jsquire (3757) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - OCT 10, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Shared at thedm and hotstuff’s. Brown beer with lively bubbles and a foamy beige head. Dark brown sugar sweetness in the nose with some light coffee and big alcohol. Really thick, viscous mouthfeel. Flavors of some sweetened coffee, brown sugar, some chocolate and noticable alcohol in the finish. Nice big stout but I was surprised at the subtle coffee notes.
changeup45 (1721) - Mount Dora, Florida, USA - OCT 9, 2009
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Picked this one up at Julio’s Liquors. Black color, pretty good sized dark brown head that fades to a thin film. Plenty of dark fruit and molasses here to go with the robust coffee and milk chocolate. Strong coffee of course, but not nearly as massive as expected and there’s a lot else going on. Fairly silky with some sweet vanilla but also a sharp alcohol sting. Roasy bitterness in the finish. Better after it’s warmed up a bit and the alcohol has calmed. My wife says it’s like drinking tar. Hmm, I guess I can see that. Good beer but it didn’t blow me away and I like Beer Geek Breakfast better.
zizzybalubba (1626) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - OCT 9, 2009
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
500 mL bottle from Sam’s Quik Shop in Durham. Black pour with a thick tan head. Huge coffee and dark chocolate aroma. Intense flavors; coffee, smoke, roasted malt, and alcohol. A bit of dark fruit on the aftertaste. This is really incredible stuff worthy of its high praise and price. An exceptional beer.
imdownthepub (11474) - Banbury, Oxfordshire, ENGLAND - OCT 7, 2009
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle, 500ml, selected by Fin, gift from Sandra. Viscous black with big brown head. The aroma is incredible, I work with coffee, but have never smelled anything as smooth, the flavour is intensely coffee, again smooth and roasty and silky, the palate is heavy, bordering on coffee extract and just before this become too intense there are some balancing hops. The alcohol does show through a little jarringly at times, as a reminder to just how strong this is, but overall a terrific beer that I’m glad I used for my 5K.
RollinHard (1024) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - OCT 7, 2009
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours black with a brown head. Aroma of herbs, leaves, coffee, but this has the most fascinating pungency of any coffee beer I’ve had. Not always likeable, but I couldn’t get my nose out of the glass. Tastes of espresso, coffee, dark chocolate, herbs, earth, and flavorsome hops. Finishes like chocolate truffle dust (bitter cocoa). I was skeptical, but this proved to be quite great.
TaktikMTL (6428) - Montréal, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 5, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bouteille de 500 ml obtenue via Importations Privées Bièropholie. Arôme: Odeur de café et de chocolat noire avec une pointe de caramel. Apparence: La couleur est noire opaque. Présence d’un mince col beige mousseux et d’une fine dentelle sur le verre. Saveur: Goût de café et de chocolat avec une pointe d’alcool. Durée moyenne de l’arrière goût. Palette: Le corps est moyen avec une texture légèrement huileuse. Moyenne effervescence en bouche. Légère présence d’alcool en arrière goût. (Rating #2678)
Stew41 (1808) - Woodend, AUSTRALIA - OCT 5, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Worth the hype and cost? Probably. There is no doubt this beer has a great story and there is also no doubt it presents with a world-class build. Although the coffee doesn’t lend a mild milky sweetness to the palate this ber is essentially a stern cellaring style. Lots of dark bitter chocolate and roast drives a fairly aggressively flavoured mid palate, and such is the intensity that the malt flavours do appear to tail off a touch at the finish. Hops jump out at the finish, very firm and bitter, and to my taste they kill off any heat or sweetness from the alcohol. Needs time I think; this is very serious and intense and another show piece that pushes the complex beer borrow with ease.
kmweaver (3207) - Petaluma, California, USA - OCT 2, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
500mL bottle. Pours a very dark, chocolate-brown color; medium-brown head with solid retention and medium-bubbled lacing that coats the glass; a very nice pour. Solid, generous aroma of charred malts and chocolate; the coffee presence in this seems secondary, or else very low in acidity; nicely integrated, well-roasted malt presence; pleasant approach. Medium-to-full mouthfeel: velvety presence in the mouth, kept lively by a healthy dose of juicy, citrus and pine bitterness on the perimeter; the core is lush amounts of well-roasted coffee and bitter chocolate, hints of smoke and chewy caramel-laden malts; I wasn’t overwhelmed by this at first; it comes off as a muted impy stout (esp. at almost 11%), but the coffee presence is soft and minimally acidic, this is highly drinkable for its size, and there’s nothing close to a show of overt alcohol; very smooth and impressively done. Another excellent beer from Mikkel (and Nogne’s system). Lengthy finish: chocolate, oily roasted nuttiness, and soft coffee; creamy and well-balanced throughout.
TheAlum (6373) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - OCT 1, 2009
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
16.9 oz bottle from Binnys (Orland Park, IL). Pours a pitchblack opaque pour, fairly thick, some midnight over ruby notes in the pour itself, a big dark brown brooding head that laces well, sticks around in a pretty big amount. Aromas are a good bittering hop, roasted bitter coffee, dark chocolate with a touch of sweetness mixing between well roasted malts, a bit of caramel, darker coffee, a light sweetness underneath but a coffee and hop bomb it appears. Initial is thick, giving a full mouthfeel, immediately roasted coffee, bitter hops, roasted malts, dark bitter chocolate, dryness, oat and cereal malts well roasted, some caramel sweetness underneath. The coffee on this beer is dominant, good roast with hoppy bitterness taking precedent, providing a nice strike on the palate, and covering up much of the sweetness is this almost 11% ABV monster. A bit boozy in the finish, warming but also leaving a lingering bitterness then roast a bit behind. A good mesh of flavors, a little stronger on the coffee than it’s base styled companion. A little char/smoke/ash on the backend further in. I liked this but I think Iiked the base just a bit more as this one ends up a little overdone for me. Cheers.
MartinT (8619) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 28, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: DEC 1, 2014 My Bottom Line:
Green hops and roasted cereals provide potent flavors and bitterness, somewhat alleviated by effervescent carbonation and coffee-laced oatmeal notes.
Further Personal Perceptions:
-A layer of beige foam tops the blackness.
-The hoppy intensity is not necessary for this beer imho, making it stray from dessert territory.
-Alcohol heat and makes the already intense flavor profile even more brash.
-The bitterness yields some tartness in the end.
-Dextrins are well levelled.
-The hop signature is quite coniferous.
-I admit this is not what I expected to be for such a highly-rated an Imperial Stout. It’s complex and very flavorful, but it’s so intense it can be a chore at times.
-Batches brewed at Lervig have been brighter on the coffee front and not nearly as hoppy. A luxurious dessert for sure.