Beershine (5218) - The Sunshine State, Florida, USA - MAY 7, 2009
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 23, 2012 Bottle thanks to Daknole! Silky black, scant but rich brown head. Rich coffee aroma is filled with beany goodness and tons of bourbon. Extremely silky palate. Smooth vanilla flavors. Some heat in the quick finish. Very nice full-on coffee undertones. Excellent beer.
pivnizub (9480) - Bochum, PorķřŪ, GERMANY - MAY 7, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle: Pours pitch-black, small brownish foamy layer; sweet dried fruits, leather, liquorice and a tinge of vanilla in the complex nose; very solid bitter-sweet flavour, full bodied, but soft MF; port-wine and vanilla in the very solid bitter-sweet finish. Applause: very fine, very complex stuff................
msante79 (2216) - Mount Prospect, Illinois, USA - MAY 7, 2009
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
# 500. 12oz bottle thanks to my guy mrchopin. Pours pitch black with creamy tan head. Aroma is bourbon, coffee, vanilla and roasted malt. Flavor is very complex with roasted malt, bourbon, vanilla, coffee, molassas, smoke and a little chocolate. Mouthfeel is perfect for a BA imperial stout. Smooth and creamy but with full carbonation. Much better than the regular breakfast stout. This really a great brew and a good choice for # 500.
petematte46 (330) - Dallas, Texas, USA - MAY 6, 2009
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Donít sit on this one. Pours a black thick rich color with a decent size tan head. Aroma of bourbon, malt and vanilla extract. Taste of coffee, caramel amd molasses. The flavor is silky smooth and smokey. Has a nice creamy chocolate start with a bit of earthy finish. Very nice brew!
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. Itís 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 (1228) - 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 doesnít really stick around. Aroma is a green bell pepper bomb, overly roasted, brash, and harsh. Thereís 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 (13601) - 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 isnít 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 canít 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 (4882) - 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 educatorsí 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.