fordest (1954) - Santee/San Diego, California, USA - MAR 11, 2007
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
22 oz bottle #43 of 100. Huge thanks to sk8viking for this bottle. wonderful aromas of coffee, chocolate and coffee. Roastiness comes through as well, and so does quite a bit of coffee. Black coffee on the flavor as well. More roastiness. Excellent hop finish. One of the best Impy stouts i have ever had.
SoLan (1550) - Florida, USA - FEB 16, 2007
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Big thanks to Degarth for this one. #80/100. Black. Brown edges. Small brown cap. Nose of whole coffee beans, rich caramellike sweetness, light smoke, bittersweet dark chocolate, dark dried fruits. Flavor adds chocolate mousse or nougat and subtle alcohol in the finish. Chocolate cookie aftertaste. Full body, smooth, viscous, needs just a bit more carbonation. Excellent imperial stout.
Aarleks (409) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - FEB 4, 2007
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle (Sydney Summer Gathering 2007): Like all the other raters who were at the Sydney gathering at which this was opened, I was utterly floored by this one. But the praise is justified. Aptly named, the contents of my glass resembled some sort of cosmic black oil that sucked light in, and caused such a gravitational field that any semblance of a head had a very short life indeed. Issuing from this were sublime draughts of roasted grains, caramels, and espresso shots, amid beds of resiny hops. In the mouth the creamy palate delivered intensely concentrated roast flavours, followed by mollasses and a thick barley sweetness. Towards the end an increasingly strong coffee presence emerged that only served to further enchant the tongue and delight the mind. With a complexity bordering on encyclopedic only the poetic muse can truly express the ways in which this utterly joyful beer touches the soul.
Sully (1378) - Potts Point, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA - JAN 31, 2007
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: FEB 8, 2007 Its funny really, I have stated my favourite style as bohemian pilsner and my current top ten consists of a porter, imperial stout, baltic porter, two abbey tripels, a barley wine, Abt/Quad, sweet stout, belgian strong and a weizen bock. Well, good bye to the Aventinus from my top ten because this one has to be lauded until the universe collapses and we all disappear into the time space continuum. So aptly named because no light could possibly escape this deep dark brooding brew from the country of Aussie Mary. Sensational presentation in the glass with a pleaseing crema that only a god barista could achieve. Nutty nose with a rummy note and mocha presence. The flavour is also a burst on the lucky tastebuds that were treated to the delight of a melange of flavours which all point to a delightful imperial stout, and quite truly reflect the brewerís hand in his use of vanilla, molasses and coffee. The abv is noted but not in an assertive way as the balance of all the complex flavours and the strength of the brew combine with serendipity. Duff, many many thanks for bringing this along, I hope this is not to be one of those once tried and never repeated flights of brewer fancy. Comment, finally, needs also to be made in respect of the bottle. It captures the essence of the beer simply and beautifully.
Linc (736) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - JAN 27, 2007
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle 28, Sydney Gathering - í07
Huge beer, just my kind of stout, heavily laden with rich roasty flavours, with a slightly dominant coffee flavour. Massive mouthfeel, but not oily or cloying, not quite heavy enough to cover the high alcohol content, but just nicely balanced so you know the alcohol is there. Bitterness is nicely integrated and the finish shows just a hint of US hops, with a slight grapefruit accent. Really, really nice.
boboski (1095) - Alabama, USA - JAN 27, 2007
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUN 2, 2007 Bottle #80 of 100. Four months later, bottle #08 of 100, still remarkable. Pours motor oil thick, black and opaque. Even the well retained but thin head of fat, tan bubbles is totally impervious to light. Looks menacingly thick with pretty albeit sparse lacing. Aroma is one of intense viscosity, powerful and subjugating. I have been coerced into loving it without tasting it. Nuances of sugar-sweet alcohol burn, maybe the most pleasing alcohol component Iíve encountered in big dark beer to date. This also has scents of melted bitter chocolates, a little lacto character, molasses, cherries, brown sugar thatís been scorched to a panís surface and fresh coffee from the finest neighborhood roaster. It all seems very lively. Fantastically complex aroma, a mosaic of fragrance. Flavor isnít exactly one sided either, focusing at first on smokiness, but of a very welcoming nature; no bacon flavor here. This the most complex variety of smoky flavors Iíve yet encountered, this thing just wonít stop amazing. Roasty malt with a bite is nicely offset by more complex sugars(the honey I suppose). The chocolate taste is strong, the coffee stronger still. The finish is mostly of coffee with a dash of creamer and a little vanilla and chocolate. The palate is so full, wow. The lingering taste is so mouth-fillling so long after swallowing. I hope another opportunity at this presents itself. Simply breathtaking.
NYHarvey (2153) - New York, New York, USA - JAN 26, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Courtesy of Papsoe. The aroma has burnt molasses, brown sugar, grahm cracker, dark chocolate, coffee and malt in an insanely high concentration. It pours a high viscosity black color and the head, which is a very dark mocha brown, fades fairly rapidly, but retains some semblance of an actual head. It is almost menacing looking it is so dark.
The first sip is dark chocolate mixed with pan-seared grahm cracker, cocoa powder, brown sugar, molasses, blueberry skins, rum soaked cherries and lots of boozy notes. In retrospect this would have benefited from another year in the bottle, but it is amazing right now and I owed it to Boboski to share it for opening something super rare with me. Great stuff. They should definitely brew it again.
JohnC (3000) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - JAN 20, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thanks to sk8viking for sending this imperial stout my way. Lots of roast chocolate(!) in this beauty. Very tasty.
highlandlad (1375) - Blue Mountains, AUSTRALIA - JAN 10, 2007
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
A thread on this site a few days ago asked readers to nominate their favourite brewers from around the planet. If the question arises again, Iíll nominate these guys, because everything Iíve had has fallen somewhere between ívery goodí and íastonishingí. This limited edition (sob!) imperial stout falls into the latter category. At a Sydney RateBeer gathering with a beer line-up of almost Roman decadence (think Westveletern, Pannepot, Utopia, Fullers London Porter), this one blazed like a supernova. Iím not sure if itís the best beer I ever tasted, but Iíll be happy to offer a second opinion if Mikkeller forwards all remaining bottles to my home address. Even with the minimal samplings on offer at a group gathering, this one looked gorgeous in the glass - an impenetrable black that actually sucked in light and forced us to turn on more lamps. Okay, I made that up, but it was an infernally dark beer. A man could lose himself in there, never be found. The glass was capped by a luxuriant wash of caffe latte foam. The aroma was surprisingly ígreení for an imperial stout - fresh hops and pistachios as well as the more expected brown sugars, molasses and espresso. Perfect creamy mouthfeel - wheat flakes? Lovely stuff. Rich and endlessly complex on the tongue. Thickly alcoholic, with the coffee running rampant. Mocha, Bourneville chocolate, port, dark rum, all those good things. A riot in a glass and everyone goes home with a sackload of good times. I think Iím drunk on the memory. Duff - you are a true champ for sharing this one with the Sydney crew. Onya mate. (Sydney RateBeer Jan 07 gathering)
Walt (2449) - Austin, Texas, USA - JAN 8, 2007
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle 52/100: Pour is dark viscous viscous black with a dense and small brown head...smell is rich and so intensely roasty, like being in a coffee shop when roasting...some notes of oak and cocoa...flavor is strongly sweet at first with a strong warmth from alcohol coming on...then the alcohol is killed off by more roasty bitterness...nicely done!