TheEnemy (562) - Chicago, USA - NOV 19, 2005
4.1 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
12oz bottle, 2005 release
Well, itís been worth the wait. Pours a deep murky ruby with a thinnish tan head that soon retreats to the rim. Aroma of coffee, honey, molassas, vanilla, wood, and dried fruit. Hezronís right -- you could sniff this stuff for hours. Flavor is most defined by bitter roast grain, but there plenty of sweet malt, vanilla, honey and molassas to mitigate. Nice lively bubbly and slightly viscous palate. Arguably the craft-beer bargain of the century at $11 a six-pack. $11 will barely get you a single bottle of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, against which this stuff stacks up fairly well.
<P>By the way, nice to have met you today, Mr. Ughsmash. :)
hezron (609) - Viroqua, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 18, 2005
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle, from the 2005 release. Aroma of vanilla, nutty chocolate, cherries, buttery bourbon and noticeable alcohol. Very good, I could smell this all night. Dark, dark brown, light showing through the edges and a tall light brown head that fades but sticks around. Not exactly imperial looking. Flavors of butter caramel...like a caramel explosion with toffee and chocolate, cherries and some roastiness which gives way to a nutty bourbon flavor and some woody, grainy flavors right in the finish. Palate seems thin and dry, it doesnít say "imperial stout" very much...it is in flavor but not in body or texture. This doesnít take away much at all, I really enjoyed this.
barleyPops (1141) - Quad-Cities, Illinois, USA - AUG 21, 2005
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
shared by Hey_Kevin. I have wanted to try this one ever since I joined RB. sometimes there is so much anticipationthat when you finally get to try the beer, it is a disappointment. I am here to assure you, there was NO disappointment here! many flavors abound and I can only guess that a person could find a different flavor or aroma everytime they tried this one. the bourbon, oak and vanilla are just the start of the complex array of flavors. nuts, smoke, molasses and all tied together very nicely. quite smooth from start to finish.
this was part of a side-by-side-by-side with Bear Creek Bourbon Ale & Goose Island Bourbon County Stout. while the GI is still a slight favorite, IMO, this is one fine imperial stout and I canít wait to try it again! Thanks Kevin, for bringing this one to the tasting!
1FastSTi (3271) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 15, 2005
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: NOV 27, 2005 Thanks John for the 2004 edition! This beer pours to a dark brown body with a thin tan head. Coffee and chocolate and barley abound! Hint of smoke and English walnuts. The flavor is chocolate and coffee, oak, and walnuts. WOW! (4.4)
Resampled a 2005 bottle. Pours to a dark brown body with a 2 finger creamy tan head that disapates to a thin head. Nice lacing. The aroma is chocolate, almond joy, light coffee, tootsie rolls, and bourboned barley. The flavor is chocolate, almond joy, walnuts, oak, bourbon. So delicately balanced. Devine. The palate is medium bodied, creamy, and easy drinking. (4.6)
StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 15, 2005
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 29, 2005 2005 bottled batch, consumed November 2005.
Still a tad thin in appearance on the pour, but in the snifter, itís black and nearly opaque with a small íSí curve and a thin tan wrung for the head (appearance bumped up from a Ď3í to a Ď4í.) Goddamn, thatís a fine aroma. Bourbon, vanilla and chocolate wafer dust lurking at the bottom of the plastic packaging carton, Vanilla Nips, fudgie-caramel brownies, and roasty símores to showcase that chocolate and marshmallow sweetness and graham cracker toastiness (aromaís now a perfect 10.) More vanilla and cocoa bean flavor than the 2004 batch. Moderate caramel macchiato sweetness with a double shot of espresso for a slightly bitter edge. Liqueur filled semi-sweet chocolate morsels, with similarities to a shot of Irish cream in a winter morningís hot chocolate. Tasty, reflexive and medium-bodied on the palate. Alcohol is so well hidden. Supremely balanced and in its prime at this very moment, so drink up, boys. Finishes with supple cocoa beans. Not a heavy hitter, but itís really fíin tasty and has its shit together (overall bumped up from Ď16í to Ď18í.)
2004 bottle, sampled August 2005. Original rating: 4.0.
Medium viscosity and mostly opaque yet translucent at times. No head. Such a cohesive aroma with rich mocha cocoa, caramel and sweet bourbon. A symphony of complexity. Titillating flavor, like a bourbon glaze over Hershey bars. Paints a picture of a chocolate filled caramel thatís been secretly nuked with liqueur and then masked as a Rolo. Encompassing palate feel. Dark chocolate truffles keep creeping up in my dissertation. A tasty treat, courtesy of JPDIPSO!
MIBRomeo (2484) - Wisconsin, USA - AUG 15, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: OCT 29, 2006 I had to hug john when he shared this w/ me.
It pours a dark mahogony color w/ a small tan head. Huge roasted malt aroma followed by a hint of smoke some light chocolate and bourbon then just more roasty goodness. Palate was thick full and creamy. Flavor is a sweet carmel malt in some bourbon w/ brown sugar, raisens and plums. This is one of the best beers Iíve ever tried.
This beer lost .3 for there remake which wasnít nearly as good as the original batch.
herbjones (742) - Orange, California, USA - JUN 11, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Absolutely fantastic brew! Unlike MANY of the Ba offerings this showed a little restraint. Everything that a impy needs and then some.
Ungstrup (28235) - Citizen of the universe, DENMARK - JUN 10, 2005
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A deep red beer with a beutiful chocolate-brown head. The aroma is sweet primarily malty with some roasted and woody notes. The flavor is sweet malty with strong notes of over ripe fruit, but also some wood and chocolate.
DarkElf (3014) - La Jolla, California, USA - MAY 22, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
(12 oz bottle: Obtained in trade with CaptainCougar, thanks Tom!) Like Satin Solstice, I aged this in my cellar for 8 months, and unfortunately, this beer is "suffering" from the same issues as the Satin Solstice. Itís extremely earthy, sharp and pungent, both in the flavor and nose. The nose is totally dominated by earth, mulch and mushrooms, and try as I might, I donít get much else. And that same earthy, mushroomy flavor is strong enough to overpower even the bourbon barrel aspects, but not kill them entirely. Mild oak and bourbon does come out in the flavor, mostly in the finish, and especially as the beer warms. A moderate undercurrent of toastiness joins the roast after the initial blast of pungent earth. Somewhat sweet, but it most certainly isnít jumping out at me. Medium "plus" in body. Dark brown in color, but definitely not black, and not opaque except when looking through the middle of the full glass. Now that Iím down to the final two inches of the beer, itís translucent. After the pour, the tan head was about average in size, under half an inch, and faded extremely quickly to a small halo, which itís now held for the duration of the session. Iím gonna have to retry this one too because I just donít think this strong earthiness is intended.
BuckNaked (1230) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - MAY 14, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle provided by and shared with jeffin7: Opaque brown with ruby highlights, small light brown head that fades to a nice large ring around the glass. Aroma is lots of chocolate, mild licorice, caramel infused bourbon, mild roasted malt, light burnt chocolate. Full bodied, medium-spritzy carbonation. Taste is bitter chocolate, bitter roasted malt, molasses, bourbon, light smoke, mild grains.