JB175 (1665) - Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 14, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottles from multiple sources - thanks to everyone!!! 2006 and 2007 bottles sampled together. Both pour to a nice, dark black color with a light head. Aroma on the 06 seems like solid oak - strong wood profile with some cocoa and roast. 07 is a bit softer with more subdued wood, some cocoa, raspberries, and milk. Flavor on the 06 is roasty with cocoa and dark chocolate and a ton of oak. 07 is less oaky with a better integration of wood, chocolate, licorice, and brown sugar. Nice feel all the way around. 07 already wins here and seems to have much more potential. 06 seems over-oaked and one dimensional, while the 07 needs a bit more time and I think it will be really great. The inconsistency and burnt flavors detract a bit from an otherwise great beer - time will tell if this cracks into the top tier of impy stouts for me.
jrob21 (3454) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JUN 13, 2008
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
One of the more complex and intriguing beers Iíve had in a while and I donít say that lightly particularly with Impy Stouts. But thes pours like an impy stout and has a sweet molasses finish. Roasted coffee flavors are involved with this subtle and complex brew. Plays on different parts of your palate nicely. At first you get a prune, cocoa, chocolate aroma. The palate is first cocoa which leads to roasted coffee and a sweetness that reminds you of molasses and finishes sweet as well. Slight vanilla and wood flavors mid palate. Thank you Old Mr. Crow.
rajendra82 (1053) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - JUN 12, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
One of the highlights of the BIF Race 2007 Sinister package from Eyedrinkale, The Abyss (2007 Reserve) came in a 22 oz. bomber with neck dipped in black wax. Luckily it was the pretty soft and came off without much struggle to allow me to get to the real attraction. The beer poured out absolutely black in color as expected, and holy crap did it have a dark head. The color of the head was like chocolate syrup at first, and as it died down to foam, it revered back to khaki. The smell was roasted coffee, but it did not seem overdone. The roasted aroma was mild enough to allow some light hops to poke through. The much anticipated first sip was quite dry and the astringency made my cheeks pucker. As I adjusted to the graininess, chocolate, toffee, malted milk balls, vanilla beans, oak shavings, and black coffee made themselves known. This was a big, bruising, hefty stout, and needed to be approached with the respect it deserved. Not very easily approachable, unless you already know you want something like it.
brentfeesh (1208) - Mansfield, Ohio, USA - JUN 11, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2007 bottle. Enjoyed at Noog4. Had this outside at night, so as near as I can tell this stuff is black as pitch. Lots of coffee in the aroma, sharp roasted/toasted grain and wood notes. Lots of coffee in the flavor too. Also some chocolate, plenty of roasted/toasted grain with wood. Semi-dry mouth feel and med-full body. This was good but not worth the hype.
scoobysnak (333) - Appleton, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 8, 2008
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUN 24, 2008 Pours dark no light showing through as dark as they come. This probably is probably one of the most impressive looking beers Iíve seen. Good lacing, smell is subtle hops, sweet and dark chocolate, and roast malt. Taste mainly was the dark malts with a hint of coffee. I didnít get the licorice or oak, but I did find a little of the molasses just as the beer first hits your mouth, along with a nice hops presence. A little of the alcohol warmth as it makes its endeavor toward your belly. Damn good.
heemer77 (5297) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - JUN 8, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Noogfest í08. While very good,I was not blown away by this one. The body was black with an orangeish colored head. The aroma was pancakes and chocolate with some caramel notes. The taste taste was milk chocolate with some bread crust.
aracauna (3511) - Georgia, USA - JUN 3, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
all the chocolate and coffee of some of the other better stouts of Noogfest, but more hops than many of the others.
Ibrew2or3 (8207) - 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. Iím not weak but this beer is assuredly stronger than my will can withstand (OK, Iím weak). The taste is rich smooth chocolate notes that bleed into dark roasted malts, some burnt malts and notes of coffee. Thereís 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 (13612) - 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 Iíve ever had and Iíve purchased 2 cases in the last year to prove it. You know itís 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