IrishBoy (3689) - Bakersfield, California, USA - OCT 16, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
330ml bottle from cgarrvieuk! Nose of chocolate and black raisins. Black with a medium tan head. Flavor is prunes, chocolate, and light alcohol warmth.
Glouglouburp (5883) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 2, 2010
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
In short: A slimy, fruity and vinous imperial stout that tasted ďoffĒ. Bad bottle?
How: Bottle 275ml. Lot #1067. Bottle given to me in Boston by fellow ratebeerian Reakt, thanks a lot Angelo
The look: Black body topped by a medium beige head with medium retention
In long: Nose of typical slimy fruity imperial stout with limited roatiness, dark fruits, light chocolate and such. In mouth the beer presents soy sauce (too much say sauce), liquorice, tar, raisins, light creamy chocolate, various dark fruits, molasses, some tobacco. Carbonation is lacking making the beer feel even more slimy than it already is. Mouthfeel is syrupy and sticky. All that would be ok if it wasnít for that grapes flavor that approached sourness. Light enough so that I donít know if it was an infection or just part of the beer. But strong enough to be bothersome. Many English imperial stouts are too vinous for my taste, but this one took one level too high. I see that tart fruits is a recurring theme. Maybe most bottles are past their prime by now but then why do people give good ratings for shitty bottles. Iím confused. I would like to resolve this mystery, but to do so I had to solve it a first time.
tdtm82 (668) - Essex, ENGLAND - MAY 1, 2010
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bought from brewery, consumed at home. Poured into goblet glass. Flat head. Borwn sugar on the outside and massive black tar. Coffee aroma, also herbs. Soy source like sickkly edge, dark chocalate and cold espresso on the taste buds. Caramel body and also licrosish. A good beer. Excellent stuff. Will watch a good film with this and sit back and enjoy.
Beeronaut (176) - Cambridgeshire, ENGLAND - FEB 6, 2010
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
My goodness, what a stupidly delicious brew! Iíd had this beer and the Special Reserve some time ago and remembered it being good, but needed to refresh my memory and also to see if it was just the fact that my palate was less mature back then, but wow! This is magnificent stuff. Pours out pleasingly oil like with a mocha coloured head that suddenly grows even though at first it seems almost dead. Black as night body glistens appealingly. Aroma is candied with plum, prune, raspberry, vanilla, yeast and a good nip of alcohol, but not at all unbalanced, on the contrary, all aromas are in harmony. First sip is a delight, lovely balance between sweet and savoury. Immediate flavours are of chocolate and cream, milky coffee, carnation milk, balanced by marmite, black olives, earth and mineral notes. Then in to plum fruits, some bready dough, slight salty tang abd perhaps the suggestion of smoke. The finish is coffee, but not searingly bitter coffee, lovely unctuous sweetened coffee with the occasional bit of coffee sediment floating up just to give you a subtle bitter pinch. Alcohol is surprisingly nowhere to be tasted, thereís an ever so slight warmth in the belly, but other than that it is controlled impeccably. This is truly a delight to drink, and is almost quaffable in a hideously hedonistic sense. Truly decadent beer.
Maria (9912) - Thisted, DENMARK - JAN 24, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Courtesy of Cgarvieuk, thanks Craig! Itís pitch black with a small, creamy head and a oily mouth feel. The aroma has notes of roasted malt, light basement, coffee, licorice and dark fruits. The flavour has a light sweetness and notes of licorice, roasted malt, coffee, dark fruits, light soy sauce and the long finish has a lot of chocolate, perhaps with a hint of smoke. A really nice impy.
Skyview (5087) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - JUL 14, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUL 15, 2009 Sampled during Dark Lord Day í09 back in April (Table #1) and supplied by some one I would like to give credit to. Pours an opaque dark brown brew with a thin tan head that slowly dissipates to a thin film top. Aroma of toasted dark malt, some raisin, tart berries a hint of brown sugar and alcohol. Taste is full bodied, thick and chewy, with flavors of dark chocolate, toasted dark malt, some hit of rum barrel, and tart cherry. Finish is slightly tart with a lingering toasted dark malt, and tobacco aftertaste. Nice alcohol warmth in the finish too.
hughie (3996) - Bedford, Bedfordshire, ENGLAND - JUL 14, 2009
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Lot 104, 9.6%. Near black with a brief brown head. Sweet, rich, alcoholic Christmas cake aroma, like the inside of my dadís drinks cabinet in the 1950ís. Taste has sour plum crumble, old leather, burnt nuts, cognac, forest bark chippings and liqueur truffles. A classic once a year sipper, probably not fully appreciated on a warm July day in a sunny garden.
Christian (10367) - Odense, DENMARK - JUL 10, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
RBESG 08. Black with a light brown head. Aroma is fruity and roasted. Sweet fruity and roasted flavour with some charcoal in the finish
iowaherkeye (2676) - Ocean Beach, San Diego, California, USA - JUN 20, 2009
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 10/20
. . . and a big thank you to cgarvieuk for this 275mL bottle--Lot Number:1067, Best Before 01.11.2009. Black pour with a small, short lasting tan head. Lots of grape and sour cherry aromas up front with some underlying unsweetened cocoa and roasted malts. The flavor is much the same with some added alcohol heat and slightly stronger roast. The sourness is fairly intense, actually--especially for an English beer, peaking around a 4. Big full slick body with very light carbonation. First off, I donít think the sourness is/was intentional (I had the special reserve courtesy of chriso @ RBSG í07 and donít remember it), and second, I canít decide if I like it. After a half hour, Iíve decided I donít too much.
DruncanVeasey (6642) - NUNEATON, Conference Premier, Warwickshire, ENGLAND - APR 21, 2009
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle purchased at the brewery shop, lot number 104, 9.6%. Black as nothing, outlandish filthy tan hat collapsing to a slender cap. Dense, resolving, minutely bubbled slickness like Belgium, Black Albert maybe. Just look at it. Neopolitan ice cream,red apple, raisiny cocoa, custard and oak sweetness aroma. Black silky milk biting with charred barley, burnt toast, bitter bittering and truly stouty dry hop and full-on cocoa attack behind the opening oaky sweetness and delicate wreathes of cigar smoke. Get the toast out of the bin and spread it with melted 80% Lindt Excellence. The dirtiest tan-dappled legs youíve ever seen in your life. Smokehead, intensified. Cherry liqueur chocs, venerable English oak, single malt, condensed Dragon Smoke and hot-faced nonsense kicking in now itís disappearing. Bit of burnt plastic. None of the salt, soy, sourness and complication I was expecting, but a singed, velvety, cocoa-sodden treat drifting across the Atlantic in itís intensity. Quite simply one of the best English beers Iíve ever had, and at this moment I canít conceive of how the Special Reserve is going to top it..