talon1117 (1152) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - MAR 14, 2006
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUN 26, 2011 Coal black is a great way to describe the color with a light brown, average, pillowy head that surprisingly lasts considering the ABV. Very inviting nose, roasted mocha coffee, more chocolate, licorice, toffee, date, and even some slightly floral hops. Flavor is intense, but not overly rich. It is sweet, but not too sweet to cover up the roast character and the other complexities. I really get caramelized cherries, chocolate, and dark fruits (plum, dates, slight raisin), and the coffee roast backing it up to balance. Slight anise, licorice, and toffee. The body is a shocking medium to full with a creamy/oily texture and soft carbonation. The finish is of the hop bitterness and the roast flavor with a slight burnt flavor (not in a bad way) with the alcohol warming sensation finally making itself present. By far the best of the demons of ale series, not being overly sweet and hiding it’s potent self very well. Unlike a lot of other Imperials, the roast takes a back seat, but it does find its place in this very complex and sophisticated beer. This is one of my favs.
fordest (1961) - Santee/San Diego, California, USA - MAR 14, 2006
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
12 oz bottle special thanks to slob. Deep, deep dark pour with a very brown head that faded. Aromas were wonderful. Caramel, Toffee, Plum, Roasted chocolate, Rum Cake. Flavors very sweet and cherry up front. More Dark fruit and chocolate in the middle with a strong alcohol flavor. The finish is the alcohol warming mixed with coffee. Remains sweet all the way through. What a great beer! Thanks a bunch Bert!!!!!!!
willblake (2632) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - MAR 13, 2006
4.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
03.12.06 12oz bottle, HW OH. Gorgeous, thick, black, more head than you’d expect for a 15% brew. Aromas are wild, full of licorice, char, band-aid, Twix, prune, cig ash. Up front, I’m enjoying the aromas, but also let down from what were lofty expectations. The first sip washes that all away. Massive on the palate, it’s syrupy, thick, sweet, and utterly decadent. The feel exceeds expectation, invites another sip. It’s thick, sweet, yet lovely with coffee, cocoa, caramel, toffee, cherry, dark chocolate, bitter roast. Outstanding balance, especially for such a massive brew. Finishes soft and silky, not the least bit cloying of overly rich, not too hot, either. Tons of tobacco and char fill a long and pleasant finish. Great beer.
sloth (2400) - Ceciltucky, Co., Maryland, USA - MAR 13, 2006
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Small, tight beaded tan head, sorry, i,m enjoying SRV live at the Macambo on DVD. He,s doing a cover of Jimis 3rd stone from the sun thats pretty much incredible, thats really how i feel about this brew! A lovely sipper, just mezmerizing,,,, enjoy,,,,,slowwwwwlyyyy.
Styles (2014) - Lincoln Park, Michigan, USA - MAR 13, 2006
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Black with huge brown head, made of tiny carbonation bubbles. Aroma lacks a bit IMO. Dark fruit (mostly prune) and alcohol up front, (although no where near what you would think at 15%). Maybe some spicy hops in the background, but still leaning towards alcohol. Flavor is very sweet through and though. Chocolate/coffee mixture to start, turns quickly to mollasses/syrup with some coffee bitterness in the finish. Ton of unfermented/residuel sugar in the flavor. Very sticky mouthfeel, almost like straight syrup. Aroma really kills the score for me.
FlacoAlto (3737) - 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 (3800) - 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 (6029) - 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!