desurfer (1242) - Melbourne, Florida, USA - NOV 18, 2008
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Tap at the brewpub in Clybourn. Pours an almost pitch black with a small mocha head. Aroma is heavy on alcohol and oak. Flavor is rich and powerful, with loads of roasted malts, cocoa and coffee, with a surprisingly mellow woodiness coming through. Vanilla and peaty bourbon notes round it out. Significant alcohol, but not in a harsh way. No one flavor is dominating; rather, they all blend together into one balanced flavor. All I can say is amazing.
troyc (2816) - Illinois, USA - NOV 16, 2008
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 14, 2015 (Tap/2008) Wow... where to start with this one. Pours a thick black color with a viscous consistency. Aroma of whiskey and lots of dark malts. Vanilla and coffee in the nose as well. Taste is heavy on bourbon. Underlying wood notes, with chocolate, coffee and caramelized sugars. The alcohol is pretty evident in here too. Definitely a beer to sip... I could drink one glass of this over the course of several hours and be perfectly content. (2013 & 2014 Bottle Tasting) í13 version was more flavorful and well developed. Chocolate and mellow bourbon flavors popped more on the earlier version. í14 was tasty but not as well refined when it came to the alcoholic notes. Will keep the 4.2 rating for í08, but would rate the í13 a 4.5 and í14 a 3.8.
ILoveNewBeer (113) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - NOV 2, 2008
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours a beautiful black liquid, with little or no head. Chocolate mint to the nose. If beauty could be a liquid this would be it. So full bodied, full flavored and just the perfect beer (if at all possible) this is it. I am a huge, huge IPA person and this is the best stout that I have ever had the pleasure of drinking.
If you see this in a store, buy it.
monkeychugg55 (929) - Joliet, Illinois, USA - OCT 31, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 17, 2014 2008 vintage. Pours like 50,000 mile motor oil...as thick and black as it gets. Very faint tan film of a head which quickly became little more than a ring with an animated tan on black marble appearance. Very sweet aroma, with tons of roasted malt, espresso, dark fruit, caramel, dark chocolate, vanilla, anise, and, of course, bourbon. The flavor is initially very sweet roasted malt. Once swallowed, anise, chocolate and hot alcohol linger. The finish is slow and eventually ends with a good amount of dry oak and a little bit of coffee bitterness. Thick and sticky on the palate, and barely carbonated. (Probably too thick for the co2 to escape.) Very dense, very sweet, very hot, pretty bitter, and not too shabby.
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 27, 2008
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Logan’s Stout Tasting: 2005 Bottling. Huge Whiskey, aged malt, smoke, vanilla, and hotness in the nose. Huge Bourbon and vanilla flavors...and I mean HUGE! Chewy vanilla bourbon extravaganze...this is beyond bourbon barrel, this is just bourbon beer mousse. Absolutely spectacular sipper in every way imaginable.
Scauca (490) - Lovere, ITALY - OCT 27, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Strange brew indeed. The nose is very complex, odd yet pleasant. Bourbon notes are clearly perceivable as the smoky notes, malt sweetness, chocolate, some soy sauce and a earthiness that reminds me of porcini mushrooms. Alcohol is present, full is the body. Sweet, chocolatey.
mabel (7015) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 26, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
[1706-20080912] 355mL bottle. Sweet bourbon oxo beef cubes aroma has lots of roasted wood malt and vanilla hints. Black brown body with a quick creamy red brown head. Heavy roast beef roast malt flavour. Full body is smooth. Heavy booze but well-integrated, very nicely made.
foundmd (210) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - OCT 25, 2008
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: MAR 21, 2009 On tap at the Hopleaf in Chicago, 2008 release. Pours pitch black with a thin mocha head. Aroma of malts, chocolate, and alcohol. The initial bourbon alcohol burn gives way to big flavors of smooth chocolate, dark fruit, molasses, caramel, and hints of coffee. Even with itís complexities and ABV, this is very smooth and easy to drink for me. One of the finest beers Iíve had the pleasure of savoring. Absolutely essential.
MegaMan2OO6 (21) - Los Gatos, California, USA - OCT 22, 2008
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
(10.21.08) On draught at Firkin in Libertyville. 2008 batch. Opaque black with an average sized brown head that quickly dissipates. Little to no lacing. Unsweetened chocolate, coffee, brown sugar, vanilla, pepper, cola, and oak on the nose. Hops are there, but malt leads the way. Moderate sweetness up front, which gives way to some bitterness in the finish. Outstanding mouthfeel. Chewy, full-bodied, without being quite syrupy. Alcohol starts out present and delicious though it leans toward solvent as it warms. Great use of bourbon barrels.
nbutler11 (1267) - Wiesbaden, Hesse, GERMANY - OCT 21, 2008
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Huge thanks to ajm for cracking one of these open to close a night of sampling. Pours like sweet molasses from the bottle with a faint brown head. Loaded with grape playdough and bourbon on the nose with overwhelming amounts of powdered cocoa, coffee, red grapes, and caramel in the flavor to help masque the 13%. A real knockout punch.