Uglyradio (791) - Greenville, South Carolina, USA - OCT 16, 2002
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAR 14, 2003 1999 Vintage, rated 10/16/02: Pours dark black, like engine oil, with a big tan head. Very complex flavor, hints of oak and molassas, this is more like a wine than a beer. Alcohol is well hidden, but is apparent on the aftertaste this beer leaves on your lips, the aroma is like sniffing some fine furniture, very woody. This is the finest and most challenging beer I have had to date. Magnificent.
2000 Vintage, rated 03/14/03: In contrast to the 1999 I had, this one has absolutely no head. It still pours a jet black color and the aroma is strongly malty, alcoholic, woody, and whiskeyish. Nope, not near what I remember the 1999 being. This one is really flat, with a slightly sour alcoholic flavor and not near the complexity of the 1999. Damn, when I drank the '99, I had found the perfect stout. But now the 2000 has reduced that to nothing but a fond memory. Maybe with another year it would be better. My rating reflects an average between the two vintages.
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - OCT 14, 2002
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
1999 vintage. Black, oily, viscous, small creamy chocolate head that just won’t die. Wonderful nose of port, molasses, raisins just eats into your lungs and sits there. Flavor also very vinous, but I found it closest to a Christmas plum pudding; it’s a bit too thick and alcoholic going down for me. Gets quite bitter and oily at the end. Very interesting, difficult beer; I probably need to expand my palate with more Imperials and come back to it. Interested to see how it ages.
CaptainCougar (7129) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - SEP 26, 2002
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 23, 2003 Rerate 11/23/02: 2000 Vintage pours an oily black with a small, short-lived light brown head. Acidic cherry aroma, almost like a lambic. Body has good thickness and very pleasant dry-roasted chocolate malt finish. Light sweetness throughout. Good complexity, but I think the acidity is a detriment. This might have passed its peak, but still a mighty fine and unique imperial stout. Still hides the alcohol quite well.
9/26/02: It looks like oil. It doesn't even taste like beer until about 2/3 of the way down. Extremely complex! Hints of soy and oats. Masks its alcohol quite well in the fact that its body is more like that of sherry. Reminds of Sam Adams Triple Bock, without the harsh aftertaste. 1999 bottle, ages very well.
argo0 (11181) - Washington DC, USA - SEP 23, 2002
3.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
1999 English Vintage -- Pours a syrupy black with virtually no head. Very sweet aroma, almost a liqueur with vanilla, soy, plum and molasses. The flavor is dominated by the soy, but there’s still more -- plum, currants, oak and noticeable alcohol. I recognize this as a complex beer that takes some doing, but I can’t embrace the soy that dominates.
MartinT (7523) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 15, 2002
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: FEB 28, 2005 (Aged 2 years)...Arthur Le Coq Wine of the Abyss 2000...Black grapes from the heart of the Tenebrae have yielded a luscious dark and bitter chocolate syrup...Graciously married to powdery and sharp hops, they become the most obscure port wine...A soothing penumbra on the tastebuds, this is, simply put, a glassful of lust...
Sadly, 1 bottle out of 2 I’ve had so far is a near flavor death experience...Some are horribly corked, contain no carbonation and are on the verge of stout soy sauce...Points above are an average of the great and not so great...
Racegoer (351) - Indiana, Indiana, USA - SEP 14, 2002
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Very complex, little head,sweet wine like fruity flavours, this is a must for the cellar, its expresso, with roasted cherry and wine flavors, is it a beer or a fine glass of Merlot ? Recommended
uglybastard (101) - Riverside, California, USA - SEP 12, 2002
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
No head whatsoever, and it looks like I just poored mysefl a cool glass of oil. Heavy sherry and some smoke scents to this one. Very light plum-like sweetness up front. In the middle are some regular stout (not uber stout) qualities like slight coffee notes. But this fades to a tangy smokeyness. Around the tongue there is a sweet-sour type flavor. Bit of alcohol burn toward the end as well. There is an extremely light carbonation to it though it hasn’t the power to muscle through the egnog-like consistancy to produce a head. I Shouldn’t have put this in a regular pint glass. This is a challenging beer!
TheBeerGod (5045) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - SEP 1, 2002
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUN 23, 2007 This is definitely an acquired taste. Pitch black in color. Not a lot of head in the bottle I had. Somewhat of a sour or bitter aroma and taste to it. Almost like Worcestershire sauce. Will re-rate after aging some bottles for a few years.
Marc (486) - Yokosuka, JAPAN - SEP 1, 2002
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
No Head or carbination for that matter. Pouring very thik and black. Stong Port aroma but surprizingly smooth and extreamly dry. Undertones of coffee and grain. So dry borders on saltyness.
raindog (560) - Evansville, Indiana, USA - AUG 26, 2002
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: SEP 20, 2003 1999:Absolutely no life in cork removal.Vinous,sour,musty,roasty,woody aroma.Pours darkest black imaginable.Flat,but with a good pour short lived milky,fizzy,head.As I watched the head turn into the thinnest ring,it sounded like a glass of sprite.Roasty,MAMMOTH,palate.Lots of dark malts up front,followed by a little acidity.Finish is different,but welcome.This would be an excellent beer to cook with. Chocolate,woody,charcoal,flavors are mixed perfectlly with alcohol.Very little showing.Complex finish.Sourness,smoke,soy,and burnt flavors linger and sooth.You can breathe this beer.Not for everbody,folks.This will make your lips,fingers,glass...sticky.Heavens yes!!!!!!