Optigon (562) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - JAN 24, 2007
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours black with a dark, creamy head. Strong aromas of chocolate and coffee. Excellent mouthfeel, not horribly thick, but clings for a decent period of time. Excellent beer.
AllAboutStout (605) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JAN 24, 2007
4.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Poured from bottle to my Delirium Tulip glass.
Pours black as can be with a slight 1/4 inch head. Nice ring of lacing around the glass.
Smell is roasted coffee(mostly), a slight alcohol and some chocolate notes coming through.
Taste is roasted, robust dark coffee. Iím also getting somewhat of a tobacco taste in there as well.
The secret to this beer is letting it warm up to close to room temperature. Directly out of the fridge, the coffee taste is too dominant. Letting this warm up allows the mouthfeel to get a little thicker and creamier. It also allows the other flavors to come out and make themselves known. Mainly the bakers chocolate and molasses.
This goes from an average beer to a world class stout at room temperature. Glad I have more of these to look forward to.
kmweaver (3200) - Petaluma, California, USA - JAN 24, 2007
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Rating #333. 12oz bottle, fresh from Michigan, courtesy of artusory. Thanks, Ryan!! Pours a pitch black core with thin brown edges; medium tan head with patchy, fine-bubbled lacing. Full aroma: enormous amounts of roasted coffee and chocolate. Full, velvety mouthfeel: layers upon layers of bitter chocolate and coffee beans; roasted malts, hints of dough and bread; nice balancing bitterness from what I can only guess are light, piney hops. Long, balanced, dark and milk chocolate finish, with plenty of roasted coffee threaded throughout. Iím not normally one for coffee-based stouts, but this is incredibly good and not green in the slightest.
mgumby10 (1856) - Jupiter, Florida, USA - JAN 24, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUL 29, 2007 Pours a dark chocolatey black, with a quickly diminishing light brown head. Coffee anybody?? thats really all I get in the smell as it is so overpowering that its hard to detect much else. Quite dandy though. the taste is oviously coffee as well, finish kind of tastes like a frappucino. Lovely chocolate in it as well. This is my kind of beer. Nicely done.
f351c4v (411) - Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 21, 2007
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours a dense black color with a dark brown head. Aroma is huge, it escapes from your glass and fills your personal space quite well. Amazing roasted coffee aroma melds perfectly with a big, sweet chocolate presence. Cocoa butter is detectable as well. Initial taste is of a strong espresso, then leads you down a path of bitter chocolates, and finally ending up with a semi-sweet, roasted finish. Mouthfeel is not as thick as expected, and the head didnít last too long, but these are the only negatives found in this extraordinary beer, along with its limited release. Almost perfect, thanks Ron!
eaglefan538 (2802) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - JAN 20, 2007
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: FEB 10, 2007 Combo review, original and re-rate: Iím a firm believer that beerís not just a breakfast beverage, but man, this one sure leads the pack for top breakfast picks!!! Worth the wait, since Iíve not been able to score this one in a long while, very pleasing, smooth, a great drinker. Pour is jet black, yet still reveals some mahoganey hues around the edges. The head is tan and generous in the beginning, resides to a thin (1-2mm) coating with excellent retention, and yields fine lacing in this stout glass. Re-rate from the tulip glass in 2/07 was likewise impressive in apperance. The aroma is whamo coffee, strong bitter and sweet coffee scents, not a lot of hopping detected (and as much as Iíve wanted this one for a while, I had no idea what to expect). This brew hits the tongue and impresses with a burst of coffee and nice, smoothy, silky mouthfeel comforting the tongue and mouth. The coffee hits from many different angles, itís not strong enough to take over the beer, yet is dominant and delicious. The alcohol is invisible, imperial stout? Oh, ok, 8.3%, but still, really smooth. There is a mild sweetness behind this thing, yet a subtle dryness, and a bittering balance. The bitterness doesnít have a lot of flavor, not seemingly from significant hopping, moreso from a bitter coffee malt presence. The interplay here is quite nice. The aftertaste and lick of the lips reveals dark fruits, very light chocolate, but this is a coffee imperial stout, among the best in coffee strength while not being overdone. Great sweet / bitter balance here, the semi-dry aspect to the finish (including a graininess) is akin to that which accompanies St. Ambroiseís. Hats off to Founders for this concoction.
awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 19, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
From a 12oz Bottle. Pours a dark black, shiny color with a healthy layer of creamy roast head. Loads of roasted coffee and dry dark cocoa waft from my glass, but not a whole lot else there for aromatic complexity. Medium bodied, light and silky mouthfeel thats definitely stand-out unique. The flavors are a bit more rich and developed than the aroma, but are still a bit below expectation. Some pleasant, soft toasty oatmeal starts out on the palate, blended with some cream. A smidgen of caramel maltiness sneaks in there with a dusting of vanilla, but this is quickly replaced by some dry notes of dark chocolate and roast coffee. Solid, but I can see why many are disappointed with this latest batch - while tasting quite nice, it wasnít near as complex as I expected. Thanks, Tom!
kenb (1102) - Oregon, USA - JAN 19, 2007
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
12 oz bottle via RagallachMC (thanks!). This one pours into the Pilsner glass as a near midnight black, fairly thick, with a small tan head. Nose is absolutely divine chocolate. Taste starts with some sweet chocolate, some coffee, licorice, and ends in a bittersweet licorice and roasted black patent/ roasted chocolate malt finish. Very nice. There may be oats in this, i am not sure, but perhaps underneath. Medium bddy. High carbonation is the only complaint.. Good stuff. But a íSWEETí stout? Not very sweet. Closer in style to a Foreign stout. The burnt malts a just a bit overdone though..breakfast stout? lol..more like a late night sipper...
bwkrieger (14) - Lisle, Illinois, USA - JAN 18, 2007
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Huge bitter coffe aroma, pours black with nice deep tan head. Lots of coffe with chocolate coming through, some vanilla. Bitter coffe grounds flavor, needs to be more balanced, would be great for breakfast but only one.
LinusStick (2701) - Moon Twp, suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 17, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Another of my perfect scores! My OCD prevents me from giving a "best" score so this is, in fact, my best. I felt like the baby on the label drikinging this...a big smile and wanting more. The aroma was a huge blast of coffee. The taste was roasted malt/coffee/chocolate with a nice bitter finish. The mouthfeel was like syrup. The beautiful deep black of this beer made me feel patriotic. The tan/almost deep cherry head made me wish it was morning...so I could have some more breakfast.