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RATINGS: 375   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.7   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
What you have here is an Imperial Dark Rye Ale. Isn’t that a lot to be going on in just one beer? Well yes, it is. But that is the point. Layers. Flavor elements building on and playing off of preceding elements, like a building wave; a growing crescendum of taste bud temptation; a wall of sound expressed through flavor and channeled toward your mouth. This beer isn’t for everyone. In many ways it is more than just a little weird. It certainly doesn’t fit easily into any category. In the spirit of all great things that are conceived in the moment, but perfected through passionate repetition it started life as an improvisation and grew from there. And it might not be for you. But if the thought of big spicy rye notes, a wallop of a hop punch, multitudinous layers of caramel, sweet malt and a respectable balancing gravity sound intriguing then you might want to wing it and give Improv a try.


3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Cavie (3750) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - SEP 12, 2009
Bottle courtesy of BMan1113VR. Clouded brown orange pour. Interesting. Some hops on the smell. Darker scents than regular hops though. Bittered flavors with a hopped feeling. Sweet flavors of fruit also ensue.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
glennmastrange (2220) - hobe sound, Florida, USA - SEP 12, 2009
Bottle. Heavy malt aromas of roasted, molasses and dark chocolate, moderate lemon/lime for the hops, light earth for the yeast, and faint hints of raisin, charcoal and vinegar. Head is large, frothy, light brown with a scant bit of lacing and is almost fully diminishing. Color is muddy dark brown with a red tint. Flavor starts lightly to moderately sweet and moderately acidic, and the extra long finish is lightly tart and moderately to heavily bitter. Palate is medium to full, creamy with a lively carbonation and has a lightly astringent and very dry yet sticky finish. A nice American Strong Ale, full of the stuff I like, but just a touch out of balance. I’m not sure if the bitterness comes from the hops or the toasted malts. Hides the alcohol well, but definitely a slow drinker.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
iowaherkeye (2690) - Ocean Beach, San Diego, California, USA - SEP 11, 2009
750mL bottle, no date from darkguardian. Clear deep brown with a 1 1/2 finger beige head, good retention. The hops seem to be almost exactly the same with the cedar Jai-Alai, though without the cedar they aren?t as near as unenjoyable. Tropical fruit (mangoes?) and spicy pine, though they?re a little astringent and almost plastic-y. Digging beyond that, there are some toasty nutty malts and some spicy sweet rye. The flavor adds quite a bit of straight bitterness, loses a hint of the pine, though the fruit is still there. Has a strange sawdusty kinda character I don?t like. There is also a slight lactic tang that I can?t quite place. The alcohol is masked well in the semi-dry bitter toasty finish. Bitterness peaked at a 6. Moderate carbonation with a medium body. Interesting--but there’s still some kinks. Thanks Chris for the bottle!

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
fredandboboflo (1570) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 10, 2009
Bottle. Aroma of soap, lots of pine, some smoked wood, and always notes of chocolate and roasted malt. Flavor fortunately leaves the soap behind and is extremely bitter with much of the pine influence as well as oats and of course chocolate malty notes. To say they "balance it all out" with the hops is a massive understatement as this is very forwardly bitter despite all the rich malt also in play. Finish is bitter to an olive like level. Overall it was pretty tasty, though the pine and bitterness were fairly one dimensional with the rest of the beer being solid though not really wowing.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
LilBeerDoctor (3422) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 9, 2009
Bottle. Pours a dark brown with a thick tan head. Aroma of citrus, pine, oak/cedar, roasted malt. Flavor of lots of oak/cedar/wood with pine and citrusy hops as well as roasty malt and some chocolatey notes. Nice and drinkable. An enjoyable ASA. 7/4/8/4/15 [3.8/5]

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
TURDFERGUSON (3945) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - SEP 9, 2009
Bottle shared by Ethan. Nose of hops (very green), astringent, and lots of rye. way too bitter (for me) overall. Pretty okay but the astringency of the hops and rye combined overpowered everything else.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
kkearn (1165) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 8, 2009
750ml bottle, from Spuyten Duyvil Grocery, Brooklyn NY. Pours very deep brown capped with a modest sized mocha head. Aroma of rye, chocolate, oats, and some smoke. Flavor is as advertised in the aroma, with rye, cocoa and oats the predominant players. Toffee, grapefruity hops, and smoke add complexity. Fairly full bodied, but smooth mouthfeel makes it very drinkable. I really enjoyed this.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
satan165 (1019) - River Grove, Illinois, USA - SEP 7, 2009
aroma is perfect balance of sweet malt and strong hops with a bomb of lightly metallic alcohol. flavor is of cold, old strong coffee, black cherries and sour grapes. lightly vinous qualities hide beneath the blanket of darkness. even at slightly colder then nominal temperatures, beer is ultra silky with the booze espically doing its best impersonation of an oil slick. even after my palate has adjusted to this booze bomb, the alcohol remains up front and a touch offensive. this beer needs to take a nap in my cellar, and i predict i shall do the same soon after this bottle has been drained of its contents.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
changeup45 (1716) - Mount Dora, Florida, USA - SEP 6, 2009
UPDATED: JAN 31, 2010 Pours a very dark brown color that almost looks like black in the glass with a big head. The aroma shows lots of pine, smells like wet leaves in the woods after a hard rain. Some toasty scent as well. Big piney hop flavors mix with caramel, oats, the rye, and toffee. Interesting mix of flavors that works pretty well although it’s a bit odd at times. Quite a bit of firm bitterness to this as well. Solid beer.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
nickd717 (3466) - San Francisco, California, USA - SEP 5, 2009
Bottle shared by mfielden on BA - thanks Mark! This was the least impressive of the four CCB beers we had, but still pretty damn solid. Dark brown color with a lasting tan head. Aroma is wood, nuts, citrusy hops, and spicy rye. Flavor is cedar, rye, chocolate, roast, smoke, and citrus/pine hops. Palate medium with some oatmeal smoothness but a tiny astringent.


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