coachd (492) - Missouri, USA - MAR 5, 2016
3.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
2015 reserve bottle, dated "best after 12-08-16" and 12.2% ABV. I’ve been wanting to try this for a long time; I hope it doesn’t disappoint. Great aroma of molasses, oak, leather, roast, lactose sweetness and booze. I am getting more wine barrel than bourbon barrel in the aroma and I am also getting some of the cherry bark and vanilla. The appearance is a clear 5. Shiny black color with a light brown tuft of foam. The taste is very strong and complex - heavy oak, red wine, cherry bark with only a touch of molasses from the aroma. Very roasty, hoppy and a bit sour with no sweet or rich flavors to balance it out. Not bad, but I have tasted better. Maybe I should have aged it longer. The palate is not as thick as I would like but does have a good amount of carbonation. Overall I must say I am a tad disappointed; I was expecting this to be a top 10 Imperial stout for me and it fell short of that.
fraternie (983) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 28, 2016
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Aptly named, this is dark and thick. Tons of black licorice, black plum and burnt mocha coffee. Finishes on a spicy note with subtle vanilla and bourbon underneath. Long finish.
Criz (336) - - FEB 20, 2016
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Amazing stout. Pitch black minimal head. Aromas of cherry cordial, molasses, black licorice. Roasty, dry mouthfeel. Very complex.
Darkmagus82 (2197) - - FEB 18, 2016
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Poured from bomber into a snifter
Appearance – The beer pours a super dark, nearly pitch black color with a two finger head of brown colored thick foam. The head has a fantastic level of retention, slowly fading over time to rings of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the beer is huge of a roasted malt smell mixed with a big showing of coffee and caramel with other notes of vanilla and chocolate being rather strong as well. Along with the these super robust aromas, comes smells of char and smoke as well as a good showing of dark fruits of raisin and prune. A bit of a boozy bourbon aroma is there as well, overall producing a smell that is very dark and roasty with a big showing of a warmingly sweet smell.
Taste – The taste begins as the nose would suggest with a massive dark roasted malt flavor and a good showing of coffee. There is a huge rich milk chocolate sweetness upfront which is accompanied by other sweet flavors of molasses and brown sugar. As the taste advances the roasted malt waivers ever so slightly, but with the coffee, is still the overall dominant taste of the brew. With the lightening of the roastiness (which is sorta odd to write as it is still super robust in dark flavors) comes a little bit of a raisin taste as well as a decent showing of vanilla; both of which join the other sweet and chocolate flavors quite nicely. As one may expect for a 12.2 % brew, there is a bit of a bourbon boozy taste that develops later in the tongue, which creates a nice warming feel. Flavors of char and a woody hop develop at the very end, combining with the alcohol, roasty, and sweet nicely to create rich, dark, and warming taste to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The beer is thick and creamy with a very low level of carbonation level. The feel is nearly perfect for the big mix of dark, sweet and boozy flavors of the brew, coating the tongue and bathing it in all the grandiose tastes of the brew.
Overall – This is a very nicely crafted imperial stout. While slightly on the sweeter side all the other attributes of the brew match the sweeter and rich flavors very well. Even while sweet, it not necessarily so, and was still drinkable (in a very slow sipping way) unlike some other imperial stouts of similar strength. Overall I was rather impressed by this brew.
njager246 (697) - grand rapids, Michigan, USA - FEB 16, 2016
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Aroma is chocolate, molasses, licorice, and oak. Taste has a lot going on- many flavors coming together, a little hot. Wish I would have aged out more so things could have mellowed out a bit more
TheGB (578) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - FEB 12, 2016
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2015 reserve edition. Pours black with a nice lasting brown head. Aroma of vanilla oak, dark fruit, toasted bread and chocolate. Taste is very smooth with chocolate malt, vanilla and almost a little tartness from the licorice.
edwardbass (767) - Illinois, USA - FEB 12, 2016
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Aroma is a bit of licorice, roasty grain. Taste is licorice, dark chocolate, coffee and that molasses tangy sweetness. Lots of dried, dark fruit. A bit boozy for my tastes. I think it gets lots more complex as it warms. Good stuff.
meyers1023 (27) - - FEB 7, 2016
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Doing a comparison between the 2014 version and 2015. Both poured completely black with the 2014 having a little more tan head than the 2015. Both smell strongly of barrel aging but on the 2014 it's mellowed a bit and you can smell some li organs molasses. The flavor of the 2015 is really hot from the liquor barrels and in the 2014 you get a better melding of the flavors. My recommendation is to let this beer age past the best after date. If you get multiple bottles is great to compare what it taste like fresh versus aged.
tsd08460 (658) - Marshall, Virginia, USA - FEB 6, 2016
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Aroma: bourbon, woody, vanilla, vinous, licorice, molasses,
Appearance: black with a brown head
Taste: medium sweetness, medium bitterness,
Palate: full body, creamy, soft carbonation, long finish,
ttutony (825) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 6, 2016
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Nearly jet black in color with a tan head. Complex aroma of oak, dark fruits, reminds me of drinking a red wine at times. Well-integrated palate with roasted malt and a hint of dark fruit. Bitterness is completely in balance and becomes more assertive on the back of the palate. Full-bodied. You would not guess this is an 11% ABV beer. This is an exceptionally well made beer.