aspidites (1272) - manteca, California, USA - APR 18, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 25, 2007 Mocha, espresso, vanilla, anise, and hop notes initially come thru in the nose. Palate is soft and clean with no astringency. The coffee really makes itself known about half way thru. Rich and complex finish. More of a dessert stout than an imperial. And far better than its oak aged brethren.
emacgee (4376) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - APR 15, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Thanks to dirty_martini for this gem. Hmmm, with a beer that is as hyped as this one is I dont think its possible to not build an expectation which cannot be fulfilled. The pour was a little less viscous than I expected, lacked the oily consistency Iíve seen in great impyís. The pour was still black as night though, dont get me wrong. The head was standard, dark brown and thin. The aroma was not what I was expecting at all. Lacked the overall complexity you would expect of a beer of this magnitude. There was alcohol, sweet molasses, and some roast. The coffee was barley detectable and overall there was not much depth. The flavor was very alcoholic, roasted, here the coffee comes through but not much (not nearly as much as Terrapinís coffee impy), and there is a bakerís chocolate taste in the back of my mouth. Lack of overall complexity and depth here too. The palate is smooth, very smooth, but it lacks the viscous velvety feel that I expected to see in the pour. The finish was warm and sweet roasted. Overall I canít say I wasnít disappointed with this. It was a good impy, no doubt about it. I just donít think its a 4.36 8th on the sight impy. Iíve had interpretations of the style that exceed this and have not been rated accordingly.
PhillyBeer2112 (2641) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - APR 14, 2007
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
OK, Iím going to ruin the rating count and be Speedway rater #667. Thatís OK, Iíve searched for this beer for years, so I deserve it - and thanks to cbkschubert for being the decent fellow he is and sending me one. What to say, what to say...after all the hype. Well, its easily one of the best imperial stouts Iíve ever had, and definitely the best coffee beer Iíve had, but its not a top 10 beer. The aroma is redolent with plummy fruits, not dominated by coffee, although its presence is there, along with a light cocoa and roast. The flavor is big and smooth, with a rich coffee-tinged roasty chewy palate. Fair sweetness, then a side of the tongue tingling astringency leading to a mildly acrid bitterness in the finish, which seems a combination of 3C type of hop and a burnt/black malt. Alcohol warming provides a nice backdrop to the end. Pretty black in color, showing a red-brown during the pour, with a firm brown head with good retention, but weak lacing.
jpm30 (1587) - East Central, Georgia, USA - APR 14, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
From a silver foil wrapped capped 750 ml. green bottle with blurb and serving instructions on the back of bottle, no bottling date I could find, stored at cellar temperature, but allowed to warm a bit before sampling in a tulip glass.
Poured a opaque blackish brown with a frothy, foamy, bubbly tan head, good retention, small amount of sticking.
Aromas of rich roasted coffee and dark chocolate, luxurious, soft dark fruity esters, caramel and molasses that meshes with the alcohol.
Good moderate carbonation and a crisp, dry, slick, velvety smooth full bodied mouthfeel.
Tastes of roasted dark, earthy coffee, syrupy milk chocolate, toasted caramel, nutty, burnt grains, dark molasses, a subtle dark fruitiness, the alcohol meshes quite well with the malts, providing a lingering warmth in the palate, towards the end, raw leafy, citric hops, and a dry roasted coffee, fruity, sweet cocoa finish.
Well, now I have to get ahold of some Ryan Bros. coffee beans, an excellent imperial coffee stout, tasty and balanced, I need more of this.
LinusStick (3002) - Moon Twp, suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 11, 2007
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 16/20
I gotta admit...I expected more. The pour was a flat black with no head. Mouthfeel was very thick. Looked and acted like motor oil in the glass. Aroma of coffee and alcohol. Taste was a barely carbonated thick mix of coffee and malt...not much chocolate. No alcohol burn either which was amazing considering it is a 12% beer. Iíd take an Expedition of Yeti over this.
FrancoisMtl (63) - Boisbriand, Quebec, CANADA - APR 11, 2007
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
This is an amasing Imperial stout! Pours deep black with tan head. Great roasted coffee aroma. Excellent balance of roasted, coffee and chocolate flavors. In fact the coffee is just right, all there but not overwhelming. The silky palate is smoothing everything up and is making this heavy beverage pretty easy to drink. It is just too bad I only had one bottle. Thank you fordest for this wonderfull beer!
jb (2511) - Rochester, New York, USA - MAR 31, 2007
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 18, 2010 This is indeed jet black with a tan creamy looking but minimal head. Rich aromas of coffee, plums and chocolate. Note no alcohol aroma. Palate is wonderful, very very sweet yet with a kick of warming alcohol and a tiny kick of hops, a burnt flavor at the end. I bought this one in Columbus 9 months ago and saved it for rating 500. Not as complex as some.
JoeMcPhee (9004) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 25, 2007
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Tap at Hamiltonís, San Diego. Pitch black with a thick dark brown head. Incredible aroma with loads of cocoa, chocolate and dry coffee character. Intensely sweet on the palate with the dark sweet malts balanced by roasty notes from both the coffee and the roasted barley. Very coffee dominated in the flavour with a bit of salty soy/leathery notes in back. Despite all of the coffee flavour, itís whatís not here that makes the beer work so well, nothing vegetal and no one component dominating the others. Silky smooth on the palate leaving alternating waves of sweet coffee, chewy malts, dark chocolate, and roasty bitterness all over my palate. An impy thatís worthy of its reputation. I canít write too much that others havenít already said, so Iíll stop here.
jarspag (601) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAR 25, 2007
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: APR 16, 2008 One of my favorite beers ...Iíd say it has to be right up there with the best stouts in the world . . . big, heavy, silky, smooth, coffee, chocolate, .hell, if you get your hands on one with a few years of age, it wonít disappoint.
Re-rate = I had this again a couple days ago on draft, by far the best batch Iíve ever had - was it b/c this bar actually keeps their lines clean or this batch was THE divine batch? Nonetheless, itís in definite need of a lofty re-rate, it was seriously insane. Every sip was a perfect sip! Much respect alesmith...
padrefan98 (854) - (San Diego) Santee, California, USA - MAR 24, 2007
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: FEB 27, 2008 2006 bottle all to myself. Pours a dark brown with a nutty light brown big foamy head. Dark roasted coffee with chocholate and carmel flavors all came through for me. A silky smooth like texture on the toungue and hops wth cream finish. Great beer. Loved it.