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 (2591) - 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.
CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - APR 2, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 1, 2004 2/1/04 2003 batch: Very similar to the 2002, with a light fruitty and roasted aroma. Body has a good thickness, and nice caramel sweetness throughout, but still has an alcoholic finish. This really needs some finesse to disguise the alcohol and add to the body and balance. Not a bad imperial by any means, but not world-class either.
4/2/03 2002 batch: Rich, dark brown almost black body with a lacing tan head. Body is semi-sweet with good complexity and a dry, warming alcoholic finish. A pretty good imperial stout, but it tastes like its balance could use some aging.
JohnC (3004) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - MAR 29, 2003
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
A very short-lived head leads you quickly into a delicious black body. Flavors of toffee & chocolate abound. The nose is of roasted chocolate. This full bodied baby is pure pleasure to drink.