SpringsLicker (3170) - Tennessee, USA - JUL 16, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Typical of Imperial Stouts, this starts off with a fleeting head of light mocha over a big black oily looking body.
Lots of raost malt in the aroma along with some alcohol or bourbon notes.
There is a really good Imperial Stout in here, but the Bourbon is a bit too intense at this stage in itís life for me. A bit of aging may move the bourbon thing a bit more to the back where it will be in better balance and bring this beer up in itís ratings even further. If you really like the bourbon thing, itís ready now.
brentfeesh (1207) - Mansfield, Ohio, USA - JUL 15, 2005
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Found this at Party Town in Kentucky. What a find it was! Pours deep opaque chocolate brown. The aroma is rich and inviting with chocolate cake, bourbon, and dried dark fruit (fig and cherry). The flavor that greets you on that first sip is just heaven. Dark Chocolate, port, whiskey, dates/fig, vanilla..Shazam! the only thing keeping this from a 10 is the alcohol burn on the way down. Perfect otherwise. The body is slick, oily syrup. Dessert all the way! Way to go Goose Island
jercraigs (8070) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 13, 2005
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
RBSG 2005. Black oily body with a moderate chocolate coloured head. Bourbon flourish in an alcoholic aroma with muted chocolate below. Flavour is a dark maltyÖ somethingÖ underneath a dry bitterness, touches of bourbon and ephemeral wisps. Richly full bodied. Very nice.
arjoseph (639) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 30, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: SEP 9, 2005 NEW RATING: Bottle into ale tasting glass. I was wrong about this the first time I had it. This is not over-rated. My biggest complaint the first time I had it was that it smelled exactly like dog food. While I still smell a little bit of it, especially right out of the bottle, itís not dominating. What is dominating is the utter balance of the smell; in equal parts, we have plumy dark chocolate, brown sugar, and a very fruity warm bourbon aroma. Wonderful. If it werenít for the lingering dog food smell, this would be a 9 smell, potentially 10 (I really donít like the dog food). Looks are a very high 4, almost 5. This is maybe the darkest head Iíve seen. It produces a somewhat sticky lace wall, and the racing is fairly deep and slow. Of course, the beer itself is triple distilled crude oil reduced and congealed, ie thick as all hell. Itís just as thick as it looks in the mouth, even thicker than melted chocolate. The thickness is soft and velvety, and is really a unique experience (I donít remember Dark Lord or BA Speedway feeling like this; those are the only two that might match it). You feel the alcohol numbing your face after half a glass, but you donít taste it. The body of this thing absorbs everything. The flavor starts as rich as the feel, very fruity with a bourbon character. Yet, unlike many bourbon aged stouts, the bourbon here is in perfect balance; it is a complement, not the defining feature. The bridge is a sweetish milk chocolate transitioning into the hoppy finish, which is roasty and moderately bitter. Eventually, the finish rounds into a bakerís cocoa dryness. In sum, I have to say Iím sorry for what I said before, Bourbon County. Please forgive me. ORIGINAL RATING: 3.6. 2005 bottle into small shaker, Hop Leaf, Chicago IL. After checking a couple bottle shops for this and not finding it, I was happy to see it at Hop Leaf. Maybe the scarcity is why they are charging $10 a bottle. I was drinking it with some non-beer geek friends who werenít that into it. My buddy Vivek said, "Oh, that smells like ass. Like a fat ass," whatever that means. I thought it smelled like dog food fresh from the bag, with some bourbon underneath and a teeny bit of vanilla bean. The dog food smell went away as the beer warmed, or maybe because I got used to it, but the first impression was negative. Inky black in the glass with a medium brown fizzy head that doesnít last long. Feels full as hell and oily with noticable alcohol. Dry roast in the finish with a bourbon tang. Middle is sweet with some liquid chocolate (of both the milk and semi-sweet variety), but the flavors get consumed by the massiveness of the body. The bourbon is at a nice level, almost too much but definitely not; I think they found the inflection point. This had me thinking the whole way through that Goose Island was trying to make a Dark Lord clone. The size was impressive, and considering it the balance was impressive too (with semi-dry hops on the end and the roast drying it out a bit), but none of the elements jumped out as objectively dope. If this were present at The Friday, it probably would have been somewhere just below the top 20 in my book, but I can see how some would fall in love with it.
heemer77 (5108) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - JUN 28, 2005
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: OCT 15, 2009 Another í05 vintage bottle drank in late 2009, this beer is holding up beautifully, all the complexity is still there and it is a little smoother to drink. Just stupendous. Thanks to Duane for the bottle. Bottled January 5, 2005. Poured a black that seem almost purple somehow. The head is a dark tan color that is almost orange. The aroma is massive. Rich with toffee and fresh chocolate chip cookies. The vanilla from the barrel aging is there with just enough of a hint of oak to make this interesting. The barrel aging does not dominate, but rather accentuates the already awesome aroma. If you breathe in deeply you do get a whiff of this high abv monster. Wow, the taste is incredible. Cocoa and some Bananas Foster at first. A little bit of very high quality espresso and some very rich caramel. The mouthfeel is slightly sticky. A hint of alcohol in the finish, but it is not detracting in any way. I imagine this beer will continue to age magnificently. Tried another bottle from August 16th, 2005 in December of 2005. I am aging a few more. What an amazing beer.
