erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - FEB 23, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours black with a deep brown head. Nose of black Patent with some Chocolate/coffee/madeira flavors thatround off with a finish of Sherry and hops. The initial taste is very alcoholic. Not a very good job of hiding that. Burnt toast and chocolate follow with a hint of sherry but no dried fruits top speak of. I really miss tasting an Imperial stout and being bombarded with Rum raisin flavors. A good imperial but not great.
Frank (3718) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 23, 2004
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Deep, dark garnet. No head. Nose is heavily vinous with a touch of alcohol. Intense coffee-like bitterness with a bit of roasty astringency. Thick mouthfeel. Low carbonation. Well made, but I find the roasted character a bit strong for my liking.
kujo9 (1095) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - FEB 19, 2004
2.4 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
2003: Little to no head and a dark brown body. Seem lightly colored for an I.S. Solventy higher alcohol aromas, caramel, hints of roast and a light plasticky phenolic. Some raisiny aromas, but very light. Overall aromas are very thin, except the alcohol. Light roast, raisin and caramel; alcohol present in the flavor, again, all very thin. Very well balanced w/ some hop flavor in the aftertaste. Alcohol is "hot" and the body is thin for an I.S. (medium), low on carbonation. Overall very disappointing IMHO. I remember the 2002 having more character, specifically roast, chocolate, and bitterness, but this one is thin all around. I also picked up the plastic phenolic in the aroma and hints in the flavor, so maybe they had some sanitation issues with this one. I'll re rate if I get a better bottle.
elnadeau (786) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - FEB 17, 2004
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thanks to jcalabre for this. Ok, very dark. Duh. Small head, nice roasty-sweet, hops aroma. Dark cocoa, toffee/mollasses with some spice character, finishing with some bitterness. Complex, but not blending together as as some others of this style; Old Rasptin and DFH WWS to name a couple. Good, but just not as palatable as I hoped.
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - FEB 13, 2004
3.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Solid thickly mruky black color with very thin slivers of chestnut around the bottom and edges. Very loose and largely bubbled head of tannish hue swims on the surfuce creating a dishwater froth of bubbliness. Lace in sparaticly placed thin stings. Aroma is very average if that, a barely there clean coffee, chocolate roastyness hovers some across the nose but nothing stands out to my sniffing senses, some slight notes of very dark sweet fruityness float in as it warms up. Taste has some more to offer with a resounding warmth wrapped in subdued roasty black maltyness lending little grabs of coffee and dark chocolate. Some welcoming notes of dark fruityness subside next to a bit of hops lending some prune, plum, and molasses. A bit mild, but quite smooth with a good chocolate character with some darker qualities that are nice. Feel is a bit on the thinner side in its body for an Imperial but its quite creamy and some finer warmth lines the palate as well as the back of the throat with a little chocolatey alcoholic bite of mild acidicness. That said, with the thinner body and overall mildness and creamyness, this stuff goes down quite easy. I had this along side with an Old Rasputin and Expedition to compare and it didn't even come close to either so hence its lower numbers. Always good to try a side by side to see where you're at with a certain style when you can. I still wouldn't turn this down if offered, it just could be better IMO.
amx1970390 (480) - Southampton, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 13, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Exremely dark, Not as dark as Dark Lord Imperial Stout. Little to no head. Aroma of leather and alcohol. When you taste this you eyes will roll back in your head it is so good. Definate toffe and chocolate flavor. Very sweet with a tangy, bitter finnish. Yum, Yum, Yum.
BigBastard (668) - L.A., California, USA - FEB 13, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 20, 2004 One of the best Imperials ever. HUGE alcohol flavor, that can barely be concealed by chocolate flavors. A truley massive beer that had to be shared.
tidiaguy (168) - Hawley, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 13, 2004
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Near black, dark brown with a tiny fizzy tan head. Aroma is lorcorice, medicine, hops with a molases backbone. Flavors are molasses, slight maple syrup sweetness with a licorice and alcohol base. Palate is heavy, sticky, and kind of oily. Medicinal hop bitter and alcohol warmth on the finish. I get a bit more of a barley wine feel out of this than a Imperial Stout.
FlacoAlto (4100) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - FEB 11, 2004
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
2004 release, Sampled January 2004
Pours with a thick brown creamy head, a deep black beer with amber highlights rest under the head. Serious aromas of alcohol emanate from the glass. There are aromas of black malt, roasted character, and coffee (though fairly subtle for an Imperial Stout). The body is, as expected, thick and creamy. Wow this is strikingly different. It is intensly sweet, even for an Imperial Stout. The roast character is here but pretty subdued. The sweetness dominates the flavor profile. This beer needs some age to smooth it out. The alcohol is evident in the finish. If I had to rate this as is I would give it a 3.4, based on potential though I would give it a 3.9 after it has aged a few years and smoothed out.
MilkmanDan (1943) - Eagan, Minnesota, USA - FEB 8, 2004
2.2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
UPDATED: FEB 10, 2004 I believe I have a new winner of the “most disappointing beer ever” award. Had been looking forward to this one. Have looked forward to better things. Dark. Smell has absolutely no roast character, pretty much smells like molasses. Not only smells like molasses, pretty much tastes just like watered-down molasses with maybe a bit of raisins. End is dry with noticeable hops. No roast at all, which would seem to make the label of “stout” dicey at best. Eeew. I guess I now understand why the Czar and his family were shot. I'm with the Russians on that one.