alohaC (12) - San Diego, California, USA - APR 20, 2007
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Fresh í07 bottle. Pours a deep, dark brown - almost black and a little oily. A light brown head foams up about a half-inch, but diminishes quickly. Some of it clings to the glass and provides a nice lacing effect, though - something I find in most Founderís beers. Similar to the regular breakfast stout in aroma with big chocolate malts and dark roasted coffee at the forefront with a faint smokieness of wood and bourbon in the background. Huge coffee flavor still dominates, but is smoothed out and creamier with hints of vanilla. Extremely balanced, smooth and slightly chewy on the palate with just moderate amounts of carbonation. The bourbon really makes more of a presence as the beer warms, but it still maintains its incredible balance and smoothness. Very, very drinkable and some of the coffee bitterness has mellowed. I really like what the wood did for this one. Definitely a beer that lives up to its reputation. Iím glad I have more and some in the cellar from last yearís batch.
stegosaurus (1882) - Levittown, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 20, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUL 6, 2007 2 Bottles sampled one from Capones, and one thanks to Ohiodad. The best stout i have ever had to date. Pours black with a decent size tan head. Aroma of vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, coffee, and oak. The flavor is exceptionally smooth, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, coffee, just greatness.
JAXSON (526) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 19, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: SEP 2, 2010 2007 bottle. Pour is nice, rich black with chestnut tones, beautiful creamy copper head. Aroma is weak, just as the Founders Imperial Stout...coffee grounds and not much else. A little something else, maybe oak. Flavor is not bad at all; creamy, balanced, and works a nice progression of flavors on the tongue. Bubbles and chocolate up front, then alot of coffee, then nice oak and bourbon on the finish. About what I expected: very good for a "coffee" Imperial Stout, but inherently limited in that it doesnít go much beyond that.
EDIT******************************9/2/2010 My tastes have changed a bit in the past few years, and I got some new bottles of this so I have to change the review a bit. What I perceived as singularity and one-dimensionality 3 years ago now I understand as being a honed-in, straightforward but delicious expression of a lightly oaked bourbon coffee stout. Nose is mostly coffee grounds but some light bourbon tones, mouthfeel is so rich and full, flavors are lively, oak and bourbon play well with the charred coffee. Entering new numbers for this now. Not overly complex but excels at what it does.
jason (1677) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 19, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Thanks to Puddintane for sending me this. Dark black pour - sludge, oily thick with a very thin head. This was so dark black that I could see my reflection when looking at it from above.
Heavy coffee aroma, bitterness. Malty with some chocolate tones.
First taste: bitter coffee taste mixed with some chocolate, warming up the alcohol, mellowing out to the vanilla bourbon taste that nearly came out of no where. Wow!
Lite mouthfeel considering the thickness that this beer poured.
As it warmed and I take more sips I start to notice the low level of carbonation and the subtle tones of sugar being present. The vanilla flavor of the bourbon is so smooth in this stout that it is a perfect example of a barrel aged beer. Had a very nice warming feeling to it. As it warmed I got some lite wood aroma; as it warmed more and towards the bottom of the snifter, I got alot more bourbon being detected.
One of the smoothest and well balanced Imperial Stouts I ever had!
TURDFERGUSON (3945) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - APR 15, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle picked up by my father during his recent trip to Detroit. Thanks Pops! Pours black with a half inch thick light tan head that fades a bit but leaves very nice lacing around the glass lasting to the last sip. Nose is a lot of coffee, very similar to the regular breakfast stout. Bourbon aromas become evident as the beer warms, but for the most part it just coffee. Flavor is a bit more complex than the nose, bringing out much more bourbon, coffee ofcourse still there, a little vanilla and cocoa too. Wish it had more of a chocolately flavor than the coffee, but still an enjoyable sipper. Just not my favorite type of imperial. Will be saving a couple of these babies to see how they age.
porterhouse (1581) - Boothbay, Maine, USA - APR 15, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
(Bottle, a gift from <A HREF=http://www.ratebeer.com/ViewUser.asp?UserID=2 target=blank>OhioDad, thanks Scott!, cellared for 1 year) Didnít get much complexity from this one...Pours very very dark brown with a thin tan head that recedes to a light film and ring around edges. Aroma of bourbon, oak, char and maybe molasses. Mouthfeel sort of thick but pretty smooth, a little oily. Lightly sticky. Nice fine rings of lacing. Leaves a syrupy coating inside of glass. Taste is mostly bourbon, oak and char - surprisingly rather mild-flavored and little complexity. Also surprisingly not hot at all. The char taste lingers for awhile as an aftertaste. Maybe this is better not cellared. Left me wishing there was a little more to it.
LilKem (1213) - Marietta, Ohio, USA - APR 14, 2007
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
ab fab appearance. dark dark brown with mocha ice cream colored head. head is thick and creamy thatís long lasting. aroma is burnt dark roast espresso and thick dark chocolate syrup. kinda smells like java chip starbucks ice cream if youíve had it. flavor is very bourbon-y with dark espresso and dark and semi-sweet chocolates. the mouthfeel is unbelievably smooth considering the harshness of the aroma. like a bourbon flavored frappaccino with whipped cream and nutty roastedness. yummy.
mreusch (851) - Olathe, Kansas, USA - APR 14, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle, pours an oily black with an ample brown sugar head; minimal lacing. Aroma in an enticing amalgam of bourbon, oak, coffee, vanilla, chocolate, and a bit of cinnamon. Taste follows nicely with more oak, vanilla, coffee, and bourbon, without overpowering everything else. Medium to full on the palate with a a slight oily covering, nice lingering flavor. Amazing ability to be subtle and strong at the same time. Highly recommended.
sersdf (1015) - chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 14, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
í07 bottle. pours like unrefined crude oil. about a quarter/finger head of reasonably large sized bubbles, pretty dark brown, not as nice as the regular breakfast in appearance but still beautiful. while the bottle smells of all bourbon the glass is more woody. more coffee than chocolate, but itís like a mocha. surprising and welcome absence of a harsh smoke in the aroma. no alcohol, very appetizing. flavor actually doesnít have much malt sweetness, seems like most of the sweetness comes from the barrel. thereís plenty of burnt coffee flavor under the tongue that sustain well into the finish. i think i remember the regular breakfast being a little astringent or chalky, not really getting that here. the barrel complements it really nicely without dominating it. for the style itís actually surprisingly light on the flavor, which is strictly relative. i wouldnít call the body thin, and in fact i actually kinda like the colossal drinkability. beers like this itís hard to have more than maybe a snifterís worth, but i could probably drink a couple of these.
kmeves (1098) - Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, USA - APR 14, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Nutty caramel whiskeyish strong coffe aroma. Bid amber head, very dark color. Flavor is really more of the same although the alcohol seems more pronounced and a bit of oak comes through. Texture is oily and full bodied. I must say that I didnít think this one lived up to the hype although it is still a very fine beer.