lb4lb (2487) - Austin, Texas, USA - APR 15, 2009
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle shared at tasting. Pours chocolate brown with medium lived tan head. Smell is very oaky and villa like. Taste is sweet vanilla, then oak and bourbon and chocolate malt. Medium body and softish carbonation. Pretty tasty, and an enjoyable bourbon barrel aged imperial stout.
NachlamSie (2730) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAR 18, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
[March 15, 2009]
Nitro pour into a 12 oz. snifter at the brewery. What a weird brew. I was expecting a textbook bourbon barrel impy, but this certainly is not. First of all, the nitrogen is a very interesting take on the idea. The pours is about the shade of Guinness, not very much darker. While the aroma is that of pure whiskey, complete with alcohol burn, it is not sweet and doesn’t pack a whole lot of vanilla, considering. It is more woodsy and hot. The mouthfeel is very creamy and only medium heavy which actually works well with the flavor. Rather than being a heavy, malty beast, this one is a woody, earthy brew. . .almost like a Scotch ale though a distnct chocolate finish brings this into stout territory. I liked the unique attitude of this beer, though ultimately I end up favoring a more robust and roasty imperial stout. My suggestion is to sample this one with as little preconception as possible.
FlacoAlto (3759) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - FEB 4, 2009
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
A blank cork so it must be Batch 1; Sample February 2009
The cork pops out with nary a peep. The beer pours into my 25cl tulip glass with a light carbonation that I am able to get to create a half finger thick, darkly browned head. The beer is quite black in color with perhaps a brown tint to it and it is completely opaque in its darkness when held up to the light. Nice, the barrel character has taken on a significant, sweet, toasted coconut note to it in the aroma. Lots of vanillin is the most dominant part of the nose, in fact it is hard to smell anything else except for coconut and vanillin; at least the aroma is incredibly smooth. Perhaps a hint of dark, roasted malt is noticeable towards the end, but it is quite slight.
The beer has a light sweetness to it up front. It picks up a definite tartness in the middle and then the barrel character kicks in, but not aggressively so; a touch of Bourbon spiciness, notes of vanillin and some alcoholic heat that warms the throat as the beer slides down. A touch of roast character adds a bit of bitterness to the finish as well as a charred malt flavor. The mix of flavors and tartness reminds me of burnt, concentrated plums towards the middle. The barrel also brings out a nice, toasted coconut flavor. This is pretty light bodied for an Imperial Stout of this strength; it can be a little thin with the alcohol warming in the finish.
Not a bad beer, I really like that the barrel character is fairly smooth all around and has lots of vanillin and coconut character. The beer is a bit thin though, it could definitely use a bit more viscous heft and richness; the additional body would work perfectly with the slight carbonation that this beer has too and would help to balance the burnt acidity and sharp roast character a bit more.
hellbilly (3249) - scottsdale über alles, Arizona, USA - JAN 6, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: APR 25, 2010 batch 3 bottle tasted with the phoenix crew via the sparkster...
pours nearly black... dark woody brown with a small yellow tinted tan head and moderate spots of lacing.
the aroma is only mildly of bourbon which is definitely a plus... spicy barrel notes, chocolate, lots of malty goodness, oak, vanilla cream and something green and grassy akin to alfalfa (?).
there’s quite a bit of bourbon in the flavor but it is very mellow and precise. certainly doesn’t overpower anything. that gets mixed with chocolate, brown sugar, toasted nuttiness on the side of coffee and loads of rich roasty malt with bourbon-y barrel spice and a touch of funkiness on the finish. medium bodied but it is so smooth and rich... almost buttery.
batch#6 from nbutler11 on 2/7/2010.
monster carbonation from this gusher! overly carbonated mouth feel. minty aroma and flavor with tons of medicine pill and a little smoke. 7/4/7/3/13/3.4
Ibrew2or3 (6782) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - JAN 3, 2009
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Huge thanks to Retorp for finally getting off his ass and cracking this beautiful Batch 1 bottle.
Pours deep dark abyssness with thin mocha head. The mild aroma brings notes of dark roasted malts, chocolate, crystal malts, molasses, prunes, raisins and dates. The taste begins with dark grapes, raisins, prunes and a hint of ripe cherries. Those notes are quickly followed by wood, mild bourbon sweetness, dark roasted malts, chocolate and molasses. Very nice. I get smooth goodness with a hint of alcohol showing up into the finish.
Bockyhorsey (2609) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - JAN 2, 2009
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sample from bottle courtesy of Sparky27 at Hellbilly’s holiday tasting. Bourbon aroma on the nose. Black body with off white head. Good roast and coco flavor. Carbinated brew and dry on the palate. Thaks Eric.
sebletitje (6582) - Enghien, BELGIUM - JAN 1, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
courtesy of retorp.
Thanks for this sublime offering.
Pours black with beige head and yellow lacing.
Aroma is loaded with bourbon and wood - oak. I could really smell this glass all night long.
Taste, light hops caramel malts with vanilla and exceptional touch of the Bourbon barrel.
markwise (4427) - North of Tampa, Florida, USA - JAN 1, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thanks retorp for the share. Pours dark brown with a nose of maple, vanilla, depth, booze, red delicious apples (I SWEAR), chocolate, and coffee/licorice. Flavor is similar with nice yellow lacing on the glass upon swirling. Some bitterness and booziness, but very enjoyable.
kiefdog (1826) - Tampa, Florida, USA - JAN 1, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle courtesy of Retorp. Pours a dark brown cola color with thin tan head with reasonable glass lacing. Aroma is rich and malty with notes of barley, wood, vanilla, maple syrup, caramel, some hints of toffee and dark ripe fruits. Flavor is sweet and malty with notes of vanilla, caramel, toffee, ripe dark fruit, maple syrup, brown sugar and just a hint of coffee and dark chocolate. Generally medium to full body with a pleasing malty finish with notes of warming phenol.
afterglow (1047) - Florida, USA - DEC 31, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle courtesy of Retorp. Pours black with a small tan head that leaves good lacing. Aroma of chocolate, caramel, dark fruit, roasted malt, and yeast. Taste is chocolate, dark fruit, caramel, roasted malt, and a hint of oak. Medium mouthfeel with a mild to moderate amount of bitterness and smooth alcohol. Very good.