bubbleflubber (1816) - Asheville, North Carolina, USA - JUL 31, 2014
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a cola brown into the glass, with the deepest of mahogany fringes. An initial frothy tan head reduces to sparse lacing. The nose is of vanilla rum, whiskey and deep vanilla-caramel candies. Flavors are similar, lots of rum and whiskey notes, deep caramel and toffee, lots of oaken vanilla hues, finishing with an alcoholic heat. The full body and sticky palate combines with the alcohol and woody notes nicely to provide a great sipper, aperitif or nightcap. Oily and full of substance and complexity, this brew is one of the best brown ales I’ve ever had. It’s gorgeous in a category that has a minority of standouts.
Iphonephan (3142) - McLean, Virginia, USA - JUN 17, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
From a 22 oz bottle shared at Ryan’s. Pours a dark cola brown with a tan head. Aroma of cocoa. Flavors of rum, chocolate and vanilla. Warming finish.
Dave11899 (23) - Minnesota, USA - MAY 30, 2014
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
22 oz bottle (9/13/13) cellared until 05/24/14. Poured into a snifter. Appearance is dark with a khaki colored head.
Aroma is of vanilla and bourbon. Based on these two observations, at this point I’d say this a barrel-aged stout. Delicious!
Taste is oak, vanilla and rum/bourbon that quickly dissipates over the palate as the burn begins. Burn is unmasked and is very similar to sipping a room temp rum, bourbon, or other straight liquor. This is not an exaggeration. It lacks sweetness and complexity.
Palate is relatively blank. Not sure if this is due to the aging (before and after bottling). The burn makes this beer almost abrasive to consume. Nothing bad, just not a "typical" beer when it sips like liquor.
Overall, I would definiately not classify this as an imperial brown ale. This is more of a lighter barrel aged stout. Through the nose, initial taste, and continued drinking as it warms. Yes this beer is 11% ABV but the characteristics of this beer either do not hide the percentage or make it worse. The lack of complexity is likely do to the cellaring. As this usually causes the beer’s flavors to diminish.... Diminishing flavors = tasting the booze in this beer... I guess.
This isn’t a bad beer, I’d definitely purchase one and drink it fresh to try it then. In my experience, I try to buy two. Drink one now and then try the other in 9-12 months. Needless to say, I did not do that with this one.
Give it a try, if it were that bad it would be a pour out.
superspak (2537) - Michigan, USA - MAR 5, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 9/13/2013. Pours fairly opaque dark brown color with a 1-2 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, brown bread, molasses, cocoa, vanilla, clove, oak, raisin, plum, whiskey, rum, herbal, and toast/oak earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, yeast ester, and rum/whiskey barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, brown bread, cocoa, vanilla, clove, oak, whiskey, rum, raisin, plum, herbal, and toast/oak earthiness. Fair amount of spicy/oaky bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, brown bread, cocoa, vanilla, clove, oak, rum, whiskey, raisin, plum, herbal, and toast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice balance, complexity, and robustness of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast ester, and rum/whiskey barrel flavors; with a very nice malt/barrel balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and fairly sticky/oaky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is fairly well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice barrel aged imperial brown ale. All around good complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast ester, and rum/whiskey barrel flavors; and quite smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.
RespertFTW (520) - Michigan, USA - FEB 19, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bomber. Deep brown with a dark tan head. Really smooth bourbon vanilla and oak. really liked the way this one finishes.
Mittenator (1276) - Michigan, USA - FEB 15, 2014
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bomber thanks to respertFTW. Deep brown with a dark tan head. Bourbon, plums, vanilla and wood. Just great.
Ericular (595) - Minnesota, USA - JAN 24, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
On tap @ Brick’s Pub. Strong, sweet aroma with vanilla and smoke. Taste is strong alcohol up front, bourbon and vanilla in the middle. This packs some heat - strong, raw heat. Dry finish with coffee later on.
Gachupines (873) - USA - JAN 13, 2014
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Brown with a thick off white head. Aroma is huge alcohol, oak from the bourbon with a bit of sweetness and some chocolate. Flavor is big whiskey with a strong sweet aftertaste. A bit sticky in the finish. Strong, big flavor if a bit one note. Whiskey is more evident than the rum.
deyholla (6568) - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA - JAN 13, 2014
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle thanks to Lewis. Pours near black with a creamy light brown head that dissipates to the edges and remains. Aroma has dark grains with a light chocolate and light roast backed by a hint of booze. Flavor has a bit more whiskey with strong dark grains that have a bit of roast to them.
Sammy (8520) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 5, 2014
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Coconut from the barreling, rum more than bourbon. Smooth, above average mouthfeel. Coconut from the barreling. Decent drinkability.