Serve in Snifter, Tulip


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RATINGS: 376   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.7   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
nickd717 (3595) - 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
tgncc (2986) - Bellmore, New York, USA - SEP 4, 2009
The aroma is piney hops upfront, caramel, some chocolate. Very nice. The appearance is beautiful, a hazy dark chocolate brown, thick tan head. The flavor is piney hops (some citrus after a few seconds), chocolate, roasty, spicy rye. There’s a lot going on here. The finish is a nice bitter finish of grapefruit and pine needles (more pine needles). The mouthfeel is nice: thick, silky. A great, unique beverage.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
bhensonb (11921) - Woodland, California, USA - SEP 4, 2009
Bottle from Josh, who I still haven’t talked into registering on the site. Still working on it though. Pours very dark brown with a four finger tan head (New Belgium "tulip"). Aroma has rye, dark roast caramel, mixed hop, and maybe some wood or smoke. Seems full bodied with creamy carbonation. Flavor starts with resin/citrus, moves on to harshish rye, and pops up some toasted malt. Some chocolate can be distinguqished. Seems a lot closer to stout than brown, but why quibble. It’s a pretty damn tasty concoction.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - SEP 4, 2009
Big thanks to emacgee for sharing this with the Carolina Crew! Deep amber-to-brown pour, with a thick chewy head. Sharp rye and peat in the aroma, along with the expected hop/roast combo of a nice IBA. In some sense, it reminded me of a bolder version of Foothills’ take on this style, with both body and flavor beefed up courtesy of the oats. But with all the rye, not to mention the wood and roasted malts, the beer ends up perhaps just a bit too dry to bring together all the flavors. Still, a tasty and ambitious brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
ucusty (2691) - raleigh, North Carolina, USA - SEP 3, 2009
Thanks to Ethan for sharing! Copper pour with a frothy tan head. Complex aroma. Pine, chocolate, citrus, and caramel. Flavor follows suite with a blast of zesty rye

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
corby112 (2214) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 3, 2009
Pours a dark copper/chestnut brown color with dark mahogany edges when held to a light source. Massive frothy 3 finger light beige head that has amazing retention only very slowly and minimally fading into a pillowy 1 finger cap and chunks of lacing on its way down. Aroma is pretty hop forward with some nice citrus notes, roasty caramel malt, rye and oatmeal. It really is a pleasant surprise how hoppy and citrusy the aroma is, especially for a darker beer. This characteristic is nicely balanced by the rye, oatmeal and caramel malt notes. Bitter floral hop mouthfeel with a smooth, creamy medum body with roasted malt and oatmeal notes followed by sweet rye presence and bitter dry finish. The hops really shine through all the way through, lingering over the other flavors into the finish. Lots of bitter floral hops up front with a nice sweet citrus fruit presence that blends perfectly with the rye flavor. There is a nice caramel malt backbone that is slightly roasty with a prominent oatmeal presence and a slightly smokey and dry bitter hop finish. The ABV is very well masked and this beer is very quaffable considering it’s complexity. Highly recommended.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
durhambeer (2500) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - SEP 1, 2009
Odd style, this one. Pours dark brown with reddish tint. Nice little head. Spicy rye and hops on the nose. Citric notes. Nice looking beer and lovely palate. Solid, but not all that.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Rciesla (5499) - Exit 15W, New Jersey, USA - SEP 1, 2009
Bottle. Wow wow wow was this good shit. Pours a brown body with a tan head. Rich chocolate and woody notes, hints of citrus and oatmeal with a light rye bitterness. Chocolate wood, pine with a hint of smoke. Awesome beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
JoeMcPhee (8788) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 31, 2009
Bottle and Rattle N Hum. Deep brown-black beer with a thick sticky tan head. The nose is spicy and fairly hoppy. Sweet citrus and a light spicy hoppiness. The hops begin to come across as a bit chewy, especially as the beer warms, but they do integrate quite nicely with the darker malts in here. Lots of bright pine and spice, especially as the beer starts to warm. It’s not as impressive as the Bolita, but it is a tasty brew nonetheless.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
ditmier (1508) - Boise, Idaho, USA - AUG 31, 2009
2009 Bottle - Thanks dchmela! - Pours our dk brown with a medium beige head...aroma is hoppy, both floral and resiny, with some burnt wood and dark malt...flavour is all over the place, toasty malt, burnt bitter grain, more bitterness from the hops, but the balancing malt was definitly missing from the equation and I’m left wanting...decent beer, just hard to get my head around or classify...

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