herbjones (742) - Orange, California, USA - FEB 7, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours black but held to the light it reveals a blood red heart.Quickly fading tan head.Big roasted nose.First sip starts with a sweetness reminiscent of chocolate but backed up by slight notes of bitter coffee.Some black licorice comes through in the aftertaste which lingers due to the creaminess of the brew.The abv is nonexistant which makes this a very dangerous brew. Many THANKS to ecrvich for this one. I just hope it makes it to California.
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 4, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 22, 2003 poured dark at first glance but when held to a light you could see right through its redness..the head was non-existent save a halo of froth...not the usual imperial aroma..more vinous, and barley-winish IMO..with hints of cream & alcohol..flavor was way more reminiscent of a barleywine than an imperial for some reason..i do not know why..however, that doesnt take away from its rating at all...the flavor was nutty, with molassis, brown sugar, sublte chocolate..some very slight licorice..or shall i say anise notes..theres some burnt sugar qualities too..But where the hell is the roastedness..the malts arent dark and roasty enough for this to be an imperial..its a barley-wine..am I wrong, I've had many of both, and this clearly is closer to a barley-wine than an imperial..but all in all..a good barley-wine..am i the only one getting this? whatever.
Dogbrick (8144) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - FEB 3, 2003
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: FEB 5, 2003 2002 Bottle: I could tongue kiss Governor Bob Taft for making beers like this available in Ohio. Pours black as octopus ink with a slight ruby halo. Very thin beige head and thin lacing. Yummy aroma of coffee, chocolate, toffee and malt that gets even better throughout the glass. Flavor is an interesting concoction of coffee, chocolate, tart soy sauce, and alcohol. Perfect hops counterbalance in the finish. I don't even know how this bottle disappeared so fast but I want another.
hennes (934) - Fountain, Michigan, USA - FEB 2, 2003
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Sorry bockers, this one pushes me back where I belong, in the stoutie posse. Kloster Asam gave me some temporary insanity, but the Czar orders me home. A beautiful, healthy, and earthy looking glow of yule log coals in the darkness. Lively coffee in the nose to enjoy the next morning with whiffs of yeast and alcohol spiced fruit. Absolutely gorgeous in the mouth - elegant and sophisticated in its gentle richness. And then a kaleidoscopic dance of flavors, dervishing yet in restrained artistic control: toffee, coffee, figs and cheese - vanilla, vodka, another one please!
hopscotch (9163) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - FEB 1, 2003
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
This beer rocks!
It pours ink black and thick. Only while holding my snifter up to a very high-powered halogen bulb was I able to get a brief glimpse of the crystal clear, deep ruby hue. The head is small, fizzy and khaki in color. Minimal, but interesting lacework remains as the head quickly dissapates.
The aroma is vineous and a wonderful blend of tawny port, milk chocolate, sourgham molasses, English toffee, buttery caramel, warm alcohol and dark roasted malt and nuts.
The flavor is of rich, darkly roasted, sweet malt with bursts of warming alcohol and dark coffee up front. The moderately bitter and tangy hop addition kicks in on the backside rounding out and mostly (but not fully) balancing out a very nice flavor.
Huge-bodied with a syrupy mouthfeel and soft, but lively carbonation. Lengthy, astringent, tangy, lightly bitter and dry finish.
This is a great offering from an underrated brewery. Wake up people! Try this beer and then The Reverend and Hog Heaven... a great Belgian style ale and Barley Wine/Imperial IPA respectively.
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - JAN 29, 2003
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 oz bomber. Color of medium molasses, tiny head diminishes very quickly into wisps of thin whitenes. Powerful aroma of whiskey, peppermint schnapps, molasses, coconut; I lost track, but there's several bottles worth of different smells, believe me. Body very thick and rich, strong roasted/sweet flavors hit you all at once -- it's creme brulee and hazelnuts and brandy and plums...mmmm.. but this is also quite a hoppy Imperial (70 IBUs the bottle says) and a coarseness runs through the whole flavor profile that I find different and unique but also perhaps a might overbearing. Finishes tart, drier, astringent and warming. For me not the very best IS, but top-notch for the style and a great introduction to this brewery! Thanks so much Ernesto, enjoy Alexander and McNeills!
SirHopsAlot (44) - Cockeysville, Maryland, USA - JAN 27, 2003
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
I went into this beer expecting much more. It was a little too sweet and syrupy for me. Kind of soda like. Medium body and light to medium hops. My disapointment might also come from the fact that I drank a Victory Storm King moments before.
urbnhautebourg (997) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - JAN 27, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Deep brown with ruby highlights and a bead of head. Big nose of dark grains and massive Hallertau. TOns of Hallertauer spice in the mouth with big dark grains for long peppery finish, nearly burning with spice. High alcohol content is completely hidden. A must for Hallertau lovers. Hop spice keeps it lively--not as smooth as Storm King, but a fine beer nevertheless.
TAR (2497) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - JAN 26, 2003
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: DEC 3, 2006 2002: Burnt maple. Quick, light chestnut head. Astoundingly firm aroma of nutty coated raisins, alcoholic vapors, coconut, dried plums, currants, and caramel. Soft hints of coffee, toasted marshmallow, candied dates, maple, and black cherry. The rounded fruitiness here is exemplified to perfection. Sits perfectly on the palate: both soft and firm. Gargantuous introductory fruity and vinous flavors alongside apples and caramel. Vague woody notes quickly follow with a dash of coffee bean. Very long vinous finish with the faintest trace of acidity. Finishes dry and candyish with a hint of coffee, burnt sugar, fig, apple, and slight alcoholic astringency. This excels in defying ’Imperial’ guidelines, as it is neither burnt nor insanely hopped, but rather unprecedented in its port-like qualities and unruly maltiness. Huge and elegant to say the least.
raindog (560) - Evansville, Indiana, USA - JAN 26, 2003
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 2, 2010 2002:Dark,dark,red with a small,diminishing,tan head. The stellar,aromas of dark chocolate,roasted barley,coffee bean,vinous-spicey hop,roasty aromas. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy.Perfect for style.Body is big!Flavors of dark chocolate,coffee,spicy hops,fill the mouth.Finish is bittersweet in the best possible way. The balanced,strength,creaminess,and drinkability,make this something to seek out!
2003: The doesn’t have the hop nose it had last year,is way more bitter up front,making the malt flavor not as enjoyable.Seems to be quite a bit thinner and watery. Still good.