smoosh (534) - New Albany, Indiana, USA - JUN 5, 2003
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle: black with sizeable beige head. Nose of alcohol. Outstanding flavor - can I change my rating to a 12??? Roasty, roasty, roasty. Creamy feel that coats the entire mouth. Alcohol in the finish - just a beautiful beer.
ClarkVV (3761) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JUN 3, 2003
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: OCT 4, 2007 2003 bottle at Ashleys in Ann Arbor
Deep chocolate burnt hue. Roasty/alcohol grainy aroma. Sweeter than I expected with some roasty notes swirling around in there. Less hops than I was hoping for but certainly had that rich textury raisin appeal. The coffee notes werent overpowering, which was nice, as that can sometime ruin these types. I still prefer the drier, hoppier storm king. A little bit of carb problems in the bottle, which dosent go well with the grainy alcohol taste that is detectable. I absolutely must, and will, try more. 2003 draught Very excited to try this on draft and was expecting alot. It certainly delivered. This relatively mellow imperial was delightful. One of the best mouthfeels I’ve tried. Chocolately, creamy, more like a chocolate stout. No alcohol apparent. Very low bitterness, huge creamy off white head, opaque. This was actually too sweet for my liking (though not ultra sugary, more like a salty, rich caramel), with not as much balancing hops as I would see fit, but nonetheless very very good and better than I remember (probably cuz it’s on tap).
2005 bottle consumed in January 06. More bitter, and more black cocoa, licorice and graham cracker-like malts than I remember. Seems like this stuff was a lot sweeter, before. Hmm. Complexity is probably its low point, though the texture is not quite as thick as it could be either. No sediment at the bottom of the bottle. I can see why so many like it, it just seems rather solid, if not very unique at this point.
Draught 3/23/06 at Publick House. Very lively pour produces a huge tan head, with lacing and great retention. Bitter cocoa again, black malt, dry hops bitterness works against the balance. Rich texture on draught though, very fluffy but substantial. I can’t make up my mind on this beer, but I do appreciate that it is not over the top in alcohol or malt (though alcohol is apparent).
SDbruboy (1864) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 1, 2003
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
A real winner from North Coast Brewing Co. This Imperial Russian Stout pours like the thickest, dark roast, black coffee imaginable, yet still produces a small light brown head. The aroma continues the coffee theme – reminiscent of a cup of french roast with bitter bakers chocolate melted into it and a lemon squeezed in for good measure. The flavor is a high alcohol chocolate-coffee jubilee - thick rich roasted malts, balanced by fruity, citrus hops bringing just a suggestion of raspberry into the mix. Mouth-feel is begins with a syrupy texture yielding quickly to a lush, creaminess as the carbonation explodes onto the tongue then quickly recedes. The alcohol is prominent but not over-powering and warms me deeply, inside and out. I find that this wonderful brew like its namesake, refuses to die quickly, but lingers ominously and powerfully in my memory. I am a believer in the magic of Rasputin.
mribm (447) - Hurley, New York, USA - MAY 31, 2003
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Aroma: A fresh chocolate smell!
Appearance: Deep dark brown/black with a slight tan head, which faded quickly.
Flavor: Hoppy chocolate soda says it all.
Palate: Thick body with good carbonation and good mouthfeel.
Overall: A great imperial stout. Chocolate followed by hops, which hid the 8.9% ABV very well. A great winter warmer! Also, didn't do too bad as a damp spring day warmer either!!! I will do this beer again.
JonR888710 (999) - Cochabamba, BOLIVIA - MAY 29, 2003
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: AUG 25, 2003 Pours with a commanding flow. It builds a rich, deep mahogany coloured base with a reverse waterfall of bubbles rising into a marvelous head. The head is a beautiful toasted almond colour, healthy in appearance. On the first waft my nose detects hops, molasses and brown sugar. Upon my first mouthful those flavours meld warmly along with thick, lavish tastes of chocolate cream, malt and hints of coffee. The beer is a mouthful, with its thousands of tiny bubbles declaring all available space and taste buds for its own. The 8% alcohol is cleverly hidden in this cornucopia of charmed tastes. Its glorious, extravagant, almost naughty for a beer to be this good. As I drink the beer down about halfway, I hold the remainder up to a light to reveal a dark burgundy, reminiscent of a port wine. The lacing in the glass is the best I’ve ever seen. Nothing is wrong with this beer; it is the best Stout I’ve ever tasted.
whatusay (20) - San Francisco, USA - MAY 24, 2003
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
This is such a great imperal stout. Absolutely delicious! Very creamy and sweet with lots of chocolate. I love it!
SilkTork (5068) - Rochester, Kent, United Kingdom, Kent, ENGLAND - MAY 22, 2003
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Thanks to Linc for this bottle. Intensity without integration is my feeling on this one. I always feel a bit uncomfortable drinking a beer that nearly everyone has rated above 4, and that I find should be rated a bit lower. It could be that this beer needs some time to settle down and allow everything to mellow out, but at the moment it's a confused rush of alcohol, tangy carbonation and bitter bitter hops. Colour is nice - chocolate with scarlet depth. Aroma is powerful - chocolate, alcohol fumes and damp, rotting hay. Mouthfeel is syrupy and tangy with the carbonation until that dies down, then it just becomes syrupy. Flavour is chocolate again, and some lactic stout, then roasted barley, then the dry bitterness. The mouth is left with an unpleasant bitter mucus. I then dug out a bottle of Sam Smith's Imperial Stout and compared the two. The Sam Smith's didn't impress me as much as it has done on previous occasions - so maybe it's my mood?
jgb9348 (4439) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - MAY 20, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
I've been waiting for this one for a while...I do like the Imperial Stout style, so we'll see where this one ranks. The colour is black on top, but if you stretch the beer (similar to wine), there is a noticable lighter brown colour near the bottom. The head is nice and thick with a brown colour. The smell is chocolate, roasted and definately malty. The taste is equally as good. It tastes like burnt everything, especially coffee. This is a great imperial stout that should be tried by everyone...as it is somewhat easy to find! I bought this at Chevy Chase Liqour & Wine in Washington, D.C.
burgerlicious (308) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - MAY 12, 2003
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
rich, coffee taste with a minimal amount of head. very similar to guinness, but perhaps a little better. slight hoppy aftertaste with a warming finish.
Frank (2304) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 11, 2003
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Looks great. Dark, dark garnet. Extremely creamy tan head. Sheets of lace. Aroma of coffee, hazelnut, dark chocolate, and spice. Molasses and raisin also become apparent once tasted. Moderately earthy--rustic, even. Just a touch of alcohol warmth. Thick velvety mouthfeel and soft carbonation. Some fruity vinous notes come out in the finish, complimented by moderately strong dark, hoppy bitterness.