puzzl (3254) - New York, New York, USA - SEP 16, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
2005 bottle from Styles, my secret santa one year ago. Who sends something this rare as an SS? Styles does, thatís who!
I kept almost trading this away, as its trade value has shot through the roof recently. I got nervous that I would end up trading it and thus never getting to try it, so I decided to just pop it in the fridge and put íer down before it was too late.
Vigorous swirl yields a splash of beer all over my laptop touch pad. Shit. Letís try that one again.
Vigorous swirl yields a sticky sweet peanuty malt aroma. Very strong. As I was pouring this beer I was getting hints of the aroma even from well over a foot away. Impressive. No head at all on the pour. This is an old, old man if Iíve ever seen one. Big, brutish, powerful flavor, big roasty malt dominance and residual bitterness from the long since dead hops. You can definitely taste that they were once powerful, but the mighty kingdom has fallen to the Malts. So it goes.
Finish is alcohol filled, chunky and boisterous. I canít believe how hot this beer is after all this time. Still an impressive offering, but it is super hard to drink. I hate it when beers keep me up past my bedtime.
kp (10884) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - SEP 1, 2007
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
pours like rich black oil, headless, sweet fruity aroma, thick body, lots of roasted flavor, hint of alcohol in the finish, some fruity character trying to break through but may need a couple years to develop, some rich chocolate finally shows up,
Aroma: 6/10; Appearance: 8/10; Flavor: 7/10; Palate: 7/10; Overall: 13/20
bgburdman9 (858) - Kettering, Ohio, USA - AUG 9, 2007
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Aroma had some soy notes to it and a lot of chocolate to it. Flavor was extrememly smooth with only a light burn from the alcohol. Very complex with some fruitiness coming through. A very tastey imp stout.
sliffy (2040) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JUL 29, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
C-Bus 8 - Bottle shared by bgburdman: Pours black with a dark tan head. Aroma, chocolate, coffee, roasted malts. Flavor, some dark chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt notes, sweet and smooth with a nice medium to full body, and a roasty finish. Very nice.
Dough77 (821) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - JUL 11, 2007
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Solid well made imperial stout. Pours a nice heavy oilish black. Notes of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee and some alcohol in the nose. Similar in flavor but not quite what I was hoping for, it felt slightly weak comparatively speaking. Not bad by any standards though.
atpayne (615) - Zionsville, Indiana, USA - JUN 22, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Half of a bottle that the owner of a local store got on his last visit to Marshall and very graciously split with me. There were only 7 left, they gave him this one, and the other 6 are going to GABF as part of Dark Horseís first entry to GABF. Pours increadibly calm and dark oozing from the neck like oil and sits black with no activity. Aroma is all roasted malts, chocolate, and some coffee hiding the alcohol completely from the nose. Granted, this bottle is a couple years old since they havenít brewed this in awhile so the advertised large wave of hops was not present in the aroma, or in the nose but it still has something going for it in its nice presentation of malts and dark fruits in the flavor. Sweet chocolate and roasted malt mixing with some raisin and a hint of some vanilla round out a beer that seems to have stood up pretty well. Other than the fact that there are no hop flavors or aroma I would say that the age has not added any off flavors. I understand that they are going to begin brewing this again this fall so I very much look forward to having this fresh.
ClarkVV (3892) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - APR 26, 2007
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: MAY 2, 2007 12oz bottle courtesy of Styles, shared with SuIIy on 4/16/07. 2 year old bottle. The bottle was kept in the fridge since it has been in my posession (about 10 or 11 months).
Iíve got to say I was pretty impressed with the results of fridge-cellaring this. It still yielded a beautiful, moderately-dense, light-tan head that slowly collapses to cover, leaving sticky lace in clumps. Deep, bakers-chocolate black/brown body shows a medium clarity with deep violet-ruby tints on the edges.
To be fair, you never know what it would have been like had I kept it cellared out of the fridge, but this beer strikes me as quite the expedition-inspired imperial stout, not surprisingly, and I have been having pretty poor luck with cellaring expedition outside the fridge. These beers are just so high in alcohol and have so little carbonation. The yeast dosent survive long in this beers environment, and coupled with the already oxidation-prone dark malts, lots of oxidation builds up quickly. I had a 2006 Expo the other day that had been cellared properly (outside the fridge) and was already full of soy, cardboard and other oxidative notes. Granted, this is Dark Horse Impy, not Bells Expo, but like I said, itís got a massive, chocolatey-caramel laden nose with lots of roast bitterness and remnants of juicy, green, bitter, citric hops. Light vanilla fudge aromatics keep things very smooth, while there is a bit of bitter molasses balancing this. Richly malted as always from Dark Horse and not over-the-top, though it does seem a little on the sweet side. Some dark berry/prune notes or lactic tartness would be appreciated. Alcohol very well concealed.
Chocolate and nougat are deliciously chewy in the flavor, with streaks of roast running through it and ending slightly more dry with vanilla cream sweetness and a moderate amount of roast. Not as much saltiness or char as many of the imperials and but for the roast, Iíd almost say itís just a stronger version of the Too Cream. Clean and free of any yeast blandness or flaws, I enjoyed how there was no soy nor any significant breadiness. Certainly no cardboard-like flavors. Some tannin or phenolic activity produces an almost clove-like flavor (cinnamon as TAR says, seems to be more accurate) that seems to piggyback on the roast. Very rich, full body with a chewy texture, as mentioned, and low carbonation. Some dry coffee notes help add a little livliness as it warms, and are much appreciated. For all of the wonderful maltiness, it seems to be a bit lacking in complexity and resting mostly on the chocolate-caramel-cream flavors. Though a texture like this goes a long way in my book.....Iíll definitely throw some Expeditions in the fridge and keep some cellared regularly and see what happens in a year.
boboski (1095) - Alabama, USA - FEB 7, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: APR 5, 2007 2004. Pours all black, thick and oily. Visible thorough carbonation, but no head forms. Aroma is all malt, vinous and powerful. Rich dark fruits, anise, oaky vanilla, raisins, plums and cherries. Roastiness is mild, chocolate is creamy and lush. Flavor is even better. Alcohol is present but unintrusive. Chocolate is drier. I am reminded of chocolate ice cream. Some whiskey, anise and woody notes. Caramel and marshmallow in small quantities. This is just what I had hoped for, what I was waiting for. The palate is medium to full. Finishes somewhat dry, bitter chocolate lingers, some hops present. This really matured nicely. Excellent stout.
SoLan (1550) - Florida, USA - JAN 28, 2007
4.2 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Courtesy boboski. Black. No head, only a few small bubbles here and there around the edge of the glass and one larger one directly in the center that just popped. Big roasty, dark chocolate nose with some old wood, smoke, marshmallows, and subtle dark fruits, also. Great nose. Flavor to match but less intense until the finish, which is big time bittersweet chocolate, subtle coffee, and vinous dark fruits. Flavor also has a small dose resinous hops. Full/medium body, smooth, viscous, with just enough carbonation to keep it lively. Great imperial stout, probably a bit past its prime, but still excellent.
jgd0608 (187) - Zeeland, Michigan, USA - DEC 12, 2006
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle courtesy of jjpm74, believe its an 05, but unsure. Pours a thick black, with a very very thin, dark brown head. Smells of roasted chocholate, coffee, and iím picking up some cherries. Flavors of chocholate and coffees, nice thick mouthfeel, quite smooth, good malt, almost no carbonation, with just a slight alcohol burn. Very nice winter brew, i just canít get enough of these great impys.