Ibrew2or3 (7511) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - JUN 2, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Wow, Gillard has scored us some awesome brews again, this tasting ROCKS!(May 3rd, 2008 @ Oldsmar Tap House, FL)
Pour black with brown head. The aroma is dark roasted to burnt to coffee and then at the end lesser amounts of more dark roasted malts. The mix of notes is very inviting and making the first sip nearly impossible to hold off even an extra moment. I succumbed almost immediately. I’m not weak but this beer is assuredly stronger than my will can withstand (OK, I’m weak). The taste is rich smooth chocolate notes that bleed into dark roasted malts, some burnt malts and notes of coffee. There’s a faint influence of the ABV to go along with hints of malt astringency that tend to add balance to the experience to go along with the roasted to burnt malts. Yummmmmmy.
Tmoney99 (12064) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JUN 1, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from trade with fiver29. Poured dark brown with a moderate creamy light brown head that mostly lasted with excellent lacing. Heavy toasted chocolate, licorice and coffee malt with a small alcohol aroma. Full body with a creamy texture. Heavy balanced toasted chocolate malt flavor with a heavy bittersweet finish of long duration. This is a standout beer.
theslats (6) - Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA - MAY 30, 2008 does not count
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
One of the finest beers I’ve ever had and I’ve purchased 2 cases in the last year to prove it. You know it’s a winner the moment it hits the glass and all that aroma is released. Rich roasted malts, coffee, licorice, dark chocolate. ON the back end the oak leaves a smooth vanilla and sticky molasses. Hides the alcohol surprisingly well
lagomswedish (213) - Umeå, SWEDEN - MAY 29, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle shared at the Bibendum beer tasting in Skåne. You know you’ve had a great night of beer tasting when this stunner is pushed into second place. But there’s nothing at all runner-up about this brutally graceful stout. Thick, menacing black body delivers an almost overpowering aroma smack of expresso coffee, milk chocolate and molasses. The best bourbon oak aging I’ve yet tasted means the liquor’s there, but it adds to rather than dominates the beer. Exceptional stuff.
ManvsCity (183) - Redmond, Washington, USA - MAY 29, 2008
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Thick and black like the darkest of expresso shots. Amazing full mouth feel. Flavors of pure richness. Love the hints of molasses. Bourbon aroma is subtle. Got to find more of this one!
MI2CA (1340) - Noblesville, Indiana, USA - MAY 27, 2008
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sampled at HotShotz Indy tasting May 24, 2008 - Batch #1 - Aroma is roasted dark malts, licorice and dusty cocoa powder. Pours black with a ring head and good lacing. Flavor is vanilla, molasses, chocolate, licorice and burnt malts. Palate is exceptionally smooth for 11%. Strong and powerful flavors that go down easy.
MartinT (8619) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 26, 2008
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 5, 2009 My Bottom Line:
Roasting molasses, dark chocolate and licorice harmoniously converge onto resinous bittering hops for a lush Imperial Stout replete with flavor and knowledge.
Further Personal Perceptions:
-A sheet of foam stands atop the darkest black.
-This is a lot more cohesive than the Stone Bourbon Barrel Russian Imperial Stout which we had right before.
-Roasted malts accompany the resinous hops in the finish and their combined bitterness succeeds in cutting through the malty sweetness.
-A well-levelled anise-y spiciness comes from the licorice and fits perfectly with the grain bill.
-The body is pleasantly full, not obese.
-There is some alcohol warmth in the back, but it does not bother at all.
-The barrel-aging job is subtle and is very efficient in the flavor profile.
Bottles; 2007 vintage.
RomanW70 (296) - Providence, Rhode Island, USA - MAY 25, 2008
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAY 27, 2008 Huge thanks to Tertons for sharing this and to the new Providence Beer tasting group! Amazing beer. Pours dark black with a thick tan head. Aroma of toffee and molasses. Initial taste slides gently into a huge bitter finish. Bitterness comes in at exactly the right time. Great balance. Amazing flavors. One of the best beers I’ve ever had. Exceeds the hype!
polomagnifico (1202) - Saginaw, Michigan, USA - MAY 25, 2008
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Huge thanks to BOLTZ7555 for this awesome brew!! Thanks Jason!! Bottle 2007 reserve. Aroma is insane! Notes of coffee, chocolate, smoke, wood, licorice, molasses, bourbon, dark dried fruit! Just incredible, I debated this one for a long time, but it really is worthy of "the" top rating, just perfect! Pours a very dark brown/amber and black hue. Appears black in the glass with an average to large sized, medium tan, frothy head that mostly diminished and left good lace. Flavor is just beautiful!! Smoke and oak, fritters and bitters! Nice and toasted with roast malt, coffee, chocolate, sweet dark dried fruits and bourbon, and finishes with some decent bitterness. Palate is oily soft and full bodied. Very well balanced and not over done with coffee like so many other top rated imp stouts. Just a treat from beginning to end. Alcohol is well masked for 11% ABV!! If you like coffee but not espresso, port but not sherry, and really enjoy the bite of a DIPA, then you’ll really love this brew. Just top notch and world class in every category.
DMRz (230) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - MAY 22, 2008
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Robust thick black pour with a tall brown head. Aromas of vanilla coffee, bourbon, and a touch of smoke. Flavor is quite interesting, starting out with anise and bourbon and finishes with a more bitter chocolate/coffee. Flavor profile is unique and well balanced. The bitterness lingers on the palate, which is my only criticism of this otherwise terrific beer.
Revision: After allowing this beer to warm up closer to room temperature, it becomes even smoother and the bitterness dissipates, giving way to more bourbon and anise on the finish.