BlackDonald (1126) - Gulf Shores, Alabama, USA - FEB 10, 2008
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Now this is truly a pleasure to pour. A very dark brown color with a light brown cocoa head. Which is fitting since the aroma is very reminiscent of cocoa and chocolate, and roasted coffee that has been sitting for hours and scraped off the bottom of the pot. I really cannot do it justice in words, how roasty the aroma comes across, but in a good way. So well balanced for being such a large ABV. Silky smooth on the palate all the way through to the finish. I wish I could drink this all the time.
gotbeach (139) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 10, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 7, 2008 Poured dark with small diminishing head. Light molasses aroma. Then the chocolate and coffee hit your tongue and end up licking your teeth when itís finished.
Update 3/08. Went to a tasting at Alesmith and purchase a growler of this tasty brew and did not regret it.
gioni (14) - Nieuwegein, NETHERLANDS - FEB 9, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
got this beer from a friend out of california, realy liked this one..... realy malty , flavorful. this is a beer i do not forget
SuzyGreenberg (1603) - Seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 9, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: OCT 31, 2008 750 mL bottle - had been holding on to this for a while and cracked open as soon as tom bradyís final pass fell harmlessly to the turf; probably a victim of sky-high expectations as i was very underwhelmed; shame on expectations!!! pours thin and jet black with thin tan head; almost an oily texture to it; aromas of bitter coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malts; slight alcohol burn on the nose; no carbonation and texture becomes more creamy as it warmed; a very big beer in its flavor punch and has slight burn leading to bitter finish; comparing to another recently tried IS, it doesnít quite blow away my palate as say, southern tierís oat does; overall rating = 3.9
Update 10/31/08: sat on a bottle from the same batch as my original rating; guessing about a year old; pours oily black with no head; thin and uninteresting; aromas and most of the coffee flavor has faded; not sure if it was this specific batch or what, but very unimpressive again; overall score = 3.6
meanwhile, i stopped at alesmith while in the SD area and i’d have to say i was simply blown away; it was with their new in-house coffee process and maybe i just dig speedway fresh; silky smooth with tons of rich coffee right in your nose and palate; in this situation, a world class impy for sure; loved it and grabbed a fresh bottle for home; overall rating = 4.3
DialSquare (3664) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - FEB 8, 2008
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAR 20, 2010 Rating #100 for me -- been holding on to this one for six months. bought from Dilly Deli in cincinnati. pours dark black with just a hint of red. milky looking medium brown head that sticks. a nose of chocolate and coffee - and a pleasant roast/burnt smell also. wow. Iím sure itís been said a bunch but -- amazing balance. you get a bit of warmth from the alcohol but itís well hidden. sweet mix of fruit, chocolate, malt and molasses. thick sticky palate. just a little roasted bitterness on the finish. amazing beer. worth the wait. good thing I guess - because I canít get them anywhere near florida. additional comment: really is meant to be had relatively cold. it definitely gets hot w/ alcohol after it gets warm. ***** 3/20/10 Bottle from Andersons in toledo: Had this a few times now, but itís been a couple years - will be interesting to see if itís as good as I remember. Also, just tried every variation of cigar city stout last weekend - good to compare. Nice sturdy looking pour with lots of lacing. Sticky palate. Burnt quality. Bottom of a cup of coffee mixed with cherry mixed with molasses mixed with nuts. Still great stuff.
DietPepsican (1560) - @ $13.99, Iowa, USA - FEB 7, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: SEP 29, 2011 Bottle from bockyhorsey, thanks! Pours black with a medium sized tan head. Strong coffee aroma. A bit of toasted malt. Flavor has loads of coffee, chocolate, and caramel. Body is medium, I figured it would be thicker, very nice and balanced. You can notice the alcohol. Itís almost like a one two punch. Flavor...then boozy goodness. This is very nice, Iím glad I have a few more. Who wants to send me the BA version?
AmEricanbrew (6463) - Same Trailer, Different Park, Louisiana, USA - FEB 6, 2008
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pitch black with a dark tan head, nice lacing. Nice milk chocolate/coffee burnt malt aroma. Medium body with an oily mouthfeel. awesome taste of dark chocolates, expresso, roasted malts with a nicely bitter alcohol tang to finish.
"Brilliant in its simplicity" One of the best big stouts ever. 92205
jmikolich (1477) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - FEB 4, 2008
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
750mL, 2006 vintage ( i hope), pours a nice deep dark black with a large brown head very smooth drinking and no hint of alcohol, just balanced sip after balanced sip, each one leaving me to want another swig.. easy to enjoy all by yourself or share with friends. this is truly one of the best iíve had, my only wish was it wasnt so darn expensive.
dmradus (227) - Ithaca, New York, USA - FEB 2, 2008
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
750ml from BevMo on La Brea, LA, night before Thanksgiving 2007. Pours black with nice fluffy, big-bubbled but very small brown head. Incredibly thick, oily, viscous - intense mouthfeel that just sits on your palate forever, very slight carbonation. Aroma is coffee predominant: dark roast, no sweetness whatsoever, great roast component, as well as a slight tinge of alcohol. A bit of dark sweet fruits in the taste, very well-balanced with some bitter coffee and chocolate notes. Again a slight tinge of alcohol warming, but it seems to play nice with the taste as opposed to being a little off in the aroma. Far more than most world-class stouts, this is a testament to balance: dark fruity sweetness, malt sweetness in molasses and chocolate, bitter coffee and roast all meld together in a great harmony.
Goodgrief (1907) - Middletown, Delaware, USA - FEB 2, 2008
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: APR 11, 2011 One heck of a beer, thatís for sure. Hype = warranted. Beer poured dark, but not quite black, with red highlights and nice fluffy brown head. The aroma of this was roasty, almost burnt. The flavor was rich, but not overly so, but really complex. The roastiness with a touch of coffee (not as much as I expected) hits first, a sweet amalgamation of fruit and chocolate highlights the middle, an a hoppy burn (yes, burn), which wasnít unpleasant finishes the beer. The mouthfeel on this one was amazingly thick, perfect carbonation and balance. One of my favorite beers that I greedily consume whenever I can get my hands on one.
RERATE April 2011. Iíve now had this beer many times including my first experience on tap at SD Taproom in San Diego today. Okay, itís time for my perfect 5.0 rating. Just beautiful brown with rings of lacing all the way down. Huge but not overpowering with sweet fruity chocolate and lots of coffee roast. Just PERFECT mouthfeel...like a light powdery mouth coating, but not sticky or cloying. It just doesnít get better for me.