daknole (8333) - 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 (1323) - 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 (5701) - 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...
tedovertu (282) - Apple Valley, Minnesota, USA - SEP 14, 2010
2.7 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Appears to be a Russian stout from appearance but lacks the thickness and hoppiness of a really great RIP. Rather weak head that does have decent lacing. Kind of has a dish water aftertaste. Very watery for a RIP. My least favorite RIP to date.
vyvvy (3565) - Florissant, Missouri, USA - SEP 4, 2010
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pours dark brown with a tan head that leaves pretty quickly. The aroma has lots of green apple, some toasted malt and cocoa. Medium / full body that starts smooth, then has an overabundance of sharp carbonation. The flavor has pepperiness, light roasted malt, milk chocolate, cream and spicy hops. The finish is cream and spice. Fair at best, but really doesnít have the umpf for the style.
rudolf (2310) - Buffalo, New York, USA - AUG 24, 2010
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle from Beers of the World. black body, tan head. Nose is grapey with cocoa, toffee, caramel, green apple and alcohol. Flavor is caramel, acrid burnt malt, red wine, alcohol, dry cocoa. Bitterness, burnt malt & very dark toffee in the finish.
Cybercat (2947) - Georgia, USA - AUG 20, 2010
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pours a solid near-black with a thick, frothy, rather persistent light tan head. Aroma is smoky with tones of toffee, molasses and coffee. Thick, rich flavor has unsweet chocolate, toffee and nutty components as well as hints of quality coffee and molasses with just a whisper of sweetness. Edgy, fizzy texture leaves behind a nice strong and rather persistent tingle.
Gustav1996 (333) - Birmingham, Alabama, USA - AUG 19, 2010
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
12oz bottle. Poured a opaque, burnt brown with a very thin, dark beige film for a head. Aroma was interesting: sweet, fruit (maybe pomegranate?), tea, roasted barley, mild tart, faint booze. Taste: Roasted malts, sweet, fruit (maybe pomegranate), notes of tea. Long finish of roasted barley & malts, fresh fruits - all with a mild bitterness. Medium body, sticky mouthfeel. Overall a good beer: some depth, nice balance - not really what I would call a IRSÖ more of good Porter.
CaptainCougar (7129) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - JUL 28, 2010
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle: Pours a barely transparent dark mahogany with a spotty-lacing light tan head. Has a sweet caramel nose with a touch of plum and raisin fruitiness along with some roast and dark chocolate. Starts with average fullness for the style and some sugary dark caramel sweetness with a hint of dark fruity complexity before a mild bittering hop presence and a dark chocolate finish. Could be a little fuller and more complex, but still an enjoyable and fairly drinkable brew.