whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 15, 2003
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JUN 3, 2006 Jet black, opaque. A batch from 2003 was as flat as Lubbock, Texas, but later batches have produced a nice creamy head. Aroma of licorice, soy sauce, alcohol, chocolate, black coffee, and mellow hops. Ultra-thick and full bodied, this beer is jam packed with flavors of figs, coffee, chocolate, licorice, raisins, plums, berries, soy sauce, tobacco, smoke, port, nuts, molasses, hops, and ethanol. Evokes memories of the three-course meal gum from Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory that turned Violet into a giant blueberry. The aftertaste is rich and indulgent. Lack of carbonation, depending on the batch, and ultra-complex flavor make this brew a fantastic, slow, port-like sipper.
Re-rate, 1/16/04. An 8 inch fall managed to produce a loose tan head the size of my pinky, showing me that the 2003 is indeed carbonated. At least this bottle was. I bumped the appearance up one point. The only additional comment worth adding is that this stuff is UNBELIEVABLE with dark chocolate.
ClarkVV (4346) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 12, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 21, 2007 2002 bottled. Black, with deep, dark violet tinges around the edge. Head is almost nonexistant from this bottle, and there is plenty of burnt white colored lacing. Aroma is incredible. Strong, alcohol and malt with some rich maple smoked malt and some dark fruit aroma.
This beer opens up with huge malt flavor that is fairly sweet, somewhat oily texture, and full of alcohol and malt. There is plenty of brown sugar appeal, along with some smokey almost sweet maple sausage flavor. Has a nutty taste that becomes a little more apparent and a mild bitter quality comes out as the body progresses. Slowly a nice dry/woody hops flavor appears and inserts its flavor smoothly. Flavor is still bursting with ripe dark fruit and in the finish there is a woody hops appeal that is just apparent enough to balance out the malt. Has a wonderful balance of hops and malt. The best Iíve seen in an Imperial yet. This beer gives it all. Hops, roast, chocolate/coffee malt, dark fruit, alcohol, woody smoke flavor, some bitterness. . .and plenty more. Extra Full Body, perfect carbonation (almost none). After trying this, I had to order another. Incredible complexity, so many flavors to pick out. This beer will keep producing new sensations every time you try it. This would be incredible aged, as well. If this beer was more affordable, or I had more money, I would be drinking it daily. Rerate. Sure, this beer has some acidic moments and alot of hops bitterness, but again, huge flavors, rich complexity and potential for extended aging, comes at a price. If you canít handle the high ABV, bitterness and some acidic notes, drink a different style of beer.
2003 Bottle. Oh wow. This is so young itís ridiculous. Can hardly finish, too sweet yet, bitter hops are overpowering. This will age NICELY!!! 2003 bottle aged 13 months A bottle from an early November 2003 batch consumed 12/26/04. This stuff ages perfectly. The hops die off and you just have beatiful malt, a full body, thick chewy chocolate and roast. I canít get enough ot it.
2004 bottle Still pretty close to perfect. Hops mellow out wonderfully after a year. Tried side by side with the batch 7000 and the malt structure is fairly similar, albeit a little less brash and having less "Spanish coffee" influences, for lack of a better term. Thick, rich malt, but yet balanced and supremely thick, rewarding texture.
2005 bottle, batch 7205 Pretty thick and chewy, obviously, and actually I ended up liking the aroma more than the flavor. Too much soy/oxidized dark malt on the finish of the flavor. The nose had a beautiful, but now faded, hop nose, very fruity and wintergreen/resin-like. Prunes, black chocolate and plenty of drawn out vinousness with a big backing of roast. I havent been floored by any of the 2005 or 2006 batches.
CapFlu (4820) - Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA - AUG 11, 2003
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
(Bottle) Opaque body. Molasses with mild chocolate nose. Hurtingly strong stuff. Thick. Complex. Molasses. I'd happily have another... and another...
SDquaffer (18) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 6, 2003
4.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Not much of aroma, perhaps I didn't warm it enough...but at first taste, you think that the yeast must be dieting...so much sugar left in this beer, then the alcohol flavors roll through the roasted malt and coat your throat. A damn fine beer.
grant (842) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - AUG 5, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A damn fine beer that took two weeks and a six pack to get a good handle on. So there. Where do I begin? Pitch black, of course, like motor oil, etc. You couldn't get this sucker to pour with a head if you tried; just a few dark brown bubbles. This beer reminds me SO much of Owd Mac's it isn't funny--only Owd Mac's is a little bit richer and fruitier. Peaches, maple syrup, apricots, malt, malt, malt, rye, grain hulls, lots of sweetness. Flavor is more interesting: Very sweet, but a little bit of acidic fruit juice, roasted coffee, dark chocolate, a little smoke, medium-quality cigars, a little bit of pine cones. Just a big smoking campfire of sugar and various fruits. I will concur with the others on the near-miraculous body of this beer. It is absolutely the thickest beer I've had to this point, although surely this is accentuated by the near-lack of carbonation. Overall a definite winner, maybe a classic, and I'm laying some down for the winter.
Hopistotle420 (1178) - Amherst, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 29, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Dark as midnight, fairly still, lacking head. Deep rich chocolate, earth, vinous nose. Starts off with big malts, alcohol, licorice, dark chocolate. Oily, slippery body, chewy, dark fruit, spice, cherry, vinous. Finishes with big juicy hops. This is a BIG beer, very delectable...I wish I could have it for breakfast every darn day.
sloth (2647) - Ceciltucky, Co., Maryland, USA - JUL 29, 2003
4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thick pour, nice. Not much head on the pour, roused up a nice dark brown head with a few small swirls of my tasting glass. Black as night. Nice roastiness and grainess with some fruity notes in the nose, very nice. Full bodied, yup. Nice mothfeel, chewy, coating, slick. Some burnt malt flavors, coffee, chocolate, some alcohol, smooooth. Finish is medium dry, roasty. Flavors linger, yum! Thanks dave!
frylock (1135) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JUL 27, 2003
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
#100. Black, opaque body with a small dark brown head. Roasty, sweet, chocolate aroma. Roasted malt, coffee, chocolate flavors, with a nice dose of hops, and some alcohol warmth in the finish. Quite tasty.
omnivore (270) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUL 26, 2003
3.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Chez Mittenstein - June 2003: Dark and slick appearance. Heavily roasted aroma. Strong roasted flavor. Great body, very thick. Bitter leave.
brownalegirl (199) - Fountain, Michigan, USA - JUL 25, 2003
4.1 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
I could live for several days on the aroma of this beer - it smells like an exotic jungle fairy tale and it's very easy to be seduced into the oily quicksand. There are some good strong fruit and licorice flavors, but the hard bitter coffee edges hold me back from raving.