Gorbalev (3000) - Ontario, CANADA - SEP 16, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle shared with GregClow, Hogtown Harry, Jerc, Blankboy, and Garthicus, courtesy of Garthicus, 2006 vintage (thank you!). Smells strong and Barelly - just like so many other Barrel aged Impy’s. Black, small vanilla like head, looks nice. Taste - lots more barrel, alcohol, roast. It is good but man, it is like many other of this style and that is disappointing, given that Speedway on its own is at the top of its class. A good beer but fails to stand up to its non-barrel high standards.
Dough77 (821) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - SEP 11, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Finally. Me and a bottle. Palates ready, I’m ready, lets do it. 2006 bottle. Acquired for a bottle of their BA 05 Decadence. Slightly regret getting rid of that bottle, but this beer is what I’ve been trading for. Aroma boozy bourbon tied in with a great licorice and chocolate sweetness. Smells tasty. Looks good too, a little less thick/syrupy as I thought it would be or remember the regular, but memories told tell a whole story too well. Flavor is truly remarkable, amazing coffee, chocolate, booze, dark burnt malts, some caramel, fruits, dark ones. Overall quite the experience. Glad to finally get that notch on my belt. Shoulda saved it for 1000 or something, but I wanted it tonite.
Schultsc (572) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 10, 2008
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: SEP 25, 2008 2007 Vintage. Thank you Peter and Jessica! Pure, opaque, onyx with a high viscosity and a very fine, creamy, tan head. Amazing fresh aroma for a barrel-aged beer that combines both fantastic oxidation, wood, and bourbon characteristics from the aging along with fresh coffee, dark berry fruits, dried fruits, bitter chocolate, and hops. Flavor conveys much the same but with the addition of more well-balanced sweetness and alcohol and a smooth smokiness and penetrating bitterness. Posesses a perfect body that disguises the 12% alcohol while conveying the huge intensity of this beer across its immense, packed flavor profile. Carbonation level is very fine and creates a very nimble mouthfeel that washes over the tongue and stimulates all of your taste buds variously. This is a very fine beer--a real "Rolls Royce" of imperial stouts.
alexanderj (3431) - Branson, Missouri, USA - SEP 9, 2008
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle at a beer tasting; 03 vintage, same number as golubj’s; have another of these, but doubt I’ll rerate it. Last beer of a truly great day. Color was dark brown with not much carbonation; looked "dead." Aroma of wood, bourbon, cocoa, alcohol, vanilla and caramel. Flavor was a bit hot; surprisingly. Wood, bourbon, cocoa, and roasted malt/coffee. Flavor really emerged with some warmth. Good stuff.
ogglethorp (917) - Ohio, USA - SEP 9, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
03 - Bottle shared by miketd, Cleveland tasting. Pours inky black with almost no head. Aroma is bourbon, chocolate, coffee, char. Flavor is mainly bourbon, chocolate, roast, vanilla, some dried fruits. Palate is silky smooth, full bodied, almost no carbonation, finished hot. Lacks any carbonation, too boozey, good but not great. 4.1
04 - Bottle shared by moejuck, Cleveland tasting. Pours inky black with a small brown head. Aroma is bourbon, chocolate, coffee, char. Flavor is more chocolate, roast, vanilla, some dried fruits, bourbon, oak. Palate is silky smooth, full bodied, mild carbonation, finished a little sweeter than the 03. This one was my favorite. Silky smooth texture, right amount of bourbon, age has brought out more sweetness and taken the edge off! 4.5
06 - shared by fiver29, Cleveland tasting. Pours inky black with a small brown head. Aroma is bourbon, chocolate, coffee, char. Flavor is more chocolate, roast, vanilla, some dried fruits, bourbon, oak, light metallic notes. Palate is smooth, full bodied, mild carbonation, finished more bitter than anything else. Good stuff, a little young, and harsh for my likings. 4.3
Taking the average of the 3, I come up with 4.3. Huge thanks to miketd, moejuck, fiver29 for putting together the vertical, amazing, most people would give a testical to try one of these!
BelgianBeerGal (3458) - Panama City, Florida, USA - SEP 6, 2008
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: SEP 8, 2008 Poured from 75cl bottle at Alesmith dinner. This was an unknown vintage bottle that they brought to the dinner in Las Vegas. What else can be said about this beer? It’s really more a work of art in a bottle. Huge aroma and flavour that covers everything from whisky, to chocolate to roasted malt to smoke, coffee and finished with some alcohol heat. Outstanding. ***Update: found out this was a pre-release of 2007.
golubj (1377) - San Mateo, California, USA - SEP 4, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle shared at the CA-GA cultural beer exchange hosted by alexanderj, 2003 bottle, #43 of 196. Dark brown / black pour with no head. Not lively looking at all. Aroma is strong bourbon, very hot, chocolate malt and black licorice. Flavor is also very hot with the strong bourbon, roasted chocolate malt, licorice, some wood. Pretty boozy, burns my tongue.
GregClow (3014) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 1, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle shared with HogTownHarry, blankboy, tupalev, jerc & garthicus - courtesy of garthicus. 2006 vintage, bottle 57 of 235. Deep ruby-black with a wispy tan head. Aroma of charred malt, burnt wood, bourbon, vanilla-soaked raisins, and some boozy warmth. Medium bodied, a bit creamy. Very well integrated flavours of malted milk, coffee, whiskey/bourbon and chocolate. Long, luscious finish with a mild herbal character. Excellent!
garthicus (2814) - Dublin, IRELAND - AUG 27, 2008
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
My bottle via a tremendous trade with Irishboy - Shared with HogTownHarry, GregClow, Tupalev,Jerc & Blankboy. Bottle 57/235. App: Deep black/brown colour with a brown bubbly head. Aroma: I could get the aroma at arms length - ohhh yeah. Nutty, creamy, cappuccino, chocolate and caramel, mouth watering. Flavour: Nutty-coffee, brandy, alcohol, cinnamon, mocha!! So much going on, simply incredible. Very very drinkable with a long soothing finish, a great beer sent by a great ratebeerian and shared with great ratebeerians.
fiver29 (1036) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - AUG 23, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tasted at Cleveland tasting on 8-23-08. Thanks!! We had a verical of 03, 04, and 06.
03: Pours pitch black with no head or carbonation. Has a nice aroma of vanilla, roasted chocolate malt, and coffee. Has a medium mouthfeel. Taste is bourbon, malt, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and it all melds together in a nice smooth chocolate bourbon finish. Overall a world class brew.
04: Everything above, but with carbonation and a thin tan head. This made my experience a little better with this brew.
06: Everything above and has more alcohol aroma and flavor to it.
Overall, all three beers taste exactly the same. The only difference in my mind is that the 03 had no carbonation, the 04 was carbonated, and the 06 had more alcohol in the aroma and taste with even more carbonation. The lesson here is don’t let these go too long or you won’t be drinking a carbonated world class brew versus a flat one.