Serve in Snifter, Tulip


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RATINGS: 380   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.71/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
What you have here is an Imperial Dark Rye Ale. Isnít 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 isnít for everyone. In many ways it is more than just a little weird. It certainly doesnít 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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
TURDFERGUSON (4045) - 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.

   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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
satan165 (1020) - 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
changeup45 (1729) - 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 itís a bit odd at times. Quite a bit of firm bitterness to this as well. Solid beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
nickd717 (4165) - 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 (3095) - 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. Thereís 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 (14090) - Woodland, California, USA - SEP 4, 2009
Bottle from Josh, who I still havenít 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. Itís 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 Foothillsí 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 (2804) - 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 itís complexity. Highly recommended.

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