GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - DEC 9, 2008
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2008 bottle courtesy of alaskajoe and NoonanDBarbarian poured into a snifter.
Pours about as beautiful as I’ve seen in a stout, with a pitch black body and big two-finger mocha head that hangs around as cap for ages and leaves great lacing. Gorgeous.
The aroma is a mixture of sweetness and dark roasted malts. The sweetness takes the form of chocolate, licorice, dark fruits and hints of vanilla. There is a bit of roasted coffee in the nose as well, but the sweetness is dominant.
The big dark roasted malts really come to play in the taste and underpin everything else. There is the sweetness of the dark fruits with vanilla, caramel and lots of chocolate. The finish has the roasted coffee bitterness with a very, very slight woody character.
The mouthfeel is decadent - thick and creamy like a rich chocolate dessert. Sticks all over the palate.
This is one fantastic stout and one of the best beers I’ve had in quite a while. For such a massive beer, it’s very drinkable and the ABV was hardly noticeable. Highly recommended!
Ibrew2or3 (6207) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - DEC 7, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Huge-r thanks to Gillard for scoring this brew for our weekly tasting, thanks Ryan. Pours inky black with brown head. The aroma is amazing with chocolate, coffee, caramel, molasses, wood and some red wine to go along with oak and vanilla. The taste is even smoothness and near silky. I get velvety chocolate, caramel, molasses and coffee then moving to wine notes, tannins, oak, vanilla and some booze. Very nice rich yet smooth blended brew. Just delicious.
afterglow (1047) - Florida, USA - DEC 7, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Huge thanks to Gillard for bringing this rare brew to one of the weekly Tampa tastings. Pours an oily black with a small tan head that leaves good lacing. Aroma of roasted malt, oak, vanilla, caramel, chocolate, and a touch of coffee. Taste is the same as aroma. Medium mouthfeel with a mild amount of bitterness and smooth alcohol. A very well made beer but it lacks hop bitterness to balance out the sweetness of the malt. Very good.
TomDecapolis (4336) - Lawrence, Kansas, USA - NOV 30, 2008
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
22 oz 2008 bottle (opened in Nov 2008). Pours a deep motor oil black with a large creamy deep brown head that left tons of lacing. This what a big rich Imperial Stout should look like! Aroma of cocoa powder, rich roasted malt, dark chocolate, bourbon, oak, molasses, light alcohol, touch of some citrusy hops, vanilla and deep dark cherries. Flavor of rich roasted malts, coffee, vanilla, light whiskey, oak, tart cherries, molasses, chocolate, some hop bitterness, abv well hidden, smooth and creamy yet enough carbonation so that you know this massive beer is still in fact a beer. One of the best Imperial Stouts I have had. I was a little worried opening this bottle so early on, but I guess the time it had to sit in the oak whiskey casks have really helped this beer out and turned it into an amazing beer. Drink the 2008’s now...they are ready and tasking amazing!
beerinmarch (2830) - Washington, USA - NOV 30, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Thanks to Hannont for this bottle at the HotD dock sale. Black pour with a soft brown head. Chocolate and notes of cherry up front, soft roast with a light hint of oak. Very smooth, nothing harsh about it, just layers of flavor that all build upon each other.
WeeHeavySD (3356) - San Diego (Hillcrest), Oregon, USA - NOV 17, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle @ HotD Dock Sale via hannont, thanks Todd!!. Pours black with a tan ring. Nose is super rich, deep and full of tons of flavor. Taste is sweet and rich and full of major chocolate flavor. This is a big delicious imperial stout.
mreusch (851) - Olathe, Kansas, USA - NOV 17, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2008 vintage, 22oz. bottle, with thanks to NoonanDBarbarian on BA. Pours an inky black with a one finger creamy brown head, good lacing and retention. Aroma is milk chocolate, roasted malts, molasses, and only a hint of whiskey and oak. Flavor is more roast, chocolate, overripe dark fruits, and the whiskey/oak stays in the background, but remains very complimentary, nicely blended and everything going on works very well together. This opens up nicely as it warms, and overall is a very enjoyable IS, good stuff. Thanks again Brian!
kramer (4368) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 29, 2008
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 oz bottle, 2005 Vintage. Pours a perfect pitch black body with a small one finger chocolate brown head that slowly fell to a thick ring. Looks like a really relaxed beer. Great nose, big and bold, but not brash. Huge roast, subtle barrel aging, molasses, light smoke, lots of dark fruits, bitter chocolate, vanilla, and very minimal alcohol. Maybe the most complex and versatile barrel aged Imperial Stout I’ve smelled. The flavor is just as amazing as the nose. The barrel aging and the beer combine to perfection, neither one dominates. The bourbon is really hardly noticable, it’s way more driven by the vanilla and charred wood than most bourbon beers. Dark fruits, roast, a nice accent of burnt malt, all mingled together up front to make one great flavor, not a collection of individual flavors. The only knock is that there may be a bit of ashiness very late in the finish, but it’s really not a big deal. Zero alcohol flavor or feel to this, amazing at 10% ABV. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a creamy soft texture and perfect soft fizzy carbonation. Never cloying or sticky in the least. Lingering roast and woody finish. I’ve never had such a smooth barrel aged Imperial Stout. This beer just sets a new standard of excellence for BA Imperial Stouts for me. This was just so well integrated, it was beautiful. Great beer on a great night.
gator2683 (199) - Anchorage, Alaska, USA - OCT 25, 2008
4.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
very black with a dark brown head. milk chocolate aroma with a little alcohol. taste is chocolate, a little bitter, and a faunt black licorice finish
TheEpeeist (3053) - Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 10, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
22 oz bottle, 2007. Dark brown with a trace of tan haze. Nose is carob fudge brownies and espresso. Drinks lighter than it look with sprightly carb but still retains a creamy feel. Taste is chocolate, coffee, licorice, molasses and burnt marshmallow, especially the smoky notes. Gets better as it warms. Amazing balanced complexity. Wow.