igneous1 (1486) - Davenport, Iowa, USA - JAN 28, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
bomber bought at Blue Max in Minneapolis (last one on the shelf too!). black as night, impervious to light. head is light brown thick and really creamy. aroma is obviously dominated by the coffee with a sugary lactose quality and maybe a bit of mustiness. flavor is strong on the coffee with a bit of a tongue-numbing sensation. alcohol is barely perceptible. Body is a bit thinner than I’d have guessed, but it’s a tasty quaff anyway.
HumuloneRed (751) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 25, 2006
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A big thanks to Walt for sharing this beer. 22 oz. Bottle. Opaque brown/ black with a creamy tan head that gives off a sticky lacing. Roast, coffee, fruit(raspberry maybe?), tobacco, bread dough, and caramel in the nose.
Creamy coffee, toffee, and fruit flavors mixed with the nutty, chocolate(truffles), cookie dough, and smoky notes. Very complex flavors that grow more so as the beer warms.
Thick creamy texture with a nice bitter finish. The alcohol is well hidden. Outstanding beer.
hellomynameis (874) - Mayer, Minnesota, USA - JAN 23, 2006
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark brown alomst black that shows a bit of red around the edges. There was a fairly small medium brown head. Coffee, vanilla, alcohol, and a bit of an almost port wine like aroma. This is very smooth going down, being a bit thinner than something like Bell’s Expedition. It was fairly dry with some bitterness. It really reminded me of a great coffee than it did of beer. Beyond the coffee was some bakers chocolate.
MikeMac (185) - Wyandotte, Michigan, USA - JAN 13, 2006
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks Pailhead, 2005 bottle Big Black Beautywith a nice cardboard color head. Alcohol eas present in the nose with aromas of vanila and strong roasted coffee. Hints of esters and licorice as well. Flavor was rich with vanilla and Roasted malt and Coffee. Mouthfeel was unique compared to other Imperials, carbonation and grainy was the first things that came to mind. Overall not bad but not my favorite..
whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 11, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thanks axilla. Side by side tasting of 2004 and 2005 bottles. The 2004 was a gusher, the 2005 was not. Translucent, dark rusty brown body with a minimal tan head after all the gushing. Aroma is of roasted coffee beans and day old coffee with a sour note. Nice chocolate-espresso flavor with a well-roasted character and some light acidity. A nice, full-flavored and tasty coffee stout. Fizzy, overcarbonated mouthfeel. Begs to be flattened out. I can understand why the nitro version seems to be preferred. I imagine this would be sublime on cask. Differences between the two vintages were relatively minor, the 2005 just seemed slightly darker and richer with a fresher coffee aroma. I like Speedway in the bottle much better.
TheBeerNinja (137) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - JAN 9, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a blackish brown with a reddish head that spreads out rather quickly. Aroma is robust and full of roasted barley and coffee notes with hints of fruits, there’s a little alcohol present in the nose but that would probably diminish with age. Flavor is outstanding if you like coffee and stouts. Very rich with roasted barley and velvety coffee bitterness. Like esspreso but better, how they crammed this much coffee flavor into this is beyond me.It’s a little warming, but in cold weather that would be expected from a big stout. By far this beer raises the bar for every stout I will ever drink for the rest of my life. Mortal sin indeed!!
Silphium (3156) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - JAN 9, 2006
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Deep opaque brown/black body, medium/thick light tan head. Strong roasted coffee aroma, with charred malts, licorice, and Mounds bars. Acrid, acidic dry roasted coffee and baker’s chocolate dominate the body. I couldn’t get over how bitter and dry this stout was. Hints of licorice poked through the prickly coffee from time to time. Biting carbonation. Strong, bitter finish with notable alcohol. Becomes smoother over time, but not what I expected; the aroma outshines the flavor and palate.
erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - JAN 8, 2006
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks again to Stephane for sharing the bottle. The beer pours completely opaque with a small brown creamy head and great belgian lacing. Nose is heavy coffee and kahlua with some dried fruity esters. The body is huge but silky is the word here. The flavors are all completely in tune. The balance of milk chocolate, coffee and burnt toast is perfect. The finishing bitterness is completely in check. Nothing in this beer smacks you in the face. And I don’t think it’s supposed to. The body is just sensational. The best balanced Impy made today.
JorisPPattyn (7675) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - JAN 7, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Black beer, well carbonated, with thick, heavy & creamy greige head, not persistent. Initial nose of pure coffee - or the coffee-based and -containing chocolates popular in Belgiums high-brow confiseries. Aroma of cigarette or even cigar ashes. The fireplace the day after. The breath of that love that used to smoke a package a day.
Take a cup of cold coffee, and mix in the contents of last evenings’ ash trays. Put in some burnt caramel. Then add some essence of hops, and then the blackest scrapings of crème brulée . I do not know if this makes up for deadly sin, but it sure sounds lethal. But it is not Péché Mortel , for new things arrive. Try to imagine tree fruit as chestnuts, horse chestnuts and acorns, stripped of their most forbidding adstringency, and lightly roasted, further sprinkled with black sugar. This needs to grow on you, certainly if you, like me, don’t like coffee and never drink the stuff; and stopped smoking cigarettes before turning 20. There are hints of dry chocolate powder, as covering chocolate truffles, but it is harsh coffee essentialy.
Warming up, I have a little hint of pistaccio, which doesn’t spoil anything. On the topic of texture, suffice to say I have to refrain myself taking up a spoon, and start stirring.
I had been warned. Being weaned on gueuze and trappist hardly counts me to the weak-hearted, but cold coffee is a high cliff indeed. I recognise the greatness of this beer, yet it is not my cuppa... coffee.
Important to signal is that my sample was not the ubiquitous US import, but an in-pub bottling of the real stuff. O_MTL, grand merci.
kramer (4564) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 5, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22 oz bottle, via SecretSanta pdee. Pours pitch black with a fluffy light brown 2 finger head that left tons of lacing. Rich espresso aroma is just over the top! Dark roasted malt with some vanilla, cocoa, and bourbon as well. Chocolate and coffee flavor up front with vanilla and alcohol. Finish is very warming but slightly astringent as well. Very nice mouthfeel, full bodied and chewy with very light carbonation that prevents an overly cloying feel. Pretty awesome stuff. I was actually expecting a little more coffee but it actually tastes a little subtle. Alot more emphasis on the roast.