dmac (4274) - Toms River, New Jersey, USA - OCT 13, 2011
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle generously shared by a BA at the Rapture release. Poured a pitch black body under a brown long lasting head. Aroma of coconut, vanilla, bourbon, oak, charcoal and chocolate cake. Fuller syrupy body with a touch of obvious heat. Flavor of chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, oak, tobacco, tar. Good good stuff.
pineypower (2587) - Pine Barrens, New Jersey, USA - SEP 25, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Huge thanks to whoever shared this at the Rapture release. Pours out a very dark brown, nearly black with a moderate tan head. Aroma is very nice and of bourbon, sweet vanilla, oak, roast and light chocolate. Taste is complex, with a nice mouthfeel. Bourbon, vanilla, oak, roast, chocolate earth and light alcohol on the finish. Really solid brew.
MrChopin (3474) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - SEP 11, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
jet black, thin large-bubbled head is coaxed with a vigorous pour but remains. Nose at first shows a dusty, oxidized malt, some unsweet bourbon, and a light soy. Reminds of aged 7000 without as much of the robust malt. Flavor is hotter up front, a thin but delicate body reminds of a nice rum-candy with warmth on the mid-palate, with some wood and cocoa through the lengthy finish, dry finish. Body and malt profile are a bit washed out but also chewy and overly sweet, some unfermented sugars remaining amidst near-balance. Still, I personally find the light body and lack of strong malt to be a trend growing too common from stout experimenters like CCB, Bruery, and now 50-50. And yet there is a ton of bourbon in this, which Iíve hardly mentioned, and I think this is because the bourbon blends so well with the base beer flavors.
EC still very sweet but enough base beer qualities to merge with the barrel, again alcohol-laden candy aspects between the bourbon, vanilla, and ashy chocolate.
BOLTZ7555 (2852) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - SEP 3, 2011
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle generously shared by Dak...AMAZING!!! So excited to try this one and it literally made my eyes roll back into my skull. What an incredible beer!!! Aroma of smooth bourbon, vanilla, and oak. Extremely fragrant and intoxicating nose that pulls your lips toward the rim of the glass. Rich fudge, molasses, brown sugar, and vanilla blast the palate with the bourbon very present but not at all distracting. The "hot" qualities of the alcohol have subsided and all that is left is the incredible flavor of the barrel. Incredibly balanced, the flavors married well and each seems to enhance the other. Creamy palate on this nearly black brew...this one lives up to its accolades!!!
nickd717 (3587) - San Francisco, California, USA - AUG 24, 2011
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle thanks to Sandstone, rated about a year ago before this beer had its own listing.
Pours jet black with a nicely formed small tan head and a little lacing. Looks a bit better than the tap version.
Aroma is really great, with vanilla, whiskey, sweet rich chocolate, and roastiness.
Flavor is also excellent. You have your typical imperial stout flavors - roast, chocolate, and mild coffee - all really intense and in your face, then youíve got your -bal aged flavors - vanilla, oak, and whiskey. Mild hop bitterness as well that I didnít get as much of on tap. All this melds really well together, with just some mild tannins to keep it from a perfect 5.
Fairly full and smooth on the palate with low carbonation and just a slight hint of booziness.
Drinkability is pretty good, and overall, this is really a great beer. Get it if you can. I recommend sending me a bottle of Midnight Sun M in exchange for this.
SamGamgee (2452) - down the whirlpool, California, USA - AUG 22, 2011
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottled. Nearly black with a small head of larger bubbles that donít stick around particularly long. Big vanilla cola and chocolate aroma. Lots of smooth bourbon barrel flavor with less roast or underlying malt and more straight sweetness than I got out of the 2008. THe body was also a little lighter and not quite satisfying given the other elements of the beer. I did hang on to this for over a year though, and it might have been a bit more substantial when fresh. In any case, a tasty beer, but not the amazing experience that the 2008 was when I first had it.
brokensail (11839) - Orange County, California, USA - AUG 17, 2011
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
A: The pour is viscous and black with a finger of tan colored head forming.
S: Smells like bourbon--delicious, delicious, bourbon. Lots of vanilla and chocolate making the nose a thing of decadence. Smooth roasted malts along with a nice oak aroma. Some toffee and caramel provide additional sweetness.
T: Intense vanilla, bourbon, and chocolate on the tongue provides an excellent drinking experience. Great roasted malts along with a really creamy caramel flavor.
M: The body is medium to full and is silky on the tongue. The carbonation is there but stays out of the way, providing a really smooth mouthfeel.
D: As much as I donít want to hype these beers up, they are just so damn good. Probably my favorite series of imperial stouts. I will definitely be doing my utmost to go to the next release party.
NobleSquirrel (3438) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 17, 2011
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tap at FoBAB 8. This is the Elijah Craig version. Same appearance. Nose is much nicer. Perfumey bourbon, vanilla and toast. Chocolate and anise peak through. On taste, well integrated bourbon notes prevent it from being a bourbon bomb. Nice spicy oak notes as well. Probably my second favorite of the lot. 9-5-8-4-16 (4.2)
BMan1113VR (7880) - Los Angeles, California, USA - AUG 16, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Purple wax bottle 99/2009 Thanks to ericandersnavy. Pours with a fading tan head over a black body. Aroma of chocolate, earth, cologne, bourbon, fusel, coconut tanning lotion, and fresh bread. Taste is rich, chocolate, wood, bourbon and sugar cookie. Creamy carbonation.
bhensonb (11675) - Woodland, California, USA - AUG 16, 2011
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Catchup from the past. Bomber from the Co-Op in Davis, CA. Purple wax. Bottle No. 106. Year 2009. Pours very black with a 1 finger tan head. Strong aromas of oak and vanilla. More than full bodied with rather mild carbonation. The flavor is very smooth burnt malt, with treacle, vanilla and oak. Compares very favorably with Paradox. It develops complexity, and shows a little heat. Very, very good. Worth the cost? You only live once. And the aroma continuously tantalizes, and the taste ditto. Try to try it.