MaxPower (961) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - FEB 1, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottled in 2003, pours reddish-brown that turns black in the glass, has a creamy brown head that leaves some lacing. Sweet roasted chocolate, coffee and fruity aromas, sweet fruity plum-chocolate and coffee flavors. Nice burnt bitter-sweet well hopped finish. Medium body with creamy and smooth mouthfeel, not as thick as I expected, still very tasty.
JMerritt (1941) - Macomb, Illinois, USA - JAN 31, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
2003 vintage. Dark, dark black in color. Head is initially medium in size and off-white/brown, and is mostly diminishing. Lacing is thin but covers the sides of the glass fully. Mildy roasted aroma of black licorice, plums, and alcohol. Roasted malts, coffee, molasses, and white grapes emerge in the flavor which is initially sweet, salty in the middle, and finishes mildly bitter. Thick, creamy, nearly milk-like mouthfeel. Alcohol, although noticeable in the aroma, is very well hidden in the flavor.
Alcoholist (570) - Peoria, Illinois, USA - JAN 24, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Black with hints of purple and a thick creamy head. Aroma is coffee and alcohol. Flavor is strong salty and bitter like natural licorice though not strongly anise. Hides it's abv quite well. Finish is smooth bitter with a lingering salty pastis (anise & alcohol) flavor.
TChrome (1447) - Bedford, Texas, USA - JAN 23, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Beer pours very dark brown with a nice big tan head that is retained. Aroma is decadent. Notes of roasted nuts, chocolate, and glorious sweet malt. Flavor is nice and big with elements of chocolate, toffee and licorice. Does seem to be a bit thin on the palate. Very good but not up to the standards of Expedition IMO.
supermikeyb (43) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - JAN 21, 2004
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Okay, so I need to re-rate this one...First impression though....very nice. Rich, silky mouthfeel. Flavors of toffee, chocolate, and coffee. The 11.9% alcohol is amazingly weel hidden. Will re-rate this weekend.
aracauna (3501) - Georgia, USA - JAN 21, 2004
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Surprisingly transparent given the style, but I've seen paler recently. The head was sufficient to style, but not impressive. The aroma had a little shock of hops that was later lost in the malt/fruit/alcoholic cocktail of aromas later on. The body is a bit thin, with a sugary sweetness that would be cloying if it had some thickness behind it. Toffee, licorice. Interesting and not in bad form, but seems a bit lacking.
Silphium (3191) - 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 (1024) - 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 (1952) - 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.