Rastacouere (6166) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUN 4, 2006
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Demonic charcoal black, syrupy look and with a quickly fading head. Hugely sweet and syrupy molasses, anise, chocolate, zinfandel plummyness and earthy nose. Explosive alcohol presence as it warms is accompanied by a lip smacking sweet kiss that is as sticky as any amaretto out there. I could make a list of the numerous flavors hinted at here, but Iíd rather just state like many others before me that this is hugely concentrated, certainly a chemical feature and technical beauty, but not something I would want to drink a whole bottle of, not once every decade. It is certainly nourishing, but caricatures what many other fine drinks already do quite well, be they polish meads, ports or ice ciders, playing sweetness on the delicious level. It just doesnít seem to work as well with the cerealic nature of malt as far as Iím concerned. The archetypal disagreement between ratebeerís general opinion and mine. I donít really get how this differs from every big Avery out there. I respect their pushing the boundaries philosophy, but their pull toward massive sweetness fails to seduce me. The claimed balance just seems to systematically miss the meeting with my tongue. The mouthfeel is immensely filtered and feels artificially sweet. Seems to try to be a darker JW Lees with added shot of alcohol.
hophead75 (2012) - Largo, Florida, USA - JUN 4, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
black. aroma: very sweet, malty, chocolate, some vanilla taste: very thick and chewy, sweet, some roast, cherry and a bit vinous, chocolately, with a strong bitter finish with warm alcohol.
Bov (11500) - Bienne, SWITZERLAND - JUN 4, 2006
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: FEB 18, 2007 do you know when you can be sure your steppparents like you ? Itís when they bring you a Mephistopheles Stout from Washington DC back to Europe ! - pours a pitch black colour under a little, brown tainted foam; a stupendous, rich and complex aroma invades the nose: dried fruits (mainly raisins), alcohol, anise and wood escort the strong notes of black chocolate; roasted but not too much; thick and enormously tasty, very sweet and full-bodied, strong bitterness; long creamy, toasted chocolatey finish with hints of cherry, licorice and molasses and a huge warming alcohol kick - this stuff is gigantic, excessive, too sweet and definitely lacking of balance but I love it !
Ungstrup (33400) - Citizen of the universe, DENMARK - JUN 3, 2006
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A pitch black beer with no head. The aroma is very sweet with primary notes of coffee, but also with light notes of vanilla and alcohol. The flavor is very sweet with a powerful presence of alcohol (no wonder), which burns the mouth slightly, the flavor also contains quite strong chocolate notes and lesser notes of wood, leading to a dry end. A very complex beer.
Walt (2449) - Austin, Texas, USA - JUN 2, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
#1240: Pour is black with a thin dense brown head...smell is sweet with alcohol, some earth fruits, strong yeast and roastiness...taste is sweet with alcohol first, then lots of roasty chocolate, but then the sweet alcohol is back...I think everyone has lost their mind...Bells 7000 is another imbalanced Impy, but nowhere near as imbalanced as this...donít get me wrong, this is good, but it is too hot, and I donít think it is a hot that time will fix...
schwaiger (90) - Laramie, Wyoming, USA - JUN 1, 2006
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
2006 bottle. Black as hell with a small, brown swampy fully diminishing head. Looks like a glass of obsidian. Aroma of molasses, licorice, coffee, carob, rotting wood, dark chocolate covered cherries, and way too much alcohol. Harshly sweet in the fore and all the way through. Some caramel and burned nuts, more licorice. Oddly, I detect the distinct and delicate flavor of rose water - odd that it could survive in this cauldron of death. This was a great novelty beer, but ultimately not nearly worth all the hype.
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - JUN 1, 2006
1.9 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 5/20
UPDATED: JUL 2, 2006 Deep dark black body. Really nice looking creamy dense brown head. The aroma is typical huge imperial stout. Sweet chocolate, raisins, alcohol, roasted malts. The flavor is overwhelming sweet and alcoholic. The sweetness assaults you up front and then the alcohol beats you into submission. Way too sweet IMO. Some complexity comes out once the palate recovers from the initial shock.Loads of raisins bitterness but no citrus which I really like in an IS. Slimy sticky full bodied. Not to my tastes at all. Ultimately a very simple brew that fails to showcase anything well and fails to be palatable.
Gorbalev (3000) - Ontario, CANADA - MAY 28, 2006
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Bottle shared with Blankboy, Hogtown Harry, and Dave, courtesy of a very generous Harry. Very interesting milk chocolate aroma - no booze. Natural cocoa sweetness, wood, and some hops. Impressive. Pitch black, decent brown head, bubbles near the surface. Very frothy creamy mouthfeel. Taste: first impression was lots of roast and very sweet. Mid-to end: more roast, lots of coffee, licorice and dark fruit. Alcohol is present and eye watering / nose hair burning but compliments and is balanced. Very sweet, almost syrup like, but again, does not detract somehow. Wow.
LtJudge (468) - Muskego, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 25, 2006
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Poured a thick dark black color with a nice tan head.Humongous malt,roasted coffee,raisin aroma.Upon first sip I noticed how complex this bad boy is!WOW! Heavy malt and roast flavor,then a nice coffee flavor.Has a nice little alcohol burn to it.Wow,what a monster of a brew,Very Good!
eboats (1082) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - MAY 25, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thanks to Degarth for a bottle of this. Poured pitch black with a dark brown head. Left great lacing all the way through. Aroma was hops, nuts, carmel, more nuts, coffee, chocolate, maple syrup, alcohol, cherry, and bourbon. Had a thick oily mouthfeel. The flavor was sweet all around, bourbon, nuts, dark fruit(fig for sure), and cherry. Had some alcohol burn in the finish.