Ethereal (2417) - Los Angeles, California, USA - JUL 2, 2009
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle, on two occasions, both times courtesy of reakt. The first time I simply enjoyed it and didnít take notes. The second time I managed a score. Gobsmackingly good, without a doubt. Need to try it again!
MaxxDaddy (413) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - JUN 22, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle shared by Duff (huge thanks!). Pours dark brown with a ring of bubbles. Aroma is incredibly deep, with some bourbon and sherry notes on top of some dark fruits. The taste is really superb as well, with a touch of smoke, some raisins, peanuts, and toffee. Later on I get some tobacco taste as well. I agree with puzzl that this is tastes older than it is, but itís still damn good. Goes down very smooth for a beer of this heft. Reminds me of Bass Kingís Ale.
iowaherkeye (2698) - Ocean Beach, San Diego, California, USA - JUN 21, 2009
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
275mL, brewed 14.11.2006. Thanks cgarvieuk for the bottle. Also, thanks to chriso for when I put my rating in for RBSG í07. Deep deep brown with a thin ring and film of tan head. Lots of vanilla caramel bourbon notes up front with none of the sourness that I got from the regular version. Some licorice and anise are also quite present, as well as some light roast. Flavor has a fair amount of fusels, more than likely from the barrel as well as a bit of acetone. The barrel does a good job of keeping this from getting too sweet, as there really isnít a whole helluva lot of roast going on--mainly caramel, vanilla, raisin, and chocolatey sweetness. Scant carbonation with the same oily thick palate as the regular version. I think I was about three sheets to the wind when I had this last--glad I got another shot at it.
puzzl (3257) - New York, New York, USA - JUN 18, 2009
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Huge thanks to Duff for sharing this absolutely lovely (and rather rare) 2006 bottle. This was way different than I was expecting. Seeing an imperial stout in the top 50, even if it is British I just assume it would be American style. Well this is anything but. Very reminiscent of the A La Coq stout, as well Courage RIS (at least what I could imagine it would taste like with less than 15 years on it), this is a thick, black, nearly flat stout, with big notes of soy and smoke. Deep, sweet molasses, with a chalky, licorice complexity, plum and other stone fruits. The aroma is lacking though, just not very expressive or present; some scents of chalk and plum are noted. The flavor is just so good and deep, though. The age is quite apparent, even at only 2.5 years old. I hope they continue to make this beer, it is a lovely beer highlighting an almost completely lost branch in British brewing of very strong, sweet beers.
VikingHammer (506) - Lynnfield, Massachusetts, USA - JUN 15, 2009
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks to Fonefan for the trade. Pours black with small bubbles for a head. Aromas were very nice. Raisins, caramel,soy sauce, chocolate and a hint of oak. Full bodied with a velvet mouth feel. Awesome stout.
GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JUN 13, 2009
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Huge thanks to Jan for getting me this rarity, 275mL bottle 2006 vintage, poured into a snifter. ABV listed as 11% on this bottle.
It pours a very viscous-looking black that has a small tan head develop right after the pour which quickly fades back to a bubbly collar and leaves only traces of lacing.
The aroma is like a mix of imperial stout and barleywine, and in the best ways possible. There a lot more sweetness that a typical RIS, with lots of caramel, vanilla and dark fruits. There are dark roasted malts and some dark chocolate that bring in the stout character and itís got a huge whiskey and oak presence in the nose on top of that. Unbelievable nose.
The taste has much of the same characteristics as the aroma but there is more peat and smoke than the aroma suggested. The underlying dark malts and sweetness from the fruit and licorice is all there but the finish really brings the smoked peat into play and finishes almost like a scotch with a slight alcohol burn going down.
THe mouthfeel is extremely slick and carbonation is minimal. Overall, itís not the most robust of RISís Iíve tried but itís got plenty of body.
This is an extremely interesting beer from Old Chimneyís and probably the best beer Iíve had from the UK. The aroma attests to how complex the beer is with a dizzying array of things going on and coming together very well. Highly recommended!
padrefan98 (854) - (San Diego) Santee, California, USA - MAY 12, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thanks to toncatcher for sharing this at his tasting. Aromas of malt, licorice, some anise. Flavors of roasted malt, sweet fruits, chocolate. Good stuff!
toncatcher (228) - Santee - SAN DIEGO, California, USA - MAY 10, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
This bottle founds itís way to Santee, California from England via Scottland, DLD, Ohio, and to me. Wow! alot of work but worth it. Pours dark with no head. Aroma of dark fruit, malt, and wood. Flavors were much the same. Very nice.
bierkoning (10920) - La Tropica, NETHERLANDS - MAY 10, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2006 bottle from Nightfall. Thanks! Almost black and opague. Malt, salt and licorice in the aroma. Malty sweet flavor with some roast, licorice, hints of laurel and oak and raisin. Powerful, yet a silky smotth mouthfeel. Very good!
StefanSD (2218) - Lakeside, California, USA - MAY 9, 2009
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 oz bottle at Toncatcher’s house, shared with Padrefan, Fordest and a few others. Provided by Dennis. Pours a dark brown color with almost no head. The aroma is strong with spiced malts, anise and dates. The flavor is lively with lots of sweet fruits, licorice, and wood. The finish is long and sweet. The mouthfeel is full and smooth. Overall: A very tasty ale. But not sure if this one might have been mishandled at some point on its long trip to our table. Its taste might have been just a bit off.