frankenkitty (1958) - Oak Lawn, Illinois, USA - MAR 22, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours oily black with a hint of purple at the edges and a thick, mocha head keeps as a fat, creamy souffle, leaving a wet sheet of lace on the way down. Aroma finds big salty soy sauce & anchovy opening to bitter & oily Java bean with asphalt and ham. Alcohol is apparent even when chilled. Huge and thick with a sweet affront in the flavor... esters creeping around all over the place amidst hard fruit candy. Fruity malts lead to a meaty, salty finish and coffee bitterness shows in the aftertaste in a lingering conglomeration of sweet, salt & bitter.
Hot, as mentioned, but... wait! Look! There’s a freakin’ demon on the label!! ("Hisssss... it burrrrnnsss!!") What did you expect? This is a 15.1% Imperial Stout for chrissakes. Let it sleep if you’re timid, but quit whining and let the more able-bodied open their bottles now to find the decadent portion of Hell dedicated to the Lustful and the Gluttonous.
<font size=-4>Bottle from <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Liquors, Chicago, IL 60638<font size=-1>
JoeMcPhee (8055) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 21, 2006
3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
12 oz bottle shared with beastiefan2k and dickinsonbeer at Spuyten Duyvil. Dark black beer with a dark brown head. Very unusual aroma, quite boozy and a bit petroly (like some aged white wines). Very floral and light smelling for something that is so black. Underneath is some toffee, yeasty esters and some spiciness as well. The spice and molasses intensify as the beer warms up. Flavour though is all booze. Really alcoholic and hot tasting, which masks the nice burnt sugar and toffee that I can taste behind it. Fairly sugary palate as well, despite all of the booziness. Some really great flavours in this beer, but in the end it’s too damn hot to be enjoyable. I’m in the minority on this one, but I didn’t enjoy this one at all.
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - MAR 21, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
12 oz bottle obtained in trade with illinismitty (thanks man), Batch 1, bottled January 2006. Sampled at cellar temperature from a Maudite snifter. Thick, thick mocha-malt head, fine-bubbled and lasting, atop a jet oily body, dark icicle-lacing, gorgeous....tar, port, cherries, old pipe tobacco, bit of vanilla-oakiness, succulent and already speaking of some age, hints of alcohol but they are fine and warming, dark cocoa when warmer and alcohol becomes oppressive to an unpleasant extent....Plenty of bitter dry hops in the body, juicy fruity wine and tannins, lots of oaky vanilla and a big alcoholic burn late, orange peel and sour cherries, thick espresso bitterness, so much going on it’s the kitchen sink approach but it sort of works, huge caramel sweetness amidst the dark espresso and hops.....Thick, rich but also syrupy and burning, a barleywinish palate that is just too harsh for me, with a light soy quality that grows stronger towards the dry, corrosive finish....there’s no questioning the quality that went into this, it certainly shows oceans of flavor especially, and I enjoyed it in many respects, but there’s too much harshness and fuesel alcoholic quality when it approaches room temperature for me to ascribe greatness.....little subtlety, lots of burn doesn’t do it for me in this style, or in any. Mixed.
Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAR 21, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
The beer emerges from the 12-ounce brown bottle a soot black, the head Bunyanesque, the color a nice deep tan, the consistency thick and creamy, after its slow demise, the lace forms a glutinous blanket to obfuscate the glass. Ah that smell, toasted and roasted grain, sweet molasses, rich malt, a real foretoken of things to come, start is cotton candy sweet, the malt profile thick, the top full. Finish is merciful in its acidity; the hops mingle nicely with the 15.10 percent ABV, but a good thing to cut the sweetness, a belly warmer, and another hit for Avery.
beastiefan2k (2197) - 2nd City (formely NYC & KS), Illinois, USA - MAR 21, 2006
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
100th rater, enjoyed with Dickinsonbeer and JoeMcPhee at Spuyten Duyvil. After the pour the smell hits you like a rocket. So I let it sit for a bit. It poured black (of course) with a brown head that left soon. After letting it sit for a bit, the aroma was surprisingly light. It was a light alcoholic, floral fragrance, unlike a regular imperial stout. Here comes the taste. The body is much lighter than expected. Bitter taste but a smooth finish, probably becasue of the lighter body. Again, the smoothness going down is surprising. As I sit and drink the finish becomes a floral bitterness. Imagine a sweet bitter floral beer. Definitly worth a top 50 spot. Also, probably not worth aging. Now check my two commrades ratings and see the difference.
pineypower (2306) - Pine Barrens, New Jersey, USA - MAR 20, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 3, 2009 So I finally got it, and I went in with high expectations, and boy did Avery deliver. Pours out a dark thick black with a nice active brownish head. Aroma is roasty and sweet with some notes of chocolate and some fruit. Taste is very nice so complex. First I got a nice rich chocolate flavor that faded into some notes of caramel coffee and some dried fruit mostly some plum and maybe fig here or there with some more notes of vanilla and some mild oak and rum. Finish is sweet but sharp like a strong coffee. Very complex beer, I’d put this one on par with just about any imperial, one hell of a beer... no pun intended.
HopasaurusRex (195) - Glen Ellyn, Illinois, USA - MAR 19, 2006
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
One big bad mofo of a beer. I really like it though. Very much along the lines of Dogfish’s WWS, but different in some way that I can discern. I’m glad I bought a couple because I have a feeling this will age nicely. I like that its well carbonated-not too much though.
beerprincess (52) - Indiana, USA - MAR 19, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Deep rich black color with a lingering head. Port nose with coffee/toffee hints. There is a rich caramel, coffee taste that lingers nicely on your tongue.
sprinkle (114) - Arcadia, Michigan, USA - MAR 19, 2006
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Dark black in color with slightly lingering tan head. Deep nose of anise and roast with coffee and port notes, smells more like a strange liqour(strange in a good way!) Rich and vinous in your mouth, complex flavors, deep carmel, coffee, roasty and fruity at the same time. Alcohol is on the finish but not offensive. Would like to see this beer in a couple years.
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - MAR 19, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from Aubrey. MIxed feelings go into this rating. Black throughout in color. Decent brown head that gradually fades to a ring. Fair lacing. Malt, coffee, sugar and a healthy hop presence in nose. Delightfully thick and coating in mouthfeel. Coffee, chocolate and a bit much of sugar in flavor. Nicely done. This beer impresses and awakens. While big and assertive, I am realizing with this beer that the "Imperial" monniker is starting to bore me. Huge ABV, Mega hops, all are taking a toll. Time for moderation?