MasterSki (8) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 21, 2010
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
2006 version, purchased at Oliver Twist. I’ve got the ’07 waiting for the right tasting event back home. Aged in Mackymyra single malt whiskey barrels if I’m not mistaken. Served in a snifter. The bottle was given to me WAY too cold, so I let it warm for a bit.
A - First, I don’t generally dig snifters for my RIS consumption - they generally reduce head volume by quite a bit, and my favorite brews don’t benefit much from the aroma "retention". In any case, it had a late-rising dark mocha, even slightly red, half-finger of foam that dissipated pretty quickly to a ring with a few bubbles at the surface and some "legs". Pitch black - there’s some pretty lace that’s generated with each sip but it quickly slides down the edges of the glass and back into the abyss. It actually looked a lot like Dave’s (d0b) pour of the Cigar City 110K+OT in my Darkness snifter. I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt, but if I get subpar head volume in a different vessel next time I may dock this a half point.
S - Sweet Jesus - this thing smells epic. Huge whiskey, vanilla, oak, dark fruits, honey, roasted malts, tobacco, semi-sweet chocolate, coffee, molasses, and probably all the other descriptors used by my reviewing colleagues. The closest comparison I can think of was the incredible BA Decadence ’07, but this brew brings a slight sour note to the table that is almost a little reminiscent of the most recent Perseguidor (batch 4). I’m not sure how much time this brew sits in the barrel, or whether Swedish whiskey is more conducive to "bugs" but it’s a wonderful addition that adds a touch of depth and richness that can be lacking in other BA beers. There’s not a trace of astringent alcohol either.
T - OK - you can pretty much taste everything listed in the smell, as there is really no drop-off in complexity. Whiskey, vanilla, wood, bittersweet chocolate, dark fruit, roastiness - they’re all here. Near the back end of the palate it fleetingly moves into BA barleywine territory somehow, with the burnt molasses flavor in there, but then it finishes with huge tannins and oak - like on par with Toronado 20th here. I’m at a loss here, because I keep picking up slight sour beer elements that my fellow colleagues didn’t mention - perhaps this is caused by the age, or the barrel used? In any case, it’s as if someone took an amazing BA beer like Decadence and spiked it with a touch of Consecration or something.
M - There’s a little heat to go with the full silky smooth body and lots of stickiness. The residual feel is that "I’ve been licking a piece of wood" kind of thing that shows up in barrel-aged brews. Fairly mild carbonation. No complaints here.
D - This is the only place I can really knock this brew. I was worried the 250ml bottle wouldn’t be enough for me to really enjoy and reflect on, but it was plenty. The alcohol is well hidden, but the buzz creeps up pretty fast. Also, the heavy tannic finish and the somewhat mind-blowing flavor depth make this a true evening-ender. But what an evening!
It’s not very often that a brew comes along that changes my perception of what a style can do. I’m not sure if the slight sour notes were intentional, or a by-product of the barrel aging process, but any beer that marries the best of brews like BA Decadence, Parabola, and Bell’s BB Double/Cream Expo blend with stuff like Toronado 20th and Persguidor opens up my mind and palate to the amazing possibilities of beer. I understand this stuff is hard to get, but it should be tried be every beer lover at least once.
Gurthnar (3005) - Bratislava, SLOVAK REPUBLIC - MAY 13, 2015
4.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
2007 bottle served at exactly 14C. Aroma lots of complex soft roasty notes, lots of chocolate, fruits, alcohol. Taste is almost flawless. Rich malty flavours, sweet, caramel, chocolate, biscuity. Very very tasty, sweet treat, excellent beer.
Cuso (5966) - Bratislava, SLOVAK REPUBLIC - MAY 13, 2015
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle kindly donated by omhper, huge thanks, man. Vintage 2007Almost black color with no head. Roasted malt, coffee, honey, whiskey in aroma. Taste, coffee, roasted malt, honey, dark chocolate, whiskey. Alcohol is present, but not in disturbing way. Very tasty beer.
