ThisWangsChung (638) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - DEC 27, 2012
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
Reviewed 12/25/2012. Bottle says 14.3%. 22 oz bottle poured into an adorable little goblet.
A: Pours a pitch black color. Much like regular BCBS, the dark tan head fades away to nothing in little time. Nice alcohol legs.
S: Smells quite similar to BCBS, with bourbon, chocolate, dark fruits, cream, and brown sugar...right up until rich, exquisite black coffee makes itself known. This is such a joy to inhale, even over regular BCBS. Wow.
T: Itís BCBS with coffee. No, that doesnít sound terribly descriptive, but the coffee used is completely fabulous, and plays perfectly with the big sweetness and decadence of the base beer. Tiny little subleties of cream, vanilla, hazelnut, dark fruits, bourbon, and rare (just kidding about that one) give it real enjoyability factor. A little booze pops up in the finish, but not nearly enough to suggest itís 14.3%. This one will completely wreck me in the morning...
M: This doesnít seem to feature the syrupy heft of the base beer. Rather, itís drier and thinner, featuring carbonation that seems to be a bit more vibrant. Still an amazingly sticky and viscous coffee stout. The flavor intensity and finishing booze still suggests one to ísipí. Actually, I kind of prefer the feel of this over standard BCBS.
O: I didnít think this would be much better than BCBS - but I was wrong. Even though itís quite boozy, itís one of those offerings where the intense flavors render that problem moot. Iíd even say it lives up to the hype. Good luck killing a bomber solo if youíve already had a few drinks tonight, though...my body is saying ínoí but my tastebuds are saying ífuck yes!í
adam42381 (370) - Fort Myers, Florida, USA - DEC 21, 2013
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Spiegelau tulip. Bottled on November 15, 2013 printed on label.
Appearance: Pours a motor oil black with a 1 finger toffee brown head which dissipates quickly leaving a ring around the edge of the snifter. Minimal lacing which I would imagine is due to the elevated ABV.
Smell: Loads of fresh roasted coffee alongside notes of bourbon, cocoa and vanilla. The bourbon notes really come out as it warms.
Taste: A perfect mix of cocoa, sweetened coffee and vanilla up front followed by delicious bourbon notes in the middle before ending with just a light amount of dark roasted malt at the finish. Aftertaste is mostly sweet with just a hint of bitterness and a touch of coffee. Extremely well-balanced beer. The alcohol is very well hidden.
Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with a good amount of carbonation. There is a mild alcohol burn as it goes down due to the ABV. Just a touch thinner than Iíd expect from a big stout like this.
Drinkability: Excellent drinkability. A very smooth beer that goes down way too easily for 13.4% ABV.
Overall: World class beer overall. The hype behind this one is there for a reason. Itís amazing and Iím glad I got a chance to try it. This is truly one of the best beers Iíve ever had the privilege of drinking. If you get a chance, this beer is absolutely worth seeking out.
thome50 (780) - Boringville aka Irvine, California, USA - DEC 19, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2012 bottle. Pours jet black with small tan head. Aroma of slight coffee and chocolate. Taste has coffee there but definitely faded and muted. Nice for a year old coffee stout.
neepsntatties (1035) - Portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 17, 2013
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle of the 2013. Colour...certainly black, with a wisp of a tan head. Nose...redolent of coffee with mocha and cocoa powder. Palate...thinner than I imagined but that doesnít prevent the flavour from coming through. Coffee is of course at the forefront but it is not "in your face" like so many coffee stouts (and Iím not a coffee drinker). Thereís dark chocolate here and chocolate fudge cake with choco-coffee ganache. The finish is smooth and velveteen and I have a feeling that the coffee helps temper the high ABV.
realjb29 (7) - olean, New York, USA - DEC 17, 2013 does not count
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
This imperial stout was made nov. 13th 2013. It pours thick like motor oil. definitely opague over 40 srm. I was unimpressed with head as it barely formed and dissipated rather quickly. The carbonation is very low flat even, The nose is heavy on coffee and booze reminds me of a whiskey coffee. The taste seems to have an overtly instant coffee taste that melds into licorice, vanilla, raisin, dark chocolate,caramel, toffee with a very dry taste that lingers on the palate. The instant coffee taste really seems to linger and it has a very boozy aftertaste. I would like to try this again when it had time to mature longer i think some of the faults might mellow out and make this imperial stout better.
