BDR (2534) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - FEB 16, 2010
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
The initial pour was simply gorgeous. Dark brown liquid resting beneath three inches of brown/bone colored head. Molasses and soy sauce on the nose. A bit of alcohol as well with a sweet fruity character. Similar flavors, but exceptionally sweet. Iím not sure what to make of this fresh. Itís good, but I think itíll be much better in a few years. Into the cellar you go!
zizzybalubba (1254) - Elizabeth City, North Carolina, USA - FEB 16, 2010
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JAN 12, 2012 Initial rating February 16, 2010...12 oz. bottle from Grape & Gourmet (Batch 9000 was bottled January 27, 2010). Pours dark brown, almost black, with a light tan head. Aroma is of coffee and licorice. Smoky roasted flavor with noticeable licorice, dark fruit, espresso, and dark chocolate as well. There is some alcohol warming. At the early stages this beer is a bit heavy handed on the dark fruit and licorice for me consider it an exceptional beer. I will be very interested in checking this out as it cellars...Update January 12, 2012-Amazingly this tastes almost identical after 2 years as my initial review.
jtw (1058) - farmington, Michigan, USA - FEB 16, 2010
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
12 oz bottle, pours deep black with deceptive carbonation. no head to start, then a pillow of creamy light tan foam arises and settles atop - no need for a vigorous pour, after all. huge aroma of caramelized sugar and piney hops, and spicy licorice, with some alcohol heat apparent; this is a whopper of a beer and itís going to need some time to settle in the cellar. tastes immediately of tingly alcohol and molasses - the licorice appears somewhat more subtly, along with green hops to balance. not quite enough hops to really counteract the sweetness but in coming years it will mellow and as it calms down, it may settle into the role of expedition stoutís bigger spicier brother. iím looking forward to sampling this over time.
milewide (1322) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - FEB 16, 2010
2.9 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Much, much too sweet! Hard to smell or taste anything else. I did pick up the molasses aroma and taste however. IMO, this is not an Imperial Stout. I would classify it as a bad Old Ale. Would not buy, or drink, again!
NayTron (132) - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - FEB 16, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours a thin dark black with no head. You can really smell the alcohol in this one. Aroma is of brown sugar, anise, caramel, raisins and a hint of plums. Mouthfeel is silky and smooth with a dark sweet fruity flavor with a slight hops bitterness to finish. Alcohol is hot in this one. Complex, with just enough sweetness to balance the alcohol. Should be fantastic after some sitting in the cellar for some time. Not sure if it is much of a stout, more of a barley wine to me. Really good sipper.
CaptainCougar (7129) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - FEB 15, 2010
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours a barely transparent blackish mahogany with a spotty-lacing froth of beige head. Aroma of rich sweet dark caramel and lots of fruity complexity with some molasses and brown sugar along with a touch of grapefruity hops. Starts very full bodied and rich with a fine carbonation and lots of lingering sweetness and brown sugar complexity well-balanced with some cherry and plum notes before a warming sweet toffee finish with some citrusy hop flavors. Seems like a slightly darker version of Batch 6000, but with more residual sweetness, which should make it age very well. A well crafted and unique brew.
madvike (2374) - Middleton, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 15, 2010
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle - Man, Iíve been waiting for this one for awhile. Pours black with a light tan head thatís gone really quick. The smell is really sweet, with tons of brown sugar, raisins, licorice, and tons of booze. Itís really, really hot on the nose. There are some odd notes of soy sauce and pear (!) as well that compliment the sweetness. Taste is more of the same. It rounded out a little better once it went from cellar to room temp, with the brown sugar and molasses in the forefront. Lots of boozy dark fruit, but not the sharp heat that is on the nose. Bitter chocolate rules the finish, with the 12.5% warming nicely. The problem is the whole thing is a bit cloying at this point, with the sweetness just going over the top. I hope cellaring will help, but right now this is too sweet even for my tastes. Itís also kind of watery and thin, with some decent carbonation, but the mouthfeel just doesnít fit with what Iím drinking. Overall Iím a little disappointed, but for some reason didnít expect this one to live up to the hype. That said, I cannot wait to taste this in 6 months, 1 year, 1.5 years, etc.
ditmier (1508) - Boise, Idaho, USA - FEB 15, 2010
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottled in 2010 - Thanks BuckeyeBoy!! Pours like a clear dk amber brown with a medium tan head...aroma is malty and jammy cocoa, carob, licorice and meat, resin?...flavour is similar, anise, cocoa, massive roast malt and more cocoa, some heat on the finish...definitely different that I expected, fun to try!
Skyview (5087) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - FEB 14, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Picked up a single 12-oz bottle at Heritage Liquors in Maplewood, MN. Pours an opaque dark brown colored brew with a thin tan head that quickly dissipates to a tan ring. Aroma of molasses, dark chocolate, coffee, raisins, a hint of black licorice, and some soy. Taste is full bodied, complex flavors of toasted dark malt, chocolate, molasses, vanilla and some anise. Finish is slightly metallic from high alcohol with molasses and dark chocolate aftertaste. Minimal bitterness, high alcohol barely wine with an imperial stout texture.
smooch (238) - Sylvania, Ohio, USA - FEB 14, 2010
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
This is quite a mouthfull. So much so that I was shocked by my first taste and struggled to get it down. My first drink when very cold was too much. As it warmed up, it mellowed surprisingly although still very rich and much of a "warmer". There was a nice sticky foamy head that hung around a long while before dissipating. This isnít a drink for me, but perhaps the fans of the super big and rich beers will dig it.