TAR (2518) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - JAN 14, 2008
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Cellar-aged two years: Penetrable black. Creamy beige ring of head surrounds a broken center. Decent aroma of ink, soy sauce, charcoal, and chocolate-covered espresso beans. Mild waft of smoke. Tight, spongy carbonation. Thin body. Quite airy with subtle phenols and dry roast, initially, yet bittersweet and succulent at the center, as chocolate-infused raisins and dried plums primarily exude. Whispers of smoke and bright java soon link up with the brisk char to deepen the rich malts. Substantial dryness lifts the fruity esters and unveils a forceful espresso and cocoa-tinged bitterness which remain strong throughout. Acidic twinge gently buckles the cheeks and lessens, rather than underscore, the malt complexity. Gritty char unrelentingly scratches at the fruity surface. Anticlimactic finish is curiously empty, as bittersweet espresso echoes hints of burnt cookies and metallic char. While some extra age hasnít necessarily hurt this, it certainly hasnít helped as itís now overly dry, and hollow as a result. The high score is a bit puzzling. Sure, coffee and chocolate make for a savory combination, but it takes much more than that (finesse, balance, cleanness, etc.) for a beer to reach elite status. On top of that, the yeast fails to impart anything uniquely of character. Decent overall.
broncoman (8) - new monmouth, New Jersey, USA - JAN 13, 2008 does not count
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
strong coffey start, roasty, nutty flavor color black, a minimal head, lightly bitter, full body, creamy, soft carbonation with a lightly bitter finish. begin the day with a friendly brew, and enjoy with steak and eggs, have a sharp cheddar on the side
barleyPops (1141) - Quad-Cities, Illinois, USA - JAN 13, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
While I did not drink this with breakfast, I did enjoy it in the morning. Iím sure this beer would be great anytime, but it was perfect for a morning beer! Looked like motor oil on the pour, thick & creamy with a short lived head. Flavor was rich with coffee bean and licorice, followed by more dark roasted coffee, but without being overly bitter. This brew was smooth and creamy with many underlying flavors coming through from time to time. Iím not always thrilled with coffee laced beers, but this was delightful! Thanks to richlikebeer for the bottle.
mgermani (1002) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 11, 2008
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUL 22, 2008 Pours a pitch black with a short-lived brown head. Aroma takes one right into the garage - licorice and paint-thinner with a certain woodiness. Very astringent industrial flavour, strong licorice hides the alcohol partially. Body is oily and thick with decent carbonation and a dry bite to the finish. Roasty and oily, lingering bitter finish, not a bad beer but definitely not a personal 100%.
jobyone (234) - Charlotte, USA - JAN 9, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours Black with large tan head. Aroma has a lot going on. Sweetness, chocolate, coffee. The flavor is a combination of bitter and sweet with lots of raosted flavors. This is really good stuff with a great aftertaste.
alafito (334) - tijuana, MEXICO - JAN 8, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Wow its an expresso with a shot of beer. This is by far the heartiest beer ive had, not too much alchohol but a ton of bitterness from the coffee bean. A bit of dark chocolate and some wooden barel undertones too. Heavy body
harrisoni (15066) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - JAN 8, 2008
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle from GBBF. Black with brown edges, lasting tan head. Yes, Iíve had it before and yes I know that I like it. So what do I actually make of it? The aroma is immaculate. Espresso coffee, dark choc, but itís so well balanced and wants you to drink it. Invites you in. Bit of wood. I love it before I try it. The coffee flavour is just gorgeous. Bit too much carbonation to start with but this settles down perfectly. Itís an incredible beer. Lovely grainy feel on the end. Big, wonderful and so much choccy coffee its unbelievable.
CapFlu (4781) - Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 8, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
(22oz bottle) Courtesy of Larry Pitonka. Opaque with a light brown bodied head. Nose of sweet coffee, brown sugar, roasted malt and vanilla. Like a smoky coffee house in Paris. Ashtrays fallen into this brew with coffee, oak, whiskey and dusty floor-sweepings. One hell of a beer! Thanks Andrť
BOLTZ7555 (2969) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - JAN 7, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Noticeable coffee, chocolate, and woodsy characteristics...none of which overpower the other. This is extremely well crafted and has a level of balance few others have achieved. Best descriptor...SMOOTH!!! Get one if you can find it!!!
DeadGuyFrank (347) - http://westchesterbeer.com, USA - JAN 7, 2008
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
A complete stout, chocolate, balance, lacing, great full flavor, malt and coffee cascading down your throat....every sip a glorious taste sensation. A super beer - one of, if not the best stouts around, period.