Syd (921) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - SEP 24, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle pours like bottom or the barrel crude with a big brown head and very nice lace. It looks perfect. The aroma is quite roasted, dark chocolate, slightly lactic, somewhat floral, and overall very nice. The flavor is dark chocolate, dark fruits, burnt toast, slightly sour, cherry, a hop bitterness, and a lingering tartness. The palate is thick, but offset by the nice natural carbonation sensation. Overall, this is exceptional.
Gorbalev (2953) - Ontario, CANADA - SEP 23, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: SEP 5, 2005 Re-rate. Thought I would try this one again, this time, not after an entire day of beer festival! Courtesy of Hogtown Harry, I found this pretty similar to before, the difference this time being that I have since had several bottles of the Oak Aged version. I used to think such things as oak aged and whisky barrel aged were just gimmick terms, but I can honestly say this is an entirely different beer than the Oak. This version still looks and smells terrific, but the taste is bordering on harsh alcohol whereas the Oak is smooth and dessert like, thanks to its unique vanilla flavour. Still a very good imperial stout, but always reach for the Oak if you have a choice in my opinion. Original 7/5/8/5/17 4.2
Bottle shared after the brewfest with wohlfs and rudolf (thanks guys). Pitch black pour. Strong black licorice smell. A very hoppy stout in taste. Incredibly thick mouthfeel, bordering on too much, but doesnít quite cross the line. A nice bitter finish as well and this one got better as it sat in the glass. Quite an experience really.
rudolf (2342) - Buffalo, New York, USA - SEP 19, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Good god. Salty, almost plasticy nose. Dark. Black, almost burnt malt, bitter fruits, alcohol, cherries, smoke. black. Cakey. Black. Hoppy. black. Wow. So much. Did I mention black?
Indra (2662) - Overland Park, Kansas, USA - SEP 18, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
(Rating is for Yeti.) Rich, lightly fruity, tart and surprisingly hoppy aroma with hints of salt, wood, earth, chocolate and dark brown sugar becoming apparent. Deep brown-black color, opaque, with a slight, fine dark brown head. Flavor is highly roasty, again faintly tart and sour, with a sweet, lightly smoky background. Dry, malty and bitter finish, eventually developing some strongly coffeeish properties. Mouthfeel is smooth and somewhat acidic, body is undoubtedly full. Quite possibly the hoppiest Imperial Iíve tried to date. Interesting and powerful.
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - SEP 17, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Pours black. Decent brown head with great lacing. Aroma is huge chocolate with roasted grains. Mouthfeel is full, silky, smooth. Taste is malty, chocolate with some coffee/caramel. Hops come in halfway through with a pleasant and lasting bitterness. Very well balanced. Very drinkable.
bu11zeye (11971) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - SEP 13, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
(Bottle) Pours a black, opaque, with a large creamy brown head. Aroma of coffee and roasted malts. Full body, creamy texture, and bitter finish. Flavors of alcohol, roasted malt and a hiont of caramel. Soft on the tongue.
Nuffield (3717) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - SEP 10, 2004
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: FEB 3, 2005 My thoughts on this really echo what some other people have said recently. There are some wonderful qualities here that speak to the effort put into it. 100% opaque for all practical purposes (unless you get really picky about looking for the edge), with a very dark tan head, though it doesnít hang around much on this high-alcohol beast. Another strong-suit: the mouthfeel, which is very silky and oily. But I am really surprised at the hop/malt balance chosen for this. Although some grape/port aromas compement the roasted aromas, there were times when my nose couldnít find its way through the hops. And the flavor, while big, leaned too heavily on a roasted note that glossed into hoppy aftertastes. I was looking for a beer that would glide with richness and oozing dessert-beer qualities, but I found moments of raw aggression--perhaps thatís the Yeti coming out here.
aracauna (3138) - Georgia, USA - SEP 10, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: APR 14, 2005 Nicely black body with a small head. Surprisingly hoppy in the aroma and the flavor, especially for such an opaque stout. Nicely bitter, but the malt isnít really doing it for me. It seems to take a back seat to the hops and in an Imperial stout, it really should be the other way around. Itís got all the prerequisites for the malt profile (dark, roasty/burnt flavors), but itís not even approaching rich. Still a tasty beer despite my qualms with it.
biz82 (1328) - austin, Texas, USA - SEP 9, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Slightly sour aroma with hints of molasses, chocolate, raisen and leather. Absolutely pitch black with a lingering, small, tan creamy head. The density of the body is what hits your mouth first. What follows is a symphony of flavors that changes as it rolls across your tongue. The standard roasted/burnt flavors are complimented by rich caramel...hey wait thatís what the commercial description says. There are also satisfying flavors port and wet earth. The finish is excellent for such a hefty ale. It has a nice hop bite with a bitter kick and relatively low sweetness. My favorite of the "Maverick" line.
legion242 (2269) - Richardson, Texas, USA - SEP 7, 2004
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: SEP 8, 2004 Wow. Poured deep black with the darkest head that I have seen since the reverend Redhook Double Black Stout. Very enticing aroma. Lovely mouthfeel. I wonder if this one will age well. I plan on finding out. One of the best Imperial Stouts that I have ever had, hands down.