StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 15, 2005
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Starts off with a perfectly thick pour. Opaque, black obsidian in color, settling into the snifter with a few dust speckles for the head. Nose has some heavy roasted elements up front and the amplified ABV is no stranger; all of this set against a backdrop of espresso, currant, anise and unsweetened dark chocolate to round out the aroma. Flavor reveals pecans that have been roasting for hours, toasty oats, fudge ripples and several heapings of spent espresso grinds. Some black licorice and branded leather qualities as undertones. Waxy and smooth on the palate, like a thick blanket that engulfs everything. Malts reign supreme with the most delicate and gentle carbonation. Finishes like a sugarless iced mocha with a sooty, dark cigar aftertaste. A unique interpretation - this is what imperial oatmeal stouts strive to achieve. Well done.
apoptosis (1317) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JUL 14, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Black body, tan head. Interesting aroma: buttery caramel with pine and earth notes. Flavor is thick and rich and quite impressive, as I like my imperial stouts to be. Dark, bitter chocolate with caramel. Yum!
notalush (4586) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JUL 10, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Completely opaque pour, thick, clinging tan lace - aroma of carmelized brown sugar, toffee, coffee, caramel, anise, plums - same in the flavor, with coffee and caramel dominating, lots of roastiness - finish is chocolate and hops - this is some killer stuff.
FoolishMortal (986) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 5, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Opaque black with dark brown film of a head. Roast, vanilla, and alcohol aromatics. Roast malt and coffee interplay with cocoa, vanilla, and fruity yeast esters. Finish is dark chocolate with some alcohol heat. Mouthfeel is somewhat oily, with a building alcohol warmth.
BlueDevil0206 (122) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - JUL 4, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUL 5, 2005 Bottled. Pours a very dark mahogany, almost black but not quite. Almost opaque with a dark brown head. Aroma is of roasted malts, fruity esters, coffee and chocolate with sweet caramel and toffee notes. Hops ever so present in the aroma: spicy and earthy. Flavor is of roasty chocolate, burnt toast, cocoa with cherry and fig fruit esters looming. Molasses and caramel present to complement. Surprising the hop profile on this beer is extensive. Spicy, earthy and slightly citrusy with adequate bitterness to balance the beer out though I think this beer is a tad bit too hoppy for style. Finishes moderately dry with some lingering coffee bitterness and next to no alcohol despite the 12% ABV. Body is very full and and oily smooth with nice carbonation level. Just a notch behind breakfast stout in my opinion.
barleyPops (1141) - Quad-Cities, Illinois, USA - JUL 2, 2005
4.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 8, 2005 a 12 oz. bottle courtesy of Heemer ( Eric ) in a recent trade. Iím not sure words can describe how tastey this dark brownish/black elixir is on the tongue. a multitude of complexity sits on the palate with every sip. not too bitter & not too sweet, the roasted malts, hints of coffee and chocolate combine to hide the 12% abv. my only regret is that I only have the one bottle. Iíd love to try this one again sitting in front of a roaring fire on a cold winter night. YUMMY!
Iíve had this twice in the past week and felt compelled to update and raise the point score of this one. the alcohol is so well hidden and the flavor is just outstanding. many people like a strong coffee flavor with their imp. stouts, but I like a blend of sweet chocolate and coffee and this is just an outstanding example of what I like!!!
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - JUL 1, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pitched dark brown on a thick syrupy pour. Sits in the glass a nebulous black with a dark brown pitch. A heavy pour produced only a very thin, dark cocoa colored cap which slipped away quickly revealing its low carbonation and oily body as some residue glare-coats the glass in the areas its touched with tiny dots of lace speckled about.
Aroma is set within a deep chocolate alcoholic ester, stiff and portly with rum soaked prunes and hefty dark caramel. Slivers of molasses add to its neutral helm but keeps quite the incense of EtH over the top on this.
Solid roast and light burnt flavors make the forefront. Chocolate is brief. Quickly taking charge is scorched pruney heat laced with blackened malts and green hop bitterness. Deep coffee roast ensues into the finish with spicey molasses and dark caramel. Fruit woven tender parts inlay the back end while roasty coffee bits singe with the alcoholic heat. Smears into a curmudgeon of oily roasted/blackened dark fruit as it fades off with a showing of hop bite, heat, and throbbing in the throat.
Ample supplies of roast, bitterness, and heat add to the never ending load of oilyness the full bodied feel has. Beefy, bold, even a slight rough edged and brash in its character. It lets you know youíre encountering something with heft here. Hold on to your taste buds, theyíre gonna get a load of roastified heat and dark sweets. 12% is hardly noticeable while drinking it down. Although the heat does lets you know to calm down for a minute and take it all in as this stuff works its magic. Drinkable; but dangerously so on the scale of head swimming delirium.
Jonathan3584 (323) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - JUN 27, 2005
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks to OhioDad. Drank head to head against Thirsty Dog Siberian Night (also thanks to OhioDad) yesterday. Pours thick black and syrupy. Small dark brown head on it. Aroma is of heavy roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, fruity esters, and hops; plenty of hops. Good thick mouthfeel. Thereís plenty of roast and coffee in the flavor, but itís dominated by a nice sweet chocolate and dried/burned fruits. Very impressive beer -- I know itís blasphemy, but I thought this one was better than the Breakfast Stout. Good job, Founders.
Dough77 (821) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - JUN 19, 2005
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Friggn A this was good. On tap at the brewery, í03 edition. Pour was super dark brown almost black with a small but purty head. Huge thickness. Aroma of chocolate, caramel, malt, some coffee but it seemed toned down. Dark chocolatey fruits all over this gem. Was seriously one of my all time faves.. at least with a little age on it. Hope to try a current edition to see how well it actually did age.
Firemoose15 (567) - Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 16, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Out of a 12oz, thanks OhioDad for hooking me up. Rich thick flow encircles the glass with a tip of the hat chocolatey head that exits quickly. Nice aroma, burnt malts, hint of coffee and cocoa and the alcohol nips at the inner sinuses. Complex taste to it very much of the same as in the aroma with a bitter hop to it keep you from falling out of your chair. A light dark cherry lingers slightly before a dry coffee finish. Very nice and warming. A solid brew in my book and one that should be shared as well.