ThisWangsChung (826) - 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.
SudsMcDuff (7309) - .....Manchester United.........., Texas, USA - NOV 29, 2015
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
time for fight club! .. . dark brown .. big foam head .. . dark malt, bark, football skin, and dark fruit chocolate .. . mouth drops off .. pretty tasty but carbonation and finish didn;t do it .. . . well sure, i carry a spatula in my car and iím weird but look at us now, flipping these here pancakes on the side of the road like a boss..
Sammy (10016) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 21, 2015
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
aged for a few years. Well made, it was getting into a rich vintage taste with the bourbon (and a modest amount of sour from the bourbon), and coconut from the wood. Medium mouthfeel. Dark and still some head. Drinkable, but a sipper.
corby112 (2722) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 12, 2015
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours an opaque dark chestnut brown color with a 1.5 finger beige head that very slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Very nice retention for the style and high ABV. Streaks of soapy lacing left behind.
The aroma has a great barrel presence that is nicely integrated info the stout characteristics of the base beer. Lots of toasted oak, vanilla, coconut and just enough sweet, spicy bourbon that makes itself know without overpowering everything else. Underneath, there is some smokey, roast and sweet malt notes balancing things out. Hints of toast, oatmeal, coffee bean and dark chocolate compliment the charred oak but the aroma could use some more bourbon for my preference.
Full bodied with a slight creamy texture and a prominent dry, spicy barrel character that lingers over the roasted malt and sweeter notes into a bone dry finish. The barrel dominates with lots of burnt oak and spicy whiskey flavor. The vanilla and toasted coconut as well as the sweeter bourbon notes from the aroma are hard to pick up. This renders the barrel flavor a bit one dimensional with an overly dry/acrid and spicy presence. The malt profile is still pretty interesting however, with deeply roasted and sweeter chocolate malt notes. Hints of burnt toast, spent coffee grinds, oatmeal and very dark cacao countered by subtle lactic cream, bakerís chocolate and toffee. Some boozy heat and warmth in the finish but the 10% ABV is considerably well masked. Still, itís a bit heavy on the roast and burnt oak making it a bit tough to drink. I finished the whole bottles but four or five ounces would have been fine.
Habanero (3437) - Tranbjerg, DENMARK - OCT 15, 2015
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottled. Pours black with a small tan head. Aroma of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee notes, bourbon, wood and vanilla. Sweet flavor that ends up more dry and with a little malt bitterness. Medium bodied, oily texture and soft carbonation. An excellent Impy. 🌟🌟🌟🌟
blutt59 (6288) - Dallas, Texas, USA - SEP 8, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
bottled, thanks to Ralph, dark brown black coffee colored with swirl of tan foam, nice chocolatey nose, not much on the barrel aroma or flavor but very good chocolate malty and roast notes, extremely smooth
MacBoost (1607) - Pouring Bus, New York, USA - AUG 22, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Chugged this in about 8 seconds. 375ml. It was ok. A touch boozy and a little sweet but the carb was low so I was able to pound it like water. Thanks Aaron for this dusty dick shelf turd! Pretty sure I traded Hill Farmstead for this.
slowrunner77 (7883) - Reno, Nevada, USA - AUG 8, 2015
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
finally got to have this side by side with the coffee chocolate version. While I really liked the liveliness of the bourbon in this one, I still just barely prefer the other. They are both thin for a 10% brew, but also as smooth as snot. The barrel comes through more in this than expected based on the other version, and a relatively short 100 days in the barrel. Good brew.
dhatton (234) - Mendham, New Jersey, USA - JUL 29, 2015
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Initial robust aroma of roasted coffee, cocoa, and vanilla. Full black body with the faintest ring of tan foam. As it warms, scents of tobacco and pencil shavings present themselves. Feel is a gooey thickness, plenty of substance. Very roasty taste, bitter dark chocolate, and molasses. Slight kick of anise at the finish.
katrinaez (786) - norristown, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 26, 2015
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Very malty and no carbonation. Smooth and super thick.coats your entire mouth and tongue. Ends with rich tobacco leaves and cigar wrapper flavor. Bourbon is light, itís the oak that stands out more. A touch of cocoa nibs. Best by 10-15 cork. Bottle.
77ships (6195) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - JUL 5, 2015
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Thanks to tderoeck? 750 ml. bottle sampled @ ďHot & Sweaty RBBSG 2015Ē. Black, solid mocha head. Nose is lightly fizzy, touch soy sauce, roast with quite a bit of the bourbon barrel. Taste is syrupy, quite a bit of roast, roasted coffee, molasses, syrup, chocolate, toffee, oak, vanilla, big bourbon,Ö Roasted thick coffee body & barrel. Quite pleasant.