Ernest (7164) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JAN 15, 2015
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle (2014 vintage).
Head is initially large, frothy/fizzy, brown, mostly lasting.
Body is black (non-opaque, flashlight tested).
Aroma is lightly to moderately malty (roasted grain, dark chocolate), with light notes of varnish, wood/sawdust, bourbon, alcohol.
Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, lightly bitter.
Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, moderately bitter.
Medium body, watery texture, lively carbonation, moderately to heavily alcoholic, lightly astringent.
One of the most peculiarly overrated Impy stouts on the site, it would seem (second only to Old Rasputin, which has always been a ridiculously crude, flawed, and simplistic rendition, yet inexplicably loved by the beer geek masses). I can usually understand when an overly sweet, overly bourbony, overly boozy rendition is overrated here, because those provide instant, simple gratification in the same way big, syrupy, boozy Aussie shiraz does. But this one is a complete and utter mystery. There’s not much aroma at all, not even much bourbon. And the mouthfeel is amazingly thin and watery for an 11.5% stout. I’m all for subtlety and nuance, but this is downright sterile and bland for the style. Maybe previous vintages are carrying the score here, I dunno, but the 2014 is quite clearly a soulless drain pour...even slightly worse than the regular Big Sky Ivan.
tgncc (3078) - Bellmore, New York, USA - JAN 7, 2015
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from 2013 via trade with Botlz7555. The aroma is vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, molasses. The apearance is deep black, thin tan head, slightly oily. The flavor is bourbon, sweet, molasses, vanilla, chocolate. Booze burn. The finish is booze, chocolate, light roast, pine. Slightly thicker than medium in body. Nice.
Beardaxe (293) - - JAN 4, 2015
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Somehow forgot to rate this a while back so doing it from memory. Poured from bottle into tulip. Can't get into too many details but what really stuck with me was how dangerously drinkable this was. For a 13% beer it was thin and had little heat. It wasn't nearly as bold or aggressive as some other BA stouts and I liked that. Probably the most easy drinking +10% beer I've had.
drfabulous (6021) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - JAN 4, 2015
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2013 750 ml bottle cork and caged. Big black pour with no carbonation. Oily and slick. Dark roast bourbon. Who needs BCBS if you could get this?
JohnGalt1 (1434) - Boise, Idaho, USA - DEC 19, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2014 bottling 750 picked up locally for a decent $18ish at Bier Thirty .... poured into my HotD snifter.
beautiful 3 finger head that has been sticking around for about 5 minutes ... dark tan.. looks like a really thick espresso ... great lacing and a huge cap..
The nose is thick and very complex... a little EtOH .. big milk chocolate with dark cherry essence and vanilla.. bourbon isn’t as pronounced as expected... yet the smell is fantastic.
wow.. this is like a liquid brownie.. big roasty chocolate.. some sweetened coffee notes.. more vanilla.. and the bourbon is more of a component that is expressed throughout and never becoming too large.. complex with a great semi-dry finish that lingers forever.. dried fruit esters lend another layer of complexity.
This is every bit a winner as previous years... Glad to see the lowered the ABV a little bit this year ... not as viscous most of it’s more famous brothers .. the carbonation may be a touch on the high side.. but it is small bubble carbonation that helps lend a very lush mouthfeel.
vtafro (6057) - Wayne, New Jersey, USA - DEC 17, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Black pour with no head. Sweet, chocolate, and bourbon aromas. Chocolate, roasted, marshmallow, whiskey, and light oak flavors.
pinkzambia (1802) - Boise, Idaho, USA - NOV 10, 2014
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2010 Vintage thanks to Indiana_Red: Thick black with an absolutely wonderful aroma of vanilla, malts, chocolate, and a bit of coconut. Tasty! Flavors of chocolate, dark roasted sugars and malts. I could also detect the alcohol % even after 4 years. Thick bodied and syrupy feel.
tectactoe (3125) - Michigan, USA - NOV 3, 2014
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle: 2013 vintage. Dark, dark brown edges with a rich, black core. Small, foamy khaki layer sits quietly on top. Aroma is full force tannins, oak, bourbon, & musty wood with undertones of raisin, toffee, & bitter cocoa powder. Lots of booze with a harsh, almost solvent-like back-end. Taste is thankfully a bit more sweet with notes of brown sugar, molasses, chocolate, & mild roast popping out first. The barrel aging makes its way in pretty quickly, though, with heavy notes of whiskey, wood, & mild astringency. Dry woodiness with a whiskey laden finish that kind of tastes grainy. A little dark chocolate & raisin in the aftertaste, too. This wasn’t bad, but it was almost too much. A decent barrel aged stout but not something I’d actively seek out.
ineedbeer (1607) - Oakland, California, USA - OCT 17, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured from a 750 ml bottle, 2012 vintage. Aroma is moderately chocolate forward with some nice roast character. Some light bourbon and oak notes. Medium light fruit esters with a hint of anise. Light alcohol spice.
Pours black with a moderately thick, dark tan/light mocha head of average size and retention. Medium light lacing and moderate legs.
Flavor is moderately sweet with some moderate chocolate and roast notes. Light tobacco and ash character with hints of leather. Lighter dark fruit esters and anise than in the flavor. Moderate bitterness with light oak and alcohol notes. Hints of bourbon.
Mouthfeel is medium to medium full bodied with medium carbonation. Low astringency and medium low alcohol warmth.
Overall, an alright imperial stout, but its a bit thin. Aroma is a bit fruity, but flavor is pretty nicely integrated. Light oxidation and not as much bourbon character as I was expecting.
Dr_MedievAle (199) - Alabama, USA - OCT 9, 2014
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
2013 vintage. coppery/metallic aroma swirling with sweetarts. appearance: dark auburn body (not motor oil; too translucent at the top) with fairly stable coffee-cream head. taste: taste is much better than aroma suggests. here we have bourbon infused fudge, some light caramel, milk chocolate shake, and cinnamon spice. great flavor, but the mouthfeel is disturbingly thin/watery. not what i prefer in a big stout. but incredibly drinkable because it is light and thin. i could race this beer pretty easily.