hopdog (9018) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 21, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22oz bottle acquired in trade with Larry Pitonka (thanks!). Poured a dark black with a smaller sized brown head. Aromas of bourbon, vanilla, oak, light roast, raisins and some plums. Tastes of oak, vanilla, some chocolate, light bourbon, and roasty. The bourbon was stronger in the aromas whereas the wood/oak was stronger in the tastes. Some alcohol in the finish.
Drake (8617) - Free Union, Virginia, USA - SEP 7, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bomber from Beer Run, 9.6% ABV. Pours a dark brown color with a thin creamy brown head. Fair head retention. Aroma of huge whiskey notes, wood, vanilla, caramel, mild roasted malts. The taste is vanilla, whiskey, roast, wood, bitter chocolate, bitter hops. Medium bodied, slight lingering bitterness.
jtclockwork (8595) - , New Jersey, USA - JUN 14, 2010
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle thanks to daknole. Pours jet black with a very thin and quickly dissipating tan head. Nose is roasted malts, toasted barley, coffee and chocolate bar. Taste is very smooth bourbon, raisins, dark fruits, coffee, toffee, chocolates and smoked wood.
Benzai (8545) - Oirschot, THE NETHERLANDS, NETHERLANDS - NOV 2, 2011
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle thanks to Countbeer at ‘Zieke Zuiden Tasting II’. Pitch black, opaque color, no head. Smell al-cohol and sweet. Taste sour, wood, lots of alcohol, lightly vanilla, sour fruits. Too much carbonation. Too sharp taste in general, too sharp sourness imo. Medium body. (Bottle said ’brewmaster reserve 2009’)
GT2 (8510) - San Diego County, California, USA - DEC 12, 2009
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Had a big sample of this at the ORF pre-release tasting. Thanks SpencerDB for sharing! Holy god. This beer kicks ass. It is one of the smoothest, creamiest, easy to drink beers I’ve ever encountered. It pours jet black with a scary dark brown head. Aroma is licorice, anise, huge bourbon presence, dark chocolate truffles, vanilla extract, caramel. Taste is buttery smooth and rich, lots of mellowed out warming bourbon, rich chocolates. Absent is what plagues imperial stouts: too much cheap coffee, roast, ash, alcohol. This feels like it has been aging for 2 or more years. Overall, I ’d say this was the highlight of the ORF tasting apart from the DR BA Baltic Porter.
JoeMcPhee (8510) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 21, 2006
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
22 oz bomber. The end of my Vancouver celler and the last new beer rated while I still lived there... and what brew to go away with. Thick black oily pour with a fine-laced dark brown head sitting over top of it. Sweet vanilla oakiness dances over some strong molasses-like malts, dark fruits, prunes/raisins. The flavour certainly doesn’t disappoint either, sweet raisiny fruit, molasses, deep and heavy roastiness and loads of woody complexity. A kiss of bourbon adds character, but it doesn’t come across boozy like many other bourbon-barrel aged beers I’ve had. Blackberry/dark cherry fruit. Soft vanilla and a dark chocolate flavour this reminds me of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. Great body and wonderful balance. Long roasty dark chocolate finish. Awesome brew.
Dogbrick (8259) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - FEB 3, 2013
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sample at the 5th Annual Coldest Day of the Year Stout Tasting on 01/26/2013: Pours black with a medium foamy tan head that dissipates steadily. Partial rings of lacing on the glass. Aroma of bourbon, roasted malt and vanilla. Full-bodied with an oaky bourbon character and flavors of vanilla, caramel and malt. The finish is mildly boozy with a dark chocolate and malt aftertaste. Solid all around.
3fourths (8103) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAR 3, 2006
2.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
UPDATED: NOV 5, 2009 Along with the bourbon and vanilla in the nose, there’s some very interesting notes of dates, red grapes, plums, raisins, sweet, sugary oak char, brown sugar, (light) maple, semi-robust firewood and roasted malts and a light touch of bread crust or toast. The texture is slick and big, chewy and viscous upon first touch, but then with a slight warming buzz of bourbon and semi-harsh (but not bad) oak. Lingers heavily on the back of the tongue and in the throat, with copious chocolate syrup and dark roast coffee notes, warming your body throughout, something I appreciate... when a beer can mimic the feeling you get from scotch. Reminds me of Owd Mac’s (though that lacked such strong bourbon) but the semi-intense char and bitterness is almost completely covered by the slick liquid-chocolate and smooth (this is key) alcohol.
2009 batch tastes like they threw bourbon in with the beer. What a mess.
JorisPPattyn (7976) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - APR 20, 2006
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Small, gone-in-seconds off-white head; fully black beer. Superb nose of Bourbon cask, vinous, cherries, and other black fruit. Superb (again) vinous, just-not-sweet malt taste, with lots of licorice, woody, and vanilla infused oak. Retronasal however the hops strike back to a pretty harsh, quinine-like flavour. Rich, velvety MF, alcohol without the burn. Creamy, even cobwebby texture. Superb stout, one for the records. Another thankee to my great friend DonGS from Seattle.
MartinT (7956) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - APR 17, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Any first impressions?
-A bubbly head bobs over opaque black.
-Bourbon sweetness and wooden dryness monopolize the nose.
-Chocolate sweets, coffee beans, and malt roastiness decadently take over the palate; a pleasant surprise.
-The smooth and quiet carbonation leaves plenty of room for the maltiness to express itself.
What if you dig deeper?
-The sweetness is multi-layered, starting off chocolatey, then reaching a vanilla character, following into star anise/licorice territory.
-There is some warming from the alcohol, but it never intrudes with the wonderful flavors at play.
-There is no barrel aggression here, this is a well-supervised experiment.
-A very intelligently conceived bourbon-barrel imperial stout which deserves a round of applause.
Bottle; December ’05.