ThisWangsChung (826) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - JUN 30, 2013
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
9.3 oz bottle into a snifter, 2009 vintage. Bottle says 9%
A: Pours a pitch black color. The head is a one finger tan shade that fades away gracefully. A creamy ring of lace remains on the glass before that fades, as well.
S: Man, my fellow reviewers werenít kidding when they said this had a sour edge. The aforementioned tartness has a wonderful cherry tone to it, as well. When given a chance to open up, it develops stronger notes of chocolate, molasses, soy, and smoke. In a nutshell, the aroma is basically chocolate-coated tart cherries. Epic.
T: The first sip bowls me over in terms of layered complexity. Itís also roastier than the aroma suggested. Because I had every expectation of this being sour, its opening presence doesnít bother me. Flavors become roasty near the middle, and smoky on the back end. A distant aftertaste of earthy notes become prevalent, as well. Itís far more complex than I described, though - the more I sip, the more distinct flavors I pick up (dark fruits, licorice, caramel, tobacco, peat, and leather). The only real flaws I can find is that the depth of flavor isnít perfectly cohesive, and the finish develops a bit too much char flavor at times. Otherwise, this is some stunningly contemplative stuff.
M: Itís creamy, but at the same time, airy and VERY dry. The feel gradually becomes íwetterí as more is sipped, giving it the proper decadence it deserves. As a nitpick, it could stand to be a bit beefier in its body - especially since this isnít something that Iíd call íeasy to drinkí.
O: This ainít for everyone. I like to think of this one as a rite of passage for most beer drinkers - many will hate it, but those that arenít initially put off by its strange chocolate-meets-soy sauce-meets-char-meets-sour cherries approach to a RIS will be rewarded spectacularly. In a word, superb; how fitting something of this magnitude was my 500th review on BeerAdvocate.
ThirstyBird (2379) - Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, ENGLAND - DEC 18, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Many thanks to erzengel for sharing! Pours a super dark brown with faint orange highlights and a loose dark tan head. The beer smells of big rich fruit, roast, char. The taste is rich, toasty, dark malts, fruit going into char and dryness on the end. Full bodies and having mild carbonation. A workout for the senses.
Erzengel (6723) - Wuppertal, GERMANY - DEC 18, 2015
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle bought at the Royal Oak. Intense plums and malt. Extreme thick and dense. Malt, dried plums. Very dry, hints of typical Stout-sourness. Burned, dry, roast. Not too much bitterness in the end, but a nice malt-bitterness from the roasted malt together with a bit of hops.
Long dry malty sticky deep aftertaste on the tongue. Fruit, burned malt, very dense! Fascinating!
bnokk (316) - Lee, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 12, 2015
3.3 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
(1999 and 2009 bottles in 2015) APPEARANCE-
(Both) pitch black. (í99) no head, carbonation is about gone. Fairly thick, and a lot of sediment on the side of the glass when I swirl it. (í09) light carbonation.
(í99) robust scent lacking any sweetness, with notes balancing between alcohol and vinegar. (í09) hardly any scent.
FLAVOR- (í99) extremely dark/robust flavor that I canít put my finger on. My friend suggested pipe tobacco... maybe. (í09) slow to build, especially compared to the í99, but itís growing on me. Tiny bit of anise peeks through the complex and robust flavors.
Perhpas I should have tried it within one year. The complexity of the really old beer intreagues me, but Iím probably not going to seek more of newer vintages out soon.
shigadeyo (3457) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 12, 2015
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
1999 Vintage -- Very port-like and vineous, pipe tobacco, raisin, licorice, sherry, red wine, prune, black walnut, cherry, a touch of soy sauce a slightly tart; corked bottle, so very little to no carbonation; black color; I used to really like stuff like this, but not so much any more, but it?s still pretty good. 3.8 ... ... ... 2009 Vintage -- Dark chocolate, significant amount of red wine, prune, leather, black mission fig, black strap molasses, dry cocoa that sticks in the throat through the finish; capped bottle; opaque black color with a small tan-colored head; medium body with enough carbonation left; good, different than the 1999, but surprisingly not as good. 3.6
furthur (654) - Eagle River, Alaska, USA - DEC 9, 2015
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle, deep black beer, walnut colored head. Aroma is bourbon, raisin, molasses, coffee, dust, sour cherries, vanilla. Taste is coffee, bitter chocolate, broiled grapefruit and rind, shoyu, oak. Palate is a bit thin for an impy, and itís a bit hot, carbonation moderate. This is very interesting, not sweet at all, in fact itís very bitter, and sour. Considering my love of dark sours. Iím pleasantly surprised, but also suprised at the hops level in this, and in the end that hoppiness sorta clashes with the malt and sourness.
AdiBeer (2567) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - NOV 27, 2015
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Aroma: wine, light oak barrel, light toasted malts, chocolate. Appearance: black, small, creamy head. Taste: light bitter. Palate: very light at first, wine, chocolate, dark fruits, prunes, then toasted malts, bitters coming up and intensifying, light dry finish. Overall: not your usual Imperial Stout, unordinary aroma, palate a bit flat. Bottle from brewery shop, Lewes.
Lukaduke (2853) - Gray, Maine, USA - NOV 24, 2015
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2003 Vintage Corked and released by B. United. Pours a dull burnt umber color with a trace of khaki bubbles quickly fading. Lots of oxidized caramel, sherry, roasted grain, silky body, full rich mouthfeel, layers of fig, date, cocoa, prune, nutty caramel.
SHIG (4182) - Wasilla, Alaska, USA - NOV 7, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle: Poured black with brown head. Big boozy aroma. Nice sweet molasses and maple, coffee.
Mr_Pink_152 (2723) - Lincoln, Lincolnshire, ENGLAND - OCT 23, 2015
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from Tuckers Maltings. Black colour with a deep tan head. Aroma has coffee, chocolate, vanilla and a lasting roastedness. Taste has roasted notes with liquorice. Thick body.
Gerbeer (2674) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - OCT 14, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
9.3 oz bottle. Pours black with full dark tan head. Aromas of acidic black coffee, metal, soy sauce and dry licorice. Flavors of licorice, molasses, vanilla, and dry dusty burnt malts.