fordest (1972) - Santee/San Diego, California, USA - DEC 19, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
12 oz bottle thanks to Santa. What a beer. Darkest pour with huge tan head. Lots of dark fruit, coffee, chocolate aromas. Flavors were roasted coffee, Mocha Java, Touches of alcohol on the finish. Raisins and Molasses. Good Good Stuff.
boboski (1095) - Alabama, USA - DEC 18, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Black from afar, close inspection reveals very dark chocolate browns. The body is totally opaque and appears oily. A thin, dark tan head mostly dissipates rapidly and lightly laces the glass. Chocolate icing covering cooled brownies is the first thing I sense as I raise the glass to my nose. Caramel and sugarplum notes follow, then a procession of glamourous roasted grains of varying degrees of char. Alcohol seems fairly well-disguised, what little emitted takes on the form of dark fruits and mingles cohesively with prickly earthiness from robust hoppiness and toffee scents. Caramel and nougat, with a slight nuttiness all glimmer in the backdrop of pleasant maltiness. Raisin and plum notes are more formidable with warmth. Milder molasses brings up the rear. A conspicuous lack of discernible coffee is noted. Very nice, easy to partake in and so far flawless. This seems to be a nod to the Russian imperial style but is still a distinctly modern version of the style. The nose is full and luxurious, traits I’m glad to see a usually unimpressive brewery pull out of their respective hats. The technology and prowess was there; I suppose someone just needed to give the green light - hopefully we’ll see more freedom along these lines with other profit-driven breweries that have what it takes to get it done. The flavor is fantastic, as was anticipated (but not guaranteed) by the lovely aroma. Roasted malt leads the rambunctious charge and is closely tailed by the now bold coffee, which is neither an exciting nor bland addition. Sweetness is medium-high and fits well with so many dark fruit eccentricities that spring from the crest of each sip. Caramel, raisin and tobacco now noted are of moderate strength and equally grainy composition. Bitterness and perceptible hoppiness are mild and cumulative. Astringency is low. Alcohol is moderately warming in a finish that leaves syrupy semi-bitter chocolate behind, lightly bitter and very lengthy. The mouthfeel is erratically carbonated, prickly bubbles causing a slight distraction from the mellower fine points. The body is heavy on the plate but not exceptionally so, therefore this is very easy to drink and quite satisfying. Very well done.
dmac (3999) - Toms River, New Jersey, USA - DEC 18, 2007
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle shared at Madness. Pours a good looking solid black with a small head. I found the aroma to be slightly off, then again I was way off at this point and seriously smashed. Full bodied yet smooth and creamy. Roasty flavor of tobacco and chocolate. Pretty good stuff but either the aroma needs some work or I need to sober up some, probably the second.
padrefan98 (854) - (San Diego) Santee, California, USA - DEC 17, 2007
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
12 oz bottle in trade with lb4lb. Everything I wanted and expected from an imperial stout. Alcohol was well hidden and the flavors were enjoyable leaving me to want more of this.
nolankowal (929) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - DEC 16, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle @ cbus 10 shared by Ogglethorp, thanks again Brian! Black pour with a tan head. Aroma of dry roast, chocolate, and liquorice. Flavors of dark chocolate, liquorice, roasty malt and light earthy hops.Thick body roasty and pretty sweet with a sweet/roasty finish. Not bad, a bit too sweet for my taste.
hopdog (8867) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 16, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
12oz bottle. Poured a dark black color with an averaged sized tan head. Aromas of chocolate, roast, dark fruits, and caramel. Tastes of dark fruits, vanilla, chocolate, roast, and some coffee.
GeneralGao (3614) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - DEC 16, 2007
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
12 oz bottle served at cellar temperature. Thanks to Joey (iowaherkeye) for importing this one from Wisconsin. Poured thick and oily. Opaque black color. Head was light brown and reduced slowly to a clingy film that hung around and left some tattered lace on the glass. The aroma was dominated by raisin, molasses, and alcohol, but there were also dark chocolate, cherry, and coffee notes. I detected a whiff of banana as well. Rum soaked fruit cake came to mind. Sweet on the tongue, but not cloyingly so. The sweetness was mitigated to some degree by a mild bitterness. Full bodied and chewy with carbonation on the low end of the spectrum. There was more roastiness in the flavor than in the nose, especially up front. I tasted dried fruits (fig, raisin, cherry), chocolate liqueur, and a splash of espresso. Delicious.
egajdzis (5307) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 16, 2007
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Poured an opaque black color with a tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of roast, molasses, caramel malts, chocolate, and smoke. Taste of roast, dark chocolate, anise, vanilla, smoke, and alcohol, which left a huge mouthfeel in its wake.
beerbill (3377) - Laurel, New York, USA - DEC 15, 2007
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
12 oz. bottle courtesy of a trade with oglethorp. Pours an opaque black with a moderate chocolate brown head that completely faded away before mid-glass. The aroma of this beer is awesome with lots of chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, and malt with notes of brandy as well. The coffee is more dominant in the flavor while the chocolate backs off a bit. Dark fruits and malt were also present. Some heat from the alcohol, especially as the beer warms. Moderate bitterness at the finish, a bit more than I care for in a RIS. Not quite as dense or luscious in the mouthfeel as I would expect in a RIS either. Very good, just not quite top shelf.
heemer77 (5099) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - DEC 14, 2007
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: NOV 5, 2011 I tried this one again with a 2011 vintage. Way sweeter with a lot less balance and finesse. While still pretty cheap, it is not as good as I recall.
Thanks for the sample, Kyle. Black body with a light brown head. The aroma is pancakes with some coffee. There are also prunes and milk chocolate. The taste has raisins, milk chocolate. and brandy. The mouthfeel is medium with a little coffee. This is light on the carbonation. The roast character is fairly mild and there is a tannic finish that gets a little more annoying as you drink. Solid effort.