweet and smokey all in one. mouthfeel of rich syrup and cocoa flavors that are mixed with roasted wood chip in my mouth. I couldnít get over the idea that glacier water supported brewing this. I took a helicopter in Juneau up to Mendenhall Glacier and actually filled my water bottle from a waterfall flowing freely off the glacier and will never forget that taste. This beer brought that back and many more. Happy to have found the one to beat...which will be a tough sell.
drjay44 (2962) - Salida, Colorado, USA - SEP 28, 2011
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
651 ml. bottle. Pours a medium, lasting, mocha head, with slight lacing, over a clear, black (SRM 40) body....nose is coffee, chocolate, floral honey, molasses....taste is light sweet chocolate, coffee, honey tones, finishing with a mild bitterness, hints of sweetness lingered throughout.....mouth feel light of medium, alcohol hidden, carbonation adds a light foamy quality. This is a light take on an Imperial Stout. The complexities of both the malt and hop backbones are there with layers of aroma and flavor. But, in both, the soy, beef, Marmite type tones often found in the style, are completely missing. Additionally the mouth feel is relatively light rather than being thick and chewy. This reflects the adjuncts used. BJCP 7/3/14/4/7
mrmartin (741) - New York, New York, USA - SEP 28, 2011
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Dark brown/black pour with small tan head.
Nose is minimal, hint of roasted malts
Sweet Molasses/Syrup/, hint of chocolate, roasted malts.
Lingering Bitter finish.
An overall good effort, cool use of local ingredients, but there are many far better in this category (RIS)
bhensonb (12440) - Woodland, California, USA - SEP 27, 2011
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bomber from Beverages4Less in Santee, CA. Go Fred! Pours really dark brown/black with a dark tan head. Aroma of smooth dark roast malt (not burnt) and for me a little banana. Med + body. Flavor is smooth dark roast malt, with some fresh sweet fruit and a hint of banana. Suddenly itís smokey. Drinks like a lighter ale - American Strong Ale - with IS flavors. Not a hint of heat. Nice ale.
BuckeyeBoy (3596) - Boise, Idaho, USA - SEP 26, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
22oz Bottle Pours out black topped with a tan head. Aroma is sweet malts, chocolate, and roast. Taste is much as the aroma with a nice sweet end.
Hophead22 (2879) - Redlands, by way of Wisconsin,, California, USA - SEP 26, 2011
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
22oz bottle. Rating #42. Pitch black with a nice tan head. Sweet roasted aroma, a little honey as well, pretty nice. Light smoky flavor, more roast and a bit of the birch coming through. Light aftertaste with a lingering sweetness. (1912)
Aubrey (3488) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - SEP 26, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Solid RIS, though a tad sweeter than I like. Nose was that of sweet alcohol and honey. Texture was thick, rich and creamy. Mellow yet complex malt flavors. Lots of sweetness from start to finish (honey, caramel, milk chocolate, molasses). Warming but not hot. Pleasant hints of tobacco, coffee, smoke and meat. Earthy-grassy hop bitterness was mild. As mentioned, Iíd prefer less residual sweetness (and/or more hop bitterness), but otherwise it was a well made, tasty beer.