AlabastorJones (800) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAY 26, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Roasty nose, cocoa flavor, sweet with a strong alcohol burn, very warming, definatly an intense stout but I donít think the flavors are balanced well enough to make it ride out as smoothly as I think could, I can thank Richy for hooking this up for my last sip of illegal alcohol, which added an additional level of sweetness to the flavor, which will be included in the rating
Kevin (2031) - Colorado, USA - MAY 25, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
iím watching the cubs play the final game of a 3 game series against the astros. i watched them come back and win last night from 2-0 to take it 4-2. so i am hoping for a sweep. things look bad in the 4th when hirshbeck forgets how to call a strike, but iím not worried, we snap back and tie it 1 all. so iíve had this beauty i traded for from foolish_mortal laying around and i figure a good ballgame will go great with a good beer. so i crack it open and it pours black with a tan head. aroma is wondrous coffee, chocolate, maybe raspberry, or something at least berry like, and some biscuity notes, and oh yeah, alcohol, lots of alcohol in the nose. i need some alone time with this beer. so i finally take a taste as maddux pitches behind palmeiro, uh oh bad sign when maddux is having control issues. but the taste is good at least it has sweet chocolate and coffee with an alcohol bite that really balances this out. notes of caramel and cherry with some lingering warmth that is creamy. the coffee in this comes out very well, it does not dominate, but accents everything. a bit woody in some aspects. the alcohol gets extra noticeable on the back end as i get to the bottom of this one, and the cubs manage to lose 4 to 1. this burns in a relatively nice way, but i just wish i could have had a victory to go with this damn good beer. thanks again for the trade, brandon
clvand0 (350) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - MAY 24, 2005
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Been waiting to try this for some time now. Expensive at $13/bottle, but worth it. Pours a very dark color with a moderate and dark head that doesnít hang around long and leaves nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is very strong coffee and dark maltiness, with some chocolate and alcohol as well. Nice aroma. The flavor was very strong with coffee and has some nice silky chocolate with the maltiness. Excessively smooth for the high alcohol. Expresso. Creamy.
HopasaurusRex (195) - Glen Ellyn, Illinois, USA - MAY 20, 2005
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Simply the best Imperial Stout Iíve ever had. So smooth, balanced-only problem was that I drank almost a whole 750 by myself. Oh well... had a good time. Superb.
Firemoose15 (567) - Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 19, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Thanks to rich for letting me engulf myself in this, he shared his, what a treat. Nice Dark pour, beautiful roasted flavor. combination of coffee and dark chocolate continues to say drink more. Incredibly smooth and full, would love to have it again and again and again.
richlikebeer (838) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 18, 2005
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAY 19, 2005 thanks to walt and bbb63 for 04 bottles of this...aroma is coffee, coffee and coffee with some chocolate. jet black with a beautiful tan head. flavor is outstanding, smooth coffee flavor, not burnt or bitter, just smooth coffee giving way to some sweet chocolates. a little bit of bitterness on the front end of the tail, but even that fades to the smoothness of the chocolate. a thick, velvety body and did i happen to mention that this was unbelievably smooth...i found every thing that was advertised and more from this brew. a little bit of the alcohol makes its way through, which is basically my only knock on this amazing brew... i dont know how to thank mike and walt for sending this my way.
StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 18, 2005
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: JUL 6, 2006 Five gallon party keg via AleSmith jockey box, my brotherís wedding, July 2006.
Silk-screened bottle, consumed January 2006.
Opaque and black with a separated oiliness displaying at the edges when put to light. No head, but there are some legs on the snifter from time to time. Aroma is leaping off the charts. Dark chocolate, burnt espresso roasters, dark chocolate milk (if such a thing exists,) vanilla, caramel currents and brown sugar. The wafts are intoxicating, eventually revealing an unsweetened, sugarless iced mocha, sans ice, so as to not distort the bitter chocolate character. Flavor is resilient in all dimensions. Abrasive bitter sludge sluices through the taste buds. Vanilla beans duke it out with said coffee beans, mashing and melding for a sweet bitter force thatís cunningly sweet, solidified and righteously beautiful. Oily sludge saturation, administering a waxy reconnaissance throughout. Chewy malts, honed carbonation and fresh bitter extremities. Caramel and dark chocolate traits are a given, but theyíre a damn good reliable steed, and one that we shouldnít take for granted. Quite the glow hanging to the tonsils in the finish, signaling its otherwise covert alcohol presence. I told myself I wasnít going to rerate this batch, but it was far too moving and poetic not to. Bless you AleSmith.
Labeled bottle, consumed May 2005.
Black and opaque in appearance; moderately thick in viscosity. Head is minimal at first but quickly diminishes to an oily overlay. Bitterness jumps out of the gate first for aroma, along with unsweetened dark chocolate, mocha mousse and cafe oí lait. Coffee and roasted malts are definitely represented in this speed demon. Alcohol is discernable in flavor. Bitter chocolate and espresso flavors dominate. Itís like sucking on a handful of greasy, dark roasted espresso beans. Body is oily and dense. Malts seem to favor flavor over viscosity. Definitely has its share of IBUs. Moderate carbonation is probably livelier on the palate than in actuality because of the dactylic touch of alcohol. Finish is warming, bitter and mouth watering. While I served it at about 55 degrees as recommended on the bottle, I liked it better as it got even warmer, say 60-65 degrees. At the higher temp, it seemed to thicken and improve its body. Uber thanks to tpkenned for the bottle!
hezron (609) - Viroqua, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 8, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Coffee! Roasted dark coffee with some chocolate and a twist of vinous raisin or licorice in the nose. Dark, dark black with a small tan head and good lacing. Flavors of chocolate and coffee. Roasty with some licorice in the bitter finish. Noticable alcohol. Full body with a creamy texture and a nice chalky finish.
axilla (962) - New Providence, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 5, 2005
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JAN 18, 2007 This pours a complete work of art. I havenít fallen this deep in a long time. All I can do is look and sigh. The aroma, mmmmmmm. The flavor, ahhhhhhh. The only reason Iím giving this a 19 overall is out of hope for when I finally get a B.A.S.S.
htsprint1 (51) - Urbana, Illinois, USA - MAY 5, 2005
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tasted side by side with the 11-04 Peche Mortel at the post-Dark Lord celebration. Frank, KP, Magicbill, jsquire and I all enjoyed trying these two together.
As far as I was concerned, this was the clear winner. Beautiful jet black with a tan head. Coffee, chocolate in the nose. Nice thickness almost creaminess in the mouthfeel. Flavor of chocolate, roasted malt bitterness, even some molasses with a hint of vanilla in here. Very nice beer that has coffee and a lot more going for it.