gormanb (173) - Bowling Green, Ohio, USA - NOV 30, 2010
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
aroma- dark chocolate, caramel, cinnamon, roasted malt, brown sugar, bread. pours pitch black with little tan head. taste is chocolate, bread, caramel malt, cereal, some smoke, hay, coffee, alcohol taste lingers. palate is thick, full bodied, but with a light finish besides lingering booziness, some carbonation.
Pawola22 (3262) - Plainfield, Illinois, USA - NOV 26, 2010
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
12oz bottle from the Sahara Mart in Bloomington, IN. Pours a black body with a thin, creamy, brown head that dissipates quickly and leaves a moderate lacing throughout. Aroma is licorice, caramel, molasses, roast, peat, chocolate, and plummy dark fruits. Flavor is a jumble of the aroma, but once it settles out a bit it turns out okay. Roast, sharper licorice, some alcohol, peat, molasses, chocolate, caramel, dark fruits, and a moderate piney hop presence. Finishes dry with a decent mixture of roasts, hops, and molasses before leaving a lengthy aftertaste. Medium-full body and soft, moderate carbonation. Overall, a decent impy. Lots of molasses and fairly roasty and bitter, but everything never seems to come perfectly together. Not bad at all, but not nearly elite either.
Dickinsonbeer (5074) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - NOV 26, 2010
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours a deep brown ruby nearing on black. Aroma is very sweet with fruity esters, plum prune, toast, light chocolate malts, some roast. Flavor is also low on the roast and chocolate- some acrid burnt notes, lots of caramel sweetness, some fruity notes, leather, burnt tones, ash, grassy, some acrid smoked malt in the end. A bit to weak- sweet, not roasty enough- and a touch tin in the end.
Beerona97 (2398) - Washington, USA - NOV 26, 2010
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pours solid black with a creamy light tan head. Aroma of toasted malt and butter. Taste is decent, molasses and toasted malt, slight dark chocolate bitterness on the finish. Body is a little thin with high carbonation. Not bad, not great.
heemer77 (5242) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - OCT 28, 2010
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
The body is perfectly black and topped with a thin light tan head. The nose has milk chocolate, raisins and hints of mushroom. There is some roast in there, but it is light. The taste first hit me with bubblegum, then I got raisins and milk chocolate. There is also a little bit of coffee and ashes in the finish. The body is smooth and lightly carbonated. There is a little bit of green apple, but it is light. This is decent, but boring and underwhelming for an Imperial Stout.
dionysus (1485) - Arizona, USA - OCT 22, 2010
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle pours dark brown with a khaki head. Aroma shows chocolate, roasted malt, toffee, green apple, and sour dark fruit. Flavor shows the same with a touch of molasses. Even though the flavor doesnít seem heavily roasted, it still gets a touch ashy at times. Overall body is much lighter than I look for in a RIS.
daknole (10801) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - OCT 18, 2010
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Dark brown head, tan head. Roasty, tart, chalky aroma. Flavor is sweet, lightly roasty, raisins, molasses, hop finish.
BeerHawk (1810) - Huntsville, Alabama, USA - OCT 1, 2010
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Poured black with a tan head. Aroma of sweet chocolate malt. The flavor had chocolate and light roast. Medium to full body, creamy texture and bittersweet.
andyhwcinc (1796) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 24, 2010
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
I picked this up at a local liquor store who had it at a greatly discounted price. For the price, itís not bad but Iím glad I didnít have to pay full price for it. Poured from 12 oz bottle. Aroma of alcohol, sugar, and chocolate. Appearance pure black with a thin head. Itís pretty smooth, definite chocolate presence with a hint of coffee, toffee, and lactose. Carbonation is much more apparent than other beers in the style and Iím not a huge fan because of it. Itís not a bad beer, but there are better options in the field of RIS.
BBB63 (6510) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - SEP 17, 2010
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle and served in my NB worthy glass and tasting next to a 2009 Rogue XS Imperial Stout (XS) for comparison, abit a very tough opponent (rated at 4.5 back in 2003):
Okay, as I approach this tasting I am first going to list my expections based on the branding versus my past history and sense data: It says Whole Hog Russian Imperial Stout (WH) so I am expecting some very dark, very powerful and rich with a noticeable black malt influence, the whole "hog" experiance I find in many of the genre. I see that they use Dark Roasted Malt so that is a plus then I see they use Cascade and Cluster hops. I like Cascade hops and expect a juicy resiny component and I am unsure about the Cluster, some beer I had with them tend to be "catty". Lastly, it is made by Stevens Point which from my experiences have produced some average to bad beers, so that will lessen my expections. So there you have it, lets see what I get...
Appearance: Deep cola brown and not nearly as opaque as the XS, small fading fizzy lightly beige head versus the creamier tan look of the XS, less spotty lacing as well. The XS is a 5 so I will give the WH a 3. Aroma: Liquorice, black charred and bakers chocolate, some walnut, maple sugar, prune, moderate resiny and herbal hop esters, slight metallic, salty meat and a bit boozy. (as it warmed started pick up some "vomit" character). The XS was equally boozy but the malts smelled less sweet displaying the roast and some coffee-ish esters better. The XS it was less fruity and meaty as well, smells much more traditional and more towards my established expections. The XS is a 9 so I will give the WH a 7.
Okay the taste: Not as overly cloy sweet as fear but still a tad too much, twangy dark fruits, some chocolate, cashews and coffee notes, with a ashy black malt finish. The hops bitterness is noticed but more a background player and really did not add much to the palate. The one major off note for the Whole Hog Impy is the plastic and artificial sweetner finish. I choose the XP because it was still young and I got that with a lot of green and grassy hop tones with some expected brash alcohol and also found that the 2009 seems way thinner than in the past. So the one area the WH beat the XS was mouth feel but barely, still needs to be a bit more hefty and slicker IMO. Overall final impressions is that while The Whole Hog Impy was not bad (minus the artificial finish) but was also not anywhere near the elite of the genre. That said, my 2nd favorite beer from Stevens Point behind the Cascade Pale Ale. I have two more Stevens Point WH series to try, still holding reservations...