wetherel (1836) - Encinitas, California, USA - AUG 8, 2007
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 19, 2008 8/8/07: On tap at Obriens. Waited 4hrs for this baby. 10oz taster/$3. Strong chocolate aroma. Tight creamy 1 finger tan head that dies slowly. Pitches of pitch black liquid. Thick body, kind of oily mouthfeel. Very malty aroma and taste, possibly a bit of caramelized malt. A bit of sourness. This was the first or second pour from the tap, so I wonder if the lines were clean, (possibly residual Nickel Stout?) (Definitely need to rerate). A tiny bit of buttery slickness, but I wouldnít say diacetyl. Alchohol is reasonable well hidden, but not very drinkable. 8/4/5/3/13:3.3
10/22/07: Tried again at Ballast Points 11th anniversary celebration. I think it was the same beer as before: Syrah barrel aged. Dark. Oily texture. Nicer, now that I know itís a red wine barrel. 8/4/7/3/15:3.7
Tried again from a growler that Sean at PP bottle shop got: 8,3,7,3,14:3.5
padrefan98 (854) - (San Diego) Santee, California, USA - JUL 18, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
I saw this on the make or break, and remembered I had this one and didnít rate it. I remember the dark pour and the intense flavors of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon. Pretty intense beer. Definetly worth a try when you see it.
Seahandler (11) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 8, 2007
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
On tap at Ballast / Home Brew Mart. Muy Grande! Black as a beer can get. No light through this one. Aroma of roasty sweet coffee. Vanilla has backed off over time. Tan head for how black the beer is. Coffee is evident but no astringency associated. Even with the high alcohol the finish is rather dry. Mouthfeel tastes like it should leave more of a cloying effect. Dangerously drinkable. After dinner, next to a fire, with a bowl of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.
mds (2154) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - APR 22, 2007
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Draught. Deep black body with a medium-sized creamy tanned brown head. Superb aroma consisting of maple, bourbon, vanilla, touches of smokey ham, and tonnes of chocolate roast.
Smooth and creamy palate. Chewy flavours including chocolate, espresso beans, vanilla sugars. Unlike the aroma there wasnít really any smokiness in the flavour. Finishes roasty and sticky with an alcohol bite.
Enjoyed a pint at The Liars’ Club on March 23, 2007.
jarspag (601) - San Francisco, California, USA - APR 15, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Brewery sample and a glass at Liarís...Damn, this beer is hugggge. A coffee brew on steroids - similar to a Speedway in terms of appearance and mouthfeel. Really good and definately worth a try, as I think it only comes around a few times, if not only once a year.
BBB63 (5701) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - APR 8, 2007
2.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Tap at the Liarís Club: Nearly opaque with a small tan head and minimal lacing. The aroma profile displays bourbon, vanilla bean, hint of oak, milky chocolate, quick dash of smoke, some herbal and grassy hop vapours as well. Boy was I disappointed with the flavour combinations in this brew. There were the expected heavy malt and fruity notes at the beginning before a crashing volley of vanilla and oak ruined it for me. Really just too sweet and flat for what was found on the nose. A dash of espresso bitterness on the finish did little to improve my experience. The mouth feel is oily and sticky with a heavy alcohol burn. I am way against the grain here but I found this beer leaning too far towards the malt and not enough hop and coffee bitterness.
ClarkVV (3766) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - APR 3, 2007
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draught chalice at the Liarís Club on 3/23/07
Very dark, black coffee-like appearance, with violet and crimson edges and a thin sheaf of tan head that manages to stick around for a while. Little/no lacing. Clarity is low.
Soft, yet sweet vanilla cream-like maltiness has pieces of bitter and milk chocolate folded in to it with coffee sweeping in quickly to add dryness to the nose and a bit more hardness than is first perceived. Light vinousness and oak notes emerge on the end, adding complexity but not any harshness, thankfully. Sweet malts make a reprise, rich and full of milk chocolate (light lactic notes as well), with some salty roast and even a touch of delicate prunes. Though the oak/bourbon nuances add more power to the aroma, it still comes off as smooth and rather soothing for its strength. Maybe a touch too much on the coffee, but it is a coffee imperial porter, afterall. Alcohol is only glimpsed briefly, after warming.
Buttertoffee and strong vanilla immediately give way to a cocoa dryness, ripe with bitter coffee notes, and chocolate covered prunes/raisins. Some said smoke was apparent, but I seemed to get more of a salty roast-like quality, with black malt bitterness and moderate oakiness. Very soft texture, overall, however, with low carbonation. Big pale malt backbone goes the distance and makes for a supple palate without becoming cloying. Coffee seems, again, a bit too strong and dry, but not glaringly so, I guess. Alcohol well-concealed with no flaws. A nutty character either coming from the yeast or neutral tannins, adds a bit of chewiness to the texture. Glad to have one of their beers on draught, as I was less than impressed with their bottles.
toncatcher (228) - Santee - SAN DIEGO, California, USA - FEB 28, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 30, 2008 Pours a dark black, no light will penatrate this porter, with a thick, creamy tan head. Aroma of coffee. Taste of coffee and chocolate. This would stand up nicely to Speedway, Iíd love to get some to do a side by side.
DenverLogan (746) - MileHi, Colorado, USA - FEB 14, 2007
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Wow...this is one big, wild, quite sweet, espresso coffee Imperial Porter. Yabba dabba doo!! Drinking it fresh on tap now at OíBriens in San Diego. Iím not a huge chocolate fan, but Iím wanting a chocolate or vanilla dessert with this...anything chocolate...ice cream, cake, mousse, maybe something coconut or mango...maybe some water!! Wow...this is a big and distinct monster of an Imperial Porter. Would be fascinating to try it aged 6 or 18 months. Black color, small head, aroma of a sweet espresso. Iím gonna be flying soon...gotta go!!
fordest (1961) - Santee/San Diego, California, USA - FEB 11, 2007
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: AUG 25, 2007 Holy Java! I can taste the coffee in my colon! Itís like a coffee enema. Itís like Starbucks and Anna Nicole Smith rolled into one. Coffee aroma and flavor was off the hook. When it came to the flavor it was chocolate too. This Black beer didnít have much head after being drawn from OíBrienís but I didnít hold that against it. What a great beer. Wonderful. Is this considered Baltic Porter or does Porter cover it....
Anyway, what a great beer! Did I already say that? Huh must be the 12%... I asked the server for cream and sugar and a cardboard sleeve. I guess I will be here instead of Starbucks tomorrow morning. What a great Beer.