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 (8537) - 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) - Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, ENGLAND - 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.
roguemonk (9) - Orland Park, Illinois, USA - OCT 19, 2008 does not count
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Probably my favorite annual offering. Had a mini vertical 2007-2008. Both were different but extremely delicious. Perfection in a glass. Dark chocolate, caramel with wrapped in a beautiful robe of bourbon. A truly inspired beer...Also recently had the Blueberry Bourbon County Stout at the brewpub...Mind expanding!
DSG (11399) - Tel Aviv, ISRAEL - OCT 18, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: OCT 22, 2015 Re-rate 10/15: Bottle sample at Arielís farewell tasting at Maxís place. Thanks Ariel. 2014 bottle. Black with some brown foam. Great big aroma of chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, coconut, cookies, and a boozy note. Sweet flavor with chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, cookies, caramel, and a boozy note. Full-bodied. Great. 8/4/8/4/16=4
Rating for Monks edition, barrel aged for 5 years: [4/25/15] Bottle sample at a tasting at omhperís place in TyresŲ. Thanks omhper, AndySnow and hackobock for sharing great beers! Black. Great aorma of bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, oak and some soy sauce. Flavor of chocolate, bourbon, lots of vanilla and a bit of alcohol. Full-bodied. Great stuff. 8/4/8/4/16=4
Re-rate 2/14: Bottle sample at a tasting at kerenmkís place. Thanks avrashi. 2012 bottle. Black with a brown head. Aroma of alcohol, bourbon, chocolate, roastiness, vanilla and coffee. Sweet flavor. Thick and full-bodied. Lovely. 8/4/8/4/16=4
Re-rate 4/13/10: Bottle at a tasting. Thanks Zvika. 2009 bottle. Opaque black with a thin brown foamy film. Burnt aroma of bourbon, alcohol, oak and chocolate. Sweet alcoholic flavor with vanilla, bourbon, hot alcohol, chocolate, plums, dates, honey notes, licorice and wood. Full-bodied. Too hot. 7/4/7/4/14=3.6
(10/10/08) Draught sample at the brewpub in Clybourn, Chicago. 2008 batch - 13.5% ABV. Black-colored with a brown head. A rather alcoholic aroma with some bourbon, dark chocolate, a bit of coffee, wood and smoke notes and dark fruit hints. Sweet flavor with lots of chocolate (pralines), bourbon and a bit of caramel. Lots of alcohol in the flavor. Full thick body. Too much alcohol and quite a bit of bourbon in the flavor but still good even if not too drinkable. 7/4/7/4/15=3.7
Rciesla (5500) - Exit 15W, New Jersey, USA - OCT 18, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 29, 2010 Bottle 3 years old. What can i say a fantastic stout that i adore. Sweet chocolate black body with a tan head. Dark fruit and bourbon dominate this with a big alcohol warming. One of my favorite darkies. 4.5
While I am quite a fan of this beer with some age on it, drinking this beer fresh is basically a chore. Its huge boozy soy and etoh latent notes make it difficult to finish even a 12 oz bottle. 3.3 fresh.
Ave 4.5/3.3 --> 3.9
alaskanwarren (286) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 17, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Aroma is sweeeet, with lots of caramel and bourbon. The pour is black with a fairly quick dissipating brown head. Flavor is like sweet chocolate. Maybe some candied plums and dark toast and smoke. Alcohol is pretty well disguised behind this tasty complex flavor. The aroma continues to please throughout the enjoyment of this beer. Eventually you *definitely* start to notice the alcohol. Finish is pleasant, some residual carbon and just a hint of stickiness on the sides of the tongue.
kosko20 (352) - Bemidji, Minnesota, USA - OCT 16, 2008
2.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
Blacker than black pour with basically no head...small amount of lacing that is tan brown. Aroma is initially sweet and whiskey. Then a little chocolate comes thru as well. Flavor is coffee, chocolate, whiskey and sweet malts. Palate is thick and heavy and the back end the alcohol kicks nicely. This is a very sweet, heavy and powerful. Too sweet for my liking.