Ernest (5887) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - OCT 23, 2002
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 10/20
UPDATED: NOV 9, 2005 Head is initially average sized, frothy, brown, mostly lasting.
Body is opaque black (flashlight tested).
Aroma is moderately malty (cereal, roasted grain/coffee, caramel), with a note of alcohol, light notes of prune, vanilla.
Flavor is moderately sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter.
Finish is lightly sweet, moderately acidic, moderately bitter, husky.
Medium to full body, creamy texture, lively carbonation, moderately alcoholic.
Man, I just don’t understand what people see in this. As with the ’03/04 batch, this has a fair amount of cereal/dogfood smell to go with an otherwise pretty unattractive/simple nose, a marked sour tang, and an off grainy/husky finish. I held back a little on my previous rating, but obviously this is really how Mr. Oliver is making it these days. Sorry, but this is simply not very enjoyable in any way other than its appearance.
2003/04 bottle. Head is initially small, frothy, brown, mostly diminishing. Body is absolutely opaque black. Aroma is moderately malty (chocolate, caramel, cereal/grain), lightly hoppy (herbs, flowers), with notes of vanilla, licorice, hints of cherry and alcohol. Flavor is moderately sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is lightly sweet, moderately acidic, moderately bitter, slightly husky. Medium body, watery/oily texture, lively carbonation, lightly alcoholic. Not what I remember it being (01/02 edition)...rather light and simple for the style, bit more sour and bitter than I recall too. Slight cereal/grain character in the nose and finish makes it seem a bit crude. No longer impressed. 7/5/6/3/13=3.4
apoptosis (1317) - Denver, Colorado, USA - OCT 20, 2002
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: APR 19, 2003 Re-rate: I love it even more than I did at first! Just such a thick, rich flavor, and a perfect winter beer.
This is such a great beer! So very dark and rich, like a dessert...delightfully high alcohol content. Just a really warm, chocolately flavor. I'm going to stock up on this beer this winter, to have plenty for the spring!
daalamar (405) - new albany, Indiana, USA - OCT 18, 2002
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
How suprised was I with this one. Picked up a six for $6.29 expecting your average stout, but what I got was possibly the best stout I have had yet. Dark as night and thick as oil witth a small brown head. Aroma of dark chocolate, coffee,malty subtleness and a hint as to the alcohol. Taste is an explosion of coffee and chocolate thick in the mouth and long on the palate. Amazingly easy to drink for such a powerful beer. Heading back now to pick up a case.
rstarobi99 (4) - New York, USA - OCT 17, 2002 does not count
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Excellent, excellent beer. Wonderful, subtle chocolate flavor, smooth and highly drinkable. An awesome winter/fall beer.
notalush (4456) - Denver, Colorado, USA - OCT 17, 2002
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: OCT 3, 2008 (vintage 2000-2001) The appearance of this beer is outstanding, like a black hole in a glass. The aroma is heavy with espresso and chocolate. The flavor is of bitter-sweet dark chocolate, with a warm rum or burbon kick at the end. This is second only to Victory Storm King Imperial Stout. Just a great beer. Get some and keep it around for special occasions. [2002-03] Yup, tastes great this year too. They’ve certainly improved on a good thing this year.[ratings from between 2006 to present] um, yea, this beer ain’t that good anymore - I mean, it’s good, but not fantastic.
Discofish (152) - USA - SEP 27, 2002
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 8, 2003 I remember the '02 brew being better than the '03 was, but none the less an enjoyable brew. Nose of alcohol. Taste goes from bitter chocolate to malts and alcohol.
morty99 (371) - Maryland, USA - SEP 19, 2002
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Murphy (1759) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - SEP 9, 2002
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A great chocolate stout, the best I’ve had so far. Far superior to Young’s. I wish I had more of this available!
SiddFinch (155) - Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 6, 2002
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Dark, thick head (but it doesn’t last long). Very creamy taste that coats your throat. Chocolate is obvious in both the smell and taste. I was surprised by the somewhat dry finish. Alcohol is very present. Very interesting beer whose sum is not as good as its parts.
fraternie (797) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 1, 2002
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A blast of chocolate malt. This beer is delicious...possibly the most chocolatey of any stout I have ever tasted. The finish is near perfect. This is right up there with the greats of the style, but suffers slightly from a less complex flavor character. A great beer nonetheless.