daknole (7193) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - APR 28, 2013
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bold brown pour with a nice brown head. Flavor hits up front with lots of rye whiskey barrel, coffee notes, bitter chocolate, vanilla, toffee, kahlua. Nice stuff.
JPDurden24 (1076) - Chandler, Arizona, USA - MAR 28, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Black pour, tan head. It is nice and vanilla and chocolate with some rye in the finish. Pretty tasty.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Dr_MedievAle (15) - USA - MAR 3, 2013
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Aroma: hot whiskey and sharp vanilla hit the nose, ending with a faint whiff of charred coffee bean. Appearance: pours like black coffee, easily building a thick, aerated head the color of creme brulee. Taste; cherry, vanilla, and whiskey notes swirl and dance, leaving in a trail of burning booze, smokey wood. Palate: medium but slick and syrupy, soft carbonation that finishes with a rather astringent aftertaste.
A very solid beer with clear benefits from barrel aging. Something is missing, though, and I think itís a chocolate note that could really make this a stellar beer. The coffee note is also rather repressed. Cherry and vanilla play nicely together, and Iím certainly not complaining as they make a mess in my mouth.
sthlm (1227) - Iowa, USA - FEB 2, 2013
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
[Bottle] Pours dark brown, with a small dark brown head. Aroma is just okay. Dark chocolate and coffee are nice, but an odd aroma comes and goes. Sort of an unusual sourness-- I suspect from the coffee. The Templeton appears as well as it warms. Taste is just okay again. Ashy, chocolate, some alcohol, barrel shows up more here, relatively mild bitterness. Medium-thin mouthfeel, fairly smooth. Templeton really appearing after warming, with the ash diminishing. Finish length is above average, with Templeton, mild chocolate and some vanilla (probably from the barrel). Overall, not bad, but doesnít do much to set itself apart from the pack either. The beer did get significantly better as it approached room temperature, as I had it pegged near 3.0 initially, but over the course of a couple of hours I ended up above 3.5. Iíd actually recommend just serving very near room temperature from the start with this one.
CanIHave4Beers (2495) - Des Moines, Iowa, USA - FEB 1, 2013
3.2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours pretty much black, the head is medium to small, well retained and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.
The aroma is espresso, whiskey, wood, and very light banana. Nothing particularly rich or inviting save the espresso character. But the alcohol aroma is overwhelming, which can be pulled off in a beer like this if the character of the spirit previously in the barrel comes across nicely, in this one itís just sort of boozy with a sort of generic whiskey smell.
The flavor is really very nicely roasty, I mean itís on the high end of roasty espresso bitterness for the style, but that is pulled off pretty well here. The beer is pretty boozy but the alcohol is not as overwhelming in the flavor as it is in the aroma, that said the spirit character isnít particularly complimentary... again itís sort of a generic whiskey character, lots of wood, some spiciness, some vanilla... but nothing that really grabs you.... yíknow? Nothingís way out of place, but there seems to be a decent Imperial Stout at the base of it, but Iím not convinced that that stout ought to have been destined for these barrels. The sweetness is pretty much right where I like it for imperial stout, balancing, enjoyable.... fairly rich but not cloying at all. Mild chalky & earthy hop notes are throughout as is some very mild dark fruit. Lotís to enjoy about the flavor of this beer, lots of stuff going on here that doesnít seem like maybe it needs to be though. Unfortunately one of those things (the Rye barrel) is the central selling point of the beer.
Man I was waiting for this thing to be awesome.... perhaps next time. Madhouse seems like theyíre improving each beer they make with subsequent batches, I hope they do this again honestly.