awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - APR 20, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
From a growler. Dark black, chocolatey opaque pour with a huge layer of creamy tan foam. The head is beautiful and remarkably well sustaining. Aromas of sprucy hops with a gentle fruity character as well. Sticky chocolate fudge and a hint of prune skins add some chewiness to the malt aroma that also conveys a hefty dose of Sumatran roast coffee characters. The roasted malt character is intensely charred and burned, creating an polarizing hop and roast bitterness personality. I find myself searching for a bit more subtlety in the malt bill, but the roast and hops keep pushing me back. Full bodied, wonderfully creamy mouthfeel. Silky smooth with a wonderfully supple texture. Dark roasty malt characters with lots of char and coffee overwhelming the palate in sharp contrast to the soft mouthfeel. Rich, earthy coffees with some bittersweet dark chocolate notes. Toward the back end, the bitterness of the roast flavors are overtaken by some high alpha hops. Good, big flavored, highly hopped, highly roasted imperial stout that packs a big punch but leaves me thirsting for more complexity and subtlety. Fabulous mouthfeel and appearance, though. Thanks Tom, for bringing such a great, fresh sample!
weeare138 (936) - Collegeville, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 18, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Thanks to jasonmech77 for sharing this hand bottled version...
Appears an opaque, pitch black with a dark tan head that fades to a mild cap and collar after a moment. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of cocoa, light roastiness, mild vanilla, coffee, anise, and brown sugar.
Taste is of roasted nuts & grain, light anise, cocoa, and mild coffee coming through.
Mouthfeel is full bodied with anise, roasted nuts, and bitter coffee swirling around the palate.
hopdog (8933) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 18, 2007
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUN 12, 2007 Sample courtesy of jasonmech77. Poured a dark black color with a smaller sized off brown head. Aromas of chocolate, roast, dark fruits, licorice, and coffee. Tastes of chocolate, sugary sweet, roast, and had a light coffee bitter finish. Alcohol content well hidden.
Re-rate from 12oz hand bottle acquired in trade with Ernest. This time I got a larger sized brown head. Aromas of chocolate, roast, caramel, dark fruits, and coffee. Tastes of coffee, roast, and a trace of dark fruits. Based on this 12oz sample, Iím going to increase the aroma and appearance.
jason (1681) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 17, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 25, 2008 Hand Bottled 12oz much thanks to Captain Cougar Tasted side by side with the Ten Fidy with Cherries. Pours a deep black with thin head. Aroma was malty and I detected a slight vanilla tone to it. Taste had a strong vanilla body with a really nice alcohol feel. Sweet hops and malt pairing and was slightly sugary. In fact the deeper I got into this beer the more sugary sweet it got. The chocolate comes in slowly. Pretty good Imperial Stout.
TomDecapolis (4477) - Milton, Delaware, USA - APR 17, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Very much thanks to jasonmech77 for sharing this hand bottled 12 oz! Pours a deep black with an average brown head that left slight lacing. Aroma of milk chocolate, various fruits, roasted sweet malts, Flavor of coffee grinds, dark chocolate, roasted malts and some hop bitterness. Alcohol well hidden...not as creamy as I was thinking it would be.
Aubrey (3432) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - APR 16, 2007
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: NOV 10, 2007 2007 Boulder Strong Ale Fest: Black w/dark-tan head. Very inviting nose ... classic impy stout. Super rich texture. Flavors and aromas were bold and intense from start to finish. Chocolate blast everywhere. Tons of hop flavors and aromas, yet it was amazingly balanced. Healthy bitterness to boot, with a drying finish. Wonderful, wonderful beer. This was the highlight of the festival, for me. RERATE, can: Just and rich and rewarding. Complex, with dark chocolate, charcoal, licorice, caramel, tar, ... I love it.
chef201atc (261) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - APR 15, 2007
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: OCT 1, 2007 Midnight black pour, deep tan head that last and leaves a nice lace on the glass as I drink it. Wonderfully complex aroma - dark chocolate, roasted coffee, sweet caramel - absolutely tremendous nose. Palate is smooth and silky, maybe just a touch too light for the style. Great coffee flavor, roasted bitterness Ė just an awesome beer! I hated to finish this beer knowing that it will be some time before I get to drink it again.
mds (2208) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - APR 15, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Growler. Pours a black, deep molasses consistency with a small mocha-brown head. The aroma is heavily hopped-up, first and foremost, then some heavy coffee roast notes appear. Noticeable alcohol flavour, prominent hop chewiness, and sticky roast. All well integrated into a thick and smooth body.
Provided by CharlesDarwin at Dr. Billís on March 22, 2007.
holdenn (2080) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 8, 2007
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
How many thanks can i give to drewbeerme for this, he keeps pulling out the big guns. Hand bottled poured chocolate black in color very little head. Aroma of fresh cut grass and chocolate roast. The flavors mirrored the nose with strong chocolate roast flavors and that grassy hop bite. I enjoy hoppy impy stouts but the grassiness of this was too much for me.
Brigadier (2975) - Clevelandish, Ohio, USA - APR 7, 2007
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
12 oz bottle
Thanks to the Atlanta crew for sending a hand bottle of this my way. I donít know how long it will last in the Top 50 but I think it deserves to be close to the top. It will end up in my Top 25 (or close to it) for a while. I wish I could try it fresh on tap as that may make it even better - who knows?
Aroma / Appearance - Cinnamon, chocolate, pepper and toasted marshmellows remind me of a smores experiment gone wrong. Vanilla truffles, licorice, blueberries and plums form a very complicated but cohesive backbone. The midnight black body is as dark as they come with a cinnamon colored head decorating it like a golferís hat. Lacing clings to the sides leaving its mark.
Flavor / Palate - Chewy molasses, cocoa, anise and expresso create a immediate impression on the palate. Cherry, peanut butter, smores, plums and blueberries come next in a symphony of fruitiness. Orange rinds and smoke complete the experience that lingers on the throat. While it might not be a Top 50 for everyone I think it is certainly a personal favorite.