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.
mikeq215 (47) - Wayne, New Jersey, USA - APR 19, 2014
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle. Pours black with a tan head. Aroma is bourbon with vanilla with a hint of chocolate. Taste is all bourbon with some vanilla and chocolate. Syrupy mouthfeel. Amazing beer.
pdx76 (509) - Portland, Oregon, USA - APR 19, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On draught at freakin frog Las Vegas - pours pitch black with small tan head. Nose of bourbon, booze, malt. Very nice and soothing, warming beer.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
pdx77 (1028) - Oregon, USA - APR 19, 2014
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
On draught at Freakiní Frog. Chocolate black color. Aroma is bourbon, licorice, smoke, oak, molasses, and dark chocolate. Taste is prune, bourbon, oak, molasses, chocolate, and toffee. Smooth syrup mouthfeel, but doesnít feel heavy. Taste profile lingers long after you finish drinking.
degbert (1005) - Austin, Texas, USA - APR 18, 2014
4.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle. Pours a completely opaque oily black with a heavy, fine-grained, brown head. Nose is Mexican chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, espresso, pecans, and kecap manis. Creamy and sweet on the tongue -- bourbon, coffee cream, chocolate, turbinado sugar, dark roast coffee; some amazing stuff going on here, all merged together in something as heavy and heady as a triple-creme cheese or chocolate mousse. On the palate, itís a dead ringer for dairy cream. Wow.
57md (3) - - APR 15, 2014 does not count
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Was able to score just one 12 ouncer of the 2013 batch from my favorite bottle shop - Abeís in Bethlehem, PA. Cracked this baby open for my birthday (8 December) and enjoyed it at cellar temperature.
Pours a deep, dark, dark, dark brown with ruby edges. There was less than a finger of tan head that dissipated pretty quickly and left some lace, but the lace itself was not very thick or sticky. The bourbon notes in the nose are striking. The mouthfeel is creamy and the roast profile is quite hearty, but secondary to the bourbon notes in the flavor profile. The bourbon and roasted notes blend perfectly on the finish.
This is a gem of an offering that lives up to the hype it receives on this and other beer sites.
Scipio (650) - Palatine, Illinois, USA - APR 15, 2014
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
2014 bottle. Pours an oily black with a thin and very dark tan head. The aroma is very powerful. It is big on bourbon along with heavy vanilla. Additionally, there are hints of chocolate and coffee. The taste is mildly sweet. As strong as the nose was the impressions from the taste come across even more. It remains dominated by bourbon while complimented by lots of vanilla. There are oak flavors, some chocolate and espresso coming through at the end. Aftertaste is long and lingering, being bourbon and espresso. Minimal carbonation, very slick in texture, and a heavy body. The alcohol content makes itself known immediately. Despite this fact, it is extremely easy to drink. I could see myself getting carried away quite easily with this one. This is what you look for in a stout, and its pretty close to perfect. If you find this, its an automatic purchase. With very few contenders, it might be the best beer Iíve ever had.
Fancy_Clown (15) - London, Surrey, ENGLAND - APR 13, 2014
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
2012 vintage bottle, poured into a boston shaker.
No head, but thin lacing around the sides. Thick, oily and totally opaque. Really nice looking beer.
Nose is sweet bourbon and vanilla. Oak notes.
I remember having this in 2012 and it was a lot rougher; the aging has treated it well. Obviously big on the bourbon taste, big hints of vanilla, coffee, dark fruits, even maple syrup. A lingering aftertaste of butter/butterscotch was apparent in this bottle, which I had never experienced with younger bottles.
Feels oily and dense in the mouth, very little carbonation.
Overall a wonderfully complex beer, worth itís rating in every way.
SetauketBrewer (22) - New York, USA - APR 12, 2014
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Amazing beer! Jet black pour, very thin tan head. Full bourbon aroma filling the nose followed by dark roasted coffee. Amazing balance of flavor. Prominent bourbon but not overpowering, allowing the roasted malt and coffee of the base stout to be present as well. Wonderfully smooth for a 14% beer. Almost makes me wish for cold nights in front of the fire again.
MichaelAwesome (3002) - Wanne-Eickel, GERMANY - APR 11, 2014
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Wonderful and thick mixture of the most different aromas. Coffee with malt, some sour moments, a bit of chocolate and sweetish sirup. Very different, very special - good one.
McTapps (3002) - Ruhrgebiet, GERMANY - APR 11, 2014
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle from trade with BenH - thank you a million for it! The stout pours out of the bottle in a beautiful deep dark black colour with creamy and low head and a smooth body. Wonderful aroma of chocolate, biscuits and coffee. Taste of cake, malt, rye, barley, bread, chocolate, coffee and cream. Very quaffable, smooth and tasty beer - it is a real taste explosion.