petematte46 (330) - Dallas, Texas, USA - SEP 3, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Nearly opaque brown-black with a large light brown head. Heavy bourbon note in the aroma, with dark chocolate, vanilla, and toast. Caramel, vanilla, dark alefruit flavors. Very smooth.
jrehmert (7) - Ellicott City, Maryland, USA - SEP 3, 2009 does not count
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
PACKAGE: 500 mL corked/caged bottle
AROMA: Substantial chocolate and bourbon with a slight note of roasty sweetness.
APPEARANCE: Pours opaque black with a persistent brown head (about 1/4") and dissipates to a thin brown, frothy film that leaves light lacing with each sip.
FLAVOR: Initial flavor is purely imperial stout - chocolate, coffee, and a light sweetness, but the bourbon takes over quickly and entirely, leaving a very distinct bourbon after.
MOUTHFEEL: A full bodied RIS (as expected) with a moderate carbonation level.
OVERALL: Exactly as advertised and a very enjoyable sipper. What more would one expect when starting with such a phenomenal beer and ending in a bourbon barrel for some complexity. The alcohol dominance was a bit out of balance, but that did not take away from my impression in the least.
Flyer (118) - Hartland, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 2, 2009
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
I knew Iíd like this - take one of my favorite beers and do one of my favorite things to it - but I didnít realize Iíd like it THIS much. Dense black with a rich, frothy head. Aroma of bourbon, over-ripe fruit, and some char. More of the same on first sip, plus coffee, vanilla, even some wine-like notes. The aging seems to have taken a little of the slightly rough edge off the Rasputin. Aftertaste of bourbon char, plus some dryness at the finish. The alcohol presence is rich and warming, just where it should be. I did think the $23 price was bit high -- but a week later I bought a second bottle, so I guess not. This is a masterpiece.
michael-pollack (4959) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 1, 2009
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
500ml Bottle: Aroma of bourbon, wood, chocolate, light alcohol, light vanilla, light coconut, light cream, light roasted malts, and a hint of espresso. Poured pitch black in color with a large, dense, brown head that diminished but lasted throughout. Opaque. Slightly sparkling. Flavor is medium sweet. Tastes of bourbon, light alcohol, light vanilla, wood, chocolate, slight espresso, light roasted malts, slight tar, and and a little cream. Medium body. Smooth, silky, then slightly dry texture. Soft to average carbonation. Bourbon, light alcohol, chocolate, wood, and slight tar finish is a tad dry. 11.2%ABV is noticeable but not overbearing.
dirt55 (198) - Washington, USA - AUG 31, 2009
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
bottled, black viscous pour with almost no head, aroma of vanilla/oak and sweet roasted malt, flavor with big sticky dark fruits with wonderful presence of oak and roasted malt, light carbonation with lasting sweetness on palate, very appropriately bottled for special occasions
Rosebud butternuts (2396) - Denton, Texas, USA - AUG 31, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
bottle thanks to cavie who obviously has issues with chocolate easter bunnies. poured black with a tan head that would not give up. aroma was bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and alcohol. flavor was bourbon, caramel, vanilla, and some wood followed by a medium body.
nqualls (1452) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - AUG 30, 2009
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Source:500 mL bottle from Friar Tucks in Illinois.
Glass:North Coast snifter.
Appearance:Black pour with a half finger of brown head.
Aroma:Heavy bourbon and vanilla notes.
Flavor:Heavy bourbon, vanilla and chocolate. The finish is dark bitter chocolate.
Palate:Full body with soft carbonation.
Overall:This was pretty hot for my taste, but still a great beer.
Cavie (4043) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - AUG 30, 2009
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Old drowland sent this one. Itís seriously pointless to try and look through this. There is no light, period. You know, is it superfluous to place a dot after writing the word "period"? Shouldnít that word fulfill the dot requirement? Giant brown head that doesnít go away. Aroma has the bite of a sharp chocolate beer. Sweet and smooth. Doesnít bite too harshly...more like a nibble. Soft chocolate taste, like the ease of milk chocolate. Reminds me of a milk chocolate Easter bunny. You know the kind you eat the ears off first? Yeah, that one. I remember waking up early on Easter so that I could search for eggs, and there was always 1 or 2 that mom would forget about that we would find in late July. And you always ate that candy anyways, you know you did! Finish is of a dark chocolate bitter. Great taste, could have a better aftertaste though. Has the burn of alcohol. Bad bunny.
asheft (2776) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 29, 2009
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Very oaky vanilla aroma. Sweet and inviting. Oily thick black velvety appearance with a light brown, dense foam that lasts and laces the glass. Delicious velvety oaky vanilla flavour with tons of chocolate and some coffee. The oak flavour is strong and transcendent, but is offset by a gentle dryness and black malt bitterness. Not much hops character, but thatís no problem. Surprisingly, the body is not as full as others, medium to full, moderate carbonation, vanilla oak finish.
cgarvieuk (18513) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - AUG 27, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 5, 2012 Bottle at Chris-Os Pre GBBF 09 tasting ... Deep black ... sweet roast malt nose... sweet toffee .. lots of roast malts ... caramel ... lots of toffee ... little bourbon
bottle at home ... deep black ... thin tan head ... dark chocolate ... soft boubon ... mellow nose ... too heavy in bourbon ... lots of coconut ... dark malts ... light chocolate3.8