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 doesn’t look particularly thick coming out of the bottle. The head is typical for the style, a one-finger khaki shade. It’s nice and creamy, but doesn’t 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 it’s actually poured, it turns into more of a typical barrel-aged stout. There’s plenty of oak, roasted malts, butter, and vanilla here. This definitely seems bourbon-forward enough.
T: Dark chocolate opens up the flavors nicely. There’s also something savory in between the chocolaty start and tannic finish. I’m venturing to say it’s 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, there’s not much (if any) complexity. It’s 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 doesn’t 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: It’s 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, it’s also rather thinned out and clean - the latter must be why there isn’t 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) isn’t 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, I’d even wager this is slightly underrated. I’d probably lambast this somewhat if it had the same level of hype as BCBS does. All I know is that A) it’s 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, it’s still quite good.
koleminer20 (940) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - MAY 31, 2015
2.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
750 mL bottle shared with ebone1988. The cork says best by June 2014, so I don't know what do expect here. The pour is a disappointing dark brown with a light khaki colored film of head that falls to a ring. The aroma is very barrel character forward. There is a heavy bourbon and oak dominance on the front followed by a nice vanilla offering. There is a nice dark fruit and roasted malt offering behind the barrel. It's light, but offers a decent complexity. The flavor is oxidized as fuck. There is a hint of some malt. Nothing else. Nothing. It's drinking like black water. No carbonation, no anything. God. The mouth feel is watery, no carbonation. Aftertaste is lingeringly metallic oxidized malts. This is bad. Might be pour worthy
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
ebone1988 (325) - Wyoming, Michigan, USA - MAY 31, 2015
2.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 2/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Bottle shared with koleminer20, "best by June 2014". Aroma is a touch light, good barrel presence, sweet roasted malt, licorice, milk chocolate. Appearance is dark brown, poured light, with a very light brown head. This beer has been compromised in some way. It’s flat and oxidized. Not even gonna give a description.
fiveacestx (722) - Texas, USA - MAY 18, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle - generous pour without much of a head and first but it settled with one eventually. Has a sweet brown sugar aroma and taste with a little bit of mocha mixed in. Silky smooth mouthfeel. The alcohol is well hidden.
MarcoDL (2683) - NETHERLANDS - MAY 13, 2015
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle at tasting. Black oily pour, no head. Strong aroma of coffee, dark cacao and vanilla. Taste of boozy vanilla, liquid chocolate, oaky bourbon and strong roastedness. Very potent brew, great.
Luvystypotables (973) - Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA - MAY 9, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Aroma of bourbon, malt and coffee, pours a dark brown color with a lating tan well laced head. Complex taste of chocolate, malt and coffee. Medium body with a chocolate malt finish.
jcos (1669) - Maryland, USA - MAY 7, 2015
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle pour from bottle share at Matt G. Pours dark, nice amount of bourbon, roasty. Nice.
GRM (3242) - Aylmer, Quebec, CANADA - APR 27, 2015
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Sample, brown bottle, 1 pint 9.4 ounces, from and with Chad Francis (thank you!), savoured in October 2014; eye: black, opaque, tiny ring of beige head, light lacing; nose: roasted barley, woody, light hops, light chocolate, slight coffee; mouth: roasted barley, woody, light hops, light chocolate, slight coffee, light acridness, acrid finale with presence of roasted barley, medium body, below-average carbonation, harsh texture; overall: fine
Échantillon, bouteille brune, 1 pinte 9,4 onces, de et avec Chad Francis (thank you!), savourée en octobre 2014; œil : noire, opaque, petit anneau de mousse beige, légère dentelle; nez : orge torréfiée, boisé, léger houblon, léger chocolat, très léger café; bouche : orge torréfiée, boisé, léger houblon, léger chocolat, très léger café, légère âcreté, finale âcre avec présence d’orge torréfiée, corps moyen, carbonatation sous la moyenne, texture râpeuse; en résumé : bien
crdunn (7) - - APR 23, 2015 does not count
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Out of bottle, side by side with coffee and chocolate dark hollow. Pours dark with a beige head. Some chocolate flavours with a touch of molasses.
charule (1524) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 26, 2015
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle thanks to obguthr for FBW 15! Poured thick black thin head. Aroma oaky barrel vanilla. Light carb med thick bod. Light char bitter choc not alot of barrel in the taste.
Beerdedone (2908) - Croydon, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 15, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Pours black with a thin tan head. Aroma of chocolate, bourbon, roasted malts and vanilla. Flavor of bourbon, coffee, vanilla, roasted malts, chocolate and caramel. Full bodied with soft carbonation.