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RATINGS: 296   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.88/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
Jolly Roger himself smoked the malt for this Imperial Stout. This is a massive stout with a huge roasted maltiness and complex smoky, chocolate flavors coming through strong thanks to the gentle handpump and correct cellar temperature.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
egajdzis (5783) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 7, 2007
UPDATED: OCT 26, 2008 [2007 Cask @ brewpub] Poured an opaque black color with a medium sized, tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of roast, smoked malts, chocolate, some caramel malts, and a bit of dark fruit. Taste was woody, with chocolate, roast, light nuts, roast, with smoke, citrus hops, and a little bit of alcohol. Nice mouthfeel. The bottles really don’t compare to this beer on cask.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
hopdog (10498) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 7, 2007
22oz bottle shared courtesy of kramer17801. Poured a dark black color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of roast, smoke, chocolate, and light coffee. Tastes of roast, smoke, chocolate, coffee, caramel, and a touch of dark fruits.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
TomDecapolis (4618) - Milton, Delaware, USA - OCT 6, 2007
Pours a deep black with a medium deep tan creamy head that left some lacing. Aroma of roasted malts, caramel, toffee, light coffee and chocolate. Flavor of roasted malts, a good bit of hop bitterness, coffee, nuts and caramel.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - OCT 6, 2007
Bottle shared by mj. Dark brown body with a small tan head that fades to a cover. Nose is subdued, but what’s there is nice with smoke, molasses, chocolate, toffee and dark fruits. Flavor is lightly sweet with milk chocolate, toffee, prunes, light roast and coffee. Medium/full body is very soft and creamy with light carbonation. Everything is well integrated, nothing sticks out over the top. Nicely done.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
sirpsycho (393) - Murrysville, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 5, 2007
On cask, in a snfter at Otto’s. Oily, thick, brownish-black with a beautiful firm, tan head. Chocolate, coffee, caramel, slight smoke in the nose. Flavor lives up to what the aroma promises, more of the same, chocolate, coffee, caramel, etc. Smooth beer, kind of spoils you once you drink it, cause that’s all I want to drink right now. This is a well made Imperial Stout. Bought some bottles of this while I was there and will rate one in the near future.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Stine (1734) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - OCT 4, 2007
Thick, black and composed appearance. Rim of brown cream and some ruby light at the edge and underneath. Aroma first suggests spearmint, vanilla, and rough dry soil. Black cherries in a liqueur soak, wrapped in dark chocolate. Strawberry and other similarly lovely bright fruit shades fade into a pungent rush of wet mulch and foliage. Flavor is a savory and subtle beauty. Almonds, irish cream, and chocolate sweetness lead, taking a softer line into cherry syrup and raspberry; growing dark, bitter, and acerbic, though tenderly. Smoke texture suggests only the mildest, cleanest bonfire wood. Pears and the earthen rub of real cocoa finishes. Palate is stunningly soft and restrained; comfortable and sophisticated in its carefully bridled strength. So smooth. Simply the most amiable and understated kind of imperial stout that doesn’t sacrifice even a mite of complexity. That type of bold character and tender disposition that sometimes allows a beer to make itself seem your friend in some strange way. Thanks for sharing, Mike!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
tronraner (2459) - Walland, Tennessee, USA - OCT 1, 2007
UPDATED: OCT 2, 2007 Ok, the beer’s 10th rating. On cask at Otto’s. Pours a very dark black with amber extremities and a dense brown head. The aroma is lots of molasses, a little bit of smoke, some walnut, and some alcohol. The flavor is molasses with some notes of smoked beef jerky and a little bit of soy sauce. Woody notes float around in there, too. Peanut shells and alcohol come out as it warms. The finish has ash, bitter chocolate, and some alcohol. This is a fine imperial stout, indeed. I love smoke, so the addition of some smoked malt to this was a pleasant surprise. Highly recommended.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
adrian910ss (2491) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 13, 2007
On Cask at Otto’s. Pours a thick oily black with a thick creamy brown head. nice lacing. Aroma of strong malts, black licorice, chocolate with a hint of smoke. Taste is full of roasted malts and black licorice with a nice smoky finish. Excellent.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
kmweaver (3207) - Petaluma, California, USA - SEP 9, 2007
UPDATED: FEB 12, 2008 22oz bottle, sample #18 in a blind imperial stout tasting. Pours a dark, cola brown color; slight viscosity; minimal head left. Some cardboard and toasty malts and light fruitiness in the aroma; quite relaxed. Medium-to-full mouthfeel: inky, oily dark fruits, chocolate, and leather; emphasis on chewy dried fruits and leathery notes. Lengthy, sticky candy sugar and oily dark fruits in the finish; sweet.

Cask @ Otto’s. Pours a perfectly dark, brownish-black color; huge, fluffy brown head with at least a quarter-inch tall head that lasts forever, leaving thick, web-like lacing. Charred and burnt malts and smoke in the aroma; definitely a sharp, burnt edge to the whole thing, along with a chewy, dark chocolate core; hints of citrus bitterness; the burnt / tannic presence becomes a bit much. Full mouthfeel: oily, soft, chocolate-laden palate; plenty of charred and burnt malts with some smokiness; nougat and dried fruits appear as well, giving a dense, complex presence in the mouth; the soft carbonation keeps this (somehow) very drinkable and light; like a dense, badass, chocolate and charred-malt cloud. Lengthy, doughy and burnt finish, with plenty of nougat and milk chocolate.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
auerbrau (3199) - Ithaca, New York, USA - AUG 25, 2007
UPDATED: SEP 29, 2007 Aug 2007 Cask
Nose presents a subtle roast coffee, tannic barrel residual, vanilla and cream mingled with salt. Not particularly strong or aromatic. Pitch black pour with the densest, creamiest, silky espresso and milk foam. Pure chocolate milk. Flavor is quite outstanding. Thick soupy consistency, yet a long ways from cloying. Texture carries that absolute silk cask feel. There’s lots of delicious subtle character. Italian cherries, roasted Mexican bean, bold warm scotch notes, bits of hickory charcoal, toasted sesame and a bowl of macerated figs and brown sugar. Dessert with savory notes swirled in. Hops pick up towards the rear with light herbal spiciness and lemon verbena leaf. Density and structure like I’ve never seen, but not sticky, sickly, oily or greasy. Just heavy cream leaving the palate feeling fresh and dappled with walnut skin, barbecue ends, molasses and brandy sugars. Awesome. Another one of those super clean, stunningly fresh, quiet Otto’s beers. Deftly brewed. The palate the real winner here. TOTAL=4.2

Re-Rate: 22 Oz Bottle
Subtle salted caramel and oak aroma, backed with Amaretto truffles, candied Orange peel, Virginia Burley, and heavy molasses. A little low, but there. Pours a seductive deep black, rimmed with a tanned froth of creamy soap, lacing nicely. Flavor is a dense and intense creamy malt, with luxurious sugars backed by flourishes of coffee bean, noir chocolate, touches of brandy and nice bourbon character. Dryness arising from coffee grounds, roast malt, and caramelization. Nice solid flavor profile with all the expected nuances. Palate suffers just a touch, losing that irreplaceable cask character and forming more density, which works too. Drys out in hickory, charcoal and oats. Hops percolate a little leafy essence to the smack. Nice and pretty close to cask. TOTAL=4.1

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