glennmastrange (1886) - 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 (2631) - 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 (775) - 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 (687) - 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 (813) - 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. It’s a little rugged also. I wonder what the base beer tastes like as the wine barrel seems to overlap it’s potential.
ansermadide (1198) - 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, that’s 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, you’d initially think it was a wine (albeit an odd-smelling one), and only toward the end of the nose would some of the beer’s 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. I’ll give it this - it’s 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 wasn’t in the nose. The twist: swallow the beer and you’re 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.
Don’t let that scare you, though. It’s a great-tasting beer that gets major points for creativity and execution. Plus, it’s 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, isn’t it?
mansquito (2502) - 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.
italianjohn (2026) - Penndel, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 15, 2013
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Black pour orange hue, with a beige foamy overcarbonated head and decent sticky lacing .... aroma of overcarbonated sugars and red wine ... taste of roasted and smoked malts, light bitter roasted coffee and def heavy notes of oaked dry pinot noir .... finish is dry bitter and abv slightly evident
jhamp9 (752) - Corinth, Texas, USA - JAN 14, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Near black with a thin beige head. Aroma is chocolate, dark fruit, wood, and a little vinous and a hint of pepper. Taste is bitter up front and then gets a little sweeter. Has chocolate, coffee, red wine, and sweet dark fruits. Dry finish and somewhat prickly carbonation. Really liked this.
vipinvelp (1169) - Velp, NETHERLANDS - JAN 7, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Black with lasting light brown foam head. Aroma is chocolate and smalle coffee. Taste is nice bitter with tones of coffee and bitter chocolate. Aftertaste is bittersweet. A truly nice beer. (Houston 201301)