ThisWangsChung (826) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - DEC 27, 2012
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Reviewed 12/23/2012. 12 oz (2012 vintage) bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.
A: Pours a wondrously pitch black color. However, there’s hardly any head. Any vestiges of a tan-colored head fade quickly and leave almost no lacing. Really, we’ve got to start talking about alcohol legs when we get to this gravity. And they’re pretty impressive.
S: Tons of bourbon, augmented by dark fruits and vanilla. Not much in the way of roasted malts; it pretty much hits on the sweeter aspects of a good imperial stout, rather than the more savory ones. It’s really not that boozy for 15%, either. Not the strongest aroma ever (due to the low carbonation), but incredibly evocative.
T: Sweet? Yes. Boozy? Yes. The flavor I notice first are stewed plums, raisins, and figs - this has a hell of a dark fruit note to it. Ultimately, it will finish with its trademark bourbon character and vanilla-infused chocolate. A slight note of smokiness will appear after a while. It’s warm, yes, but given its gravity, the booze could be a lot worse. Basically, it has the hallmark character of a proper boozy beer - an alcohol character that blends with the flavor profile instead of clashing. This definitely bears a passing resemblance to FW Parabola, only with a lot more in the way of finesse and balance. The only thing missing is some complexity; thankfully, what’s there is very enjoyable to savor slowly.
M: The finish is ultra syrupy, wet, and sweet. Very creamy in its palate texture, aided by the subtle (at best) carbonation. Some oak tannins come out in the late aftertaste in an attempt to dry the palate a little, but to no avail. This really is the type of beer that sits indolently on the tongue with massive, thick sweetness. You will NOT drink this quickly, so don’t even dare - just veg over it for an hour or two and everything will be peachy keen.
O: Well, what more can be said? It’s a big monster, but with enough deftness and sophistication to help give it a little extra ’something’. On the other hand, there is enough harshness to suggest this needs to lay down in the cellar for a bit. Regardless, this is something everyone should try at least once in their life.
Zakoon (92) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - JAN 22, 2015
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2012 vintage, 35.5cl bottle @ home. Pours black and oily with a tiny dark brown head that very quickly fades. Aroma is clearly bourbon, prunes and wood. Taste is sweet but not overly sweet, slighty bitter and a little roasted. Body is full, texture is thick, carbonation is soft to medium. The finish is big and long, bourbon, coffee, brown sugar and roasted malt dominating.
RickTheRick (487) - Montréal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 21, 2015
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
** Bouteille 2013 **
Une faible mousse brune se sauve rapidement d’un liquide noir comme la plus sombre des nuits. Un bouquet réconfortant de carrés aux dattes, de biscuits graham et de chocolat m’a replongé dans un doux souvenir de desserts concoctés avec amour par ma grand-mère. La faible carbonatation permet d’apprécier les saveurs sucrées de la bière dans toute leur splendeur. Du chocolat onctueux et des fruits confits sont emportés par une vague de chaleur alcoolisée gracieuseté du bourbon. Une pointe de bois se pointe à la fin. Un véritable dessert liquide qui se laisse apprivoiser lentement, mais sûrement.
trapped (939) - New York City, TURKEY - JAN 20, 2015
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Draught. Inky black with small creamy chocolate colored head, caramel-mocha aroma with undertones of whisky, robust body, low carbonation, sweet mocha - bourbon taste, longish finish with bourbon aftertaste. Such a great experience, like drinking a chocolate pudding!
WABeerFiend (271) - - JAN 20, 2015
3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
13.8% ABV 2014 edition.
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip on 12.11.14.
A: Very strong bourbon. That’s it.
A: Small tan ring for a head. Midnight black body with no red in the glass.
T: It’s bourbon syrup. Bourbon dominates. Dark fruit, coconut, marshmallow, chocolate, a barely there bit of oak, nuts, and a weird artificial slightly bitter sting on the back end, are all subtle.
P: Silky smooth. This is the most syrupy beer ever, by far. There are some bubbles in the middle and on the back end, but not many.
O: The bourbon was nice, but it was unbalanced. It was icky sweet like eating chocolate frosting with a spoon from the container. (Of course, err...I’ve never done that). The mouthfeel is way too syrupy. It feels almost flat. The alcohol heat is not bad for it being 13.8%. Another thing that bothered me was what tasted like an artificial edge that I’ve found in other AB-InBev beers. I hope, like a lot of people, that they aren’t messing with the recipe. Overall, the hype didn’t live up to the actual drink as I think that there are better BBA stouts. It was good, just not world class.
Jamesthebrit (308) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JAN 17, 2015
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Randonly on tap! Aroma is lighter. Really nothing. Looks fine. Black. Taste is amazing. Hate to admit but better than kbs. Vanilla. Boozy. Stout. Whiskey. Good balance. Palate is surprisingly medium. Overall the taste is amazing but everything else is ok. Not a bad beer.
Take it back. Not as good as kbs... Too boozy. Still good tho
ElCapitan22 (163) - Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 16, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a jet black color. This has next to no lacing or head retention, due to the near 14% ABV. Tastes of vanilla, chocolate and bourbon. A fantastic drink and one that is apparently hard to find. Quite a treat!
fraternie (848) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 15, 2015
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2013 on Draft: Intense aromas of bourbon, chocolate and black fruits. Incredibly smooth on the palate, with initially sweet black fruit flavors of plum, fig and licorice, giving way to a blast of dark chocolate, bitter black coffee, bourbon, vanilla bean and molasses. Layers for days. Finish lingers long with hoppy spice and dark coffee, picking up the intensity as it opens. Bourbon barrel flavor is there too in the end but it is understated and in balance with the other elements, with the high abv covered well.
LiMuBai (190) - - JAN 15, 2015
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Great color. Rich chocolaty head. Bursting with fruity alcohol aroma. Damn, what a kick of alcohol in the taste.
csaso (1497) - Missouri, USA - JAN 13, 2015
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle, 2014 - not much head, pitch black color, definite bourbon and roast malt aroma and flavor, fair amount of woody vanilla flavor too, maybe a very very mild whiff of alcohol at the very end but not nearly as much as you would expect from a 14+%, pretty smooth finish, very good overall
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
RobGerman (2) - - JAN 13, 2015 does not count
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
I am drinking the 2013 right now, and let me say....WOW! The complex flavors of an imperial stout blends well with the bourbon barrel. This is truly a treat.