JMerritt (1887) - Macomb, Illinois, USA - MAR 14, 2003
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Jet black in color, light-coffee colored head. Head dropped rather quickly. Pleasant caramel, malt, and coffee aroma (detectable in that order). Flavor has hints of black licorice, mild hoppyness, coffee, and bittersweet chocolate. Rather dry finish. Most importantly: not skunked! (It's always a crapshoot when buying Samuel Smith brews because of the damn clear bottles. Guess I lucked out this time.) Velvety texture, very smooth. Nice.
DYCSoccer17 (3477) - Woodland, California, USA - MAR 12, 2003
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 3, 2004 Very good beer. I did not have any problems with skunkiness or anything else that others have commented on. The head of this beer is beautiful--looks like a capuccino head. Color is very dark. The taste is a classic stout with a more coffee flavor with a dark-chocolate flavor thrown in there. The beer isnt as thick as I imagined, which is good and bad. It makes me want to drink it too fast. The best thing about this beer is its long, creamy and pleasant finish. This is probably another reason why I drank it fast. The 7% is hidden amazingly.
re-rate. Aroma is diminished than I remember. Finish is a little watery.
HighGravity (926) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - MAR 12, 2003
2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 4/20
Pasteurization hit me right in the kisser, but that was followed by a phenolic (plastic) attack that was unbearable. Avoid this beer. Watch out for skunks too.
uhorpheus (215) - houston, Texas, USA - MAR 11, 2003
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Really good beer. Wonderful rich brown head, thick and meaty aroma with hints of coffee. Tasted a little strong, but still very drinkable. My only complaint is that it seemed a little thin, but that may have been because it was in the bottle and not on tap.
Silphium (3188) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - MAR 11, 2003
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A good stout, similar to their Oatmeal Stout but stronger. Nice aroma and a smooth, sweet flavor. Not the most complex Imperial, however. This one comes up short, IMO, of great Imperials like Bells Expedition or Victory Storm King.
JK (4916) - St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA - MAR 6, 2003
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUN 6, 2004 Aroma of soy sauce and port. Black with a brown head that lasted throughout the beer. Taste of coffee, bitter chocolate, port, soy sauce, and spice. Finish is short with bitter coffee. High ABV is not noticeable in the taste. A great beer, but I would prefer a brown bottle.
After my sample of an aged bottle of one year, I had to lower my rating.
jbrus (4991) - Delft, NETHERLANDS - MAR 3, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 7, 2007 Re-rate: No description, just a remark. I had this a few times now and it still rocks. But not as it used to. Did the recipe change? Dit my palate change? Am I getting spoiled? Don’t know but I felt light downgrading the ratings a little. Bottled, 4.5: Nice chocolat aroma. Black color, brown almost creamy head, good lace. Smooth, strong chocolat, hint of coffee, well hopped, well balanced. Long lasting coffee finish with a little alcohol burn. Man! I might have to change my favorite style from Unblended Lambic to Imperial Stout. I love it!
LarsHolmer (112) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - FEB 24, 2003
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
If I must pick 5 Stouts in the World this is one of them. Heavy on the O.G. makes it quite "stocky" full of burnt sugar and a dry finish makes this beer a complete meal.
Ni209 (67) - Tennessee, USA - FEB 24, 2003
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
tastes exactly like an Irish Car Bomb
orangelazarus (53) - USA - FEB 22, 2003
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Brown head, opaque black in color. Sweet, starchy aroma. Tastes a little like a smoked ham (in a good way), obviously very thoroughly roasted, judging from the color and the burnt taste. Medium heavy body, goes down very smoothly. Aftertaste of the roasted barley, missing in any kind of lightness or fruit sweetness. Regardless, a very good beer.
Correction: The aftertaste does lighten and sweeten a bit, about 20 minutes after the beer is gone. Quite nice.