FlemishChar (224) - Virginia, USA - JUL 9, 2002
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
A stout of amazing depth and complexity. Pitch black with a small beige head. The flavor has to be tried to be believed: The first impression is that of raisins and plum, and coffeeish roasted malts appear in the middle. The finish is that of a strong, black coffee with no sugar. American micros tend to overhop their imperials, so few have the complexity of this one.
MartinT (8396) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 8, 2002
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 13, 2005 Roasted chocolate malt feathers going down to rest in a puddle of molasses...Berry wine vapors and rich licorice intermingled with great chocolate, finishing in a bitter roastiness...Full-bodied for its size, very complex sweetness and fruitiness...A truly great stout...
beerlovinman99 (124) - USA - JUL 7, 2002
1.6 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 5/20
All the Sam Smiths beers used to be MUCH better when the Samuel Smith brewery was independent and you could find Sam Smith pubs throughout London. The new brews from Tadcaster just are not the same: they are pale imitations of the original.
hopscotch (9996) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JUL 7, 2002
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
This beer rocks.
Ok, first off, nevermind the commercial description. Secondly, I love black strap molasses and licorice. Thirdly and finally, this beer tastes like strong, Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee with a good touch of black strap molasses added to it. If you like licorice, coffee, stout beer and hops to boot, you will love this beer. Itís not too sweet... just very very tasty. A blast to drink. Perfect for the wet, chilly weather in the U.K.
cathcacr (642) - Oregon, USA - JUL 7, 2002
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 10, 2005 New Upgrade, 7/7. Damn, it just keeps growing on me. I was mighty tempted to give this a 9 on aroma, too, and put this way up there at the top among my favorite beers. As it is, it now takes sole posession of 2nd place at 4.7. My goodness, this is some good shite. Among Imperials, itís more drinkable than the Kalamazoo Bellís Expedition Stout, so thatís a plus. I canít wait to try the other Imperials in the RateBeer Top 50, because this stuff is damn good!
Up-grade, 6/21. From 4.3 to 4.5. Gotta say, after a second try, I really love this. Competes with the very best that Iíve tried for top spot in my heart. Stouts usually donít do it for me, but maybe the Imperials will. Original 4/26 comments below:
What a hearty beer. I can tell how this is a beer-loverís beer. My first imperial stout, and I like it! Thick, dark. Almost pitch black. Mild aroma. Little head. Sweet, fruity, rich, smooth taste, thick & heavy mouthfeel. Goes down very smooth. I get hints of chocolate and coffee in the aroma and taste. The more chocolate in a dark beer, the better, I say. :-) Yeah, lots of complexity going on. An enriching, satisfying beer.
MrRomero (1976) - Nolanville, USA - JUL 6, 2002
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
My first Imperial Stout. Nice tan head, deep black color. Strong aroma and flavor of English walnuts. Sweetens as it warms up. Nice, but only in moderation and maybe with a piece of chocolate cake.
wdfod99 (4) - Idaho, USA - JUL 6, 2002 does not count
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
True to style if just a touch thin.A marked diffrence between this and the oatmeal stout.
duff (5484) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - JUL 4, 2002
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: DEC 16, 2005 Re-rate: Not as good as i remember, sweet, flat and slightly stale mouthfeel (which seems common with Sam Smiths beers), some chocolate and mocha, not as intersting, rich or intense as i seem to remember.Original rating(4.1): A very very good Imperial stout, enticing roasted coffee aroma, lots of flavour big chocolate coffee flavour and a bit of licorice in their aswell.
DougShoemaker (3147) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 2, 2002
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Coffee, chocolate, liquorice, brown sugar and black bread aroma. Black as coal, cappuccino head. Dark caramel flavour, coffee, chocolate and treacle, as well as roasted malts. Complex and ultra smooth. Lace is incredible. Sensational!!
stephen (308) - California, USA - JUL 2, 2002
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Perhaps this beer doesnít travel well, but 3 out of 4 bottles that Iíve had have all been dominated by diacetyl and butterscotch. The complexity is there but unappetizing. I prefer imperial stouts with more body and flavor.