luiss (89) - Elmsford, New York, USA - APR 21, 2007
4.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: APR 23, 2007 The initial pour hit me with a sound that poped and crackled as soon as it came out the bottle. Pours a dark muddy black color with a thick chocolate milkshake look to it, has a smell of nuts, and almonds. The first taste bites the palate with a strong expresso taste that is a bit bitter and chewy. The alchohol is noticable and you get sort of a woody, dry smoked flavor that would make this a great beer for 12%. Some cocoa and dry cranberries seem to swirl into your mouth but the dont last as long as the first taste.
PGA324 (86) - Savage, Minnesota, USA - MAR 3, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark muddy black with frothy head, good lacing. Aromas of molasses, chocolate, cough medicine, tootsie roll... very complex aromas. Full bodied thick texture, drinking this you can guess what drinking chocolate syrup would be like. Flavor long in duration, moderately sweet start with alcohol ending. Beer had a whiskey quality, not a session beer. Excellent beer!
black95tt (82) - Doylestown, Ohio, USA - OCT 12, 2006
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a super thick opaque black. Like primordial ooze. Very little head, just a swirl of lace in the center of the pour. Mirror black in the glass. Roast and alcohol dominate the aroma. Taste is very complex with burnt dark fruit, chalky burnt roast followed by caramel and hop/roast bitterness. Very complex and very good. I had thins one quite some time ago, wish I could score another bottle.
growler (74) - West Virginia, USA - FEB 24, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
12 oz bottle. Black pour with a medium brown head that disapates to a lacy tan. Rich aroma with lots of oak, dark chocolate, molasses, dates/figs, and light alcohol. Rich and oily mouthfeel, almost chewy. Hints of coffe, roasted malt, chocolate, figs and ALCOHOL. A truly grand brew that unfortunaly, I will probably never enjoy again. A big thanks go out to Hopscotch for this one.
DiscoForever (71) - Dunedin, NEW ZEALAND - SEP 16, 2008
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Many thanks again to Pigfoot in Minneapolis for this stunning special release! Sampled in the sun with friends on new years’ day 2008.
Look: Menacing opaque with sediment in the bottle, like molasses or (from a rural perspective) like cow-shed effluent but not as green! Left a dense, viscous, thick oil around the glass (not unlike motor oil).
Aroma: Big sweetness upfront (malty molasses, prunes) followed by Marmite (yeast spread) - and a farm supply shop smell. Finished with citrus zing.
Taste: Surely the most polarising beer I’ve ever shared - "this is not like beer!" a friend exclaimed. We tasted tar (like licking a road), burnt coffee and toffee, molasses and treacle, an acidic bitterness combined with a sour edge that lingered for ever and ever. As we sipped the alcohol became apparent prompting guesses at it’s strength from 7.5 to 8.5% ABV.
Body: A curious shift from fizziness to reveal a thick, tarry licorice body with warming alcohol.
Food: We guessed strong cheeses, salted pistachios, bier-stick or jerky, or even darrrrrk chocolate.
Overall: An astounding beer - a barley wine we wondered? Certainly a oncer for fireside end-of-night deep and meaningfuls.
JackT (71) - Lansing, Michigan, USA - JUN 13, 2009
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
06/13/09 Haven’t had this beer since it came out. I thought it was great then and it tastes even better now. Thick nut brown head, rich dark chocolate molasses flavor. One of my favorites.
mardermax (71) - santa cruz, California, USA - NOV 29, 2005
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
pours thick dense blackness, with a beautiful dark redish kakchi head. smells burnt smoked mocha, hint of hops, tobacco cherries and alcohol
fruitty choclate flavor, with a slightly dry hoppy finish. great lacing and creammyness in my mouth
pretty damned good russian imp.
timtheenchanta (70) - Clemson, South Carolina, USA - JUN 4, 2006
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a perfect black liquid with a two finger dark tan head. Loads of lacing down the glass.
Rich dark chocolate aroma with creamy coffee. An expected alcohol spicyness as this beer is 12%. There’s a roasted nuts smell in the back.
This beer explodes as soon as it hits the tongue. It’s unbelievably rich. I really love this style. Milky coffee taste that turns into a nice coffee flavor. Spicy alcohol and the same nutty taste fill out the taste.
Finishes dry with a warming sensation from the amply amounts of alcohol.
This is a wonderful beer. I wish I could get my hands on some more.
biermensch (64) - USA - FEB 9, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
Christmas gift bottle from my son. The aroma hints at what is to follow, big malt overtones and caramel. Appearance is black - no red tints when held to the light - with a small, tan head that lingers for only a few minutes. First sips reveal a pronounced roast/burnt flavor, not unpleasant, followed by berry and molasses. Alcohol warming ikicks in after a few sips. Finish is long, back of the tongue, somewhat tart and bitter. I was expecting an amped version of Expedition, which I enjoy, but this stout stands (surpasses?) on its own merits. The only criticism I offer is that the recipe is to be brewed once.
NewCastle1 (59) - Indiana, USA - JUN 12, 2006
4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Pours a very oily, dark ruby red, brown color. Massive tan head, that lingers for quite some time. Aroma is of coffee, malts, raisin, and figs. First impression is very thick and oily on the tongue. Hard to pick out alot of flavors for me. Maybe a slight apple note. Slightly bitter hoppy note. Some bitter dark chocolate notes as well. Very nice and long in the finish. Finishes very, very long. Good beer. Bells does another great brew.