EithCubes (4818) - New Jersey, USA - JUL 7, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JAN 20, 2011 Bottle. Huge gritty roast and thick Dark Horse chocolate profile, with a little booze showing, but the shocker in the aroma is the presence of abundant hoppiness. Inky black hole black pour with a dark brown head (so dark itís trending toward violet). Inky taste, too, a bit oily, a bit crisp with a nice bit of prickling from the hops. Viscous maltiness is the story here, though. Abundant roast but nothing harsh, no ash, just thick, creamy dark chocolate. Reasonably dry for the style. A little boozy (well-concealed, though, Iíd have guessed about 8-9% - certainly tastes less boozy than my Expedition), vinous body on the lighter side of medium despite the chewy roast taste and the residual sugars. Touch of unsalted licorice and raisin, but fruitiness is dulled by a damp blanket. Sticky-lipped end and a plummy aftertaste. Rich and dangerous! Not quite world-class, but if you like DHís other stouts, youíll love this. [4.0]
This bottleís at least a year old, might be closer to two. Much, much thinner than I remembered, but also drier and lightly smokier. Nose has good plummy and dark fruity notes, taste is lightly salty (no autolysis, Iím hoping itís just that the booze cleared out a bit to let the subtler notes shine through) with tar and tobacco notes that werenít really there before. Age has mellowed this significantly, and as a result it feels like a hybrid of of the harsher,darker substyles and the richer, fruitier versions, though smoothed and softened. Really a delight! [4.0]
Yet another bottle saved from 2008, here the last third of January 2011. Inky rich chocolate just oozes out; heavier, roastier notes have fallen by the wayside somewhat along with the pricklier hops. Mouthfeel is velvety and aftertaste is now showing light wood and stronger smoke. Otherwise, same plummy/druity and very mild licorice notes in with the chocolate. The alcohol, once a large component of character, has faded significantly - not harsh at all, totally under control. This has mellowed considerably (and probably improved), but still a crowd pleaser by any definition. [4.1]
StFun (567) - Indiana, USA - JUL 7, 2008
3.2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 15/20
Man, I waited around forever for this one. I love Dark Horse, and expected to be blown away by this one. Sadly, I wasn’t. Pours fine, not weak but not really strong either. Some Impy tastes going on, a little grain, some chocolate, and lots of watery booze. Just boozy everywhere. Nothing really impressive about this one, and nowhere near as good as say, Reserve Black Bier or One. The second one I had left a little better impression on me, but theres just way too many other good impys out there in this price range (see, for example, Expedition).
TURDFERGUSON (3948) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - JUL 6, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from mgumby. Thanks Mike! Pours black with a small tan head. Aroma is roasted malt, a bit of cocoa, mild hops. Flavor is heavily roasty, a bit of cocoa, blah blah blah. This kind of tastes like every other top imperial stout on the market. Well made, and tasty, but just not that exciting for me anymore. 12% is extremely well hidden. I would never have guessed it to be anywhere close to that. A great beer, but I guess Iím just losing my taste for these imperial stouts.
KingpinIPA (841) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 6, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark color. Smell of roasted malt, smoke, spice, brown sugar, pine, hops and alcohol. Taste of roasted malt, smoke, minor coffee, spice, brown sugar, pine, hops, cake batter and alcohol.
MrBendo (1064) - Swedesboro, New Jersey, USA - JUL 1, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Thanks to Sephiroth for sending me some 12ozers. pours near black with a small head. Aroma of espresso, dark roasted and chocolate malt, a little liquorice and dusty yeast. Heavy body, mostly dry taste. Finishes with a nice bitterness.
nefarious (220) - Waterford, Michigan, USA - JUN 16, 2008
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Iím doing my review on my second try of this. Because it was soooo good the first time I though something mushíve been wrong. But thankfullly no....Its just as good as I remember it. Black pour with a small tan head and a very good smokey and roasted malts and chocolate. But the flavor is sooooooo outstanding. Chocolate roasted malts and absolutely not trace of alcohol. good mouthfeel and a wonderful finish. I know most wont agree but this is by far the best stout I have ever had. Unbeliveable. I will cellar a few of these.
pantanap (3353) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 9, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
12oz bottle from west lakeview or masonjer.....close to black pour with a medium brown head that dissipated quickly and gravitated towared the edges.dark ruby red hints at the sides when held up against the light..... aroma of rich chocolate and roasted. nothing too out of the norm but it still was executed well..... flavors were of the same. smooth mouthfeel with medium carbonation......very solid imperial stout.
jcr (2198) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - JUN 6, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Does Dark Horse brew a run-of-the-mill stout? Pure black body with a deep tan head that dminishes. Nice aroma of roasted malts, mocha, molasses, licorice and peat. The flavor is moderately sweet and lightly to moderately bitter. Tastes of chocolate, pepper, vanilla, sugar and smoke. Alcohol bite and strong alcohol presence in the dry finish. Nicely balanced though the alcohol is a bit overpowering, especially as the stout warms. Full body. creamy texture. Moderate carbonation.
pintsize (1042) - Austin, Texas, USA - JUN 4, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
5-30-08 bottle shared with lb4lb thanks to hoppymeal!
Pitch black pour with the thickest, darkest chocolate cocoa brown head I have seen. Smell is chocolate milk and bitter coffee with cinnamon in there too. Flavor is super complex or busy but is straight up and to the point. It has chocolate, roasted malt, and some hops in the finish even. Palate is carbonated but is a touch thin. A small smoky leftover remains on the tongue. Overall, a winner.
lb4lb (2520) - Austin, Texas, USA - JUN 2, 2008
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Thanks to hoppymeal for the bottle in trade!!
Pours dark oily black with a rich dark tan head. Smell is roasty malt, molasses, and chocolate chip cookies. Reminds me of the rich decadent smell of Abyss. Taste is dark, dry chocolate with slightly chalky roastiness bordering burnt. Rich oily mouthfeel and very tasty. Slight bit of alcohol as it warms, but still a fantastic imperial stout and one of my favorites.