RCWCPACFP (102) - New Jersey, USA - DEC 31, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Thi is a great beer but... It lacked the typical brown head and the sour ting was a little subdued. This is north coastís best beer by far but I did not get the linger I expected from a complex Imperial Stout. If you are local to Chadds Ford PA go grab a McKenzie 5 Czars... or a Sly Fox Imerial Stout. Same Guys.
MrBrewski (42) - Chaska, Minnesota, USA - DEC 31, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pours an almost black with a fizzy, mostly diminishing light brown head with good lacing. Lots of smells going on here, showing lots of promise, toasted grain, strong coffee, some dates and alcohol. First taste, slightly sweet, toasted grains, alcohol, some chocolate, grape/port and light hop. Somehow the flavors are seperate, they lack the smoothness and complex interweaving I look for in a good Imperial Stout. This is a mostly full bodied brew with a creamy texture accented by a soft but present carbonation. Finish was warm with a slight alcoholic aftertase. Not bad just not one of my top picks in an Imp. Stout.
hippie4beer (162) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - DEC 31, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pours a deep black with hints of rubywith a nice thick cream brown head. Aroma is sweet with notes of dark fruits, coffee, dark chocolate, and cream. Flavor is sweet with definite coffee notes, as well as, burnt cherries, and chocolate. Mouthfeel is perfect, just the right amount of carbonation, chewy but very smooth. Nice drinking beer.
OldMrCrow (2356) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 31, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 20, 2007 From the bottle
Pours an almost entirely opaque obsidian with red highlights and a fine head that fades to a modest haze covering the surface of the beer.
The aroma is chocolate, coffee, raisin syrup, plums, and a hint of wheat.
The flavor is splendid in its balance and intensity; this is a beer that you can savor for an hour without feeling as if you are holding back, taking small micro-sips that explode onto the palate and blast through a robust cycle of flavor. That palate is full and well-rounded and the 9% ABV is masterfully hidden. The flavor? All of the expected - the splendid thing about this beer is not any particular unusual component, but rather the balance and intensity of the components.: plum, raisin, a slight bit of brown sugar, chocolate, coffee, a hint of smoke, and a relatively dry (and very long) finish.
This is one fine imperial stout, and itís become a regular house beer for me. I go to it again and again and never expect it to be as good as I remember --- and it always is.
Addendum: On tap at Brouwers, along with a slice of chocolate cake, this was surely one of the best beers Iíve ever enjoyed. Darn near perfect.
Aged 18 months. At 18 months, I donít think that age has improved this beer. If anything, itís lost some of its edge; the rich intensity has stepped back and thereís really not much new that is coming through in its place. It feels a little thin, still extremely tasty but more like a 4.0 or 4.1 beer.
Dogfish120 (143) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - DEC 29, 2005
4.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
Bottle: Black night appearance, charcoal head. Aroma was dancing with loads of coffee malts and carmel hints. Candied yeast followed that, with chocoalte finishing in its wake. Mouthfeel was almost perfect, very little carbination, which I liked. Taste blasted through with huge malt coffee flavor, follwed with candied brown sugar and chocolate at the end. The only thing I didnít like was the bitter finish. Otherwise a perfect brew.
CMUBEERMAN (426) - - DEC 29, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Not the strongest imperial stout on the market. However, it is really good. Definitely fruity and balanced in the coffee and chocolate department. Very little alcohol. Not very complex...at all.
xproudfoot (750) - Paleolithic, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 24, 2005
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: DEC 27, 2005 Bottle. Aroma knocks me on my ass immediately upon uncapping. Apples, alcohol, yeast... fruit cornucopia, raisin, milk chocolate, nuts. Senses are super excited. Pours mahogany with a huge tan head (thatís a gentle pour!) Green apples prominent in the flavor of the head, with a big bite of dark chocolate w/fruit in the head too. Beer replicates those flavors with more prominent dark chocolate, alocohol detectable, but perfectly balanced. Infinite and beautiful finish that prolongs the joy.
At rating 110, this is a gold standard for me - 2nd time Iíve had it and both times it impressed me that it was better than almost any other beer Iíd had.
lethe (177) - New York, USA - DEC 22, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A nice stout throughout. Khaki head atop an obsidian brew with a lively nose of roast, chocolate, and cream notes. Flavor is more of the same with a distinct roast character that gives way to an assertive hop finish. Enjoyable and impressive in its depth of malt tones as well as hop impact.
saxo (16377) - HÝjbjerg, Aarhus, DENMARK - DEC 22, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAR 9, 2008 Pours thick black. Rich creamy mouthfeel. Can really taste the alcohol. Bitter chocolate taste tool.
Philip (436) - Illinois, USA - DEC 20, 2005
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Solid stout, and better on tap, although this rating (and Iím guessing majority of the ones here) is from the bottled version. Given I even tried to pour it to take advantage of the bit of nitro in the bottle, Iím still not overly impressed with this one. Thereís a somewhat abrasive hop finish with a bit of unwarranted sweetness, but thatís almost the least of its problems. I simply donít find this overwhelmingly complex, at least not Top50 complex. Thereís some chocolate, some roasted coffee notes, enough to leave one longing for more complexity. And lastly, the palate is suprisingly thin, not big and chewy like the best of the Impys. It reminds me of a very good stout, and a mediocre imperial stout.