Weezel (26) - Florida, USA - DEC 15, 2013
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
If there is a better coffee imperial barrel aged stout let me know. This thing is huge coffee with an almost milkshake like texture. Taste is barrel aged stout and mad coffee. The taste lingers forever and the most pure taste of coffee I've ever tasted in a beer. Unbelievable.
ajax25g (48) - Seattle area, Washington, USA - DEC 14, 2013
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
12oz bottle, thanks to nimbleprop. Massive amount of coffee dominates everything, both in the nose and taste, with bits of chocolate too. Very thick and unctuous, making the flavor last forever. Incredible
Caskalefan (137) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - DEC 14, 2013
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Midnight black, thick pour with a quickly receding finger of head.
The aroma is to die for, like sticking your head into a bag of fine, fresh roasted coffee beans.
The flavor opens up, beginning with powerful espresso notes, and segueing seamlessly into deep, dark chocolate, followed by vanilla beans, and finally, lovely bourbon.
The body is syrupy and rich, although perhaps a bit thinner than regular BCBS, due to the coffee infusion.
The finish may also be a tad less lengthy, but the intensity is greater, as it positively envelops the palate in a crescendo of flavors.
This is, hands down, my favorite coffee stout, and perhaps my favorite stout in general. Well worth the hunt.
harrymel (1096) - Spokane, Washington, USA - DEC 12, 2013
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
pours ink black, some mocha foam and no lace. typical BCBS styling. Smells like BCBS and coffee, maybe some dark prunes and vanilla. Itís nice. Flavor follows suit with a good bourbon and vanilla kick followed through with a solid mocha tone. Thick bodied with subdued carb as the beer warmed. I like this one, I like it quite a bit, but not on the seek out level in comparison to the regular BCBS. 3/4.5/4.5/4/4 - 4.28
Same look as before. Smells strongly of coffee, too much for me. Below, when I seek it out, the bourbon and stout characters come through, but itís too much work. Flavor is richly coffeeíd and with a solid sweet stout accented with bourbon. Full bodied and fleeting carb similar to the í10. Iím not a big fan of this one, although my drinking buddies dig it quite a bit. 3/2.5/3.5/4/3.5 - 3.33 (this is the grade that is recorded)
Serving type: bottle
tectactoe (719) - Michigan, USA - DEC 12, 2013
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
[2012 bottle / fresh] thanks, Alex! Extremely black center with dark brown trim, topped with a slowly rising, micro-bubble tan head. Aroma is so "deeply" roasted; huge notes of dark, roasted, grainy, raw, oily coffee beans... Pure with light bourbon, oak, faint vanilla, cocoa powder, & some brown sugar. Amazingly fresh & vibrant, evolves with time. Taste is creamy, smooth, & silky. Columbian roasted coffee with hints of bourbon, bitter cocoa, dry oak, a touch of vanilla & coconut... I even get a mild spiciness in the finish, seems like chilies almost. Lingering aftertaste of roasted malt, coffee, light oak-y bourbon, & brown sugar. Fantastic stuff.
[2012 bottle / 1 year old] thanks, Mike! Though the coffee is a bit dialed down, it is still very much present, & this beer is smoother than ever. Integrated flawlessly with literally no burn. Coffee, chocolate, oak, vanilla.... Great stuff as always. Even a year does not "fade" it.
[2013 bottle / fresh] As good as the aroma was before, itís amazing this year. Like an elegantly blended cup of joe with a perfect amount of bitterness to the roast & enough creamy sweetness to balance. Nice burnt, caramelized sugar undertones with a mild dark fruit aspect in the finish, too. Smoother than the 2012 was fresh. Amazing as always.
Brentv (102) - Portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 11, 2013
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
From a bottle, pours dark black. Aroma is huge with coffee and chocolate. Taste is very sweet. Too sweet. Not as much coffee in the taste as in the aroma, which is fine. Very rich. Mouthfeel is slippery and full.