phaleslu (7041) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JAN 10, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22 oz. bottle from a trade with fidelis83- thanks, Jeremiah! Pours very dark brown, almost black, with a small tan head. Aroma is heavy on coffee and vanilla, with notes of chocolate, roasted malts, earthy hops, and brown sugar. The flavor is also coffee and vanilla (this thing delivers what it promises), and also has some earthy notes, hops, roasted malts, and chocolate. Medium-full bodied, with low carbonation and a flat cola mouthfeel. The vanilla pops more and more as this gets lower and warmer, and the alcohol is hidden. This was the 8th beer of 10 in a tasting I held for some friends, and we paired it with some homemade brownies; turned out to be a great dessert beer. I could also do it with dinner, but it would have to be a hearty, simple meal. Great imperial porter.
durhambeer (2500) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - JAN 9, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from Sam’s in Durham. Nice to see this one available around here. Pours nice and black with a softly foamy light mocha head. Nose is beautiful... lots of vanilla, for sure, but not just mild vanilla spice -- more like the bean. Fruity in a way I didn’t expect. Some chocolate and coffee. But this is different than most imperial stouts/porters. Can’t get over how fruity the vanilla character is. Silky smooth palate. Yum.
gorditoabd (624) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 9, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Sampler at the brewery. Aroma is coffee and leather. These two are so strong in the nose that the vanila gets shouted down. Flavor is outstanding; smokey, strongly of rich dark coffee beans, leather, cocoa, and vanilla. Just plain awesome.
MrBunn (2523) - The Wet Side of a Dry Town, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 9, 2010
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap at Ballast Point. This was a very pleasant surprise. Dark brown pour with a little bit of a beige/tan head and aromas of coffee and leather. First sip reveals much more, however... loads of coffee and chocolate up front (but it’s got a fairly creamy texture and not abrasive at all) with a vanilla and cream flavor showing up in the finish. Amazing stuff...
dimenhetfield (2487) - , Florida, USA - JAN 9, 2010
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Simply outstanding. One of the best porters I’ve ever had. The aroma is terrific. Coffee grind, vanilla, and chocolate. The taste is something to behold as well. The first sip is very much like a coffee stout, but finishes like a porter. Sweet and robust. Full of flavor, that lingers on the tongue well after it has gone down.
bhensonb (11800) - Woodland, California, USA - JAN 4, 2010
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from Beverages4Less. Pours black with a 3-finger tan head. Aroma of coffee. Full bodied with creamy carbonation Coombination of coffe and vanilla leads to a nice dose of bitter chocolate. Just excellent.
marcus (6988) - Sacramento, California, USA - JAN 4, 2010
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Shared by bhensonb. Pours dark brown with a beautiful thick tan head and a coffee with cream aroma. The flavor is contrasting chocolate and vanilla with a bit of cherry and some oak. The finish is dry and fairly bitter.
puggy211 (712) - cordova, Tennessee, USA - JAN 3, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a dark brown (near black) body with a small tan head. Aroma of coffee, vanilla, nuts, and roasted malt. Flavor of coffee, roasted malt, chocolate, and vanilla
yamar1221 (40) - USA - JAN 2, 2010
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Coffee hue-like appearance and dark, roasted chocolate aroma.Upfront the taste was very malty and roasty. Ending with traces of vanilla makes for a smooth finish.
GT2 (8938) - San Diego County, California, USA - DEC 27, 2009
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: AUG 4, 2010 22oz bomber brought to a tasting in Dec 2009. Pours pitch black with a thin, deep brown head. Good retention. Good lacing. Aroma is coffee, roasted malt, ehh I can’t get too much else out of it. Taste is still too hot. Very boozy. Lots of warming. Hard to get much out of it at this point. Bubbly, biting on the palate. Good definitely take kindly to some barrel aging or cellaring for 1-2 years. Disappointing. Need to retry this when my other bottles start to peak. 6/5/7/3/12=3.3
Tap at the brewery. Doesn’t look as beautiful with scant lacing. Aroma is wonderful tropical, green coffee beans. Taste is less spicy as the booziness is cut by lots of sappy, resinous wood, dry oak. Still biting, bubbly on the palate. 8/4/7/3/13=3.5
22oz 2009 ed from 7/2010. Pours a beautiful deep brown to black with a healthy, dense, rocky, deep brown head that has excellent retention and lace. Booziness is gone. Still very cedar, wood resin heavy, relatively dry, a bit spicy, excellent rich coffee character and raw cacao. Much more refined with 6+ months sitting in the bottle. So definitely hold onto your bottles for a little bit once they are released because this beer definitely gains from it. 8/4/7/4/14=3.7