polomagnifico (1202) - Saginaw, Michigan, USA - MAY 21, 2007
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAR 18, 2012 12oz bottle. Aroma is sweet coffee, molasses, bourbon, vanilla, wood and dark dried fruit. Appearance is pitch black with small brown mostly diminishing head that left virtually no lace. Flavor is heavy sweet espresso malt. Palate is full body, oily flat. Some alcohol on the nose and palate but you wouldn’t know it’s 10%. Really didn’t like this beer back in 2007 but I am loving 2012! Great balance between the coffee and bourbon. Sticky sweet deliciousness!
jewedekind (450) - Middleton, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 20, 2007
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Best beer I had at the GTM ’06. Black as the inside of a coal mine. Flavor of the meanest stuff you’ve ever consumed. Made me go back and skip line several times..and I never do that ;-)
millysdaddy (67) - Alexandria, Virginia, USA - MAY 20, 2007
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 oz. bottle courtesy of TURDFERGUSON (thanks!). Looks like motor oil as it fills up the class with a thick, brown head. Tons of coffee and chocolate in the aroma. You can really taste the oak and bourbon along with vanilla and more coffee and chocolate. Tasty but quite heavy - you can almost chew it!
toncatcher (228) - Santee - SAN DIEGO, California, USA - MAY 19, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 oz. bottle from Drewbeerme. Pours a dark brown with a thin tan head. Aroma of coffee and wood. Tastes of coffe and very woody and sweet bourbon.
dra19 (89) - holland, Michigan, USA - MAY 19, 2007
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap at Founders. Pours black with brown head. Strong aroma of coffee, vanilla, malts, and bourbon. Great coffee and bourbon flavors. A great brew from Founders.
johnadam2002 (529) - Hainesport, New Jersey, USA - MAY 18, 2007
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Poured jet black with a small dark drown head. Aroma of coffee, vanilla, and roasty malt. Smelled incredible. Flavors of roasted coffee to start followed by vanilla hints and alcohol. Finished very strong with bourbon flavors. Filling.
jvmiller (558) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - MAY 17, 2007
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JUL 24, 2007 To me, this stuff is just amazing. Aroma is of alcohol, vanilla, woody, coffee, chocolate. Something very astringent in there too, probably the oak. Color is insane, a black hole from which light cannot escape. And holy cow the viscosity of this beer is high, you can tell when you swish it. Flavor is incredibly complex-there’s a lot in this beer. Coffee is huge, plus vanilla, some bourbon, and again something very bitey probably from the oak. With every sip I find something new and enjoy it more. Better warm.
skibumphishead (259) - Massachusetts, USA - MAY 16, 2007
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
12oz bottle from Slam. The pour was thick and black. It stank like fresh ground coffee beans. The flavs were coffee, chocolate, smoke, and whisky. On the last sip it smelled like strong chocolate bourbon. This is one of the heaviest and sweetest imperials that I have tried. Kick ass
pnista (1007) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - MAY 14, 2007
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: AUG 8, 2007 I am in generally, not a fan of barrel aged beers, but this is really remarkable. Pours a black to immensely dark dark brown (near motor oil) with a razor thin light brown to dark tan head. The nose is very woody. A little char. Some subdued vanilla underneath the coffee and slight hint of alcohol. A little floral fruity overtone. Not that big cloying sweet syrupy mess I find in most bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts. Thick and rich in the mouth. Great big viscosity, one could cut this beer with a knife. Nicely subdued carbonation. With every sip, I enjoy this beer more. Big and sweet rich malt. Vanilla, oak, char, really come through, but meet the rich dark chocolate and expresso halfway. None of this club you over the head with the barrel nonsense. Even the bit of diacetyl lends a nice buttery note that well compliments the bourbon. A bit sweet slightly buttery almost cherry-like finish with some more wood, a bit of smoke, char, and even some acidity coming in the later aftertaste. Then it’s all wood, but not tannic. Not too bourbon soaked either. Just appropriate. Man, for half the price, I’d buy a case. Maybe I’ll settle for another 4 pack. Chocolate really comes on in the nose as this warms up. I think I may have understated the smoke. Not that it was particularly strong, but it was there. Man there’s a lot in this here beer.
Rerate: August 8, 2007.
I’m just updating this after having sat on this for almost 6 months. Everything about this beer is very similar. The aroma is sweeter with a mocha coffee. Just so smooth, I couldn’t help but boost the aroma a point.
I had this on tap at two festivals in the last two weekend, it was both times an absolute shadow of itself. I cannot justify allowing that to influence my rating, as this is truly a different beer.
EithCubes (5138) - New Jersey, USA - MAY 10, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 2, 2007 Bottle. Approaching this with admittedly high expectations. Big dry roast coffee nose, slightly beany and salty. Burned but not quite tarry, with faint dark chocolate. Deft touch of oak and vanilla, but a deep inhalation brings out the distinct, strongly bourbonous totality. Opaque motor oil pour with a dark brown, creamy head. Creamy full mouthful, velvety smooth. Robust flavor, roast coffee, dark chocolate, wood, strong vanilla. Pleasantly warming. Much gentler and rounded than the somewhat brutal Breakfast Stout. Bourbon notes increasingly revealed with every sip. Lots of malt here and only light bitterness. Medium saltiness. Aftertaste is long and distinct. Though rich and delicious, I still think I prefer the "normal" powerhouse, though only slightly.... [4.1]
Same batch, some months later: oh, man, this is a beast! Still really robust and complex, but the initial marks hold; alcohol is just too high in the mix, even if it’s refined. [4.2]