desurfer (1212) - Melbourne, Florida, USA - JUN 25, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Iíll say right off the bat Iím not very much into most oaked beers. This bottle has been sitting in my cellar since Easter. It pours a dark, opaque brown with a chocolate colored, rich, creamy head. Aroma is malty and sweet, lots of oak and vanilla, a touch of bourbon in there too. Flavor is quite assertive on the hops, which give way to a sweet roasted coffee character. The oak aging adds some nice background complexity, but doesnít dominate the flavor like several others Iíve tried and disliked. Alcohol is very evident in the finish, but not more so than any other beer this strong. Good stuff.
21iceman40 (1731) - vienna, West Virginia, USA - JUN 23, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUN 27, 2005 Very dark, not as thick as i thought, big roasted chocolate vibe to the aroma, same in the body with more roasted coffeeís, lots of roasting going on here. damn good. i was drunk, i had it again and it wasnt that good, very one dimensional on the chocoalte and watery.
BCAR (221) - Naperville, Illinois, USA - JUN 22, 2005
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Black ink. Coffee and alcohol dominate the nose. Minimal oak presence. Alcohol is masked well. Not mind-blowing, but above average.
dirkules (629) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 21, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Creamy, slightly hoppy, vanilla malty goodness. This dark brew is a standout in the imperial stout category. The alcohol and the brewing is extraordinary. A perfect example of the Great Divide standard.
joeec5 (204) - bayonne, New Jersey, USA - JUN 21, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
. Black with nice brown head chocolate ,vanilla,coffee, oak aroma, pallate is creamy and flavor makes me smile. Nice
LilKem (1213) - Marietta, Ohio, USA - JUN 20, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
very chocolate roasted hopped flavor. sweet and chewy. creamy and french vanilla mocha flavors.
HogTownHarry (6064) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - JUN 20, 2005
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUN 16, 2009 Bottle (650ml) At Volo, shared with blankboy. Wow. Deep cola-coloured pour, Mocha head, settles quickly, lovely lacing. Not carbonated much at all (yeah!). Aroma of cream, bitterness, dark roast malts, a touch of pleasant mildness. Flavour ... creamy roasty malts - nicest imperial stout Iíve ever had. Felt like Baileyís in the mouth. Medium linger but pleasant, with almost sweet vanilla notes. Wonderful. Memorable. A must try - top of the range.
Suttree (5134) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - JUN 20, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Black, with a dense brown head. Predictable but not unpleasent aromas of bourbon, oak, and coffee. Flavors incluse tar (in a good way), coffee, whiskey, vanilla and pine. Yíknow, Iím kinda in a quandry here - is there such a thing as a "by-the-numbers" great beer? Itís certainly tasty, but maybe unispired.
Crockett (1007) - Southampton,Ontario, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 20, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours pitch black with a medium sized tan foamy head. Aroma of toasted chocolate, toffee, stewed berries and grapes. Very syruppy pour and a gorgeous smooth mouthfeel. Marshmallow, caramel and vanilla. Super roasty, espresso notes. Milky. Saltwater taffy. Bubblegum or cream soda. Lots of cocoa and molases in the long roasty finish. Fantastic stuff. Far more interesting than the un-oaked version I sampled. Thanks Ralph!
Gorbalev (2922) - Ontario, CANADA - JUN 18, 2005
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAR 30, 2008 Iíve had quite a few more bottles of this since my original rating. It blows me away each time. However, I am knocking it from a 4.9 to 4.7 because of 2 things: 1) at times, I can find the alcohol - a big deterrent in the non oak aged version IMHO - to come through and be harsh even in this. Sometimes. and 2) I have since had Thirsty Dog and Founders Breakfast which I consider just a little bit better. But oh man, I love this beer.
Bottle, Volo (thanks again Ralph for another fine selection!). Pitch black pour, thin small tan head. Strong yet subtle roasted aroma, some alcohol and hops present as well. Taste is absolutely wonderful - well balanced mix of roasted flavours (but not coffee like, as is the case with so many imperial stouts), alcohol, and a surprising amount of bitterness (tough to break through something this substantial). Certainly more of a chocolate and vanilla character to the beer than the non-oaked version (making it more dessert like). I didnít find it as thick either - there was a decent carbonation keeping the balancing act going. I would take this over other highly rated Imperial Stouts Iíve tried including Sam Smithís (more flavour and body) and Líamore in Quebec (more flavour). My favourite style of beer done to perfection.