StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 6, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Gentle hiss as the cap comes off, followed by a thick black pour. Head varies from time to time, but itís always dark tan in color. Vibrant caramel, black currant, burnt rubber, smoke, roasty double espresso, dark unsweetened chocolate and cola comprise the aroma. Flavor begins with a heavy heap of French roasted coffee. Dark chocolate - abandoned by sugar - helps to compliment the expressive IBUs, giving a smooth yet abrasive dosage with each sip. The word "epitome" comes to mind for those imperials aiming to have a high IBU stat and embody coffee qualities. That being said, Iíd like a touch more malt sweetness, but Iím not complaining. IBUs fill in the roll vacated by carbonation. Heavy, residual coffee blackening on the palate with an amped-up balance quotient. Finishes like a handful of coffee grinds. Damn enjoyable.
GregClow (2879) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 4, 2005
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle shared with HogTownHarry, blankboy, jerc & tupalev - courtesy of HogTownHarry. Jet black body with a dark brown head. Amazing aroma of rasted malt & nuts, caramel, coffee and hops. Mouthfeel is soft and creamy. Up until this point, itís the equal of the oak aged version, but it falls behind in the flavour department - it starts really nicely, but the alcohol and hops get quite agressive in the finish. Still a pretty fantastic beer, but the oak aging really rounds out the rough edges, making it exceptional.
beernightscout (37) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 3, 2005
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Unbelievably good, if you like things on the extreme end of richness. The thick, very sweet, syrupy body pushes it to the top of the pack of those beers Iíve tried in this style. (Iím waiting for Paul to share my bottle of World Wide Stout, so weíll see if my last comment holds up.) OK...pours almost lumpy, with a huge head in my wide-mouth glass. Smells like a barleywine, all fruit, alcohol, tart hops and spice, but with burnt/toasted aroma -- which makes sense, because the beer is pitch black. A burst of carbonation when you sip it (please SIP it, or pay), then a wave of sweetness, coffee, malt. This is 75 IBU? Then it must have 300 GSU (Gregís Sweetness Units), becauseto me the finish was happily, but not very, bitter, the hops just saying hello after all the malty, caramely goodness. Iím left with the sweet, roasty flavor in my mouth for many minutes after Iíve had a sip. Got it for just over $6 at the "discount" liquor store on Foster and Clark. Drank the whole 1 pint 6 oz bottle in about 30 min. Now, time for a nap.
gatorbeer (148) - Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA - SEP 2, 2005
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: SEP 5, 2005 Guiness on steriods. Dark. Rich. Strong charred flavor. Complex flavor. A bit much for regular drinking, but I nice treat every now and again.
Grandpa (327) - Verona, New York, USA - AUG 31, 2005
4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
A big dark brown head over a black opaque brew.Heavy roasted malt flavor. Big mouth feel, viscous, it coated the mouth. The hops are needed for balance but the 75 IBUíS are a bit too much for my liking. It left a nice lace pattern in the glass. Canít help but compare it with the Oak Aged version. This one is not as smooth, not as mellow, a tad harsh.
ABUSEDGOAT (2354) - California, USA - AUG 30, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUN 25, 2006 Black pour, big head. Aroma is the usual dark malts with roast, chocolate, coffee and caramel. Also a huge hop presence is here. A straightforward and good example of a hopped up Imperial Stout. Bells still has the far superior one though..
blankboy (6018) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 29, 2005
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle shared with HogTownHarry, GregClow, jerc & tupalev -- courtesy of HogTownHarry. Pours black with a large brown head. The aroma of hops, coffee, chocolate and roasted malt is fantastic and nearyl perfect. After that great aroma the flavour is a bit of a letdown -- it has the makings of a great taste: lots of hops, roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, caramel and more but the hops used are way too harsh and the alcohol is too present. Itís pretty good but doesnít hold a candle to the Oak Aged Yeti.
Juelze (1138) - Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 28, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a dark black with tan frothy head that fades quickly. Smells of roast, caramel, toffee, and hops. The thing that suprised me was the hidden floral notes of the hops. They really shined thru in this one and I havenít found that in any other Impy. Quite delicious and well worth drinking!!
SG (465) - Valley Center, California, USA - AUG 27, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
This was black in the glass with a chocolate/coffee nose, just what you would expect from a stout. The flavor was very roasty, slightly alcoholic, with a touch of dirt. Yes, dirt. A little light on the palate for the style. Bitter finish. Not overwhelming in flavor, itís not trying to be something it isnít.
HogTownHarry (6064) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - AUG 25, 2005
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle (650ml) - Shared with blankboy, GregClow, jerc and tupalev - courtesy of yours truly. Poured black, with a good dark brown head - a thing of beauty (oh, belt up, jerc! I know it wasnít perfect...). A feast for the nose - oak, other woods, resin, a mix of dark roast malts, some oils (lemon, juniper), plenty of hops, as well as fruit, raisins, alcohol. Taste - well, quite a lot of roasted, almost burnt malt, chocolate, and a virtual avalanche of different hops, fresh cream; it starts dark malt/hoppy and finishes very hoppy, almost to harshness. Mouthfeel is at least medium bodied, bitter and alcoholic. I liked it a lot, but the Oak Aged Yeti is a full cut above - this one is a little to hop-demanding and not as harmonious as I would like.