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 father’s 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 Sam’s 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. Kinda’ 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. It’s 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 01’ edition drank 12/01/02: So soothing..chocolatey, vinous in a non-tannic way..This is by far..Imperial stout..at its freakin’ best!!..no doubt..none at all...can’t 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.
raindog (560) - Evansville, Indiana, USA - NOV 29, 2002
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 10, 2004 Black but not the darkest on earth.Enticing aromas. Milk chocolate,with some coffee and roasted malt being the dominant.Serve me up.The head subsides to a perfect ring. Retition is very impressive for a 18%beer. Taste is impressive as aroma and then some. I think the mixture of yeasts help soften what you would think would be a destructive palate. It actually has a soft,oily,lactose feel to it but is not lacking. Chocolate,espresso,dark fruit-yeasty flavors hide the alcohol very well for a while.Roastiness is relentless.Yeast also affects finish. Lactose,roasty finish.A true piece of art.
gthank (73) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - NOV 27, 2002
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Extremely noticeable alcohol in the nose. Beautiful beer with a satisfying head, something not many imperials can claim. A very sweet imperial, the chocolate notes here are more of a milk chocolate than the semi-sweet or bitter chocolate notes found in most imperials. The palate is surprisingly smooth, given the alcohol content. One of my favorite imperials.