Ernest (5905) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - SEP 25, 2005
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: NOV 21, 2009 2009 bottle.
Head is initially small, brown, mostly diminishing.
Body is black, almost opaque (flashlight tested).
Aroma is moderately malty (dark chocolate, molasses, roasted grain), with notes of whiskey/alcohol, corn syrup, vanilla, sherry, wood.
Flavor is heavily to harshly sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter.
Finish is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly acidic, moderately bitter.
Full body, syrupy texture, soft carbonation, heavily alcoholic.
Woof...very burning and sweet and syrupy. Not elegant at all, and difficult to drink more than a few sips. Some good aspects in the nose, but itís big, clumsy, and bruising; not how I prefer an Impy stout to be.
Murphy (1759) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - SEP 25, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Very dark rusted red color, no head. Big whiskey and alcohol aroma. Coconut. Whiskey dominates the palate. Chocolate and cream in there too. Finish is smooth and bitter, something that is usually not seen in hot beers like this one.
MartinT (7307) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 12, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: AUG 27, 2008 (1st batch, with a 3-7-4 indicated on the white label with typewriter inscription):
Loads of bourbon greet the nostrils upon approach, surrounded by black grapes, roasted malts, and nagging soy...Thick molasses engulf the fruitiness and roastiness, giving you a lip-smacking sweet mouthfeel...Alcohol heat is definitely felt, but doesnít bother much...This is classy, well-brewed, yet nothing sets it apart from all those barrel-aged imperials...This was apparently the precursor though, you canít forget that...3.6/5
(Versions bottled on 010505 and 101207 were quite similar):
A lot less soy sauce thankfully, thus roastier and more dessert-y that its ancestor...Alcohol is better controlled in the aroma, the bourbon being not as expressive, and less oppressive...Tons of residual sugar make a hefty mouthfeel presenting decadent molasses, toffee and vanilla...Alcohol burns in the end though, a firm reminder of its size...Overall, I have to say this is an intense sipper, and thus not very drinkable, but it remains quite harmonious despite its potency...3.9/5
Rastacouere (6103) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 11, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
01-05-05 batch. Considering its strength, the pour offers a generous dark brown head to cover the pitch black, completely opaque hue. Heavily malty aroma, spicy licorice and molasses paired along chocolate chips. It has that sweet dessert component that reminds me of chocolate cookies while the hops, mostly floral, pair nicely with the minty barrel character. Obvious alcohol presence peaks throughout the blackberry and grapey fruitiness, all in a tar like bold malt base. Port and Madeira reminding finish, very alcoholic, bubble gummy and strongly roasty (tobacco). Expert palate rounding, full bodied, soft in texture, intense mouth presence. Good stuff if not particularly my style.
We also had a bottle of the first batch in that tasting (typing machine text saying only bourbon county stout and 3-7-4 whether itís a bottling number or date Ė Thanks TAR) and it was concentrating on the bourbon a decent bit more, leaving a perhaps even boozier and certainly less integrated product malt wise.
JoshuaB (474) - Detroit, Michigan, USA - SEP 5, 2005
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottled in 8/05. Beautiful dark dank brown with foamy brown head. Nose is strong. Lots of EtOH is present and provides the backdrop. Bourbon steps up to the plate as well as some good chocolate notes. Oak and vanilla are there as well. Dissapointed with the flavor a bit. The EtOH is way too dominant. There is a strong presence of Bourbon which was to be expected. Chocolate is the next biggest player, mixed with some coconut. A tad too sweet yet as well. May benefit greatly from some aging to mellow it out a bit. Will rerate.
RAYBOY01 (2012) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 5, 2005
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Truly great stout. Burnt brown sugar, vanilla, coffee, toffee, chocolate, cvaramel and roasted maltiness...But I really love the wood, smoke, and bourbon profile from the 5 months aging process. One of the very best!
TheEnemy (562) - Chicago, USA - SEP 5, 2005
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: SEP 14, 2005 From a 12-oz bottle purchased at Torrence Liquors, Calumet City IL.
Vanilla, honey, chocolate and coffee tones on the nose. Could be the best-smelling beer Iíve ever raised to my sniffer. Pours solid black while the precious little carbonation forms a tiny tan head that quickly dissipates. Sweet honey & vanilla bean are prominent in the flavor, supported by roasted malt, hop bittering, a hint of licorice and a touch of charred wood. Small bit of raisin joins in the aftertaste. That tiny bit of carbonation does quite a dance on the tongue. I generally donít care for Goose Island products but this oneís a home-run.
SuIIy (1984) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - SEP 3, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pours a thick dark black color with a nice foamy tan head. Legs on the head receed back into the body with a redish brown hue. Nose is full on bourbon, but not overwhelming. Coconut and light chocolate are apparent in the nose as well. taste is full and chewy, amazing palate. Chocolate is def apparent up front, a light warming and alcohol come through and a very distinct and flavorful bourbon becomes apparent. A slight bitter aftertaste in the finish and a warming on the throat.
ClarkVV (3579) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - SEP 2, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: AUG 17, 2006 2005 bottle acquired in an awesome trade with Htsprint1. Thanks so much Noah! Shared with Eyedrinkale and Egajdzis on 8/27/2005.
Pours a thick, viscous deep black, opaque, heavy looking substance, with a small, thick tan head, that is not long retained, little bit of legs on the glass. Sediment on the bottom of the bottle. Aroma of coconuts, sweet molasses and rich toffee. Oaky and just very strong. Touches of charred wood smoke is very dry in the nose and gives some balance to the sweet coconut, chocolate fudge, vanilla and light alcohol. Being very underwhelmed by most Imperial Stouts I have tried lately, especially the barrel-aged ones, Iíve got to say, I was incredibly impressed and refreshed by this one. Granted this isnt a terribly refreshing beer, but it was just nice to see a unique imperial stout that dosent bludgeon you with hops or alcohol. Even the roast is fairly restrained here, relatively speaking. What you do get a lot of, is coconut, sweet vanilla beans and chocolate fudge, though a bit drier than all that sounds. Rich, thick mouthfeel is borderline syrupy, and significantly malty sweet, but for me, it works. Very viscous and oily, with a very low carbonation. It goes down easy, on my palate, though. The bourbon is somehow flavorul, moreso than it is drying or sharp. Sweet chocolate-vanilla sticks with you, as some late hops grows as it warms. Bourbony flavors are always present but donít really bother me, even at the end of the glass. Very full body. Love to get more of this stuff.
Rerate Or rather, resample, Iím not changing my marks because this beer is maturing very nicely. At about a year old now, the bourbon is still under control, even moreso now, with a creamy/chocolatey texture without gobs of harsh roast or hops. Smokiness and ashiness are controlled and used to balance, not overwhelm. Awesome.
Nuffield (3542) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - AUG 28, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Very little head; appearance like a World Wide Stout, though lighter in color, can see through the edges a half an inch in. I totally see what Markus said, toasted marshamallow, but also some toasted coconut. Grilled salmon aroma, too. Reasonably smooth, although not intensely so. A little odd, making my jar pucker, but over time it smoothens out and Iím loving the late coconut finish.