MisoW (2292) - Bratislava, SLOVAK REPUBLIC - MAY 13, 2015
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle shared by Cuso, many thanks. Pours brown color, no beige head. Aroma of blueberries, vanilla, honey, coffee, chocolate. Taste is sweet, dark berries, chocolate, coffee, oak, vanilla, sherry, honey. Very nice sweet coffe finish with dark fruits.
kraddel (4557) - some beerplace, BELGIUM - MAY 1, 2015
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle at the Ultimate Imperial Stout Tasting. Thnx for the awesome day, folks! This bottle was shared by gEUS. 2009 edition. Pours black, small grey head. Smell is bit sweet, some booze. Taste is oak, roasted malts. sharp bourbon like notes. Very dark, good mouthfeel and carbo. Bit boozy though. Very nice, but worth the hype ???? Its worth seeking out though - if one takes the price and rarity into no concideration.
Dogbrick (9425) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - FEB 16, 2015
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2007 bottle. Pours a flat brownish-black color with a thin beige head that recedes quickly to a thin outer ring. Small sticky patches of lacing on the glass. Aroma of roast malt, oak and dark chocolate. Medium to full body with flavors of roasted malt, chocolate, oak and underlying dark fruit. The finish is roasted malt and leaves a lingering vinous oak aftertaste. Good beer that holds up well all around.
Nische (1187) - Saltsjö-Boo, SWEDEN - FEB 11, 2015
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAY 31, 2015 2007 version. Jet black with almost no head. Beautiful aroma of raisins, molasses, brown sugar and vinous notes. Wonderful taste of the same notes with some mild coffee, some roasted and sweet malt together with smooth chocolaty lingering finish. Absolutely thrilled to finally get a sample of this one, and I wasn’t disappointed.
MrHangover (3211) - Den Haag, NETHERLANDS - JAN 3, 2015
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle @ New Years Tasting. 2008 & 2009 vintages tasted side by side. Both poured a pitch black beer with a small tanned head on top. Aroma of both are epic, but there are differences. Aroma of 08 has more of the base beer shining trough, molasses, honey and overall very malty, while 09 has more iodine, medicinal and stronger characters shining trough. Flavors match both aromas perfectly, one being soft and gentle while the other one is powerful and strong. Both are boozy and sweet and very well balanced and rounded off. Surely getting the legendary status of this beer here. Great stuff, world class, even after all these years.
Countbeer (5297) - Best of E-Town mit 2 Brauhausen, NETHERLANDS - NOV 24, 2014
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
From old notes I recently found: Draught @BBF’10: yay, I knew I had tasted it...
Black beer with a medium sized brown head.
Smell malt roast, mocha, oak, vanilla, light whiskey tone, some chocolate, and cream.
Taste chocolate, coffee, vanilla, mocha, smooth roast, wood, bitters, some raisin, hint of soy and some sweets like brown sugars and caramel.
Aftertaste is bitter with wood, roast, mocha and chocolate.
Soft creamy silky mouthfeel.
Sarlacc83 (1363) - Portland, Oregon, USA - NOV 3, 2014
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Well, spank me - didn’t ever expect to see this one, and then...one day. Thanks so much Todd!
A: Dark black color with a thin cappuccino head.
N: Oxide, cocoa, espresso, soy sauce, molasses, oak, marshmallow, and char.
T: Very sweet, minorly bittered just enough to stop it from climbing off the cloying cliff.
M: Thick, oily body. No alcohol.
O: This is quite nice. The balance here is remarkable, and as such, this is much better than most IRSs I have had. I kind of wish I had tried this next to something like Courage. Seems like there’d be a correlation, but I can’t confirm.
gEUS (1460) - Linden, BELGIUM - OCT 22, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
2006 version, kindly shared by Menno at the Zombier Collaboration Day at Struise. Pours deep dark brown with a small beige head. Subtle coffee and chocolate aromas, and some toffee fudge. Medium body with nice roasty hints, a tad watery but a very looong finish of the smoothest possible mocca coffee. A treat, yet a tad overrated, the 2006 version at least.