henry3r (586) - Wichita, Kansas, USA - NOV 6, 2005
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
The tap poured an opaque black beverage with almost no head and what was there to begin with dissipated almost immediately. The aroma was very complex. There was a heavy roasted malt character with mild coffee notes. In addition, I also noticed a defined tawny port taste and notes of Prune and oak with a decided alcohol warmth. The body was very full with almost no noticeable carbonation and a creamy or oily texture. The flavor started off quite sweet with port and notes of prunes. The finish was very long and it was here the coffee came out along with the heavy alcohol warmth.
Crosling (1864) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - OCT 16, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Black color, with a very thin foam of light tan. Rich medley of aromas, which are not in any way hot, alcoholic or "bourbony," but instead loaded with both malt and bourbon influenced wood, giving hints of chocolate, tiramusu, fudge, vanilla, cocunut, wood, bourbon and fruit. Well balanced and delicious. Rich caramel and toffee, with bitter chocolate and well extracted vinous fruit flavors. Woody and bourbon influenced, but not overly so. A really lovely brew. Lots of different dimensions and flavors.
Ray1975 (251) - Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, USA - OCT 15, 2005
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
From Growler.. Thanks to Beerhandy.. Poured black as night with a few bubbles of carbonation creeping up through the thickness a few seconds after the pour. Aroma was heavy on the bourbon with vanilla, chocolate and coffee. Flavor followed suit with bourbon standing out most and a heavy vanilla flavor with a bit of chocolate and roasted malts. Heavy, thick motor oil consistency.. Great Imperial Stout!..
Doppelganger (1388) - Dry County, Arkansas, USA - OCT 11, 2005
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: OCT 4, 2008 Rating update: hand bottled from the same growler as my original rating, three years later. Opened with Craig, Stella, Fin, Loz and Traci, at the "What’s This Label Supposed To Be Anyway?" tasting. Still a little bit of carbonation, though very soft. Sweet vanilla and milk chocolate aroma with a little viney touch. Creamy and soft all around, the edges melding and smoothing into each other. Still remarkably good, and the age adds some interesting dimentions. Overall, I think I prefer the somewhat sharper character of the younger beer, but it is really fun to see how good it still is.
From a growler, same-day delivered to me by my friend Aaron and tasted a couple of days later when I was in the right frame of mind. So very kind of you AJ!
Dense black in the glass, with a fine layer of crema-like head, settling to a viscous ring that hung on tenaciously while I swirled and sniffed, waiting for it to warm a bit more. The aromas keep moving around on me, so that every return to the glass offers a new adjective. The highlights: toffee, figs, rum. It does smell strong, but remarkablly smooth at the same time. Dark, full chocolate flavors, blending to buttery rum vapors, with just a bit of smooth espresso roast in the finish. Hops evade my notice, though at 100 IBUs, I’m sure there are a bunch of them. Dark chocolate seems like the right description for the palate too. Fills every corner of my mouth with creamy flavor, but then departs with a surprisingly clean finish. I know if I tasted this in July I would give it a much lower score. Some Imperial Stouts handle summer fine. This is a cool-weather only stout. In the pleasant October chill, it makes me warm. And happy.
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - OCT 10, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Huge thanks to Beerhandy for the growler. Poured black with a tan ring for a head. Thick aroma of chocolate, roasted malt, and a good amount of bourbon/whisky mixed through. The levels of each and the order they hit you depend on the tempurature greatly. I had this at to seatings and one was cold and one perfect. Warmer there was more balance even though the nose was bigger. Flavor is very big. It takes over your whole mouth. Roasted choclate (does that make sense?), then bourbon, then plenty of sweet roasted malt. Full mouth feel that is creamy and silky. YUMMY! Did I forget to mention it warms the whole chest.
JohnC (3004) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - OCT 5, 2005
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
A big thanks to sheemaybabe for the nipper bottle.
Opaque black, this beauty completely hides the alcohol while showing lots of other nice complexities. Lots of plum/prune flavor along w/ raisin and roasty flavors. Hints of chocolate w/ some background sweetness are present. The brew finishes dry and clean.
tjthresh (1867) - Greenfield, Indiana, USA - SEP 25, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 22, 2008 Re rated on 2/25/07: Wow, what a difference. I tried the 2005 version. The bourbon barrel character was still big, but this beer had a velvety body. Lots of dark chocolate and roasted character. Even a bit of hops. This is really nice and worth its acclaim.
I have got to stop reading reviews before I try a beer. I was all built up for this one, and it was a major let down. Serve in a 6 ounce snifter. Onyx black with what looked like soap bubbles on top. Alcohol dominates. No way around that. Chocolate, roast, wood, toffee. Nice full body with an oily slickness. Surprisingly easy drinking. I had two servings. At $3.50 a glass, I thought that was a good deal. I have a feeling that this batch is on the down slope. I’ll be on the lookout for a fresher batch.
BlueDevil0206 (122) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - JUN 14, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 13/20
Growler (fairly old though). Poured into a snifter sticky opaque obsidian with a small brown head. Aroma was of roasted barley, sweet caramel, and molasses with a tinge of sherryish/woody oxidation. Flavor is cloyingly brown sugar/molasses sweet and roasty with caramel and oats making their way through. Minimal hop bitterness and flavor making its way through the malt and sugars. A decent fruity ester profile and woody/earthiness is present though masked by the sweetness. Fairly unbalanced lending an uncomplex taste to it. Body is syrupy smooth and full. Less than great imperial stout I have to say though I’d like to try it again when it is fresh.
jsquire (3694) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - MAY 26, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
This was a hand bottled 2004 from BBB63 Mike, and I can only hope to try this someday fresh from the tap. This is a very dark beer with a dusting of beige bubbles on the top and a huge aroma that included ripe plums, raisens, molassas, chocolate covered cherries and some charcol. As I swirled this in my snifter it coated the sides the way a good, thick imperial should. Lots of flavors too, with dark, dried fruit, fruitcake, molasses, vanilla and an oak woodiness. The whiskey comes out in the finish. This is a very nice beer and equal to the hype. Thanks so much to Mike for hooking me up.
Ungstrup (30003) - Citizen of the universe, DENMARK - MAY 20, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAY 21, 2005 [GABF 2004 first beer!!!!] A pitch black beer with no head. The aroma is sweet roasty with notes of alcohol, chocolate, and coffee. The flavor is also very sweet with notes of prunes, alcohol, coffee, and chocolate, leading to a very dry, woody finish.