Rib Eye (147) - USA - DEC 20, 2002
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: DEC 21, 2007 Rerate: 10/15/07 from a four year old bottle. Aging is what it took to mellow this beast (which is really a barley wine not an IS. Give it time and it improves vastly.
Is it big? Yep. Is it complex? Yep. Is it unique? Of course, itís a Dogfish Head beer. But none of that means that it is necessarily a pleasant drinking experience. Super sweet up front with a treacly yet bitter note on the syrupy aftertaste makes this one that Iíll not soon return to. Yes I like malty/sweet beers, but this is ridiculous. Mad flavors of medicine, herbs, and many others too numerous to mention (though little coffee and no chocolate) make this one just too much to digest. I much prefer the superior Immort Ale. That said my wife really liked it.
nevditz (16) - San Francisco, California, USA - DEC 19, 2002
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 16/20
quite tasty, but a bit syrupy. probably the best tasting alcohol iíve had, but just too much of it in a bottle. 1/3 of a bottle is enough
jefyou (39) - Menlo Park, California, USA - DEC 16, 2002
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Not your fatherís imperial stout. Sweet! In fact it doe not taste like any stout I have had before. More like barley wine than stout to me. Like a Trappist Ale mated with a Guiness. Stong alcohol flavor and tastes a tad like cough medicine. Syrupy feeling in mouth. I would only drink this with food, especially cheeses. Not sure whether this is the 18% or 23% since the bottle does not state. Paid $7.99 at Samís in Chicago.
wheatbeerboy (103) - Addison, Illinois, USA - DEC 9, 2002
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Nice stout, although it was a little too sweet for my taste. Kindaí pricey too....
JCW (1274) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 8, 2002
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark black, You can taste chocolate, coffee cyrstal malt. I can smell hops and slightly taste hops, but the malt flavors are the most memorable. Itís a great brew and its hard to believe its 18%.
DavefromChicago (201) - Illinois, USA - DEC 6, 2002
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Beer extract? Beer syrup? What is with Imperial stout, and why are otherwise sensible beer drinkers raving about it? What is the history of Imperial stout? Wasn’t it called RUSSIAN Imperial stout, and don’t the Russians also drink sterno and jet fuel?
Was it not created as a preservable brew that can withstand adverse conditions and sit endlessly in the hold of a ship? Sorta like astronaut food, eh…? Does anyone actually crave astronaut food when they’re not floating in outer space? Should I drink this stuff or keep it on my condiment shelf and use it as a flavoring agent, gravy thickener, and conversation piece?
I understand that beer fanatics, just like gourmets and oenophiles, become bored with familiar tastes and are continually craving something different, but I wonder if a line is being crossed when beer becomes a thick, black, nearly uncarbonated syrup.
Dogfish Head specializes in breaking the mold, shocking the bored, delighting the prurient cravings of beer fanatics.
So, anyway, I had the bottle sitting around for months. I looked at it once in awhile, held it in my hand and examined the label…read a few reviews, here and there - always ravingly positive. Finally opened the damn thing.
It pours espresso black. Bready, doughy aromas with coffee, dried cherries, chocolate and some whiskeyish notes. Mild hop presence.
Sweet flavored and syrupy - but with a nice mouthfeel, gently carbonated. Lotsa coffee and burnt toast, licorice accents and some alcohol burn.
Finishes bitter and somehow clean, despite the massive flavor which has preceded.
Makes a nice, after dinner sipping drink, though 12 ozs is too much of such a sweet beverage. Very warming.
Kevbo99 (149) - Dunmore, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 3, 2002
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Perfeaction in a bottle. as i am typing this i am smashed after having a few of these. the aroma was a bit too much like liquor but everythnig else about it was great. excellent anytime of the year
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 2, 2002
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
9/14/02: Aroma was an infusion of port & coffee and chocolate..with a smidgen of sun-dried raisin..18%?..Dizzamn... smooth as silk with sweetness gripping onto the tongue and piercing it with raisin sweetness, a tad licorice..very warming...hell its 18%.. Re-rate 01í edition drank 12/01/02: So soothing..chocolatey, vinous in a non-tannic way..This is by far..Imperial stout..at its freakiní best!!..no doubt..none at all...canít wait to try the new 23% one..
iwantalambic (1478) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 1, 2002
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
An enormous aroma entrances all those who come close. Extremely thick in the mouth. Nothing small about the taste, so many flavours come together: soy, raisins, chocalate, roasted nuts, deep black coffee, vanilla, licorice/fennel - the balance between such flavours is truly unqiue and amazing. A very special beer.
duff (5484) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - NOV 29, 2002
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Looks like tar when you pour it into a glass. Hard to believe its 18%ABV. Very smooth and drinkable, very sweet and heavy mouthfeel (lots of roasty malt flavours), pretty dangerous stuff i reckon, not as good as all the hype, but still an amazing little brew.