jercraigs (8289) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 9, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
375 ml bottle. Black body with a small creamy brown head. Boozy dark fruit aroma with some hoppy citrus notes. Surprisingly bitter flavour, roasty acidic coffee notes. Hot alcoholic undertones, strong eye opening acidic character to the finish lingers is a bit rough and is not particularly welcome. Smooth medium palate. (3+) Very interesting with a lot of depth and character but I do not know if I particularly want more. Good in its way, but ultimately rather disappointing, I had hoped for something different. Following it up with the Nogne Dark Horizon cast it in an even less flattering light.
jhumphries69 (1034) - Tyrone, Georgia, USA - JAN 9, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
375ml foil-wrapped, caged & corked bottle (cork was synthetic). Pours a completely, opaque black. The head forms slowly into a thin brown layer and then subsides quickly into next to nothing. The aroma is strong and complex: strong roasted notes, dark chocolate, dark cherries, hints of acid/vinegar, herbal notes (a subtle mint if you get a really big whiff), and alcohol. The flavor starts very roasty with coffee, dark chocolate, alcohol, and dark fruits. The middle of the tongue picks up more fruit (interesting fruity bitterness with hints of acid/sour). There are some very strong roasted and almost savory notes all over the tongue. The layers of flavors are complex - lots of fruit, coffee, chocolate, and malts. The finish continues the trend with a subtle sourness and a not-so-subtle level of roasted grains and coffee. The finish is also hot with alcohol (next time I find this one, I’ll cellar it for a couple of years...). The texture is medium in body (unexpectedly light given the strength and maltiness), quite oily after you swirl it in your mouth a bit, and zippy all over the tongue from a decently high level of carbonation (despite the lack of head upon pouring). Overall, a very interesting beer with lots of intriguing flavors - but quite rough around the edges at this age (I just bought it one month ago - so this beer definitely needs some cellaring).
ucusty (2691) - raleigh, North Carolina, USA - JAN 8, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 8, 2010 What a pleasure to drink tis beer! Pours black with 1 finger of thick tan head. Some really nice lacing as well . Soy, roast, and molasses on the nose with notable hints of coffee. Roast and chocolate up front finsh’s with a blast of alcohol. This one is really gonna be nice in a few years. A true winter warmer.
hophead75 (2012) - Largo, Florida, USA - JAN 4, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sampled at dickinsonbeer’s gathering on 12-28. opaque black in color. Aroma is tons of roast and chocolate, a moderate amount of alcohol, light notes of soy sauce and molasses. Taste is very roasty with alot of chocolate, some burnt sugars and molasses, and somewhat hot with ethanol. Medium to full body, finishes with alot of roast, chocolate, and some alcohol burn. This is going to be awesome once it mellows. Thanks goes out to whoever shared this bottle!
Syd (921) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JAN 4, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle pours black with a nice tan head that lingers and laces. The aroma is yeast, chocolate, coffee, - very nice. The flavor has a lot going for it. There is a distinct mild malt foundation up front that relaxes, followed by a bit hit of roast, darkness, bitterness. Finishing up the show is dark fruit, pepper spice, and a lingering ale fruitiness. As it warms, all these flavors blend together like a perfect, wide and shallow bell shaped curve. Additionally, the sweetness begins to show through. Smooth. The palate is rich with the nice cleans of some carbonation. Overall. a very nice Impy.
gottalottaibu (243) - charlotte, North Carolina, USA - JAN 4, 2008
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
yummy stuff. black cherry brown with one finger dark carmel bubbly head. sticky lacing. sweet chocolate and roasted coffee aroma. oily and silky on the mouthfeel. nice alcohol warmth. greatly balanced. bitterness and roasted flavors melted nicely with the sweetness. at 14% and with some some nnig flavors it is still nicely drinkable.
FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JAN 2, 2008
2.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
August 2011 Cork Date; Sampled January 2008
Pours with an initial fat one-finger thick, creamed-chocolate tan colored head that sits atop an opaque, black colored brew. This brew is clearly coffee influenced, as I pour it I get that distinct aroma of burnt berries that is often found in coffee. Over the top roast aromatics make this smell like cold, concentrated espresso, heavily burnt grain husks and sharp, roast acidic notes. In addition to the burnt berry notes, there is a touch of something like deeply burnt raisins, though overall not much of the fruit character is noticeable in the aroma. The aroma is actually quite harsh; it is a bit too sharp, acidic and burntly astringent for my preferences. The aroma sort of has a burnt vegetal note towards the finish, or perhaps it is a burnt plastic phenolic.
Somewhat lighter in heft than I was expecting, in fact this really seems to accentuate (or exacerbate depending on your perspective) the sharp, acidic and burnt flavors of this brew. The burnt flavors show from beginning to end; they considerably dry out this brew, especially in the finish where the tongue is left with an acidic, dry, charcoal note that has one looking for some refreshment. Up front this brew shows some promise as the sweeter malt notes contribute flavors of dark chocolate, burnt prunes, and a somewhat creamy mouthfeel, but by the finish the beer has just become so harsh and astringent. The coffee notes and burnt malt notes are huge here; this is so much harsher / acidic / burnt than the worst pull of espresso that I have ever had. The overbearing burnt charcoal notes really effect the mouthfeel of this brew, where it should be rich and creamy feeling it ends up thin and flabby.
The twin, roasted combination of blackened grain and roast coffee is just too much for my assaulted taste buds. This is possibly the harshest finishing beer I have ever had. The assault is just punishing and is not even really enjoyable in its unrelenting character. I wonder if this will mellow out any in the next ten years? Well I do have another bottle and that will surely sit for quite some time before I crack another. Harsh enough that it feels like a hangover waiting to happen, but all of that carbonized malt & coffee will probably leave me quite filtered and purified.
MrBendo (1064) - Swedesboro, New Jersey, USA - JAN 2, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: SEP 30, 2008 New bottle. Pours deep brown with a medium head. Aroma of espresso and dark roasted malts. A big, big beer; espresso, dark fruits, licorice, roasted malts and grassy hops. Heavy body and chewy. There is some hint of the high ABV. A little warm. But classy.
WabashMan (1017) - Noblesville, Indiana, USA - JAN 1, 2008
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
A nice imperial, though it struck me as being a tad too vinous and relying too much on the alcohol flavors. It didn’t have the same heaviness that a lot of imperials have, which made for a unique experience. Good...but perhaps a bit disappointing, given its ratings.
Angeloregon (2055) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 1, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured form a bottle a deep dismal (in a good way) black body. Opaque with a thin wispy brown-gray head. Nose of sweet, bitter and mildly sour grittiness. Far from cloying. Big on the coffee aromatics. Toasty and lactic in the finish. Peaty smokiness present. Earthy and rather complex. Not as thick and luxurious as I would have liked, but classy and rich all the same. Alcohol is hidden craftily and this beer is better and better as it warms and unveils its true genius.