Wakie (612) - Centreville, Virginia, USA - JAN 15, 2003
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Very dark with almost no head. Tastes a bit like burnt medicine/cough syrup. Not bad but not one of the beers I'd order right away.
tkaufman (129) - Lewis Center, Ohio, USA - JAN 13, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours like a mix between molasses and oil. Very thick brew with an excellent aroma of roasted malts and chocolate. Flavors of roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate immediately smack you upside the head. There is also a definite hop bitterness that becomes more prevalant in the finish. Alcoholic strength becomes more noticable at the end of the glass as well. An excellent Russian.
JasonG (776) - Salt Lake City, Utah, USA - JAN 12, 2003
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a very dark color, with just a hint of ruby red if you hold it up to the light. Rather thick, brownish head. Aroma is pretty sweet. Flavor is smooth and sweet throughout, with a bit of malt to balance. A great stout overall, but a bit too sweet for me. Not overly complex, but a great, full taste.
MartinT (8236) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 8, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: AUG 27, 2004 A rusty coffee pot steams in the middle of the table, staring at its unforgiving masters...The air is thick with tobacco, fresh milk (the stable is right next door) and onerous oneiries...The feeblest Phoebus shines through the only (broken) window square of the disaffected room...It is in such a rustic setting that the most astute chocolate minds are discussing with rapturous emotion the state of their hop fields...Scattered dates, blackberries and hop resins remind them of times well-spent in passion and abundance...But, call them stubborn, stupid or enamoured, they are armoured with the determination of bringing back authenticity and quality in a multi-national-ridden cesspool of mass-produced blandness...This is Devotion...
vector (163) - Dallas, Texas, USA - JAN 7, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 17, 2003 This complex flavored stout is a real kick in the face to someone like me who hasn't ventured very far into the realm of russian imperial stouts. That being said, I did enjoy this brew. High ABV but smooth texture will work you over.
microdyke (360) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 6, 2003
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 31, 2003 Very deep brown with a very small tan head that is just clinging to the edge of my glass. Some bubbles were pronounced on the surface. The aroma was of Dark malts, alcohol and chocolate. It had a very strong alcohol taste right up front then more flavors of chocolate and coffee in the middle and a dry malty finish. The warmer it became the more I can taste coffee and roasted malts. The alcohol taste was a bit overwhelming for me at first...I was just not expecting that. The aftertaste is wonderful in my mouth.
DrunkAsASkunk (847) - Lynnwood, Washington, USA - JAN 3, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 23, 2003 Very interesting and tantalizing on the taste buds to say the least. It begins with a heavy chocolate and alcohol aroma, with mild hints of coffee, espresso and roastiness apparent. It pours a nice jet black which did show patches of dark ruby red in the light in our tiny glasses. The head was a nice beige which lasted nicely and provided a good mild carbonated tickling to the tongue as was expected. The taste was exceptionally alcoholic...there is absolutely no attempt here to hide the 8.9%. It beats the palate to a pulp and then comes back for more before leaving a good smokey and chocolatey finish on the back of the tongue, and a nice warming feeling in the belly. The taste reminded me of chewing on a snickers bar...good caramel taste..come to think of it, caramel was slightly apparent in the aroma too. Nonetheless, a nice imperial stout, another favorite of mine, i must find more...matt i owe ya!!!!
RERATE 01/23/03: Upon second tasting of a full bottle (or two) i noticed a definite swing toward a nuttiness in the flavor. Good chocolate richness, and much of the same character as i described above. The aroma is very hard to describe but extremely pleasant. Im bumping this up into my top 10..this is outstanding.
akinm (282) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 3, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark body looks deep ruby in a thin glass when held up to the light. milk chocolate colored head dies fairly quickly but is pretty while it lasts. the aroma is very chocolatey with a hint of alcohol puching its way through. the body is thick an smooth even out of a bottle. you practically have to chew this beer. the flavor is very busy, the start is almost sweet but ends very fast. it is beaten up by the alcohol that powers its way through like a locomotive in the middle of the taste, for me this is the only downside of the beer. the finish is quite nice though. as you swallow that alcohol a lovely roasted or chocolate barley flavor comes through and i can picture myself at the homebrew store chewing on roasted barley and chocolate malt...mmmmmmm. this beer is quite nice and packs a fair punch at 8.9%. Drunkasaskunk and I enjoyed the bottle, i wish we had at least one more.
Kasteelfreak (341) - Fallbrook, California, USA - JAN 2, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAR 24, 2004 More complex than the Black Bear stout I just had. Taste is more bold and intense. This is a little more complex, but not as easy to drink. It's very high quality. More than the Black Bear, but I liked the Black Bear just as much. Color and head are about the same. Aroma goes to the Black Bear.
This has been my favorite for a while now. I just don't get sick of it. Has a coffee, chocolate, rasberry falvor. BTW, this is much better than Black Bear. Rererate 032404: Insane beer. Should be inducted in the beer hall of fame. This beer is very well balnced and is great in every way. Cocoa, chocolate, coffee, and a touch of dark fruit in the aroma. Medium, perfectly balnced mouthfeel. Rich, creamy, lingering cocoa taste with a bit of acidity and hops. Small thin head that lingers. This is the whole package; the real deal.
bbooth (115) - Gilbert, Arizona, USA - JAN 1, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Black color with a tight tan head that does not stick around after the first couple swigs. Very Roasty/Malty nose. Very malty/roasty start which gets more complex in the middle. The coffee and toffee notes pick up in the early finish. Nice bitter finish. Flavor not as complex as I would like in a RIS, but definitely a worthy brew.