Nate (3531) - Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 28, 2004
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
2002 vintage, bottle 113/115. Even more luscious aroma than Speedway, with huge amounts of maple and vanilla, pear, phenols. Truly phenomenal. Dark black with thin tan head. Medium oily body with light carbonation. Bourbon, vanilla, maple, phenolics, sweet and waring, comfortable. Fruit esters, coffee, toffee, chocolate. This is one awesome beer. The best beer I’ve had to date. Light bitter, sweet silky after.
omhper (18757) - Tyresö, SWEDEN - JUL 28, 2004
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottled, #113. Black, small head. Aroma of chocolate and whiskey, Roasty with very rich maltiness. There’s some molassess and coffee there, still it feels dry. Flavours are really intensive, and still they’ve managed to get good balance among all the huge flavours. Salty licorice and bourbon in the finish.
lachesis (756) - St Idesbald, BELGIUM - JUL 13, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Great black beer with small but extreemly creamy head.intens aromas of black roasted malts,100% pure black chocolate;XO cognac and Asian spices.Round mouthfeeling with noble bitterness of roasted malts and coffee.Nice sweet-bitter balance with good complexity and nice freshness in the end.
Volgon (2763) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - JUN 30, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Brewtopia 2004, bottle #19, thanks to Eyedrinkale: Black with little head, huge nose that is filled with bourbon, wood, and sweet chocolate. Full bodied, huge fight between sweet and bitter in this one. I hope to try this again someday. One sample was not enough.
SpringsLicker (3035) - Tennessee, USA - JUN 24, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUN 15, 2007 Thanks to Eyedrinkale for sharing this at Brewtopia ’04! Very few "wants lists" remain intact when Mike comes around!
This pours black with a weak attempt at forming a head as expected. A complex aroma rises from the surface carrying notes of chocolate, whiskey alcohol, and roast malt. The flavor is very intense and complex as well, playing back and forth between the sweetness and the bitterness from the roast malt. There is a slight whiskey bitterness/sharpness present. The alcohol content is well hidden and the alcohol flavor is pleasant coming from the barrel, not the malt in the beer. Overall, a very nicely done Imperial Stout but somewhat over hyped. Just the same, I’d have another one if it were available.
Bottle 84 Spring(ish) Tasting in Knoxville, TN on 3/10/2007.
As good as before or better!
wunderbier (1434) - Tampere, FINLAND - JUN 22, 2004
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JUL 25, 2007 Big oak nose, chocolate and coffee malt (H); whisky aroma. As colorful as a black hole. Heavily sweet flavor becomes a heavily sweet, moderately bitter finish. Huge roasted flavor throughout (not dry). Moderate amount of alcohol in the finish. Full body, creamy/oily texture, soft carbonation. The bottom line is: I was surprised at how much barrel aging changed this one. Thanks Mike.
Rerate on 23/7/2007. Pitch black hue with a thin tan head with some large bubbles. Tons of chocolate and coffee, a light touch of liquorice, strong caramel, espresso, coffee cake and vanilla. I don’t so much get whisky or wood anymore in this one, but plenty of vanilla. Very sweet upfront with lots of milk chocolate and sugar-sweetened coffee, but all that’s in decent balance with a big roasty finish. Light liquorice and toffee in the flavor. Big vanilla and touch of herbal hops as the beer warms. Thick body, creamy texture and soft carbonation. Only the smallest hint of alcohol shows through.
mkobes (2138) - paramus, New Jersey, USA - JUN 21, 2004
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Thanks to Eyedrinkale. Deep and dark in color. Whiskey aged. It has some whiskey notes in it. Not bad. Malty. Roasty and chocolatety. Thin. Ok.
MaiBockAddict (1497) - Good Beer Bar Deprived, New Jersey, USA - JUN 20, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle courtesy of Eyedrinkale at Brewtopia. As dark as you can get. Not much head or carbonation. Whisky barrel effects noted in aroma and flavor. Lots of roast and chocolate throughout. Seemed a bit thin, perhaps due to lack of carbonation. Some stickyness. Alcohol present, but subdued. a little hard alcohol or wine-like. I think this is good, no question, but maybe not as great as others think.
Drew (2413) - Kent, Ohio, USA - JUN 14, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Jet black, not a lot of head, but this beer just coats the glass with a dark brown glaze. Smell was dark fruits, chocolate, coffee, alcohol, soy and worcestershire. Smooth and vinous - mouthfeel was almost like a plum wine - especially combined with the prune juice flavors down the center of my tongue. Burnt wood edges, dark chocolate and espresso, alcohol at the back that was like whiskey. Finished oaky and dry, lingering bitterness and warmth all the way down my throat. Very good, but not earth shattering - the alcohol that kept creeping in kept this from being better. (Thanks for sharing this, Rockinout John!)
RugbyMike (14) - Woodbury, Minnesota, USA - MAY 27, 2004
2.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
I like the concept more than the product itself. The beer had a bit of coffee about it and perhaps some caramel which I found nice, but and perhaps I’m too hasty in this review, I found the alcohol content to be far to heavy for a stout. I will try this again and maybe re-review, but as of today, I am not a fan of this pseudo-style. Perhaps a hoppier manifestation would have suited me better.