FlacoAlto (3676) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAR 12, 2006
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottled January 2006, Sampled March 2006
Pours with a rich, creamy-chocolate brown colored head that is initially two-fingers thick. The beer is simply midnight black in color. An interesting aroma; initially I get notes of dates and alcohol. There is a rich, malty, almost salty note; a sort of umami kind of notes that could perhaps evoke thoughts of soy sauce, though not really. When you go in for a good, long draught of the aroma your nose gets just a bit singed by hot alcohol notes. There are some hints of chocolate aromatics here, a definite roast-acidity & I have a feeling this is a bit too cold right now.
Thick, almost syrupy, no it definitely is syrupy. It is quite sweet, almost in a sugar-like fashion (as opposed to the richer malt derived sweetness found in many strong beers). The finish has a certain, almost astringent, and lightly hot alcoholic note, that is not really all that detracting, in fact it is almost needed to cut thought the sweetness. Definitely rich and decadent, in fact it is a malt bomb up front, it is not until the middle that a detracting, sugary sweetness takes hold. The finish has a lingering roast bitterness, as well as a hop derived bitterness. My impression up to this point is that this beer is too sweet, and that it seems like filtration has robbed this beer of a lot of complexity.
I am really surprise at how subtle the roast character is; it is definitely here, but is completely dominated by the sweetness. There is a touch of coffee ice-cream here, perhaps some chalky roasted malt, and a bit of burnt acidity in the finish. Put another way, there is a ton of roast character here, it just plays second fiddle to the sweet notes. Fairly drinkable for all its concentrated flavors and thickness, though I certainly won’t be pounding this any time soon. In the end this beer ends up being a bit too cloying, after the first 4oz it becomes a chore, even a 12oz bottle of this is too much. I think there is some potential here; I can actually see this getting quite a bit better with age, what complexity this beer currently lacks, will be added to and made better by some years of aging and subtle oxidation. Even though this is filtered, with the alcohol this beer will age for quite some time; perhaps I will sample this vintage again in 5 years or so.
Numenor (871) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - MAR 11, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks Degarth for this one! Pours a beautiful black body with a brown head of about a centimeter thick which dissapates quickly. Cherries, rum-soaked fruits and chocolate dominate the aroma. Heavy coffee accent, with the rum-soaked fruits coming through in the body. A very nice burn in the mouth in the end, very similar to the Westvleteren 12’s burn. An outstanding addition from Avery.
maniac (3581) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - MAR 11, 2006
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Dark black color with a medium frothy brown head that dissipates fully. Slightly astringent chocolate and cherry aroma. Very syrupy consistency. Some dark and roasted malts with chocolate, caramel, some cherries and a bit of coffee in the end. Thanks to Degarth for sending this to Richmond.
RooftopRogue (423) - Champaign, Illinois, USA - MAR 11, 2006
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks Phil (Philip)! This beer’s aroma is somewhat disappointing as it only offers malt, vanilla, and slight coffee fragrances. It is black with a thick brown head that fades fast. This thick beer is rich and smooth. It is creamy at first then the flavors of caramel and vanilla appear. It fades with a nice vanilla taste but a tad hot. With a little more age this beer will be a lot better.
5000 (5613) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - MAR 11, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle for rating #1600: Pitch black, rocky light brown head, fairly nice lacing. Very sweet aroma of graham cracker, chocolate, apple skin, and very slight coffee. Whoa, did I mention sweet? Up in your face sweetness on first sip, slight soy, otherwise very candyish. The stout aspect seems seconday to the sweetness. Syrupy sweet for sure. Sweet pine and citrus rind is how I would sum this beer up. Almost cloying in fact. The 15.1% ABV is well hidden. But of course, it translates into a beer that is extremely sweet otherwise. Body and moufhteel are quite full, yet the sweetness factor makes me gag a bit. Finishes with an overly sweetened soy aspect. This one is just way toooooo sweet for me to consider it even being in the Top 50. Good, but definitely not one I would drink by myself. Thanks for the bottle Ernest!
MikeMac (185) - Wyandotte, Michigan, USA - MAR 10, 2006
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pours a deep black with a tan bubly brown head.a somewhat of a suprise for the duration of the head for a impy. Aromas were Chocolate toffee, liqorice and some spiciness in there. Flavor was not typical with a nice roast and chocolate . A little espresso in there as well with a finish of fruit and cherries.
HopsOrDie (687) - New Lenox, Illinois, USA - MAR 10, 2006
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: FEB 10, 2007 Pours dark black with a thick brown head. Aroma is screaming with a roasted chocolate coffee aroma similar to Expedition. A little alcohol present in the nose. Roasted almost burnt flavor up front. Surprisingly sweet palate. Dark fruit and roasted flavor in the aftertaste makes you wanting more. Coffee, chocolate, and licorice pop up if you taste for them. The alcohol is well disguised but it warms you up from below. This is one phenomenol beer.
Kevster (344) - Bradenton, Florida, USA - MAR 10, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle -Batch 1 (01/06). Pours syrupy black in my snifter with a frothy bubbly light-brown head. Aroma is very malty with hints of dark chocolate, roasted nuts and alcohol. Initial sweet flavor has kind of bite but for 15.1% the alcohol is pretty well hidden. Each sip it seems I taste something different like licorice, cherry and wine. This was a very satisfying sipping brew sitting outside on my lanai in Florida on a Friday evening.
Tmoney99 (9610) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - MAR 10, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle order for and shared with me by Robbie in Daytona. Poured in a snifter with a deep black color with a moderate brown head that lasted and produced good lacing and sticky legs. Very good complex roasted malt and toffee aroma with a alcohol tone. Full body with a sticky smooth texture. Full roasted malt and rich dark berry flavor with a smooth sweet alcohol finish that lasted. Great after dinner drink with a good strong cigar.
ehhdayton (1188) - USA - MAR 9, 2006
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
The aroma is a symphony of chocolate, roasted malt, dark fruit, and bourbon. The color is a deep rich black with a large tan head. Head retention is unfortunately short and there is no lacing. At first the flavor is a deeply sweet escence of dark fruit and dark chocolate. Afterwards a roasted malt flavor is apparent and the finish has a warming alcohol qualtiy sijmiliar to bourbon.