ThisWangsChung (747) - 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, thereís hardly any head. Any vestiges of a tan-colored head fade quickly and leave almost no lacing. Really, weíve got to start talking about alcohol legs when we get to this gravity. And theyíre 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. Itís 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. Itís 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, whatís 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 donít even dare - just veg over it for an hour or two and everything will be peachy keen.
O: Well, what more can be said? Itís a big monster, but with enough deftness and sophistication to help give it a little extra ísomethingí. 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.
5lickv1c (112) - DENMARK - SEP 17, 2014
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle bought at fermentorencph. Great beer, difficult to find something bad to say about it. Probably the best stout I have had along with speedway's.
SimonTja (263) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - SEP 17, 2014
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Deep bourbon aroma, smells right when poured all over the place, smell of the empty bottle is just pure bourbon. Aroma is vanilla, chocolate, loads of it, vanilla, oak and oak and oak. Itís very very flavoursome, but the booze and bourbon overtakes it a bit too much. The beer quality and the roastiness is close to gone, and only malt resembleness that is left is the chocolate malt, nevertheless, this is a great drink and very special and is indeed world class, but different, and even if it was like I wanted or expect it to be it might not be better.
Anatole (112) - BELGIUM - SEP 16, 2014
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Version 2012. TrŤs sirupeuse, colle au palet. Du lourd ! Seul reproche: un peu trop sucrťe.
GlasgowTAD (37) - Glasgow/Aberdeen, SCOTLAND - SEP 15, 2014
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Smells like bourbon, wood and smoke. Flavour is much the same with bourbion being the most prominent; vanilla, chocolate and sugar sweet. Alcohol is present in this one. Lives up to its status as one of the best BA stouts. 2012 vintage 355ml.
Vestergaard (370) - Aarhus C, DENMARK - SEP 15, 2014
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
2012 bottle. Iíve had this lots of times, and from different vintages, but apparently never rated it. Pours pitch, oily black with no head. Aroma has a huge buttery, coconut, vanilla bourbon sweetness up front, accompanied by dark, chocolate roast, licorice and lots of dried fruits like dates, prunes, figs and raisins. Toffee, caramel and a bit of coffee as well. Taste has a big, boozy, vanilla-bourbon and chocolate up front, but is balanced out well by the more bitter roast, and a good chunk of coffee. Starts out pretty sweet, but as time goes, it grows darker in the chocolate, and the booze becomes more complex and delicate. Molasses and gunpowder comes through. Still a bit of butter, and besides that some port wine, and again all these dried fruits. A great balance between the powerful sweetness, and boozy, roasted opposites. Despite the lack of head, it doesnít lack carbonation too much. Body is thick and oily.
Wombata (453) - Kobe, JAPAN - SEP 9, 2014
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2008 Bottle from Moscow Wine Co.
Aroma: Smoke, Bourbon/wood, rich dark chocolate and vanilla
Palate: Full-bodied but not heavy, probably thanks to aging.
Flavor: Rich dark chocolate, chocolate liquor, woody Bourbon with finishes with all the above plus vanilla. Great intense flavor holds well on the finish and shows dryish notes of wood.
Comment: Deft use of bourbon barrels that doesnít overdo the vanilla character and shows wood flavors.
hangunder (233) - Ontario, CANADA - SEP 6, 2014
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
SIde by side comparison of 2012 and 2013 bottles. Both have a very predominant bourbon note, with the 2012 having quite strong soy sauce/chocolate notes white the 2013 being quite a bit more restrained in the aroma, mainly bourbon comes through. Especially with the 2012, interesting and complex nose. Completely black and viscous with a quickly fading brown head. 2012 amazingly complex flavors blended very well together, toffee, caramel sweetness, bourbon/vanilla notes, soy and metallic characteristics all make their way in and out after taking a sip. Sweet/syrupy vanilla, but not cloying, finish. 2013 similar but not as complex, more of a single note experience, slightly sweeter and less integrated. In each, no sign of alcohol, just great flavors and a lot of sweetness/hoppy finish. Thick bodied, moderately carbonated. Great, great beers, especially the 2012 (not sure if due to aging or just the recipe used).
Odysseyalien (43) - New Jersey, USA - SEP 5, 2014
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Chocolate, creamy, molasses and maple syrup, black as night, smells...like heaven must smell -- but Iíll never know. :( Thatís ok cause this beer will be in plenty supply in the other place. Truly one of the tastiest, most enjoyable beverages on the planet Earth.
yiannnos (867) - , CYPRUS - SEP 5, 2014
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Shared bottle. Black colour. Delicious bourbon chocolate, sweet, coffee, alcohol
birabirabira (3) - - AUG 29, 2014 does not count
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottled 09/11/2012, drunk at home.
Smell is slightly boozy, dark chocolate and coffee with slight caramel notes. Midnight brown, no head, far from motor oil in density.
T: Wow. Starts out with milk chocolate that turns darker and darker as time goes on and eventually fades into some really nice coffee notes. The bourbon lingers at the edges throughout, bringing nice flavours through it all.
P: An experience you need to try to understand. Amazingly complex, stays around for quite a while.
Overall one of the best beers Iíve had the pleasure to sample. I think itís my last bottle, sadly.