KickInChalice (860) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 7, 2012
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
From notes. First reviewed 8/29/2011. Served on tap in a cervoise at the Great Taste of the Midwest. I have anticipated trying this for three years, so needless to say, I am excited.
My pour is an ebony black color with a modest creamy tan head. As I would expect with the high ABV, the cap fades rather quickly and leaves just a few dots of lace on the glass.
The aroma does not jump out of the glass, but it is full and complex. Lots of roasted malt and chocolate fudge are noticeable, with coffee and cream, subdued bourbon notes, and some raisins or other dark fruits as well.
The blend here is just fantastic. It is difficult to describe the intricacy of the interaction of the flavors, but I will do my best. A light bourbon presence exists throughout, so each flavor melds in with that base. Full, deep, almost burnt roasted malt create the deepest bitterness and set the tone for the rest of the flavors. The taste lightens up with some creamy coffee notes. Still bitter, but light and creamy as well. From there, gooey fudge makes an appearance, sticking with a full creamy flavor. The bitter, creamy, and sweet flavors all work well with the bourbon to create different sensations. Some vanilla, oak, molasses, and anise add even further complexity.
The mouthfeel is luxuriously thick and creamy. Using double cream stout really smooths out any rough edges in the feel. Lightly sticky sweet, a touch of oaky dryness toward the end. Creamy carbonation, a deceptive lack of alcohol presence, and a full body.
Wow, this is pretty incredible. This is definitely an artful blend of two already good beers. The result capitalizes on the strengths of both beers - creamy and roasty, with the perfect amount of bourbon to blend everything together. This was tapped right as the rain started to come down at GTMW, so it was easy to get several pours as long as you were willing to venture out into the rain. Worth every effort to get it, and I would recommend putting forth any effort necessary to try this beer.
dionysus (1449) - Arizona, USA - MAR 6, 2012
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap @ Maduro. Pour is deep brown/black with pretty much no head. Aroma shows roast, milk/dark chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, and oak. Flavor shows lots of vanilla, oak, and bourbon with underlying notes of plum, toffee, liquorice, espresso and ash. Overall body is full, oily, sweet and the finish shows some alcohol with a heavy roasted bitterness.
Ratman197 (9500) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - MAR 4, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bomber poured a clear dark reddish brown nearly black with a small lingering brown head. Aromas of roastiness, charcoal, coffee, dark chocolate, light bourbon, light oak and light carmel. Palate was medium to full bodied and smooth. Flavors of roasted malt, bourbon, bitter chocolate, oak and light vanilla with a smooth lingering roast chocolate finish.
Errl (1493) - Plano, Texas, USA - MAR 2, 2012
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle shared at RBWG- Nose is vanilla, sweetness, wood, chocolate..Taste is wood, vanilla, chocolate,bourbon, sweetness..Palate is silky and roasty..Not a bad Imperial stout
Sledutah (4282) - Utah, USA - MAR 2, 2012
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle shared at RBWG 2012
Dark brown with a small tan head and some lacing. Bourbon, vanilla, roasted malt, chocolate and woody. Smooth mouthfeel. Very nice.
phaleslu (6278) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - FEB 27, 2012
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: SEP 1, 2012 750 ml bottle shared by bsuedekum- thanks a ton, Blake! Batch 10136, bottle 340/1081. Pours a deep, dark brown with almost no head. Big bourbony aroma, with vanilla, oak, brown sugar, molasses, coconut, and some dark fruit. Warms the nostrils a bit, but probably because I couldn’t pull it away from my face. Flavor of bourbon, vanilla, toffee, molasses, toasted oak, plum, dates, coffee, and ash. Medium-bodied, with low carbonation and a sweet, warming mouthfeel that finishes dry and roasty. Tried this on the same night we opened all the 2011 FiftyFifty Imperial Eclipses, and this was certainly in a class above those very strong beers. So glad I finally got to try this. Excellent all the way through.
JAXSON (526) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 25, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Black pour with a half inch cappuccino foam head. Nose is roast and a toasty bourbon upfront, lots of malt and some coconut, dark chocolate, vanilla. Mouth is roasted malt upfront with a nice toasty coconut character, segueing into a light vanilla sweetness, coffee dust, and a long finish of bourbon wood, a touch hot. Expedition is very evident in the blend but it’s toned down significantly and actually feels a lot lighter. Creamy, rich feel. Very nice stuff.
snotrocket (20) - USA - FEB 23, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at Flannys for AZ beer week. Pours pitch black with little to no head. Smell of bourbon, little chocolate. Taste of mainly creamy bourbon. Pretty well balanced but nothing really stands out with this beer.
kylefleeger (105) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - FEB 23, 2012
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Beer was on draft thanks to the hungry monk in chandler. Amazing beer. Aroma is sweet bourbon forward with hints of vanilla and the202 flavor backs that up perfectly. Amazing.
bigtaster (541) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - FEB 23, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 24, 2012 On tap for GR beer week. No head whatsoever, pitch Black orange hues on the edges. Big hits of huge malt, lots of boozy bourbon, anise. Flavor is blast of malt sweetness, not as much booze as I expected, slight notes of dark chocolate. Oily texture, and fairly smooth despite the gravity of this one, could definitely use some cellar time to mellow out and grow some depth.