TheAlum (5205) - Lisle, Illinois, USA - NOV 6, 2007
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 21, 2010 12 oz. Bottle from Johnís Grocery (Iowa City, IA). Poured into a tulip glass. The pour is like literally pouring used motor oil into a glass. Thick, dark, and hardly making a splash at all. This leads to a practically non-existent head with a dark cocoa color. Light smell on the beer that resembles chocolate and vaguely of bourbon. I do indeed get a faint vanilla in the smell after pour. Initial taste extremely powerful yet smooth. Sweet bourbon and coffee tastes. I almost feel like Iíve smoked a cigar with the smokey finish it leaves. This stout definately thumps itís chest and lets you know itís there. Becomes more friendly on the warm up and as the alcohol settles into me. Definately for sipping. Definately for dessert. I havenít had many Imperial Stouts. But, this is a good start.
Rerate: 2009 Batch: Pours like oil, pitch black with a small dark brown head that dissipates to a layer that laces ok. Aromas are heavenly, a big dose of Bourbon and roasted malts, sweeter edges with chocolate and caramel in heavy doses, smooth and velvety. Initial is thick bodied with a heavy dose of bourbon, wet oak, vanilla, coffee, chocolate, caramel sweetness definitely evident. This stout is slanted away from bitterness, towards barrel and malt presence, sweet and complex, the beer slides down, a warming sensation, with good coffee, roasted malts, barrel, and chocolate in bitter and sweet layers. A markable improvement from my early rating times.
naivepegasus (330) - USA - NOV 4, 2007
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
bottled 10/12/2007. Pours dark as oil, entirely opaque, with practically nonexistent dark tan head. Strong bourbon odor with a hint of sweet coffee malts. The smell alone has more taste than most of the beers out there. Heaven. Amazingly smooth, with strong sweet bourbon tastes, matched with coffee, chocolate with just a hint vanilla woodiness. A smoky aftertaste. Overall, an incredible beer, by far one of, if not THE, most complex stout I have ever tasted. Well worth the hype.
yjb (113) - Davis, California, USA - NOV 4, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 16/20
On the way to a fest with too much bourbon (FoBAB í07) i stopped to pick this sucka up. four roasty bourbon bombs. the darkness overwhelms,broken by a thin creamy layer. smells like fire tastes like roasted butter sandwich. coats my tongue with diacetyl and bourbon... i love bourbon aged beers but man i need a break.
Gregis (1279) - Shawnee, Kansas, USA - NOV 3, 2007
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle packaged on 10/12/07. Pours jet black with a thin, creamy mocha head that diminishes to a ring clinging to the edge of the glass. A swirling single layer of tiny bubbles creates a morphing "island" in the center of the glass. The nose on this beer is huge: bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, plums and potent alcohol. Full-bodied and slick with tongue prickling carbonation and significant alcohol warmth. The flavor is bourbon forward and fairly hot at this time. Also present are vanilla, chocolate and plum notes along with a woody vinous quality. This is a really nice beer as it is, but I have to think that this will mellow nicely with time. The possibility of toning down the alcohol note and allowing time for the flavors to better integrate compels me to sit on my remaining 3 bottles. Iíll re-rate one in about a year.
kkearn (1165) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 3, 2007
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 27, 2009 12oz bottle, brewed 8/16/05. Pours very deep brown with a thin mocha colored head. Intense aroma, with oak, vanilla, bourbon, molasses and licorice atop a sweet malt background. Big roasted malt flavor, with vanilla, chocolate, wood, smoke, prunes, and alcohol. This is a tremendous beer, but the alcohol seemed to overwhelm the other flavors. Rating #400
4/27/09 Iíve sampled this a few more times, and Itís grown on me. I find the alcohol doesnít overwhelm the flavor. I added 1 to flavor and 2 to overall.
legion242 (2100) - Richardson, Texas, USA - NOV 3, 2007
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Wow, everything I had hoped for. The first sniff is a little boozy, but softens as it warms. I canít say anything that anyone else hasnít said already, but this was wonderful.
chriso (7344) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - NOV 3, 2007
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle, at HogTown Harry tasting (cheers Harry), September 2007. Almost black. Very full and rich, with sweet fat malt, dark chocolate and chewy fruit (raisins?). Both the Bourbon barrel and the alcohol are very evident. The former provides the woody, vanilla notes that emerge throughout. The latter provides a hot aftertaste that I found a little too intrusive. Not convinced the elements were perfectly knitted together, which knocks the overall score down a shade but thatís only really a minor quibble. All in all I thought this was a very fine beer.
jgb9348 (4495) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - NOV 3, 2007
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Deep pitch black coloured body with an almost non-existant tan head. Aroma of pure bourbon - the strongest iíve ever smelt. Raisins, figs, cherries, espresso and milk chocolate all are noticeable in the nose coupled with the ever present vanilla. Full-bodied; Super-strong malty, chocolate and of course, scotchy taste. An amazing vanilla and oaky taste most potent with the bittering characteristics of coffee and pit fruits. Aftertaste shows so much and lasts longer than I could remember for any beer. Overall, a really good and strong imperial stout with plenty of oaky and sweet characteristics. One that should be sampled by all, if possible. I sampled this 12 ounce bottle purchased from West Lakeview Liquors in Chicago, Illinois on 02-November-2007.
WickerBrew (311) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 2, 2007
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Got the 2007 release this week and it blew my socks off. Best beer I have ever had, hands down no contest. Its a sticky, thick, sweetish crazy combination. The bourbon taste is obvious, very oaky. I have never had some of the other high powered midwestern stouts, but if they are better than this I will be shocked.
valpoaj (613) - Valparaiso, Indiana, USA - NOV 1, 2007
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: DEC 2, 2007 2006 vintage; huge thanks to my buddy Russ for holding onto this one till I could get back to Chicago. Pour is pitch black; a bit thin, and has the thinnest of a dark tan head; almost non-existent. Aroma has strong hints of bourbon, vanilla and lighter hints of milk chocolate and brown sugar. Very heavy mouthfeel, the first thing that comes to mind is íAmazingí! Iíd wager that about 4 out of 5 times I go after a beer Iíve been yearning to try, I leave disappointed, but not this time! This sludge almost does the opposite of what I expected...hits up hard early with the bourbon, vanilla, smoky/tobacco and dark chocolate flavors and mellows just beautifully mid-drink, turning very soft with light chocolate flavor, sugary malts, and a beautiful, mellow warming at the end. Do yourself a favor...just hold some of this on the tongue for a bit and enjoy the beauty! Dare I say this is the first heavily hyped and desired brew that has actually exceeded my expectations. Minimal burn, especially for an 11% ABV and wow, what a wonderful sipper...damn near a perfect 5, but still leaving some room for improvement
Re-rate: 2007 vintage...much livelier, stronger bourbon presence, especially on palate. Tobacco notes more pronounced. Alcohol much stronger presence. Beer still excellent, but not the íoh my Godí I had with the one-year-aged 2006. Leaving current ratings pact as I plan to re-rate again in future after 2007 vintage ages for a year