Nuffield (4049) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - AUG 5, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
This was big and crass, a classic Avery special. Loaded with pleasure-inducing features, from the port-like sweetness to the warm but surprisingly controlled alcohol, the beer was also a bit thinner than other bad boys in the Impy Stout league. Great hops helping the flavor, which wasnít that deep on the roast/chocolate dimensions, instead driving a lot of fruit, rum, and vanilla candy themes. A very interesting beer and one Iíd like to drink more of, but even given how much I like Impies, I was surprised with how "ho hum" I felt about it. A big thanks to Jim at Blue Max, who sold his last bottle to me.
Jeppe (2631) - Brooklyn, Alabama, USA - AUG 2, 2006
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours with a fine brown head and a thick tar black body. Aroma is extreme but still very complex. Candied sweet with obvious characters of both The Beast and Samaels (same yeast?) but also a nice roastyness to back the sweetness up and a warming alcohol note that isnít overwhelming - almost like a beer liquor. Flavor is warming from the alcohol as well, I can feel it gliding down my throat. Sweet and candied with penetrating roast and chocolate notes and a good hoppyness hiding behind the sweetness. Very chevy texture, you can really feel that this is a big one! One hell of a sipping beer and not for the weak hearted! Thanks a bunch Adam for going out of your way to get me this :-) To me, a masterpiece.
MI2CA (1340) - Noblesville, Indiana, USA - JUL 31, 2006
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sample at Indy tasting Dickís 96th - Aroma of alcohol, roasty dark malts, and milk chocolate. Pours black with small brown head and decent lacing. Flavor is very roasty and hides alcohol well. Wow what a tasty brew! Chocolate covered cherries and other assorted treats mix well to make every sip enjoyable. Palate is smooth and clean for such a huge brew. I need to get myself a whole one to savor and rerate.
Dorwart (2519) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - JUL 30, 2006
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUL 4, 2008 1 inch thick dense head of dark brown bubbles. Head settles slowly. Turns a little bubbly as it sits. Little disappointed in the look of the head. Rich aromatic nose with vanilla, dark chocolate, a hint of bourbon, sweet malts, malted milk balls and plums. Color is black with hints of redish brown around the edges. Rich, sweet and oh so smooth. This is fantastic! Loads of sweet malts, molasses, raisins, brown sugar and chocolate covered cherries. Velvety smooth on the palate. Little alcohol presence but the 15% is hidden extreamly well amongst all of the malts. Oily finish with a lingering sweetness. If you like sweet imperial stouts, then there is none better than this one. Bravo Avery!
Ok, just opened a 2006 one (Batch 1) and this is still SUPER sweet. I guess my tastes have changed a bit because this is just over the top sweet. Ratiing adjusted down from a 4.5.
ross (2141) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - JUL 29, 2006
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle from John (JPDIPSO) Thank you!! So Ive been waiting to try this one for months since I found out about its release. Then I signed up for the random 12 pack swap with Joe (degarth) and this thing was in there, so I could hold on no longer. Pours out black and with a fat tan head. Smell is full of chocolate, cherries, grapes, coffee, hops, and a tan of alcohol. Taste is smooth, thick, rich, sweet, and perfect. It is so unbelieveably thick it reminds me of a sweeter version of dark lord. This is an awesome beer, no alcohol detected at all. Avery got it right with this beer, proving they are one of the top breweries in the country. Simply fantastic, and I can only imagine what it will be like in another year or 2. A tad less alcohol kick to this and it would be a perfect 5. 15% is high and it is detected for a few sips towards the end of the glass, but other than that, it does a fantastic job of hiding it within its dark body.
Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JUL 28, 2006
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Appearance, black as sin itself, with a fine roasted espresso cap.
Aroma spills out into the atmosphere, booze blended with coffee and motor oil.
Letís add a messy mix of plums, raisins, rusted molasses, treacle, anise underneath, snips of chocolate. Quite a ferrago indeed.
Taste is thick and slick and slightly bitter, huge, sinful, decadent, rich beyond all recognition...enormous mouthfeel...molasses up the wazoo...fantastic stuff, immense ...unbelievable...unique...nothing like it.
and then, boom! boom! comes the alcohol!
This is the imperial stout pushed beyond all limits. Wonder why itís not as beloved as Dark Lord? Not as thick? Not as rare? Too strong? No parties in the parking lot?
A succulent dish, despite the price, not to be missed.
Lumpy (1802) - Carrollton, Texas, USA - JUL 28, 2006
4.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Looks how an imperial stout should-opaque with a beige head that fades into a thin ring of bubbles. Nose-smoked meat, pepperoni, metal, raisin. Taste-sweet, raisin, alcohol, fig, grape, wood, dark sweet sticky fruits, light coco, slightly medicinal, unami, soy. Sweetness is a little high and overall the beer is a little hot, but it is very well done. After some cellar time, I could see this being closer to a 5.
kmweaver (3207) - Petaluma, California, USA - JUL 26, 2006
3.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
The last of six bottles (not in the same night!). Pours a dark fluffy head, reasonably well retained. Very alcoholic nose (I feel like Iím getting drunk just inhaling), with lots of raisins and caramel present. Sticky-sweet mouthfeel shows caramel and hops and perhaps a hint of chocolate, but really not much else. A disappointing finish, lacking any sort of coffee or chocolate background to keep this soul-selling ship afloat - it ends all too sweetly. Slightly unbalanced.
xproudfoot (750) - Paleolithic, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 26, 2006
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bo. Big alcoholic wood-grapes arome with a hint of dark chocolaty coffee. Inky beer with brown head-layer. Holy goodness, itís one of the most flavorful imperial stouts Iíve had in a long time! The brand description is right on - chocolate soaked caramelized maaraschino cherries hit you right off and it does indeed finish in espresso. Lots of rummy fruit. Lots of spice. Lots of flavor all around, one of the most complex but exceedingly well balanced -quite impressive for its multiplicity of flavor- imperial stouts Iíve had. A sipping beer for sure, it has a lightly hot palate and it so full of flavor, its a beer nearly bursting at the seams! the palate is indeed quite smooth and comparable to a liquer. This would make a superb after-dinner treat. Far too full of flavor for casual consumption.
jtw (1153) - farmington, Michigan, USA - JUL 21, 2006
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: SEP 28, 2006 12 oz bottle from a trade which was with (i believe) black95tt. opaque black with a portentous tan head; the liquid barely tints at the edge of the glass. huge overwhelming aroma, fruity bubblegum and alcohol dominate but chocolate and coffee and red fruits appear. rummy black sugar-water, with little bitterness to balance the huge malt and alcohol presence. sweet cocoa attempts to dominate the flavor, and a tiny bit of grassy hops attempts to make its case, but the heat from the alcohol force those flavors to the background. simply too much, even for a beer which is clearly trying to be too much. i like it very much, but the ícontrivedí factor is a detractor from the overall score. thank god it was 12 oz and not 22 oz, because unless i was sharing it, the last 10 oz would have been poured out.