DarkElf (3035) - La Jolla, California, USA - JUN 26, 2005
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
(12 oz bottle: Obtained in trade with footbalm, thanks Eric!) Well, this is it, my 50th consecutive Imperial Stout during May/June of 2005, and what a way to reach number 50. Words cannot express the nirvana (in the non-Buddhist sense) Iím in right now. True, Iím an absolute sucker for stouts aged in bourbon barrels, but even compared to others of similar ilk, Goose Islandís offering is absolutely incredible. Iím just totally blown away by how wonderfully delicious this beer tastes. Delectable to the point where Iím just sighing with bliss. Itís like listening to Beethovenís 9th, a piece which moves me to tears. This is a masterpiece, perfection in a bottle. Sweet, malty, roasty, and bitter, with all seemingly in perfect unison and balance. Sitting on top of all that is a strong, but not overwhelming bourbon flavor, fruity and cherry-like, that takes this beer to heights rarely attained in the beer universe. Alcohol is fairly strong, and as the beer warms, shows a bit too much relative potency. The aroma is gorgeous, extraordinarily balanced between roast, sweetness, maltiness and bourbon. This is a treat for the palate as well as the nose. Full bodied, yet soft, velvety and caressing, this is palatal bliss. Fairly viscous, somewhat sticky, but not syrupy, a quick swirl leaves a thin brown film on the glass. The major negative is with the visuals. The beer is very dark brown, slightly ruddy at the edges, which isnít the issue. When I popped the twist-off cap, there was almost no sound, and pouring the beer, it took several seconds for a small, quarter inch of head to form, and then that completely dissipated before I could rinse out the bottle. Nevertheless, while visuals are nice, they donít make or break a beer for me. Iím gonna be thinking of this beer for days, months, years. Incredible stuff, and I must obtain more, but this time, Iíll try to get more than just a single bottle. Like with Beethovenís 9th, Iím once again moved to tears, partially because this beer is so incredible, but also because I only have a few more sips left in my glass.
beeryum (652) - Norcross, Georgia, USA - JUN 7, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottled. Pours thick black with small head. Super sweet chocolate nose, with huge hints of bourbon (a tiny bit too much bourbon imo). Flavor is big malty sweet molasses, coffee, chocolates, and lots of bourbon. Huge alcohol pressense - not hidden as well as I would like, but I think aging will help this a lot. A very well done imperial stout.
Odeed (1787) - Bakersfield, California, USA - MAY 30, 2005
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: SEP 4, 2009 thanks to jcapriotti for this bonus brew.(talk about a bonus brew!)ok here we go.the b.c.s. pours a super black body with a nice small chocolate looking head.my nose was gifted with aromas of molasses,brownies,chocolate chips,and roasted malts.talk about an inviting aroma!the first sip slid down my throat.the palate and texture is super thick on this one,just the way i like it.i then took a second sip to see what i could really gather as far as flavor.brownies,molasses,and alcohol were all in the mix,including a tiny bit of raosted malt.this is very tastey although i think the alcohol and sweetness are a little overpowering.still though,this is one serious/delicious impy stout.2006 BOTTLE RERATE:smells like heaven.vanilla,oak,molasses,almonds,chocolate,roas malts...the aroma goes on forever.flavor meets the expectations of the aroma.vanilla,oak,butter,caramel.chocolate,coffee, malt...man oí man this thing keeps moviní.plus it sticks to my tounge and reminds me of how awsome it is 30 seconds after a sip.i really think this year is head and shoulders above last years.
ahole (38) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 25, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Wow, thats good! Nice sweet molassis aroma. Great colored head, like brown sugar, though not a whole lot of it:-( Very smooth the whole way down. Reminds me of having a good candy bar after not having one for a long time. As thick at whole milk, and as dark as a 9 month overdue oil change on an í83 Delta88. Pretty filling though. Maybe a tiny bit on the sweet side, but with a salty snack thats a good thing.
Thanks to my good friend and beer ambasador, rayboy01, for this one. Cheers to you.
clvand0 (350) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - MAY 24, 2005
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
This one pours a very dark color with a small head that doesnít stick around long, but leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is sweet and has some chocolate, vanilla, and dark malts. The flavor is much the same. Lots of chocolate and bourbon notes along with some other dark malts. The body is as thick as it gets. I couldnít drink more than one because itís so filling. The beer just sticks to the insides of your mouth. Wow. The drinkability suffers only from the fact that itís so thick.