grandridge (224) - Port Clinton, Ohio, USA - MAY 5, 2009
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tried side by side 08 with 09. Rating the 09 but will add comments about the 08. Pours black with a tan head. Has roast aroma but the hops keep the roast subdued (the 08 is way more smoke and roast) Has hints of chocolate and coffee. Flavor is tobacco, smoke, roast, and coffee with mild carbonation. (08 is smoother with little/no carbonation) Fresh version finishes cleaner while the 08 lingers. It’s hard to say which one is better. I enjoy the freshness and the livliness of the 09 but the 08 is just so damn smooth and roasty. Good good brews.
Guerde (1212) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - MAY 5, 2009
3.2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: FEB 2, 2014 (bottle shared by STLWill) Pours black with a medium tan head that doesn’t really stick around. Aroma is a green bell pepper bomb, overly roasted, brash, and harsh. There’s a bit of alcohol here too, and some spent coffee grounds. The taste is a completely different experience, with a nice, balanced, flavor of chocolate, vanilla, oak, and some hints of raisin. Flavors of dark roasted coffee and malt appear as well. The finish is also good, with a nice even roast and hints of barrel and booze. I was expecting some astringent malt here due to the aroma, but was quite surprised that it was quite balanced in the flavor. All in all, this is a rather odd beer in that the aroma was terrible, and yet the flavor was very good. Thanks Will!
durhambeer (2500) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - MAY 4, 2009
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle poured into a Duvel glass. Wow, that is some disarmingly thick black beer. Pretty assertive pour yields about a 1/4 inch of light brown head. Some bubbles and light lacing, but this is pretty much a still black beast. Nose of bitter roasted coffee and cocoa/fudge. Some dark fruit notes. Mild bourbon barrel/vanilla notes, but not overpowering by any means, which is how I like it. The bourbon vanilla is really more a kiss at the end than anything. Palate is thick but avoids being syrupy. Not necessarily as complex as some, but perfectly balanced and damn good.
Oakes (13426) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAY 4, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Inky dark brown. Chocolate and graham cracker aroma is fudgey, nutty. Sweet, with lots of vanilla, roasty, nuts and wood. Complex, but in an assertive, over-the-top kind of way. Nice brew. Not stylish but clubbed-over-the-head goodness is still goodness.
josephselander (42) - Salem, Oregon, USA - MAY 4, 2009
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
This is an 09 KBS.
Appearance - Pours thick with very little head, maybe a quarter inch of head. Very little head remains after it settles and there is a little tinty ring of bubbles clinging to the glass. This coats the glass with a swirl, very thick film, awesome.
Smell - Very unique smell, like candied bourbon. My God this is awesome. A little bit of an alcohol presence in the nose, but it isn’t overpowering at all. This is the best bourbon barrel aged beer smell I have ever smelled. There is sweet, sweet bourbon, chocolate, coffee, and dark fruits.
Taste - Damn, that is some beautiful bourbon. Sweet bourbon. Light and never overpowering bourbon. Bourbon, chocolate, coffee, and finishes so well with some sweet vanilla. This tastes extremely well balanced.
Mouthfeel - Very thick, coats the mouth nicely. I could see myself enjoying the next bottle with a cigar, a light subtle cigar of course. This is carbonated to the perfect amount, lending this beer a creaminess that is rivaled by very few.
Drinkability - That high abv is going to hurt it on this one. I can’t drink many of these in a row, but man I had no problem finishing this bottle. I have had a couple of these nows, and they are just fantastic. An awesome representation of what craft brewers can do with a little imagination and love for bourbon!
markwise (4664) - North of Tampa, Florida, USA - MAY 3, 2009
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
08 Bottle from educators’ BIF. Pours dark cola brown with a dark tan head. Nose is bourbon, vanilla, whiskey, dark chocolate, coffee, and some booziness. Flavor is roast, dark chocolate, whiskey, bourbon, milk chocolate, and some alcohol. Silky mouthfeel in this medium to full-bodied beer. Very good.
andersand (529) - Malmö, SWEDEN - MAY 3, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
07 bottle. Sharp bourbon bomb with nice dark chocolate notes in the nose. Flavour strikes you as concentrated liqour like beer at first but opens up offering dark chocolate, brownie cookies, vanilla, caramell and a light chemical acidity. Thick oily body, nice warming bourbon finish. Overall a bit too concentraded even after some age, a bit too hot and liqour like yet still with some great flavours underneath the initial bourbon attack.
HOPSHUNTER (742) - Tampa, Florida, USA - MAY 2, 2009
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Courtesy of CptGreencoat. Poured black, completely opaque with almost no head. Aroma is sweet but also harsh like burnt coffee grounds. Body is very full and very creamy. Flavor is burnt malt that fades into a very soft milk chocolate very much like chocolate milk. Very balanced some vanilla and oak also come thru. Finishes dry with a sweet bourbon note. Excellent!
joeneugs (4111) - Livermore, California, USA - APR 28, 2009
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAY 18, 2013 Chocolate, coffee, wood, and smoke in the aroma. Very dark brown and silky pour with a dark brown head that dissapears within seconds. Very thick on the palate with a strong alcohol burn in the back of the throat. Chocolate, wood, raisins, and salt are the flavors that stand out. I would have liked a more profound bourbon flavor. All I could really pick up was the barrel. Still a very good stout, not too sticky either………………………………………………..Rerate 5/18/13 current batch. It pours very black and oily with a disappearing brown head. The aroma is enticing in a dessert like way with tons of chocolate syrup, coffee, caramel, vanilla, wood and some brown sugar. Smells awesome. The flavor is similar with vanilla and chocolate coming first followed by strong bourbon and coffee in the finish. Very thick on the palate and appropriate carbonation. No off flavors here as some have noted… just thick imperial stout goodness. I can appreciate the balance of chocolate, bourbon, vanilla and roast here. Delicious. No change to initial rating even though this is better than I remember from four years ago.
DalzAle (2009) - Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA - APR 27, 2009
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle received via trade. Dark silky black pour, barely noticable carbonation and rich dark chocolate and bourbon aroma. Flavor was whisky, vanilla, coffee and smooth bittersweet roasted malts all the way through. I hope I can get my hands on more of this soon. Very well done!