minch25 (577) - Medford, Massachusetts, USA - MAY 7, 2010
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours black; very light head. Incredibly hoppy aroma. I’ve never smelled a stout this hoppy before, and it smells great. Flavor is surprisingly leaning towards the sweet side, as in licorice. Besides that, this comes across much more as sweet (black) double IPA a la Devil Dancer or Burton Baton, than any imperial stout. This is good, although it is a little difficult to drink the rest of the bottle after the first glass.
pauls_parade (340) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - MAY 7, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Midnight black pour with very little head. Chocolate and roasted malt aroma, alcohol, vanilla, caramel, hops, and fine leather. The palate is silky smooth, lightly carbonated, with an aggressive finish. The taste is initially sweet with a bitting citrus hops middle, and an earthy and dry finish. This is an intense beer. Complex and rich. I would love to see what happens after aging a year or two.
502Che (999) - @, CAMBODIA - MAY 6, 2010
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: MAY 7, 2010 bomber "Bottles on 03/09/10). No snifter on hand right now, so had to use an oversized wine glass. The beer sits pitch black beneath a creamy espresso khaki head that holds pretty well and took and aggressive high pour to stir up. Nice lace too. The aroma is mostly of juicy hops with some slight roasty and chocolatey undertones. Extremely inviting. The flavor is less so. It also has a serious hop presence and less of a roasty presence (how do you make such a dark high abv IS and have such little roasty malt notes?). The thing that is killing this for me is the soy character, which is the last thing I want in ANY beer and which I perceive as the kryptonite of the Imperial Stout style. It is silky smooth and thick as whole milk on the palate with very little carbonation. Overall: I was really excited for this one and, after that look and the aroma, I was even more hyped. Its still a solid beer, but I just cant get over the soy character. (UPDATE) After getting pretty deep into my bomber, I have am not noticing the soy nearly as much. Its shaping up to be a very solid beer, though I may have a hard time finishing it. And how many calories am I taking in here?!?!
Strykzone (6630) - Wood River, Illinois, USA - MAY 3, 2010
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Black and thick pour with a heavy tan head that doesn’t seem to recede. Aroma is not at all what I expected. It is passion fruit and grapefruit. Those hops start the flavor profile but soon give way to some decadent chocolate. So sweet and chocolaty this could be a dessert beer. Alcohol is definitely tasted. I wish it were a lower ABV. Still, what an amazing beer! So decadent and flavorful. Delicious.
danielcurtis81 (1519) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 3, 2010
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Served from a 22 oz bottle courtesy of a trade with awiseman01. The appearance matches it’s mysterious name with a glossed over midnight black. The aromas are full of deep roasted malts, hop esters, pineapple, chocolate, and a light smoke. The flavors really follow with the pineapple, grapefruit, hop characters really controlling the flavors. Nice notes of chocolate and oats too. The over hopped impy stouts come in go for my taste and on this day I wasn’t digging the clash as much as I do at times. Both the rich robust imperial stout flavors and the bitter and sweet hop flavors separated would both be fabulous beers. I picked up a second bottle to let some of the hops mellow out to ad some more notes later. Still a fine brew if in the right mood.
portableparty (2279) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - MAY 2, 2010
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pour dark brown oil like with a quick tan head. Aromas of coco soy and booze. Taste bitter chocolate and soy with light coffee in the end. Palate is sticky and chaulky. A very nice beer, a good one for not using the barrel.
tennessejed420 (940) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAY 1, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 17/20
bomber. Pours a pitch black oil, with nice looking brown head, which lingers around a long time with nice lacing. Aroma of sweet resiny, piny hops, french vanilla, subtle herb complexities, alcohol. Mouth feel is a thick syrup. Initial attack reveals malts, rich dark chocolate tones, very dark but with pepper, bitter coffee roast, then sweetens into a subtle toffee like flavor. Quickly after follow the hops, which do the dominating, beginning with sweet resiny flavors, then to sharp pine flavors with alcohol presence, concluding with a long finish, which reveals hop tones more akin to spruce. A high level of complexity achieved here, though the alcohol isn’t masked. Overall a pretty fascinating imperial stout, though to be honest i probably won’t be back to it, as I prefer imperial stouts that are more silky and creamy in texture.
Sammy (11047) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 1, 2010
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Acquired recently from Premiere. Pours black and thick. Amazing grapefruit aromas, roast is secondary. Creamy full mouthfeel. Grapefruit and then chocolate in mid-sip. Good malting, well tamed astringency. A masterful integration. Good drinkability, over an entire meal.
FlacoAlto (4139) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAY 1, 2010
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle Date of 3 6 10 0900; Sampled April 2010
A solid pour yields a four-finger thick, darkly browned head. The beer is a rich, opaque, black color. Wow, the aroma is incredibly hoppy, surprisingly so for even an American Imperial Stout. Aromas of tangelo zest, lychee, ripe tropical fruit and just a juicy, hop fruitiness. The dark malts take a back seat in the aroma, something I find amazing in an imperial stout; if you dig for it though there are notes of bitter cocoa, ample toasted whole grain crackers and only a hint of roasted grain. Chocolate malt character becomes more noticeable as the beer warms, but it doesn’t remotely compete with ample, aggressively smooth, super hop character packed into this beer. The aroma seems to define the perfect character for a Dark IPA (really a double version).
Smooth and viscous feeling as it first hits my tongue with a complex dark malt sweetness, quickly, as it rolls across my tongue an ample hop character of tropical fruit, ripe tangelo zest, big lychee and kumquat flavors become noticeable. The beer finishes with a bitterness that isn’t overly big for such a huge beer; much of it comes from a bitter roast malt character, but most of it is from a smooth hop bitterness. The finish has a herbal, essential citrus oil edge to it as well that I wouldn’t quite say is astringent, but does contribute to the overall balance of the beer along with the bitterness. Dark cocoa flavors couple with notes of roasted espresso, some burnt pine-tar notes and really, just a rich, complex, dark malt character. The hops have a way of making this big beer drink a little smaller than it actually is, which is definitely nice, but is probably a bit dangerous in a beer this size. The chocolate and coffee-liquor like malt character becomes more noticeable as the beer warms ups, though it still can’t compete with the smooth, but still loud malt character.
What a fantastic beer, I knew it was going to be hoppy, but I had no idea that this would be so hop dominated. I really dig this beer, and it reminds me of fresh Yeti, a beer I haven’t had in years. So incredibly smooth and I really like how the aggressive hop character has completely dominated this big roasted beer so thoroughly. The ample hop fruitiness is so smooth and juicy. This is fantastic because it is so hoppy, what a pleasant surprise.
jcwattsrugger (12136) - Florida and, New Jersey, USA - MAY 1, 2010
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
@CBC–on tap-pours a light tan head with black color. Aroma is resin hops, dark malt-roasty. Taste follows. Full body.