Rambis (12) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - JAN 8, 2002
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Extremely hoppy stout - not creamy at all. Solid taste, good body. Fairly unique due to its bitterness - not for all stout lovers, but a very nice departure from the smoother stouts.
FlemishChar (224) - Virginia, USA - JAN 5, 2002
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Good, but I didn’t find it as complex as other people here suggest.. All I felt is the massive presence of hops. A little roasted malt struggles to come out of the intense hoppiness. The most amazing thing about this brew is the fact that it hides it’s massive alcohol really well.. wouldn’t have known it’s 8.9%..
Todd (20) - Palm Bay, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 12, 2001
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Perhaps the best Imperial Stout commercially available. Extremely complex flavor. Not for everyone, but a superb example of the style.
fuchebu (146) - Croydon, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 5, 2001
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Anastasia is still screaming in vain!!
TheDarkertheBetter99 (27) - Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA - DEC 5, 2001
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This brew truly is a benchmark for Russian Imperials. Ratebeer reviewers place 10 Russians above this one, but I don’t know why. So complex, nice gravity, perfect aftertaste. On a near-empty stomach, two will knock you on your arse. Look for it. Drink one ice cold and another at room temperature. Very, very good.
mikenodak (150) - Fargo, North Dakota, USA - DEC 2, 2001
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
A heady brew - fruity, coffee aroma, taste of burnt mocha, toffee, sweet malt, and licorice, with enough hops and alcohol to numb the tongue and warm the spirit.
heykevin (1273) - Decorah, Iowa, USA - NOV 26, 2001
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Roasted coffee notes in both the aroma and flavor. If I try hard I can taste a similar hop flavor to the Red Seal Ale buried beneath the intense roasty maltiness. A wonderful Imperial Stout.
joet (2052) - Santa Rosa, California, USA - NOV 22, 2001
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Dark roasted cocoa aromas, complex malt aromas and flavors that are full and roasty without being ashen. Thick and lactic without being sweet and syrupy. To be this big and be well balanced with some brightness in the hops is an accomplishment. The alcohol burn is there for certain but subdued.
Aurelius (3903) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - NOV 18, 2001
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Complex. Nice roasted rum-raisin flavor. Not overpowering, but I probably wouldn’t drink more than 2 at a sitting. I’m going to ding this a little for lacking a stacked head, but otherwise, it’s a 4.4-4.5 beer.
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - NOV 17, 2001
4.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: FEB 9, 2004 Nov 17, 2001: On tap at the Map Room in Chicago: I have been singing the praises of McNeills on this site for quite some time; both their Imperial and Reagins stouts are among the best I've ever had. This one equals those fine Vermont products and even reaches new heights. Amazingly complex; I don't know how much I was actually able to get on just one glass. Mostly dried fruits (currents, raisings) in the nose; the flavor was like liquid fruitcake, with a slight smokiness but little in the way of alcoholic overbearing (and at 9%!). A truly amazing beer, unlike any other stout I've had. Could be a top 5 all-time for me.
February 9, 2004, bottled. Worried that my rating was going to drop here, after a douple dozen new Imperials in between, but it hasn't. Surprised that so many comment on the lack of sweetness and massive bitterness -- I thought those were GOOD traits? Anyway for me the massive roastiness and dry-as-hell ending help counterbalance the big maltiness and brandied fruitiness; still my favorite Imperial.