JoeMcPhee (8314) - 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.
GT2 (8283) - 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.
Drake (8030) - 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 (8026) - , 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.
Theydon_Bois (7944) - The ’Sham, Surrey, ENGLAND - MAY 30, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Sample from tap at the Growler Guys in Bend, 23/05/13, listed as 9% ABV.
Pitch black with a thin tan head.
Nose is bourbon forward, dark malts, bitter chocolate, booze.
Taste comprises dark malt, chocolate, liqourice, bourbon.
Full bodied, fine carbonation, light booze in the finish.
No worls beater for this favoured style of mine but decent enough, the alchohol is well integrated.
3fourths (7887) - 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.
BMan1113VR (7834) - Los Angeles, California, USA - MAR 22, 2009
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2009 bottle thanks to carythedude. Pours with a largish, dark brown head over a black body. Great lace and retention. Aroma of brown sugar, bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, wood and raisins. Taste is slightly oxidized with tons of wood, burnt brown sugar, bourbon, corn sweetness (from the bourbon), coffee and a bit of smoke. Taste is not nearly sweet enough, either the chocolate or residual sugars need to be higher for my liking, very dry, and doesn’t balance the bourbon or wood well. Creamy mouthfeel, light bubbles.
JorisPPattyn (7816) - 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 (7746) - 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.
DocLock (7731) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 3, 2006
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Wow, what a huge offering from acertain. This one is ebony, with no apparent light transmittance, and a 1-finger tan head. Definite 5 for appearance. The aroma is marvelous and hefty, oaky, bourbony, with big roasty malt and chocoff, reminding me of Great Divide BA Yeti plus some Heresy and Founders Kentucky Breakfast aromas. The flavor is on the dry side, with a pronounced oak and bourbon flavor, plus cognac, some vanilla, and subdued chocolate. The entire beer retains a rather hard liquory taste and palate, but retains a solid complexity, like a fine scotch. Does get hot, but as many have stated before, you’ll be used to it by the time you get to the end of the beer.