BigBastard (668) - L.A., California, USA - MAY 31, 2006
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Lots of chocolate, with mild coffee and toffee flavors. Slightly sweet and very smooth. ABV is well hidden. Like a rich dessert in a bottle.
Delirium (636) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - MAY 29, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 30, 2006 Bottle. Pours black or dark brown with a thin white head. Interesting aroma, mainly of choclolate-covered candied cherries. Very rich malty sweet taste, with lots of different flavors interacting: different dark fruits (fig, cherry, plum), chocolate, a bit of espresso, caramel, molasses, etc. Finishes still sweet, but with a bit of roasted malt and just a tiny bit of hops. A bit of texture in the mouthfeel. The 10.4% alcohol is completely unnoticeable. Very good, although not really what I expected from an imperial stout: itís much sweeter, less hoppy, more textured, and thinner (especially on the pour) than an imperial stout. Instead, Iíd call it an excellent cross between a sweet stout and an imperial porter, serving as a good dessert beer.
molassesfan (202) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - MAY 26, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 30, 2006 From my notes, April í06. Black with miniscule head. Smells of various fruit and chocolate caramel. Taste of caramel and fruit. 10.4% alcohol? Where? Tastes more like 6.4%. Heavy palate with a sweet finish, interesting, more like a porter. Good beer.
piscator34 (2182) - Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA - MAY 15, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Black in colour with slightly lower than average carbonation. Great aromas of chocolate, caramel, vineous fruit and roasted grain. Quite rich chocolate and espresso flavors, with more caramel and chared grain flavor. There were also some notes of dark berry fruit. Very heavy body with a sweet malty (somewhat cloying) finish. Could have used some more bitterness, but a fairly good beer overall.
bmanning (142) - Holly Springs, North Carolina, USA - MAY 12, 2006
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a dark brown with a red tint and a thin, quickly dissipating head. Has a chocolate and caramel malty aroma with a hint of dark fruits and smoke, but the aroma is pretty weak for an imperial. The taste is really good though - full of complex flavors. There is a lot of chocolate, espresso, caramel, molasses, cherry, scotch, licorice, raisin, plum, fig. Tons of different flavors bouncing on the palate. Itís initially very sweet and sticky, but has a pleasant hops bitterness in the finish. It goes down super smooth with a nice tartness and warming alcohol sensation in the back of the throat. Really one of the only negatives about this beer is that itís not as full-bodied and thick as the really good imperial stouts. Itís really more like an imperial porter. But overall, this is a great tasting beer.
schwaiger (90) - Laramie, Wyoming, USA - MAY 11, 2006
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 oz bottle courtsy of me since no one will trade. You bastards. Pours a rich red black with a medium creamy off-white head of microscopic bubbles. Really looked like a draft pour. Alcohol detectable in the aroma, and later in the flavor. Aromas of sweet chocolate, caramel, burnt sugar, and dark cherries. This beer really grows on you as you drink it. Initial bitterness really mellows out and towards the end most of what ou are tasting is a nice, mellow, warm sweetness. Flavors of chocolate, caramel, and roasted nuts. Some hints of bread and a definite presence of pickled rutabaga - almost exactly like Branston Pickle. Super creamy on the palate - almost milky - with lively carbonation and a solid finish. Whoopee!
Bockyhorsey (2610) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - MAY 10, 2006
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
12 oz. bottled on 10/19/05. Good sweet plumb fruit aroma. Dark body with a mahagony hue and small tan head. Flavor was for the most part sweet with a roasted flavor on he finish. Sweet sticky aftertaste with some alochol on palate. Good brew.
2beerguys (299) - North Shore, Massachusetts, USA - MAY 9, 2006
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
"The Black Beer that will brighten your day". That was the quote on the bottom of the bottle. I donít know about brightening our day, as this was the third ass-kicker in a row we had. If anything, it put the lights out for us. Initial impression on the aroma was of moderate burnt malts and alcohol. The pour is a dark brown/black with an average, fizzy light-brown head. Muddy clarity to the body. Initial flavor was moderately sweet, and wraps up with a very light bitter tinge. Medium body on the mouth with a creamy consistency and lively carbonation. A light alcohol presence is left behind.
Hangover (1094) - Atlanta, Alabama, USA - MAY 7, 2006
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark black pour with some red highlights visible around the very bottomand edges. NIce tan head,somewhat lasting. Aroma is actually kind of weak for an impy, with a lot of roasted malts and expresso. Taste is much better,with a lot of chocolate virtually exploding on your palate. Nice, rich roast/chocolate aftertaste with a little hop bitterness. I like how the hops arenít overdone as I see in a lot of Imperial stouts. Just a good, chocolate/coffee brew.
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - MAY 6, 2006
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a medium brown to settle blackened brown with a tiny glow at the bottom. Tall, soft, foamy cap of dark ivory quickly builds to a about two inches fading fairly fast to keep a firm skim and thicker collar always present. Lacing is minimal in some spots and thin strings.
Aroma is fairly light for an Impy Stout with plummy, raisin skin darkness mixed with some fairly tangy dark cherry, a very tiny hint of bourbon-esk heat, and a puff of chocolate.
Taste is all about the chocolate and the dark fruity inbetweens. Quite complex but underwhelming in thickness or girth. Non the less, it tastes pretty damn nice. Tangy front and middle with alll kinds of fun dark fruits of raisin, plum, prune, dates, cherry, even a tint of dark orange, you name it, its got a hint to it. Some more then others. Deeply tanged in a molasses undertow for most of its duration in the regards to its beginning. Finish has a dancing chocolate warmth mixing with a decent bourbon kick as it fades with hints to smokey darkened fruits and drys out with more fluffy chocolate.
The feel is where this misses a bit for me, not quite as thick or heavy as most Impy Stouts. Very porter-like in body with the only thing keeping it all together is that it does feel smooth and all together solid; just not big enough for the style in my mind, and on my palate. Tangy and malty with a nice chocolate roundedness towards the finish with a nice little warmth of good Olí alcohol, which has a bourbon twist within it.
The drinkability is good but the 10% is evident as its warmth grabs more as you get into it. Plus its a 750ml so it takes a while to get through it. Not a bad thing really; a nice sipper. Just needed a boost in aroma and body then this could be up there with some of the bigger Impy Stouts I tend to favor.