FlacoAlto (3849) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - APR 28, 2012
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
2010 Bottle Release; Sampled April 2012
A vigorous pour into my Lost Abbey Teku glass produces a dense, darkly browned, fat-two-finger thick head. The beer is an inky black color that shows perhaps a hint of color around the edges when held up to the light, but remains ominously opaque. The aroma smells of hot alcohol, and Bourbon soaked fruit as I pour this, a closer inspection yields lots of barrel and bourbon influences and, at first blush, only a touch of toasted malt character. The barrel / bourbon character is fairly smooth, considering the 13% abv, with lots of burnt sweetened coconut, ample vanillin, touches of spicy oak, and lots of toasted character that supports the toasted malt. The malt character is here, especially as my nose gets used to the barrel influence that was so dominant at first; aromas of sweetened, concentrated black malts, touches of char, cold espresso, and lots of roasted nutty notes. Interestingly enough, the barrel character is dominant at first, but once your really start to dig in for an extended time, the malt aromatics come to dominate and almost completely consume the Bourbon notes; in the end this ends up well balanced between the barrel character and the dark malt character & is quite a bit more enjoyable than my first impression left me with. As the beer warms up it can be a touch hot smelling, which certainly detracts a bit, but isnít a deal killer for my enjoyment of the aroma.
Thick, rich, and viscous, this beer is most definitely a sipping beer; it isnít as dense, or cloying as something like Darklord, but certainly is a meal in a glass. The beer isnít as sweet as it could be, and much of the sweetness that is here is a complex, concentrated, roasted caramelization, rather than simplistic, cloying sweetness; this definitely escapes being cloying. Big, bitter, burnt, roast notes linger on the palate in the long finish; after some time the finish sees my first flavor influence from the barrel with some softer Bourbon-fruit notes (alcoholic melon more than anything), as well as some spicy oak notes and an astringency and alcohol warmth accentuating barrel character. Now that I have noticed the Bourbon character it is quite a bit more noticeable throughout the flavor profile. A rich nutty note, that is definitely on the roasted side of things, flavors the middle and finish of each sip. Vanillin flavors as well as notes of toasted coconut (in that order of noticeability) accentuate the sweetness in the middle of each sip. There is a sweet, somewhat concentrated, coffee syrup like note here that is a product of the ample residual malt and the roasted grains. The beer can be a touch hot and in my second pour the carbonation really seems to accentuated the spicy / hot Bourbon notes over the base, Imperial Stout; this is definitely much more enjoyable with a lighter carbonation. Once I swirl out a bunch of the carbonation a roasted cocoa and dark chocolate note start to come out.
I like that this isnít overly Bourbon influenced, it is a bit hot & boozy in the end, but what can you expect from a 13% beer. Still, this does achieve a fair amount of balance in the end and is a nice way to cap off a long day; though I certainly wouldnít want to try and finish off a whole 22oz bottle.
MeadMe (1467) - Riverview, Florida, USA - APR 26, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours dark black with mocha head. Wonderful roasted aromas with notes of brown sugar and vanilla. Flavor is rich and deep. Lots of chocolate with toasty notes. Hints of vanilla and oak. Thick and rich. Tasty.
Leighton (14006) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - APR 22, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle shared at my birthday at CBC, London. Many thanks to Bruce for bringing this! Pours thick black with a creamy, beige head. Light roast to the nose with some dark bread and dark, heavy sugar. Big sweet flavor, lots of dark and toasted sugars, mild licorice, dark chocolate syrup, some alcohol and wood. Full bodied, chewy, with fine carbonation. Hot finish with lots of dark chocolate syrup, burnt wood, cocoa. This is a huge beer. It took several sips to acclimate my palette, but once my mouth was conditioned this beer was very enjoyable.
dfhhead25 (251) - Pennsylvania, USA - APR 19, 2012
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Aroma- huge barrel qualities, whiskey, red wine, peat, molasses, tobacco
Appearance- dark brown/black with a thin white head
Taste- incredible barrel qualities, oak, smooth bourbon, wine, roasted qualities
Palate- super full-bodied, unreal mouthfeel
Overall- Just sensational. One of the most well-blended, complex, and special beers that Iíve ever had. Mild and potent at the same time. Insanely good.
jackl (5806) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - APR 6, 2012
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Massive thanks (again) to Deeblo for the generous pour. Deep brown color with a small tan head. The nose is charred wood, dark chocolate. The taste is very hot and sweet bourbon. Boozy. More wood, dark malt flavors. Tobacco and sharp dark chocolate. Full body. Overall, interesting though a bit too hot for my taste!
Samichlaus83 (6) - - APR 2, 2012 does not count
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle: Desperately wanted to enjoy this Stout. This Stout attempts to compete with the big boys (Surly Darkness, Founders CBS/KBS, Darklord, Southampton Imperial Stout, etc...), but doesnít cut the mustard. Pours black with a small tan head. Aroma of sweet, roasted malt, vanilla, bourbon, and lactose. Initially the bourbon notes were light with more emphasis on the roasted, sweet malt. The bourbon built up over time, which was overwelming. The earthiness of the Stout reminds me of my travels through England, but consequently this beer misses the mark.
Suttree (5548) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - APR 29, 2012
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
There was a time when Iíd go to tasting and itíd be all imperial stour and barley wines and huge stuff like that. This was actually the only Imp Stout we rated last night. Weird. A little boozy, hint of bourbon, lots of roasty chocolate and coffee.
rogee64 (21) - Michigan, USA - APR 16, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: OCT 23, 2012 Bottle. Pours black with a small tan head. Aroma was chocolate, caramel, coffee malt, and oak. I was enjoying this at a bonfire and lit a cigar while the beer warmed, once I took another sip with the cigar taste still lingering in my palate, I became infatuated with this brew. It appeared the cigar taste enhanced the flavors, I started tasting a more prominent taste of vanilla caramel and chocolate. One of my all time favorites, canít wait to have this again!
dinkle50 (1134) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 29, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2011 vintage. Dark pour with a nice espresso head that collapsed quickly. Aroma of oak & sugar. Taste is charred grain with tobacco and chocolate. A little toffee in there too. This beer is chewy in mouth. Very tasty. This is one special beer.
sfhodense (4790) - Odense Nō, DENMARK - APR 9, 2012
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
@HallingHansen tasting, thanks for sharing. Pours black with a light brown head. Aroma is roasted malt, chocolate, ash, coffee and liquorish. Flavour is roasted malt, chocolate, ash, soy, coffee, liquorish and alcohol.