CraftBeerNick (1249) - London Town, Greater London, ENGLAND - APR 24, 2015
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle in Hopfenriech, batch 102, bottled 3rd May 2013. 15.2% version. Aroma is rich and full. Taste is full on rich dark chocolate, liquor, ash, tar, slight liquorice. Really good and not overly sweet.
nihtila (1721) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - APR 18, 2015
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Birthday bottle from Cornelius, thanks to me (the best gifts you need to buy yourself). Pours black with dark brown head, oily texture. 15.2% version. Very strong and sweet aroma. Roasted malts and coffee, sweet vanilla, salted liquorice, light whisky, tobacco, slightly boozy but not much considering what it is. Taste is sweet, salted liquorice, vanilla, strong roasted malts, sweet toffee. This is more liqueur than beer. But it is the beer for special occasions. I may be a bit generous with points today but... Fantastic.
rezara100 (12) - Firenze, ITALY - APR 15, 2015
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Dark with minimal to no thin beige head: sweet coffee, caramel, and full bodied rich malty sweetness, coffee, and a sweet smooth lingering very mild smokey finish. Great
JefVerstraete (2084) - Ghent, BELGIUM - APR 14, 2015
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle from De Hopduvel. Oily black texture, minimal head. Soft carbonation. Aroma of roasted malts, coffee, ashes with hints of caramel. Dry and bitter. Very well balanced. Good!
kajser27 (340) - Zagreb, CROATIA - APR 12, 2015
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pitch black, weak dark tan head. Aroma is of roasted malt, chocolate, strong on licorice, dark fruit and some wood. Taste is extremely sweet and malty, caramel-brown sugar, chocolate, licorice and dark fruits, bit of wooden flavor, decent amount of alcohol-boozy, nice dry strong bitter coffee finish and lasting aftertaste packing moderate alcohol heat. Full bodied and thick. Good for sipping but the amount of sugar and alcohol bring it down a notch.
Alengrin (3221) - BELGIUM - APR 12, 2015
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: APR 17, 2015 Three of Europe’s most exciting and innovative brewers joining forces to concoct a really, really big stout: this cannot go wrong. Jet black liquid, totally opaque; thin, creamy, brown beige head, fairly stable in relation to the huge ABV and still there after an hour, in the form of a tanned veil resting peacefully over the black abyss underneath. Complex, enticing bouquet of pure chocolate, espresso beans, wet leather, beef stock, bayleaf, candied dates, smoked bacon, liquorice candy, black olives, peated whisky, kahlua and cassonade sugar, orange liqueur, the ashes of a fine and expensive cigar, an ethereal smell of rustic oaky tannins, hints of oxidized old madera, vanilla, dried orange peel, banana, freshly toasted bread with freshly ground black pepper, hazelnut oil, old sherry, ’bloody’ iron, molasses, chicory, raw and fresh red cabbage (not in a DMS way!), burning pipe tobacco, candi syrup and a suggestion of soy sauce, hints of nougat and home made caramel - basically everything a big imperial stout needs, is there, and more; in fact, there is not one aroma I have detected in a good imperial stout which is not present in this one. The longer I smell it and the warmer it gets, the more aromas keep popping up. The taste not just lives up to this highly promising aroma, it even exceeds it: the tip of the tongue is immediately hit with a refined and perfectly controlled, ’praline’-like candied sweetness, you can feel the candi sugar tingling as it were, brief and concentrated, a kind of soft, basic, background sourishness makes it a bit lighter and paves the way for an abysmal, stunning, completely mouth filling maltiness, a big dosis of bitter chocolate adorned with nutty and caramelly flavours, oily and immensely thick on the palate but still quite subtle and ’silky’ due to what I guess is oats (Nögne Ö’s Dark Horizon’s part in the play?), very satisfying but utterly intense as well to the point where it may even become tiring, but it’s worth the effort: it has a powerful yet elegant and soft, but still coffee-like roasted bitterness adding a new dimension of flavour towards the finish; then, as the last act in a play, the finish reiterates the whole flavour range, with the candied sweetness, the deep roasted and chocolatey maltiness - sweet to bitter and back again - and exciting spicy accents slowly overshadowed by a peppery, aromatically spicy, deep yet lively hop bitterness, wonderful oaky tannins and obviously a great portion of warming, even somewhat heating but not astringent, liqueurish and whisky-like alcohol; this alcohol lingers and lends the beer a teasingly burning sensation right from the beginning, but somehow it manages to stay in place, which I think is a great accomplishment in a beer of over 17% ABV. Coffee bitterness, some peppery hops and a deep wood taste remain for hours after sipping this, a cassonade-like, candied sweetness reappears as well, clinging a bit, but still not giving the impression of being too cloyingly sweet; I feel like I just consumed the best ’bonbon’ in the universe. I had the three stouts this is based upon, every one of them is a masterpiece of international allure by itself, but I do not believe a combination of multiple great beers necessarily creates a better beer. Here, however, it has worked perfectly: this surely is one of the most complete, most satisfying, most awe-inspiring and most ambitious imperial stouts I ever had. Genius brewers at work and reinforcing each other... This beer is enormous and profound in every sense of the word, to be savoured over a very, very long time; I dug into this enthusiastically, but its sheer power and majestic greatness forced me to taste it at a progressively slower pace... Let it warm to room temperature and it will reveal its full flavour potential in all its width and depth. This is like a shamrock leaf: a holy Trinity of three crucial stouts, but still a whole. If you like potent, massive, overpoweringly complex stouts, then this is a must taste and worth its price. Even the very last drop, revealing the beautiful mahogany hue beneath all the darkness, is intensely perfumed and hits the tongue like a taste bomb. A stunning tasting experience.
wekker84 (1870) - etten-leur, NETHERLANDS - APR 9, 2015
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle a black colored beer with a beige head aroma roasted malts caramel dry fruits some smoke oak spicy laurel coffee citrus and hops flavor roasted malts spicy laurel fruits dry fruits citrus oak some smoke and a bitter hoppy aftertaste
Desverger (3815) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - MAR 25, 2015
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle thanks to Niller - pours black with a thin beige head. Aroma and taste is dark roasted malts, big chocolate, roasted coffee, some licorice and soy, roasted and slight smokey nuances going on, intense and complex brew. Love it!
nordic (271) - Tartu, ESTONIA - MAR 10, 2015
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle @ Gambrinus, Tartu.
Black color. Full body, complex taste. Notes: coffee, chocolate, fruity, roasted malt and much more I am not capable to describe. Sweet at first and bitter, a bit heavy in finish. Extremely good. Tried it for the third time, positively suprises every time.
gopherfan99 (908) - CROATIA - MAR 2, 2015
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle; pours black with a thin mocha head; mostly sweet aroma of licorice, dark fruits, and coffee with hints of roast malt and chocolate; taste is starts sweet with licorice, chocolate, dark fruits, and roast malt; finish is dry and slightly bitter with a hint of coffee and alcohol; very, very good