patrickfannon (1172) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 7, 2011
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Jug. Split with James, Linh, and Andrew before Explosions in the Sky.Pours motor-oil blackish brown with amber lace around the sides of the glass. Aroma of freshly cut Granny Smith apples, pears, chocolate, roasted malts, smoky oak, vanilla, honey slight caramelized raisins and brandy. Full, rich, yet robustly loose and smoky palate. So much apple-smoke honey flavor with brandy notes. Finishes with a heavy, full burn in the throat and apple tart on the back of the tongue. Excellent extreme stout from the reliably great Cigar City.
Pwn3d (1959) - Manhattan, New York, USA - APR 6, 2011
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Courtesy of James. Apple, boozy, smokey aroma. Crazy opaque pour... Sticks to the glass like glue. Mellow and aggressive... Sweet and sour.
Ughsmash (6669) - Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA - APR 4, 2011
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Mini-growler. Poured inky black with a rich cap of deep espresso head.. stained my glass and the counter when I failed to pour it properly. The aroma picked up sweet, deep calvados-filled chocolates, coffee, and a touch of licorice with milder accents of vanilla and black pepper.. very roasty.. excellent! The flavor found dark chocolate, coffee, and other burnt black patent malts at the core.. rich, appley calvados, coconut, and tangy oak accented.. long, warm (but not too warm considering the ABV) finish.. smoke and heavy roasty bitterness rounded it out. Very heavy-bodied, very bitter, and roasty, but somehow very well balanced too.. just delicious.
deyholla (4787) - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA - APR 2, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Growler thanks to urwithdave. Poured pitch black with a dark brown head that dissipates very slowly to the edges. Aroma has a strong crab apple note with roasted malts and a bit of dark bread. Flavor started with roasted malts and a bit of dark chocolate and bread with a growing tart apple note. A bit hot but good.
GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - APR 1, 2011
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Another 32oz growler from Shep, a seriously generous dude.
Pours pitch black with a nice active mocha head that leaves decent lacing and shows stubborn retention given itís coming out of a growler.
The aroma is heavy on the apple brandy. In fact, I can definitely smell the red apple rinds and booze from the brandy. There is a roasted malt and dark chocolate presence underneath with some other dark fruits, like raisins.
The taste is more of the same with the initial apple brandy character dominating for a while though the chocolate, tobacco and leather of the underlying Zhukov comes through increasingly as it warms.
The mouthfeel is full bodied and decadent, like most of the CCB imperial stouts. Really good carbonation for a growler.
Another impressive brew from CCB though I do think itís a notch below the 4 Roses version. The apple brandy is very unique and thereís no doubt itís the dominant character in this one.
1FastSTi (3150) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - APR 1, 2011
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks Jason! The beer pours to a PITCH black body with an extremely dark brown head. Viscous as heck. The aroma is pretty much a good calvados brandy. Subtle chocolate. The flavor is chocolate, bitter malts, syrupy, nice subtle apple brandy aging. The palate is medium full bodied with a clean non-boozy body.
jrallen34 (3463) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 30, 2011
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAY 1, 2011 On-tap at the Hunahpu release... A midnight black body, no differences noted than the other variants. A dark tan head, not much retention, a little streaky lace... The nose on this is pretty outstanding. The Laird Apply Brandy shows off strongly, very sweet, dark fruits, a little wood. A touch hot but I like it... The taste is again dominated by the apple brandy, so much so that a lot of the base beer is gone. However, in the middle of the taste is an almost perfect apple brandy note which you get the liquor as a beer, so complex right there. However, the rest of the sip is a lot of alcohol.
I like this a lot, slightly less than the 4 Roses, still very good.
re-review - way too much sweet brandy apples on the taste, candy like, too sweet to drink
nickd717 (3394) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAR 25, 2011
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Thanks to Nick3 for this growler tick. Dark, dark, dark black color with a dark brown head. Man this is a dark beer. Puts Guinness to shame! The aroma has an inky barrel note that dominates. Big brandy to along with some roast and chocolate. The flavor is very complex if a little strange. Huge brandy and India ink or something, considerable -bals, and huge dark chocolate, dark fruits, roast, and anise. Very thick and syrupy on the palate with average carbonation. Crazy stuff man, just crazy.
JohnnyJ (3533) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 22, 2011
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Growler sampled at tasting. Pitch black pour, dense tan head. TONS of apple - almost like apple juice flavor, chocolate, dark sugary malts, and oak. Damn itís good, but also strange.
mattyb83 (733) - Minnesota, USA - MAR 22, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Thanks to tyler for sharing a growler of this. I had two separate small pours from this. I had the second pour which was an opaque brown, and almost black in color, with just some spots of cinnamon colored head. Chocolate dominates the aroma with a hint of apple brandy appearing, some roast coffee too. Flavor is intense with chocolate, smokey elements, coffee, apple, and some oak. Sweet, sweet, sweet flavors which normally arenít my thing, but the smokiness and coffee help make this work for me. Thick as hell! Just saying it is as thick as syrup really doesnít do this one just, as it is something that you really need to see to believe. By the time I got a second sample this had become even thicker. Every sip would stain the glass with a brown coating of sludge. As someone suggested this would be a great syrup topping for vanilla ice cream.