ehhdayton (1188) - USA - FEB 19, 2008
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours an opaque black with a dense tan head. Aroma has roasted coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruit, and some hops. Flavor is rich and bold with chocolate, licorice, coffee, and darkf ruit flavors.
AgentSteve (1640) - SF Bay Area, California, USA - FEB 19, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours opaque, deep brown with a full oatmeal colored head. Nose is chocolate and coffee. Flavor is the same, with a hint of smoke. A bit of a burn in the finish.
beerbill (3564) - Laurel, New York, USA - FEB 17, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
12.7 oz. bottle. After having a glass of this year’s release of the SPH RIS yesterday afternoon, I figured I’d follow that up with another great imperial stout this morning for breakfast. Pours black with a moderate light brown head that lasted until about mid-glass. Very pleasant aroma of coffee with notes of roasted malt and some citrus as well. The flavor begins with plenty of coffee and roasted malt flavor, which gives way to a seriously bitter finish. Its difficult to tell if the bitterness is from the coffee or the hops, and I suspect its probably both. Kind of dry, chalky mouthfeel which was a little off-putting, otherwise a solid coffee stout.
Brix (633) - DENMARK - FEB 17, 2008
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: DEC 1, 2009 Tasted 2008-02-17. 6 months old bottle. Pours black with brown head. The head rather quickly disappears leaving it looking very much like a strong coffee. Aroma: coffee, roasty, caramel, chocolate, grass, leather, earthy, alcohol, liquorice, wood. Flavours: coffee, caramel, chocolate, grass, medium bitterness, slightly salty. Very full body, oily feel, soft carbonation, bitter finnish. Great beer!
Revisited the same vintage 18 months later: A little bit more accessible now - but pretty much all the nuances has survived.
tronraner (2459) - Walland, Tennessee, USA - FEB 15, 2008
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle. Pours very black with a tight, grayish dark tan head. The aroma at first makes me think of a barleywine, what with the alcohol, strong spicy maltiness, woody hops, and sweet caramel. But then I get wafts of chocolate and coffee as well, along with a really weird medicinal, antiseptic note. That strange antiseptic quality is the first thing I notice in the flavor, too, and much more strongly. It’s seriously like mouthwash. I think the combination of the slightly biting herbal hops and the alcohol combine in a way that makes it resemble the mouthwash I typically use. I just can’t shake the association, and it’s ruining the beer for me bigtime. But if I can pay attention to the rest of the flavor for a minute, it’s got a nice roasty quality to it with occasional hints of chocolate, smoke, and nuts. The finish is surprisingly bitter with plenty of alcohol warmth. Herbal hops linger in the aftertaste for an eternity. This has the potential to be pretty good, but the whole mouthwash deal is more than I can take.
BrewDad (5117) - Olympia, Washington, USA - FEB 15, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
12.7oz Bottle - Trade - jmikolich
Aroma – Huge black malt and dark crystal malt aroma. Chocolate and coffee all through out the aroma.
Appearance – Dark Black color, Then head and clear? Well it might be clear.
Flavor – Tons of stout flavor, Deep dark chocolate and coffee. This was super.
Palate – Great Mouthfeel, good texture with a dry finish.
Overall – Huge Impy Stout this beer will give your grandchildren hair on their toes. Huge flavor this is a sipping beer and a great finisher for the night.
shp555 (2024) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - FEB 15, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a black color with a thin brown head. Aroma is molasses, coffee, and roasted malts. Flavor is malty, caramel, molasses, roasted malts, and a bitter hop finish.
MoDog (927) - Griffith, Indiana, USA - FEB 13, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured from a 12.7 oz corked and caged bottle and served in a snifter. This imperial stout poured an opaque black with a small head of dark tan foam that settled into a thin layer, lasting throughout most of the glass. A healthy amount of clingy lace was left behind. The aroma of the beer was made up of strong coffee notes, citrus hops, charred malts, and some chocolate covered cherries. The flavor consisted of burnt malt, smoke, a heavy dose of espresso roast coffee, mild grapefruit bitterness, and an ever-present alcoholic note. The mouthfeel was heavy and full-bodied with light carbonation. Overall, this was a really nice imperial stout, but the coffee bitterness and alcohol overpowered the rest of the flavor at times. Otherwise, pretty good.
pintsize (1042) - Austin, Texas, USA - FEB 12, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
2-11-08 bottle shared with lb4lb thanks to Ty5592
Nice thick black pour with tan head and great speckled lacing. Smell is roasted malt and has a definite hops presence as well. Flavor is malty but also quite hoppy - especially in the finish. Palate is average - less thick and creamy than most Imperial Stouts and has a higher level of carbonation than I expected. Alcohol becomes present in the aroma as it warms and only slightly in the taste. Overall, pretty darn good (but not the best).
lb4lb (2570) - Austin, Texas, USA - FEB 11, 2008
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: FEB 12, 2008 Bottle courtesy of Ty5592. Thanks!
Pours dark black with some light brown tones during the pour. Medium but quite short lived tan head for an Imperial Stout.
Smell is quite obviously nicely hopped for the style, with a nice dry roastiness coming in as well. Some alcohol in the nose as well as a bit of aspirin.
Taste is dark and roasty, somewhat dry chocolate like and hoppy as well. The alcohol is slightly noticeable but it comes off more like a minty freshness in the mouth and warming in the chest than hot alcohol. Quite pleasant for 14% and very drinkable. Carbonated a bit more than average for the style aiding in drinkability. As it warms, I definitely get a bit of the aspirin like chalky medicinal bitterness too from the hops. That definitely detracted a bit and kept it from being a fantastic beer, yet it is still good.