kidmartinek (4687) - austin, Texas, USA - FEB 21, 2013
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Black with a tan head. Danky aroma. Very herbal taste. Spotty lace. Sweet tobacco character.
Kabonski (40) - - FEB 18, 2013
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A very interesting beer to say the least. You can smell and taste hints if red wine. It's not to overpowering but you can't help tasting it with each sip. Also has a smokey and slightly bitter flavor mixed in. The beer has a silky texture and pours with an off white colored head. Like I said, it's interesting but worth a try!
NikkTwist (2769) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 15, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAY 23, 2015 Bottle at Eulogy. FEB 2013. Black pour. Lasting light brown pillowy head. Lots of runny lace. Moderately heavy dark stout flavors with a definite spike from the red wine barrels. Black coffee. Sour candy. Raisin pie. Molasses. Chocolate liquorice. Red beets. Burnt cherries. Medium full body. Red wine barrel notes build as it warms. A nice complex sour element helps this Stout stand out. UPDATE: May 2015. Finally having on draft for the first time (at Eulogy again). Clear very dark brown pour with just a little off-white foam. Sporadic lace. Feels less complex than before. The sour element is nearly missing. More dark chocolate. Less dark fruit. Not as good as the bottle, but notable in both versions is that the high ABV is exceptionally well hidden.
glennmastrange (2681) - hobe sound, Florida, USA - FEB 13, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Moderate to heavy toasted and molasses for the malt, light to moderate resin for the hops, moderate earth for the yeast, with notes of grape, wood and tar. Head is average size, frothy, tan with good lacing and good legs, and is mostly lasting. Color is very dark brown. Flavor starts slightly sweet and moderately acidic, then the very long finish is moderately acidic and heavily bitter. Palate is on the fuller side of medium, creamy with a lively carbonation and a chalky and very dry finish. An Imperial Stout with a nice smooth aroma and a bite in the flavor. Let this one warm up a bit.
smith4498 (3557) - Miami, Florida, USA - FEB 8, 2013
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Gusher! Pours black with huge tan head. Aromas of roasted malts, red wine, oak, dark fruits and vanilla. Similar flavors. Medium body with lively carbonation.
rcasta (849) - EL SALVADOR - FEB 1, 2013
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Super buena. Muy carbonatada. Intenso el sabor a stout y tiene el tang de barricas viejas de vinos
DCLawyer (2786) - Falls Church, Virginia, USA - JAN 30, 2013
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle->snifter. Deep brown with large tan head. Aroma: roasted malt, chocolate, licorice. Taste: cocoa, dark fruit, coffe grounds, oak, boozy. Complex but sloppy interplay. Expected more.
Hopper (827) - San Antonio, Texas, USA - JAN 23, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
12.7 oz green bottle. Pours black with a nice head. The aroma has plenty of roast but also is fairly strong with dark fruits almost grape like. The pinot noir barrel character really shines through. The taste is up front wine barrel character that finishes with a roasty like char. Itís a little rugged also. I wonder what the base beer tastes like as the wine barrel seems to overlap itís potential.
ansermadide (1526) - Kyle, Texas, USA - JAN 21, 2013
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
The bottle (which, by the way, sports a beveled emu-like creature) describes this as a "stout aged in pinot noir barrels". Sounds different! Sounds like a great pairing!
One thing about this beer is impressive (even though it had a hard time forming much of a head when I poured it) is how well it retains a head... its carbonation sustains a really nice, frothy and fine, light brown head atop a black beer. Wow, thatís a frothy head for an imperial stout, and especially with this alcohol content.
Although it eventually passes as an imperial stout, it really smells like a 50/50 blend of a sweet, slightly sour, sangria-like wine and a soft imperial stout. Well-"balanced", Moa! My wife believes that if there was a blind sniff test, youíd initially think it was a wine (albeit an odd-smelling one), and only toward the end of the nose would some of the beerís coffee give away the true nature of the beverage. I, on the other hand, smell the roasted malts up front just as much as that sweet, red wine. Iíll give it this - itís definitely very soft on the nose.
At first sip, some of that aroma almost seems to redirect itself and sneak its way into your mouth. While the beer is in the mouth that same red wine flavor that was in the nose also remains, but you also pick up a woody sourness that wasnít in the nose. The twist: swallow the beer and youíre in for side B of this smooth, vinyl concoction. A strange, tart sourness that I have a hard time describing completely takes over. If you look around for it, you can still pull out that sour sangria experience, perhaps some wood, but otherwise the culmination of all the ingredients and the pinot noir barrels creates a unique, new flavor that has characteristics of licorice, sweet tarts, cherry cough drops, and maybe even eucalyptus or other strange plant/herbal qualities. Now that I mentioned it, it really does seem to taste more and more like cough drops, but with a smooth, roasted malt finish.
Donít let that scare you, though. Itís a great-tasting beer that gets major points for creativity and execution. Plus, itís a beautiful beer that leaves some really sexy lacing. It actually leaves a mostly dry effect in the mouth post-finish. Neat. New Zealand is full of great stuff, isnít it?
mansquito (5457) - Nueva York, New York, USA - JAN 20, 2013
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Total Wine, Fairfax 375ml ($4.50): Pours black with brownish head. Corked bottle was a wicked gusher. Aroma is a copious amount of fresh coffee, with milk chocolate, wood, and a bit of booze. Taste is kind of sharp and peppery. Taste is lightly sweet. Some of vinous and woody notes become manifest deeper into the beer. Lots of chocolate. Sticky mouthfeel. Pretty good, but not as smooth as I like my imperial stouts.