Pailhead (5191) - Brownstown, Michigan, USA - MAR 13, 2010
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle: The aroma is loaded with citrus and piney hops along with some chocolate, molasses, fruit, and faint roastiness. The aroma definitely leans towards the Black IPA/IIPA with a tad more sweetness. It pours a dark brown with no transparency and a large tan head with decent retention. The flavor starts sweet with lots of chocolate, molasses, and light fruit. The finish has lots of citrus hops (grapefruit and orange), light pine, light roastiness, and just the slightest hint of coffee. As hoppy as it is, itís still pretty sweet and not all that bitter. The 11.7% is hidden very well. Medium-full bodied with soft carbonation and silky/creamy mouthfeel.
FSUScott (111) - Rome, Georgia, USA - MAR 13, 2010
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
great dark brown color. very roasted coffee aroma. tangy and warm. great smooth feel with a bit of heat at the end.
Frank (3092) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 12, 2010
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Wow, I expected this to be hoppy but this is well into IIPA levels here. Very deep brown, almost black. Tan head w/ lasts as a ring. Spots of lace. Fruity, sweet orange hop aroma w an edge of pine. Chocolate and roast flavors are there but definitely take a back seat. Texture is light for an imperial stout of this gravity and light, fluffy carbonation adds to this. Flavorwise, this is sort of a muddle of hoppy IPA and roasty stout flavors: coffee, orange, chocolate. Rather sweet but not heavy. Really good beer, especially the aroma, but there is a delicate balance that is not quite achieved--close though..
TheGuy (653) - Illinois, USA - MAR 12, 2010
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This is by far one of the hoppiest RIS i have ever had,or is it cascadian black ipa what ever it is, Iím renaming it alpha stalker because it reminds me a lot of alpha king with its hop taste of grapefruits the best thing about this is i didnít buy it a friend bought it over, I would like to try it 5 years from now just to see how it aged as of right now the hops are all i can really pick up very over powering all you hop heads this one for you
ditmier (1508) - Boise, Idaho, USA - MAR 8, 2010
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
2010 Bottle - Thanks JohnGalt1!! - Pours deep and dark dark brown with a small tan ring of a head...aroma is full of cocoa malt, astringent coffee and char, light hops...flavour is similar, bitter chocolate, astringent from both the bitterness and hopping, it lingers...hot and bold, interesting stuff!
jake65 (2740) - Boise, Idaho, USA - MAR 6, 2010
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle - thanks to JohnGalt1. Near black pour with a thin brown head. Nose is noteably floral hops, some hints of the abv. Thick and creamy mouthful is a real treat. Sweet with molasses, licorice, some oak. The floral hops really stand out. Really intense. I didnít really see this getting a 4.0 rating, but after the fact this really was pretty damn good. If you like hoppy impys, this might be your bag.
Dickinsonbeer (5076) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - FEB 25, 2010
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tap at RNH. Pours a very deep dark black with a thinning tan head. Aroma is very roasty, almost prickly with sharp roasted malt,s light burn, big syrupy chocolate, burnt toast, green piny hops, and molasses sweetness. Flavor is roast and chocolate with some burnt notes, hints of smoke and pine, licorice and anise as it warms as well as some fruity esters, and tobacco leaf- prickly mouth-feel with some noticeable alcohol as well. A bit rough and too big for my likes.
Brigadier (3120) - Clevelandish, Ohio, USA - FEB 22, 2010
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
This was a bit pricy for a goblet ($8.25) but as soon as I saw it I knew which beer I was going to order. My reward was a fabulous beer that I think rivals Bourbon County Stout as one of the best releases from Goose Island to date. If you happen to run across this order some or hope that it appears in bottles in the future.
Aroma / Appearance - The rich black body was so dense and thick that it oozed rather than swirled around the goblet. A creamy dense sandy head decorated the top like icing on a cake. Vanilla, espresso, oak, and gentle hops surfaced from the symphony of sweet aromas. It reminded me of Old Rasputin taken to the next level which makes me want to crack open a Rasputin X soon to see what it is like.
Flavor / Palate - Creamy and smooth despite the ABV this chewy beer takes a while to process. Starting from anise and dark chocolate the tongue picks up black coffee then roasted malts. Next the chocolate returns with a vengeance. This is one of those perfect desert imperial stouts that would go well with cheesecake. I look forward to its possible return later this year at the Great Taste of the Midwest or another festival.
WisconsinBeer (712) - St. Paul, Minnesota, USA - JAN 24, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tap at Happy Gnome. Pours a black hole deep color with a minimal espresso colored head. Flavor is sweet and roasted malt, deep chocolates, chocolate liquor, and ripe fruits. Sweet but also packs a hoppy alcohol presence in the finish. Thick and intense.
infestaxion (22) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - JAN 19, 2010
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
From my notes. Iíve had the pleasure of drinking this beer a couple of times. The first time was a growler that heliosphann split with me and Ryan and Woj from Shortís. This time was at the BW3ís in downtown Indianapolis. Thank you very much, Sam, for pouring this for us.
A - Black as night. Itís not real thick but itís still nice. Tan head that fades before too long.
S - Malty. Not a whole lot going on here. A little bit of dark fruit. Some coffee. Smidge of vanilla.
T - Oh Holy Crap! That is good!(Yes, thatís exactly what my notes said) Molasses and dark sugar stand out. The dry hopping acts as a beautiful balance. Thereís some black licorice in there and I believe that this is the first beer with a tobacco tastes that Iíve liked.
M - Good and thick in the feel. The finish is fantastic.
D - The alcohol isnít overpowering at all. Really smooth going down. I could drink it all night. Or at least until I fell over.