Taverner (1096) - San Ramon, California, USA - FEB 24, 2008
4.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAY 14, 2008 Excellent! On par with NCís Old Rasputin Barrel Aged. Pours a dark, opaque black that no light can penetrate. Forms a frothy brown head that dissapates. The first flavors are coffee, chocolate and a lingering bitter taste that sticks around when the tannins from the barrels start to make their presence known. The tannins arenít overpowering, and work well with the dark bitterness.
Guerde (1168) - St. Paul, Minnesota, USA - FEB 24, 2008
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 19, 2008 (bottle, thanks for sharing tytoanderso!) Pours out black with a lasting dark tan head. Aroma is strong with licorice, roasted malt, some coffee, and a slight bit of oak. Taste contains the usual suspects for an impy, with roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, with a light bit of vanilla, and a hint of oak along with roasted malt in the finish. Full, thick mouthfeel, very well made.
(2007 bottle, via Gunhaver) Pours inky black with a dark tan head, perfect five. Aromas of smoke, coffee, licorice, roasted malt, and dark chocolate. When warm, the beer takes on a sweeter aroma. Just an amazing taste of dark roasted coffee, roasted malt, and a good dose of chocolate that really stands out mid-palate. The finish of this beer is the highlight, with just a perfectly roasty/bitter finish, that is not overpowering or astringent like some Impys can be. Very well made, and a year of aging has vastly improved this beer.
Jmichael (640) - Asheville, North Carolina, USA - FEB 24, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
pours a black with mild caramel head, sweet smooth whisky aroma. strong front to mild finish, with mocha aftertaste. dry aftertaste, mocha coffee complex background.
Stine (1573) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - FEB 23, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours very black and velvety; thick fudge milkshake on the surface leaving a sticky film of espresso foam up the sides. Aromas of black cherry, red licorice, pineapple, and alcohol, bolstered underneath by lots of roast venison, chocolate, and vanilla; very earthy, spicy, and savory. Balanced amicably between chunky malts, vibrant hops and barrel accents. Bitten slightly with soapy espresso grounds. Flavor is soft and pensive at first, giving only milk chocolate, lactose, pine, and citrus dishsoap. In the mid palate lots of roasty, rich tobacco and acrid coffee bitterness alternate pleasant and painful punches of meatiness, though the tropical hops evident in the aroma never really concede the sugary acidity they provide. Blackberry, cocoa nib and port wine with bourbony licks of vanilla, oak, and nougat rush in after that hint of synthetic bitterness. Very creamy in the mouth, with soft carbonation; full and rich, but never imposing. Hints of pear, burnt meats, and lots of vinousness with full roasted mocha java in the end. Finishes fruity, juicy and bloody. Moments of this experience are less than extraordinary, but these are quickly passing, and it is altogether a very well made example, one which integrates the barrel seamlessly into an already carefully balanced presentation. Impressive.
dkingsella (152) - Portland, Oregon, USA - FEB 21, 2008
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAR 22, 2008 Had this on tap at the Green Dragon in Portland, OR. This is a fantastic Imperial Stout! Pours black with a nice tan head. Amazing mouthfeel. Itís all there in both aroma and taste...oak, chocolate, chocolate, molasses, bourbon and more. Iíll likely have to rerate after I drink the 22oz. I picked up @ Belmont Station.
VikingHammer (506) - Lynnfield, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 20, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours dark as night with a light brown head. Chocolate, coffee, dark fruits and oak all play apart in the aroma. Sweet to bitter. Flavors are licorice, chocolate, molasses, and alcohol. Wonderful mouth feel.
rayOfBeer (670) - El Cerrito, California, USA - FEB 20, 2008
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Wow, had this on tap at Beerapaloosa mardi gras. It is oil black with a great looking frothy tan foam head. Aromas of coffee, toast, smoke waif upwards. The tastes run through a variety of flavors - coffee, chocolate, smoke, vanilla oak, molasses, slight bitterness but overall incredibly smooth with all the flavors well blended. All I wish is if I could find more. There is always next year.
HughConway (796) - Washington, USA - FEB 19, 2008
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Second bottle Iíve picked up, from of all places, Fred Meyers. Only getting better on the second gander. Amazing aroma, dark impenetrable black appearance, rich tan head, fine palate especially considering the alcohol, well worth a try. Very curious to see how this would age.
nhorween (645) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 19, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
22oz, 2007. This came in the mail today from a pre-sell, which I was told I was too late for, so what a nice surprise. Opaque brown pour with a dark tan head. Bitter coffee, chocolate, cocoa, dark fruit, hops, and faint bourbon and lots of oak. Alcohol comes through in this one for sure. Sour cherries and piney hops - more coffee and chocolate. Big bitter finish. Nice beer, the licorice and molasses are there, but subtle. Definitely worth seeking out.
kkearn (1165) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 18, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
22oz bottle, 2007 reserve. Pours pitch black, with a big tan head. Big roasted malt aroma with oak, vanilla, chocolate and some molasses. Roasted espresso and chocolate are initial flavors, and are gradually joined by oak and finally some hop bitterness. Long, bittersweet chocolate finish. Silky smooth, but the body is a bit thinner than I expected.