malachi (62) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAR 17, 2006
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
Dark/black, brown pour. Grape, vanilla aroma with an understated malt flavor that doesn’t really grow into anything interesting. Up front it tastes like a dry wine, but then the slight bitterness takes over for a bit and dies out quickly. There’s a lot more hop character in the aroma than in the finish, which makes this less desirable. Not the greatest Imperial Stout.
Brigadier (2740) - Clevelandish, Ohio, USA - MAR 17, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
12 oz bottle
It took me two bottles to rate this since it was different than what I was expecting. Very hoppy aroma caught me off guard. I expected the coffee and chocolate scents but not the citrus or grapefruit. Otherwise, this looks like an imperial stout - tan caramel head over a deep ruby body that is slightly transparent. Sips revealed oak, caramel, coffee, roasted dark chocolate and fruity hops.
Aftertaste of bittersweet chocolate. A little thin for an imperial stout but the taste compensates somewhat. Overall a pretty good selection on its own - just don’t try to compare it to any Top 50 imperial stouts.
BBB63 (5699) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - MAR 4, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle and served in my GL snifter: Poured a deep brown with crimson highlight that had a fading frothy tan head and okay lace.
The aroma has notes of grassy and light pine hops, roasted barley, hint of chocolate malt, licorice, and light ester of molasses.
The taste follows suit with a clean bitterness of sappy sweet sugars. A lot of unique grainy and earthy characters as well.
The feel is ever so slightly oily with a lot of carbonation.
TAR (2401) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - MAR 2, 2006
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Darkened ruby. Very dense and sturdy gray-white foam. Inviting nose of port, coffee, molasses, caramelized sugar, and roasted barley. Light dusting of woody, coniferous hops. Mouth filling carbonation. Deceptively full at first, with supple notes of molasses interwoven softly with delicate malt richness which is slow to develop. Character of the malt is somewhat depthless, and generates little more than an underwhelming roasted malt hull effect which, along with the roast- and hop-derived acidity, hampers the body’s weight. The center is substantially airy and hollow, as well. Appetizing in nature, due to its lightness, and spicy and dry with a flavor enhancing kiss of black licorice, spruce laden hops, and clean alcohol. Finishes with trace levels of alcohol, but timidly rich with merely a suggestion of chocolate fudge and scratchy char reminiscent of lightly seared cocoa. Has a decent aroma, but the hops interfere with the already sparse presence of malt. If I were told this is 9%, I might believe it. 12%? No way. At any rate, it’s not very Imperial-ish; more of a supercharged Dry Stout if you ask me. Not bad. Thanks, hezron!
hezron (609) - Viroqua, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 28, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A new imperial stout, which is always exciting...especially when it is a 12% biggie. Served in my snifter from a 12oz bottle.
Aroma is ful of chocolate, licorice, light roasted hazelnuts, vanilla beans and some coffee, very nice.
Dark black in color with the slightest hint of brown at the edges and a thin light tan head that fades to the edges.
First drink, my initial impression is the dark grain flavors, that black patent bitter roastiness that feels dry in the mouth. Then the chocolate and coffee roastiness changes into a nice and sweet licorice, cherry flavors. After half a glass, this nice pine, grapefruit flavor grows and grows. Wow. I like that. Towards the end of the glass there is this chocolate, chewy caramel flavor that is left after a few minutes. Very well balanced, this is good stuff and I hope that isn’t just the 12% talking.
Slick mouthfeel, nice carbonation that keeps it bright without being bubbly. Not as thick as some, but doesn’t dissapoint. The warming alcohol fits very well and adds to the experience.
For $2.00 a bottle, this stuff rocks.