ThisWangsChung (836) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - SEP 17, 2013
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
12.7 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Pours a nearly pitch black color that doesnít look particularly thick coming out of the bottle. The head is typical for the style, a one-finger khaki shade. Itís nice and creamy, but doesnít retain well (as expected). Slight hints of lacing are left on the glass.
S: Upon popping the cork, a HUGE aroma of chocolaty goodness emanates from the bottle. After itís actually poured, it turns into more of a typical barrel-aged stout. Thereís plenty of oak, roasted malts, butter, and vanilla here. This definitely seems bourbon-forward enough.
T: Dark chocolate opens up the flavors nicely. Thereís also something savory in between the chocolaty start and tannic finish. Iím venturing to say itís just a pure bourbon flavor, but it also has a quality of roasted nuts. All in all, it grows on me after a while, and I enjoy it a fair deal. Problem is, thereís not much (if any) complexity. Itís simplistic to a fault - which is fine for some A-class pilsner or AA-class IPA, but this is the major league of barrel-aged imperial stouts. You need to bring everything to the table, and this doesnít quite do that. On the positive side, the sweetness is nicely controlled; even BCBS, as fantastic as it is, comes across too sweetly at times.
M: Itís suitably creamy, so it meets the bare minimum for what the style should feel like in the mouth. The finish, too, is nice, managing to be both dry and long-lasting. On the other hand, itís also rather thinned out and clean - the latter must be why there isnít much depth. Still, I am pretty impressed how this has a decent bourbon flavor with little burn considering the sweetness is restrained and the body is slender.
O: 3.9 (or whatever the rAvg is) isnít a great score for a barrel-aged imperial stout, but going by my tendency to rate most everything half a point below the typical average, Iíd even wager this is slightly underrated. Iíd probably lambast this somewhat if it had the same level of hype as BCBS does. All I know is that A) itís better than the chocolate/coffee aged version, and B) with a few tweaks (more body, more complexity), it would be up there with the elites. Right now, though, itís still quite good.
BeerFlavoredBeer (254) - New Hampshire, USA - SEP 17, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Jackl, I am glad I wasnít the only one that struggled with the cork! I am pretty sure my bottle is just the straight-up barrel-aged Dark Hollow (rather than the chocolate/coffee version), but I still get lots of smooth, dark chocolate and espresso in the flavor. The nose is faint coffee, bourbon, vanilla, oak. Some bitterness and booze in the finish, but overall this is a very good barrel-aged stout. The different flavors balance well and it changes pleasantly as it warms.
mrmartin (780) - New York, New York, USA - SEP 6, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
I found this to be disappointing (but only on account of having had a lot of other highly rated Imp Stouts)
On its own accounts its quite good. Black-brown pour with thin tan head.
Notes of roasted malts, chocolate and whisky. Smooth full body with notes of coffee and chocolate rounded by the barrel process. A slightly boozy bitter finish.
jackl (7063) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - AUG 24, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Man, was the cork difficult to release on this bottle. Emasculating, bro. The pourís deep brown with a pillowy tan head. Attractive pour after all that effort. The nose is toffee, sweet cocoa. A bit of coffee. Rocky road fudge. Toasted oats. Hints of vanilla, barrel aging. The taste is full of roasted grain, wood. Moderate vanilla, booze. This has definitely spent time in a barrel. Dark-roasted coffee. Dark chocolate. Moderate bitterness on the finish. Slightly thin on the palate for the style. Light carb. Overall, not bad, not earth-shattering.
deaconmike (470) - Roswell, Georgia, USA - AUG 23, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at rattle n hum in NYC. Jet black with a mocha head that leaves some splotchy lacing. Aroma is roast and chocolate. Taste has some complexity to it - a little sweet and a little bitter. Licorice and vanilla extract. Then a dry finish. Medium body; a little syrupy. Tasty brew.
Reynolds314 (3315) - Connecticut, USA - AUG 19, 2013
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bandaids, slightly tart, and overcarbonated with back notes of the beer prior to its obvious infection. The barrel character is basically gone as the pedio took over a bit and muddled things. Some light cocoa and roast in there but its a shame its infected.
Ernesto987 (5578) - Arizona, USA - AUG 16, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
I think I got an infecte bottle, cork shot off and it has a Saison lacto flavor, too bad, no barrel notes
Palme (4127) - Bergen, NORWAY - AUG 9, 2013
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
0.75l corked bottle from my secret Santa 2012. Its really deep and dark brown in the glass this one, and it has a nice medium sized dark brown head. On the nose I get lots of wood and cellar tones. Dark coffee, some vanilla and chocolate. Smells absolutely decent, but I also feel that something is lacking. Itís really soft on the carbonation and the mouthfeel is good oily. First thing I can say about this is that itís scary light drinkable. No traces of any alcohol what so ever, itís mild and really round. A nice coffee roastiness with chocolate, cellar, a faint acidity that breaks the dark up a bit and a almost vanilla sweetness. Also some dry licorice. Make that lots of dry almost salty licorice that gets more and more present to note longer down the bottle you get. Perhaps not what I would describe as a flavor bomb per say, but itís a really really good beer. Something I could drink lots of if I had it available. Have to admit that I had never heard of this before. Thanks Santa! 06 04.2013
bob_w (373) - new york, New York, USA - AUG 8, 2013
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 12/20
the first note is a mild but discernible vinyl note, followed by a vanilla and mild roast note. there are some phenols mixing with some esters and some cocoa underneath. high strung phenol notes with some murky roast aroma. the color -- itís opaque with a hint of a head of light tan color. thick, heavy body -- viscous, yet not cloying. mild vanilla flavor, mixing with some mild roast. a touch of butter. for 10% abv, the alcohol is well masked. faint bitterness in the finish. the flavor gets muddled after the initial vanilla/oak/bourbon notes, ending in a fast falling acrid/bitter finish. it seems that thereís a lot trying to be come out of this beer, which is not clearly or harmoniously expressed.
ICEatALAMO (1302) - Troy, Michigan, USA - AUG 3, 2013
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. The pour is dark with a nice fading head. The aroma has a smokey bourbon notes to it. The taste mellow with big bourbon notes throughout. A little more smokey than I like.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone