GermanBrews76 (680) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - MAY 13, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Heavy duty black body with hints of burnt amber aroud the edges. Hardly a head at all, but what's there is a dark tan/light brown tight little mass. Heavily chocolatey, a hint of vanilla and cream, rich and full, alcoholic and roasted, earthy hop tones rise up, a bit of licorice and some dry, well roasted barley on the finish. Great balance, great body and a GREAT job of slipping in a 12.2 ABV. A whopping alcohol punch drowned in superior complexity and depth. Sweet and chocolatey initially, but quickly overtaken by roasted bitterness and a spicy/earthy hop bite and ALCOHOL. the finish is a fight between the sweet chocolate maltiness and the alcohol/hop/roastey bitterness. TRUE imperial stout!!
DrunkAsASkunk (847) - Lynnwood, Washington, USA - MAY 13, 2003
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Oh beautiful beer..im about to lay down a towel in front of my door and pray to Avery 5 times a day. Comprehension is leaving me as i engulf this surprising bottle of liquid nectar. The alcohol hits like a cement truck plowing into a honda del sol..it aint pretty. It pours a viscous black liquidous mixture with a slight tan sheathy head. The aroma is milk chocolatey, with roasty coffee, nuts, raisins and vanilla apparent. The flavors is thick as molasses. More of a soupy chocoalte, raisin, and vanilla/nut mixture. Some wood, and dark chocolate involved. Very thick and grainy chocolateyness. Super dry, massively thick ending with little carbonation. Sheer asskicking goodness here. No sissy add ons, no pussy carbonation levels..just sheer asskicking alcohol and thick ass chocolatey syrup. THIS is the epitome of an imperial stout. Drink, feel...learn!!!!
Zach Diesel (906) - Sisters, Oregon, USA - MAY 13, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
strong milk choclate aroma, dark black with a tiny head, full bodied, silky choclate fading into alcohol and candy sweetness, then mild hop flavors that turn to woody roastedness that comes full circle with a milk choclate finish, the alcohol is masked incredibly well
LiebeBier (808) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - MAY 10, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Deep dark stout.. Very rich with a chocolate and raisen flavor. Sweet subtle aroma of toffee. Hops are present. Great beer.
P-tor44 (886) - Anchorage, Alaska, USA - MAY 8, 2003
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
sweet nose, a bit of alcohol. mild chocolate, good coffee balanced with other roasted grain flavors. Dangerously drinkable. Lots of chocolate with, with fruity licorice and the slightest touch of alcohol. Hops are piney, they don't jump out but rather lurk underneath. Doughy flavor throughout, excecptionaly balanced. Exactly what i'm looking for in a beer.
AxeMaster221 (343) - Portland, Oregon, USA - APR 30, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Another wonderful brew from Avery, I recommend all stout drinkers to seek this out. Has all you expect from an Imperial in terms of flavor and aroma, and a whopping 12% abv. Lovely.
Brodie (540) - Blowing Rock, North Carolina, USA - APR 16, 2003
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Aroma is coffee, roasted grains, spicy hops, some barely perceptable dark fruits, and peppery alcohol. A dark mahoganey brew, with a decent tan head. Flavor is rich and intense - chocolate, coffee, roasted barley, caramel and some spiciness form both hops and alcohol. Balance is sweet at first and finishes close to even. Full, creammy mouthfeel that is wonderful. I definitely need to go buy a few more bottles to cellar for a few years. Outstanding!
jazz88 (2613) - San Francisco, California, USA - APR 10, 2003
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 8, 2004 Bottle of the 2002 vintage (8 3 9 5 18). Black color with some brown at the edges and a laced foamy brown head. I expected a richer and fuller head on the pour. The second pour produced a slightly fuller head but it diminished quickly. The aroma has a rich malt, caramel, milk, bread, and some toast elements. The palate is immensely rich, creamy and bitter. There is oddly little of the intense coffee or fruit flavors often seen in imperial stouts. This one is all malt with highlights of toffee, caramel, milk, chocolate, hops, licorice, and sugar. As the beer warms the alcohol seeps through at the edge and warms the body nicely. Thanks to loweredsixth for the trade. Rating #2 from 2003 vintage (7 3 8 4 17).
Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - APR 2, 2003
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Ebony in color, the head is Bunyanesque in size, the head spumescent in texture, the color a light chocolate, as it dissipates, the lace left behind a thick glutinous sheet to conceal the glass. Nice aroma of toasted grains, chocolate sweet, light hints of coffee, fresh and a real treat for the senses, start is sweet, thick malt, the top is chewy like taffy. Finish has an applicative hop spicy bite, the acidity germane, the aftertaste droughty and long lasting and slightly alcohol bitter a real nice “Belly Warming” feel from the 12.2% ABV, a real load and a real treat for this “Lover of the dark side”.
bluemeow76 (693) - Lewis Center, Ohio, USA - APR 2, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
In regards to Dogbrick’s comments: anyone who has seen our governor knows that the prospect of kissing him isn’t funny to even joke about. Yuuuuck! Anyhow, this is a great beer. Black pour, thin tan head. Flavor is full of what makes stouts great: coffee, chocolate and something nutty. Great balance.