CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - JAN 18, 2013
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
12oz bottle: Pours a rich obsidian with a small creamy dark beige head. Has a dense, sweet dark caramel and chocolate nose with lots of bourbon oak and vanilla complexity. Starts with chewy viscosity, fine carbonation and dark malty sweetness with notes of raisins and molasses combined with a healthy amount of bourbon before a semi-sweet and smooth finish that hides the alcohol surprisingly well. Loaded with complexity, one of the best bourbon-barrel-aged imperial stouts Iíve had.
b3shine (7123) - Indiana, USA - JUL 5, 2013
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle to snifter (thanks Chris). Looks good; a dark cola with thin beige lacing. Smells and tastes good too; chocolate and booze. Nice on the mouthfeel; it doesnít taste 17+%. good beer.
swoopjones (7013) - Buffalo, New York, USA - DEC 31, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
bottle. fuller bodiedblack pour. Powerful beer, very agressive. huge roastiness, bourbon notes, dark chocolate. very boozy at 17%. active mouthfeel that keeps tastebuds overworked. a lot going on here. very small sips
after4ever (6925) - Brier, Washington, USA - SEP 2, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
12-oz, capped and foiled, very fresh. Thanks J! Pours opaque jet black with a dense and creamy burnt tan head that falls to a crazy whorl and eddy pattern, like the way freshwater and saltwater mix in an estuary and you can see the stripes. The head is brackish! Speaking of brackish, thereís salty soy sauce on the nose, along with roast, dark chocolate, oak, and lots of fumey bourbon and other alcohol. Not showing really heavy ethanol, which is a testament to their blending skills. Definitely some toasty oaty cerealy notes as well. Thick silky smooth slippery body--not buttery slippery, itís oaty slippery. Roasty toasty notes hit you, then dark chocolate and soy sauce, then sweet bourbon and oaky vanillaness. Long heavy chocolatey finish. Never develops a heavy vodka bite, not even a twang, and doesnít make a lavish display of any ethanol. Quite nicely done. Still pretty thick and raw and heavy, so itís hard to go up into stratospheric numbers, but this is designed to be a big ridiculous dessert beer, not a balanced and harmonious sipper. That it is as balanced and harmonious as it is merits a great score, so...38.
tderoeck (6906) - Gent, BELGIUM - MAY 29, 2015
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
21/IV/14 - 12Fl. Oz. bottle @ home - BB: n/a, bottled: 27/VI/13 (2014-1575) Thanks to Thomas and Annelies for the bottle!
Note: was surprised to find I hadnít rated this yet, despite having drunk this. Was able to back-track it to the correct notebook, thanks to my line-up pictures of tastings on Facebook. :p
Clear dark brown to black beer, small creamy beige head, little stable, bit adhesive. Aroma: caramel, lots of chocolate, chocolate milk, bit of vanilla, nutty touch. MF: ok carbon, full body. Taste: dark chocolate, caramel, little sourish, sugary and sweet as well, mocha, bourbon, dried fruits, raisins, brown sugar. After-taste: sweet, lots of dried fruits, molasses, dark chocolate, mocha, soft bitterness, bit boozy, sourish touch. Lovely beer!!
Ernest (6905) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - APR 9, 2015
2.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle (Batch 4, Feb 2015 bottling).
Head is initially small, frothy, brown, mostly lasting.
Body is opaque black (flashlight tested).
Aroma is moderately malty (chocolate syrup, roasted grain, caramel), with notes of raw wood, vanilla, alcohol, whiskey/bourbon.
Flavor is harshly sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter.
Finish is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly to moderately bitter.
Full body, syrupy texture, soft/lively carbonation, harshly alcoholic.
I can name that tune in...3 notes; sugar, alcohol, and raw wood. I hate to be flippant, but thatís what this beer is about. Yeah, thereís some of the usual choco-vanilla-roast in here too, which virtually all stouts offer, and ample bourbon scent as well (although milder than expected)...but the main feature here is really the unbelievable syrupy sweetness and the painfully burning finish. So harsh on both counts it literally makes my eyes water to take a sip, and very nearly a gag reflex occurs. It doesnít smell bad, mind you, itís just very simple. And I did spend a lot of time with the nose, despite instantly disliking the drinking experience...I kept hoping it would unfold new aromatic treasures as it warmed, but it never did. But letís be honest...like The Bruery, Avery LOVES sugar and alcohol. Thatís pretty much what defines the brewery anymore, if you were to peg them on one particular trait. They almost seem to try to get as much residual sugar as is physically possible in all their big brews, and this is surely one of their crown achievements in that regard...it is almost exactly like taking a big spoonful of granulated cane sugar and putting it in your mouth, no exaggeration; it really is that sweet. And hardly anything to balance other than the massive throat burn. Pretty much undrinkable. But hey...first pour opacity and a lasting head...every cloud has a silver lining!
djd07 (6619) - Houston, Texas, USA - SEP 17, 2012
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle from Petrol Station. Pours a very dark brown with small tan head that quickly diminishes to nothing. The aroma is roasted malt chocolate and bourbon. Thick mouthfeel with a strong roast and chocolate with bourbon in the finish. Alcohol present but not overpowering for 17%. A very impressive imperial stout from Avery.
5000 (6600) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - AUG 15, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle:   Pours black, moderate sudsy brownish head, fairly nice lacing.   Big sweet rich roasted malt nose with graham cracker, soft vanilla and toffee, with some very soft Bourbon notes.   Nothing is too bright, or stands out very strongly on the nose.   However, on the tongue its a bit different.   Huge roastiness up front, sweet, a bit of dark pitted fruit like sweetness, with heaps of graham cracker, and even chocolate graham cracker.   This is all followed by some very strong young Bourbon notes.   Rather sweet, heavy but not cloying.   Big strong Graham Cracker base, chocolate and regular.   I am amazed as to how this nearly 17.5% beer is so easy to drink, not hot, or alcoholic.   Another one of those Avery brews that amazes me.   Good stuff!
BBB63 (6507) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - APR 24, 2014
3.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle (2014) served in snifter at near room temps: Pours a very deep brown, nearly opaque with a fading tan head and not much lace, some oily tears. The aroma is heavy on the bourbon vapours of vanilla, oak, char and alcohol. Some of the robust stout does come through like chocolate, coffee, tobacco, and a hint of resiny esters. The taste has sharp whiskey and charred oak notes of layers of sweet malt, black strap molasses and vanilla beans. A fleeting touch of espresso, leather, tobacco and pepper attempt to round out the palate but for now the beast is just too young and unruly. Interestingly there is already a developing sherry like oxidization so I do not think that this will age gracefully beyond a year or two max. Sticky and lush mouth feel with that aggressive booze and warming sensation. I like this but alas it has the common hot boozy characteristic of many of Avery big brews when they are young.
TheAlum (6487) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - APR 29, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle shared at Flossmoor Pre-DLD Gathering (Flossmoor, IL). Pours a a rich deep thick blackish pourn thicker with a dark brownish head that dies to a ring, laces ok. Aromas are touches of spirit, oak, but more malt drive, toffee, toast, and biscuits. Caramel, sweeter essence. Initial is thick and full offering Bourbon, spirit, and molasses. Thick and rich, caramel and toffee, biscuits. Some toffee, lots of rich dark cocoa, vanilla, and spirit. A good thickness, spirit, rich sweetness into middle and backend. Good lord, thick and rich, good barrel but not thinned. A good complexity with toasted oak, vanilla, roast, toast, lots of dark chocolate. Rich and thick, hot and lovely awesome flavors. A winner, if a bit big and rich. Still, surprisingly easy going.