rangerred (891) - Johnson City, Tennessee, USA - JAN 31, 2013
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
275ml bottle into a snifter. Bottled in May 2011.
Pours pitch black with a dark tan half finger head that is pretty fizzy and quick to fade. Head retention and lacing are both lacking with just a ring left around the top of the beer.
The aroma has much more of a fruity character than other RIS I have had. Lots of dark fruit and licorice that really reminds me of many English ales, just on a stronger level. Really not much roast at all just a lot of fruit and yeasty esters. It works, though, and nothing is offensive whatsoever.
The flavor is where this beer really shines. Much like the aroma, dark fruity esters dominate at first. Somewhat sweet with quite a bit of yeast character. Not extremely impressive but about halfway through the taste, something magical happens. Almost out of nowhere tons of roast comes shooting in along with some coffee and dark chocolate. This marries magically with the dark fruit leading to an intensely complex finish. Moderate bitterness with a lot less sweetness than many other RIS with a pretty dry finish.
Overall, probably the best RIS I have had. Extremely complex flavors and an absolutely amazing mouthfeel with alcohol being extremely well hidden. A definite world class beer.
allmyvinyl (2740) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - JUL 6, 2014
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
275ml bottle from Beers of Europe. Pours deep dark black, light just about makes it through, thick, long-lasting tan head. Aromas of coffee, dark chocolate, prune, liquorice. Taste is dark chocolate, sweet, light coffee bitterness, charcoal maybe. Chewy texture, rich and full-bodied. Lovely.
AndyW68 (1022) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - JUL 5, 2014
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark near black pour with dark tan head. Aroma is roast chocolate malt, coffee and a hint of vanilla. Taste follows nose.
beerluva (14) - Monroe, Connecticut, USA - JUL 3, 2014
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours inky black with nice creamy head which stays throughout. Aroma is fantastic coffee and hints of smoke, roasted malt. Exhibits medium sweetness on the front with a slight bitterness on the back end. Full bodied and thick with a long finish. Overall a great imperial with a cool history, would definitely try again.
DoToBi (8) - AUSTRALIA - JUN 29, 2014 does not count
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
A classic Russian Imperial stout - how can you argue with that when you’re drinking the original?
williamstome (818) - Somerville, Massachusetts, USA - JUN 22, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Black/brown stout. Honestly a little hard to tell in the darkness of the Khyber Pass. Perhaps it’s fitting the aroma of dark fruit and dark chocolate. Flavor was big prune, raisin, and chocolate. Delicious.
zacgillbanks (2088) - Tyne & Wear, ENGLAND - JUN 20, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from Rehills, Newcastle. This inky dark brown-black beer pours with a thin tan head. It has sweet currants and rich red fruity flavours, roasted and chocolate notes with sherrry and red fruit on the finish.
cathcacr (634) - Oregon, USA - JUN 20, 2014
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
aroma the real standout - sweetened chocolate, one of my favorite aromas ever. the rest is fairly typical for the style. 2013 vintage
AirForceHops (2939) - Epping, New Hampshire, USA - JUN 18, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draft @ Sunset Grill & Tap. Snifter shows a pitch black color with lasting full, foamy head. Aroma is deep dark fruit, leather, earthy charred malts and hints of chocolate.
Flavor is just as rich as the nose, all the same elements... start with sweet, juicy dark fruit, dark tones of chocolate, shoe leather with an earthy deep roasted grain finish. Very mild alcohol note but still very light for the gravity, pretty smooth. Body is on the light side of full, could use just a bit more. The dry roast, earth and dark fruit play real well together. I enjoyed this a lot.
TappanGordo (70) - New York, USA - JUN 8, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
From a bottle to a glass. Pours a dark brown. Taste of chocolate, malt and espresso. Decent English stout.
jmgreenuk (4002) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - MAY 27, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from the Villa Market Ambassador, Bangkok. Poured a murky dark brown with a frothy tan head and a little broken lace. The aroma is strong liqourice, molasses and roasted malt. The flavour is strong bitter with a rich, chewy, malt, liqourice bitter, chocolate, coffee, light boozy alcohol, light spice palate and a long bitter finish. Full bodied with soft carbonation. Served at room temperature which is the way it should be. Took a short while to get into this, but eventually I appreciated the smooth malt, alcoholic bitterness of this beer. I probably need a second bottle to rate it properly :-)