Silphium (3188) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - JAN 20, 2004
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Maybe I'm burned out or maybe I need a new style; The Czar was yet another Imperial Stout that didn't excite me. I drank this after drinking a Dark Horse Cream Stout, and The Czar appeared almost transparent in comparison. Dark red/brown with light penetration in the edges, topped with a thin, creamy off-white head. Bitter hops aroma with some burnt malt notes and caramel. Flavor was pleasant but the whole was less than the sum of the parts: roasted malt, tons of sweet caramel, and dark fruits which finished with rather astringent bittering hops and less-than-subdued alcohol notes. Have I already tapped out the truly great Imperial Stouts? Bring on the Dark Lord!
WabashMan (1017) - Noblesville, Indiana, USA - JAN 18, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
2003 Bottle: A nice pitch black color and a medium, light tan head start this brew. A very nice aroma, and I agree with many other raters that there is a citrus hint to it. The flavor...well, this is really some top notch stuff. If I had to pick two words, I'd say vineous and huge. But, since I have MORE than two words, I'll also say delicious, with a bitterness in the finish. Also, some dark fruits apparent in this beer. Really, an excellent beer. Unfortunately, overshadowed by the overwhelming excellence of so many imperials, but really a great choice!
BeerLimey (2154) - California, USA - JAN 18, 2004
3.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: FEB 20, 2004 Dark reddish black ppearance, very light head formation. Alcohol, fruitcake, salty aroma. Dark fruits on the palate, raisins, molasses, strong burnt toffee flavor, hints of chocolate, alcohol prevalent throught, especially warming in the finish. Plenty of citric hop bitterness in the end. Saltiness is intriguing (I probably wouldn't have called it that without reading omhper's review but he nailed it). Big, bold and original? Yes. Great? Not something I could really drink much of.
Panzuriel (1384) - Westerville, Ohio, USA - JAN 16, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
somewhat sweet malty aroma with restrained bitter notes. Dark black opaque liquid witha persistant toffee colored foam. Sweet lightly malty flavor with a sharp acrid bitterness on finish. More fluid and thin than most stouts. Still a fine beer. High alcohol content and big bottle mean this one will lay you low. Beware.
flemdawg (540) - Rowlett, Texas, USA - JAN 13, 2004
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Wow, a stellar beer all around. First the apperance. Very dark brown or black, with some ruby tints on the side. Tan head that was small and was gone in a flash. The aroma was of dried fruits, candy(toffee?), brown sugar, and malts. The first sip was heaven. A hint of sweetness, followed up by bitterness. The flavors of roasted malts, toffee, hops, and candy did a dance on my tounge. As the brew moved down my gullet, the alcohol made its presence know in a nice, but firm way. Very smooth.
fiulijn (16174) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 13, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUL 4, 2008 2008-06-22, bottled 2005, 3 years old, 11.03% ABV, 7-5-8-4-16=40
Black color, with a generous creamy head; when pouring, it doesn’t seem very thick, there’s even a fizzy sound. It has a sweetish phenolic aroma at first, then some cookies and dark chocolate. It has an average body strength (i.e., less than other Imperial Stouts); it’s still sweetish, without being cloying, with a strong caramel flavor and just some dark chocolate; the bitterness is much attenuated, difficult to feel the 70 IBU; in the end there is a small alcohol perception. For being sweetish, with lower bitterness than the average, and with less roasted malt, it’s an easy Imperial Stout to drink.
2004-01-10, bottled 2002, 2 years old, 8-4-8-4-16=40
Dark amber color. As expected, the usual caramel/liquorice/roasted malt in the aroma and flavor. Thanks Philippe (Bov) for sharing this bottle.
Bov (10215) - Bienne, SWITZERLAND - JAN 12, 2004
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
2002 vintage: dark black colour, no foam, strong coffee aroma, alcohol and plum, thick, sweet and oily, very bitter and dry, the finish is quite powerfull with overwhelming alcohol presence - thanks to jcalabre for this beer
Yankovitch333 (612) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JAN 11, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 21, 2004 Bottled 2002: pours really dark brown, with a big thick tan head. Aroma is sweet and roasted. Nice full mouthfeel. Chocolate and coffee are on the tongue, along with a little alcohol. Good warming beer. This would be great for relaxing by the fireplace. This stuff is great!
Bottled 2003: Not the same stuff from 2002. I drank this along side Weyerbacher Old Heathen and WWS 2003 and it didn't compare to the others. Long lingering weird after taste. Fish scales and lots of alcohol kick. The Czar has been overthrown.
PhillyBeer2112 (2610) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - JAN 5, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Dark brown reddish touches. Tan head. Bubbly. Soured milk acrid aroma. Chocolate, roast, and coffee flavors. BAM.
howie (549) - DeForest, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 3, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 20, 2006 Ruby brown color, sticky head. Dark, dried fruit aroma (cherries, prunes). Bitter, salty flavors. Huge roastiness, licorice, fruit. Sweet coffee, bitter chocolate (mocha). Lingering bitter finish. Big palate. Doesn’t quite all come together like it should. Cellaring a couple.