mgermani (1002) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - AUG 7, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a pitch black with a lovely thick tan head with nice lacing. Sweet, molasses nose with light notes of chocolate & alcohol. Slightly tart body - raspberries & cream. Wonderfully roasty flavour, delightfully present hops, and a well-balanced flavour. Full and creamy body, decent subtle carb. What a surprise - many thanks to my friend Dave for the bottle!
RollinHard (1024) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - AUG 7, 2007
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a black with a medium brownish head. Nice strong aroma of cocoa and chocolate at first. Acidic qualities of raspberries and coffee follow, with hints of licorice and vodka. Not many regular stouts can be smelled 8 inches or so from the glass, but this can. Very smooth flavors of dark chocolate, smokey wood, coffee, caramel, earth....Finishes butterscotchy and dirty, plenty of hop flavor, and the roast element is a nice team player. Aftertaste is the same, but any hop bitterness is mild. Itís there, but not meant to stick out. Wonderful creamy texture and the body is full, but it feels easy going enough at the same time. Though itís not terribly different from a lot of other stouts, itís very well done and totally satisfying.
Enniskillen (2044) - Salinas, California, USA - AUG 4, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Black with a thin tan head. Aroma is heavy coffee, oatmeal, chocolate, and caramel. Taste is fairly smokey, with chocolate, light coffee, faint hops in the background. Very good stuff. Body is excellent.
dwyerpg (4918) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - AUG 1, 2007
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Some chocolate in the aroma. Flavor is very much of chocolate and thick, bittersweet but tasty. Quite good stuff.
Nate (3826) - Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 30, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draught sample at brewery. Big chocolate-coffee nose. Roasted-toasted grains with light bitter hops. Rich malty aroma with lactic sweet undertones. Deep, dark brown-black clear with tan lacing head. Thich body with medium carbonation. Big taste to this one. Roasted malt and coffee with chocolate. Raisin and vanilla and bit of oak. Sweet rich flavors with mild alcohol. Medium bitter tang at finish with medium sweet, almost cloying rich chocolate after. Really nice stout. Warming.
vacantskies (208) - Spokane, Washington, USA - JUL 28, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
It has a light chocolatey aroma. The appearance is a rich smooth black color. It has a very smooth coffee flavor with a rich malty aftertaste
thewolf (11644) - Kolding, DENMARK - JUL 24, 2007
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. [thank you after4ever]
Pours an oily dark mahogany with a small brown head that quickly diminishes into a thin film. Aroma has loads of chocolate, but with other tones apparent as well. A little mint, some vanilla, slight coffee, yeast. The flavour begins with a malty chocolate sweetness, then a more powerful dose of coffee and spices (and yeast) comes through. Long, lingering chocolate aftertaste. Great brew! Thank you for this surprise, Tom!!
FlacoAlto (4045) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUL 21, 2007
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22oz bottle, purchased at the brewery April 2007; Sampled July 2007
When summoned forth vigorously the head forms a cascading, dense, initially four-finger thick, rich chocolate brown colored froth. The beer is almost pitch black in color, the stream of beer as I poured showed a brilliantly clear, dark chocolate color. The malt character is rich and dark with notes of chocolate liquor; thick, creamy, sweetened espresso; rum soaked, burnt raisins; blackened, caramelized figs.
Dense and creamy feeling, the carbonation is quite light (I guess my pour forced most of the carbonation out of solution, though this beer is fairly dense and that has a lot to do with it too). Notes of chocolate, bitter-black-coffee, a roast acidity and a finish full of burnt fruit notes are what I first notice about the taste. This beer, while fairly thick and rich, is not overly sweet, there seems to be lots of residual malt sugars left here, it is just that the dark malt / grain character really serves as a foil and cuts down the perceived sweetness quite a bit. The finish is a mix of burnt figs and a lingeringly bitter note that is a mix of hop character and the roasted grains, though it seems to be predominantly from the latter. The alcohol is noticeable at times, but somehow mixes with the fruit character and contributes something like a brandy-like note; though you have to imagine that through all the roast character).
I have had this beer a few times over the years & it is always an enjoyable tipple, I seem to enjoy it best when sampled fresh from the brewery (despite this being a strong beer). It does hold up well in the bottle, but seems a touch to bitter and acidic from the roast malt (though only just a bit). As the beer warms up and breathes a bit, it does smooth out some; it becomes more creamy, with the chocolate & smooth coffee notes becoming more pronounced. A rich, dark, spiciness also becomes noticeable; sort of reminiscent of the type of spices used in a black, holiday-type, spice cake (notes of vanilla, perhaps a hint of clove, and a wisp of nutmeg). All in all quite an enjoyable beer.
KAggie97 (3529) - Ugly, Hot, and Humid Spring, Texas, USA - JUL 6, 2007
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle with Zinister. Aroma is subdued sweet smoke with candied sugar; coffee.
Pours deep, mysterious, foreboding black; olive brown head
Smokey, chocolate, peaty flavor.
Watery mouthfeel but full, coating
Not bad, but Iíve had better
bhensonb (12951) - Woodland, California, USA - JUL 4, 2007
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bomber. Aromas of coffee, anise and dark fruit. Opaque black/brown color with a tan head that went away with minimal lacing. Thin to medium bodied. Smooth. Moderately carbonated - no bite. Coffee, hint of anise, hop bitter. Starts with sweet toast, moves on to a not really dry finish with coffee and bitter. Itís a great experience.