ThisWangsChung (638) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - JAN 22, 2013
2.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Reviewed 1/1/2013. Bottle says 11.5%. 22 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.
A: Pours a pitch black color. The head is a one finger light tan color with poor retention. Thereís splotchy hints of lacing left down the glass.
S: Hey, someone misplaced catty Simcoe hops in my imperial stout! That green, citrusy aroma is unmistakeable. Underlying roasted malts, tart fruits, and cocoa powder try to balance things out, but thereís something oddly medicinal in the nose. Please donít carry over to the flavor...
T: Itís not as harshly bitter as I feared...actually, itís too far in the opposite direction; more on that later. A bit of roasted coffee appears initially, before ending with a lot of bright fruit sweetness and a bit of booze. The finishing hops bring along a significant grapefruit presence - actually, the finish is downright candy like in its sweetness combined with the chocolaty, fruity flavors. Itís just like biting into chocolate-covered grapefruit. Without a doubt, itís too sweet at the end of the day - I really need some roasted bitterness here (if not some herbal, piny hop qualities too) to balance out the citrusy/chocolaty nature. A bit of hop harshness appears when the beer warms up, which doesnít balance things any.
M: A bit thinner and more carbonated than I expected from the base of BCBS. The finish is quite sweet and lingering, which kind of kills the drinkability in conjunction with the booze presence. Despite the sweetness, it doesnít feel sturdy or substantial like it should.
O: Not what I was expecting. This comes across like a glorified citrus-and-chocolate dessert liquor instead of an awesomely balanced hoppy RIS; I REALLY wanted more hop and roasted bitterness. All the Simcoe dry-hopping gives it such a weird cloying flavor thatís even a bit unpleasant. Time to cork this bitch up - no way I can drink this in a single sitting. I sampled about 1 oz. from another bottle (also dated 11/19/12) and it tasted exactly the same - thereís far too much strange sweetness and offputting citrus character. Iím still torn on whether itís infected or just not very good, but Iím lowering my scores regardless. Two bottles tasting exactly the same doesnít bode well for this batch, if not the beer in general.
esjaygee (3844) - Oak Creek, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 30, 2013
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at Uncle Mikeís Highway, 2010 or 2009 version. Dark black with a thin tan head. Aroma of coffee, peated malt, chocolate, oak and alcohol. Taste is rather earthy with chocolate, peated malts, smoke, booze, oak, mild citrus, licorice, faint vanilla and some soy sauce as its warms. Rather nice beer.
rocbyter (1830) - Waterbury, Connecticut, USA - NOV 28, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Strong robust malt aroma with sweet wood notes. Black color with a medium dark brown head. Moderate malt beginning with a sweet middle getting bitter in the finish.
TBone (11131) - Pori, FINLAND - NOV 18, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Draught@RNH. Dark opaque black color, tiny brownish head. Aroma has coffee, wood and alcohol. Medium bodied. Lots of dark malts, rye bread, wood, and punch of alcohol. Sticky. It feels like aged in oak. Quite simple although somewhat tasty.
jdb288 (123) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - NOV 5, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Loses points in the side by side comparison with GI Big John, which features chocolate and more robust coffee flavors in my opinion. Still, this is not bad. Not my favorite from GI though. Malt, roasted flavors are muted and thinner here.
Handypaul (93) - - NOV 3, 2013
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
22oz bottle. Pours black with a dense brown head that leaves little lacing. Aroma is thick roasted malt, umami and molasses. Taste is medium to heavy sweet, medium bitter with dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, soft carbonation and oily texture. Long sticky thick roasted malt finish, dark chocolate bitterness mixed with fairly well hidden alcohol. Serious stuff!
fishonmyplane (274) - Newington, Connecticut, USA - OCT 23, 2013
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Described as a very hoppy imperial stout - although I have to agree with a lot of the other reviewers in saying that the flavor is a bit different than expected. There is some "funk" in there. Not a Belgian wild yeast funk, more of the funk that you would get in a questionable Ukrainian or Russian pilsner. But here it works and adds to the complexity of the brew. Itís an imperial stout that hides its ABV pretty well, with some funk, and medium bitterness.
wisdomsolo (155) - St Petersburg, Florida, USA - OCT 14, 2013
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Had this at a tasting and its was middle of the road and mostly forgettable.
fluffy (1046) - St Petersburg, Florida, USA - OCT 13, 2013
2.8 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
hate to say it, but id take the BCS over this any day. there was an odd odor to it that i couldnt put my finger on, and the taste was ok but not nearly as enthralling as i thought. good not great.
Lognar (33) - - SEP 30, 2013
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Had it twice: 1st time on tap at Tommy Nevinís Frankfort on 3/2/13 and the 2nd time on 3/28/13 from a bomber (bottled 11/19/12 #1321).
Pour - Dark, oily, and pitch black with very little head.
Nose - Dark fruits, bitter hops, orange peel, and a bit of roast. Almost like a chocolate covered orange. There is that umami soy saucy savory flavor too, like in Stone RIS or Weyerbacher Old Heathen. Itís rich, savory, and roasty.
Taste - The umami flavor is here too, coming through with a savory, rich, roasty, soy sauciness. The taste is odd but I like it a lot. Lots of hop bitterness on top of a subtle roastyness. Along with the hops is a bit of citrus that is like orange peel mixed with a cherry sweetness. Tons of overlapping complexity and notes of both bitter and sweet. I can see why people say itís infected, but I really do not think it is. There is this bitter, sour, funky quality to it, but it is enjoyable. It would be a shock though if you werenít expecting it.
Mouth - Oily and on the thick side of medium. Definitely fits this brew.
Overall- I really enjoyed this brew. It was very different and unique, and it was put together well. It did not taste wrong or infected to me. I think the dry hopping mixed with the roasted flavors of the base stout creates both that soy sauciness and the funky/sour notes. I have had this twice, once on tap and once from a bomber, and it tasted the same - actually more complex and balanced from the bottle.
bmerz (587) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - SEP 28, 2013
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle, 10 months old. Pours black with big dense tan head and a little lace. Aroma is soy umami, a little dark chocolate sweetness, pine, and some fruity hops powering through. Flavor is similar, lots of residual sugars but not cloying above the pine, coffee, and dark chocolate bitterness. Really intense bright high quality espresso linger. Feel is like very good espresso including the acidity. Itís thick and lively with a forever duration. Awesome intense stout at this age. Would buy lots of it to have around. I like it better than the BCS.