notalush (4457) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAR 23, 2010
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Corked and caged bomber - black pour with a loose head of dark tan bubbles - semi-bitter nose, with notes of semi-sweet chocolate, intense roasted character, anise - very creamy mouthfeel - well-masked alcohol - quite dry, with extreme roasty flavors, a lot of dark malt bitterness, and dry, hoppy character on the tail end - bitter bakers chocolate, mild vanilla bean, a touch of smoke, a bit of plum, light tannic character - some sweetness is more evident as it warms, but it still remains a lot more dry than your average impy stout - a solidly crafted brew.
boFNjackson (3894) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAR 23, 2010
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Wow! What a great start to the aniversary series. Poured black with a frothy, tan head and excellent retention. Nose had a big roast and a dark chocolate tone. Thick, foamy, chewy palate. Lots of roast and bitterness, with a mild alcohol heat halfway through. Coffee, oats, and a mild charred oak tone, with a balanced molasses bitterness. A nice ting and chocolate malt finish.
GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - MAR 23, 2010
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
750mL bottle poured into a tulip.
The massive pop of the cork surprised me a bit, but it wasn’t a gusher by any means. It did pour with a huge mocha head that shows exceptional retention and sheets of lacing on the sides. A great looking stout.
The aroma is all about the roasted black malts. There is a sweet licorice and espresso presence as well as a solid earthy and herbal hop aroma. Not extremely impressive.
The taste is a step up for me with all the aforementioned aspects of the nose, but they all seem to come together better. The initial taste is a a mixture of earthy hops up front with some semi-sweet chocolate. The heavily roasted malts aren’t as dominant but still form a big backbone. The finish is sweet chocolate, citrus hops and toasted malt bitterness.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied and extremely smooth with lots of carbonation and roasty in the finish.
This is an excellent beer from Sierra Nevada and on the better end of things as impy stouts go. It’s got a solid hop bitterness on top of a big roasty backbone. Good.
ManvsCity (180) - Redmond, Washington, USA - MAR 23, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
A beautiful package all around: cork has xXx stamped onto it, top rate label art, a big 750 ml bottle that pours thick and black as a new moon midnight, and a perfectly frothy brown head. Aromas of dark roast coffee beans, bitter chocolate, smoked bacon, tobacco, molasses, and black licorice. Frighteningly smooth and drinkable for an imperial stout. Tastes pretty much as it smells: wonderful, rich, and chewy. Alcohol is mostly hidden. Hope I can find another bottle to put away for a while - but the temptation to drink it right away will be huge.
michael-pollack (4960) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 23, 2010
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
750ml Bottle: Aroma of roasted malt, light bitter coffee, chocolate, light burnt malt, slight hops, and slight smoke. Poured pitch black in color with a very large, creamy, dense, brown head that diminished but lasted throughout. Quite an extraordinary-looking head. Opaque. Flavor is lightly sweet and medium bitter. Tastes of roasted and burnt malt, bitter coffee, slight piney hops, light chocolate, light wood, and grains. Medium body. Smooth, creamy, then dry texture. Soft to average carbonation. Roasted and burnt malt, slight bitter coffee, and hint of chocolate finish is slightly sweet, light to medium bitter, and dry. 9.2%ABV is totally hidden throughout.
Snojerk321 (2975) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 23, 2010
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750 bottle from bevmo La Mesa. Pours a viscous deep coffee brown / black with a thick frothy tan head, some spotty lacing. Rich nose full of bittersweet chocolate, toffee, and a touch of coffee. Thick and viscous on the palate with a bittersweet chocolate finish, killer stuff!
Taverner (1067) - San Ramon, California, USA - MAR 23, 2010
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
One of the better RIS’s I’ve had. Pours a chocolate black with fluffy tan head. Aroma is roastiness, smoke and chocolate. Touch of coffee in there too. Very creamy mouthfeel, and a very good balance on the sweet/dry spectrum.
blutt59 (5877) - Dallas, Texas, USA - MAR 22, 2010
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
bottle, pitch black with lots of tan foam, aroma of chocolate and hops, plummy chocolate flavor witha bitter hoppy note also, alcohol is too prevalent in this or I would have enjoyed it much more, chocolate vodka finish
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - MAR 22, 2010
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
As if I do not love this brewer enough, they start putting out some special 30th anniv brews in nice corked and caged 750ml bottles that cost <$10 a pop, for an Imperial Stout no less. Pitch black with a towering, creamy tan head. Loads of super clingy lace. Aroma is roasted malt, malted milkshake, lightly charred vanilla bean. Yum. Flavor is very roasty with a nice SN house hop character, citrus mainly. Full bodied, no alcohol burn. A seriously good and thankful not over the top Imperial Stout.
iowaherkeye (2675) - Ocean Beach, San Diego, California, USA - MAR 22, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at Naja’s. Deep deep dark brown with Ruby edges and a one finger creamy tan head, fading to a coating thick film. Chocolate malt balls and toffee dominate with some toasty notes and light roast behind. Flavor adds some anise and spicy alcohol to the mix, as well as a good amount of roasted malts, coffee, light raisins, tar and umami. Bitterness peaked at a 4 in the toasty, semi-dry finish. Full thick smooth body with light carbonation, slick mouthfeel. Very tasty--looking forward to the next 3 releases.