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on tap

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RATINGS: 818   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.94   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 303   ABV: 10.1%
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After a one year hiatus the Imperial Stout is back in action. We figured that after catching a bit of flack for its absence we’d have it return with a bang. We bumped up the starting gravity from 20° P to 24° P. This allowed the beer to finish just over 10% ABV. Like this year’s Barleywine, we’ve decided to play with the hop character, specifically the dry hop presence. Trying to avoid the fiasco of my previous attempt at adding pellets to the fermentor, I did what any good manager would do: I made Charlie add them. He had the advantage of being able to add the hops directly through a top manway and so his besting me in this challenge is not necessarily a sign of his superior brewing skills but more a reflection of my adventurous, try anything spirit (or at least that’s the story I’m stickin’ to). The Charles added 44 lbs of Cascade, split evenly between two batches, or about half a pound per barrel. We then transferred the beer onto seventy-eight pounds of an even mixture of Centennial and Columbus whole flowers, about one pound per barrel. The beer is a little top heavy in terms of the hopping but it seems to be smoothing out a bit as it’s aging. I’d give it six months or so, if you can wait that long. If not, hey, enjoy it anyway.
2014 - 9.4% abv

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Ed5388 (1732) - Forked River, New Jersey, USA - APR 8, 2014
Sampled at AC Beerfest (2014). Poured pitch black in color with a thick frothy tan head. Aroma of fudge brownie mix, roasted malt, and caramel. Taste of bitter roasted coffee, dark chocolate, earth, and sweet caramel.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
cbfobes (2155) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - APR 3, 2014
Poured from 22oz bomber, 2014 edition, pours black with a thick brown head and lacing through out the entire glass, aroma is very roasty, touch of dark chocolate mixed in with a hint of coffee, sweet for sure, flavor has a roasty front end with a finish of bitter chocolate and booze, pretty sweet through out as well, mouthfeel was a little disappointing, pretty sweet but has a hoppy finish at the same time, hmmm, not blown away but still ok I suppose.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
dnstone (2111) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - APR 3, 2014
Really a fantastic stout. Black in color with a solid tan colored head. Sweet roasty aroma. Chocolatey roasty flavor finished with a solid hop character. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
rxeight (1047) - Illinois, USA - APR 2, 2014
Fantastic roasty stout that is maybe only a hair behind expedition and founders imperial.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chudwick (1790) - Cincyucky, Kentucky, USA - MAR 28, 2014
2014 vintage bomber into Le Duvel - Nose is dark fruit and roasted malts/chocolate. Second whiff adds pine. Sips reinforces the roasted character leaning towards coffee. The main bitterness I get is of the dark chocolate kind and some sweetness, leading to a generally balanced taste. Long coffee finish with dry lips. Can’t really detect 9.4% ABV’s worth of booze. Latent pine/resin hop kick.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
rbrazell (1457) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - MAR 18, 2014
Bottle from Market Square. Black pour with a creamy tan head. Big fudgy chocolate aroma, light smoke and ash, with roasted malts, Sumatra coffee and hints of dark fruit. Thick baker’s chocolate, roasted malts, coffee with a lengthy bitter chocolate and piney citrus hop finish. Medium thick body and smooth carbonation. So balanced and drinkable. Damn fine.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
AWISLguy (1051) - Wisconsin, USA - MAR 11, 2014
Bomber from Ray’s in Tosa. Pours an impressive looking inky black with a brown head leaving spots of lace. Aroma has loads of grassy hops, heavy roast and chocolate. Definite an Alpha Klaus similarity in the nose - and it is hard to get any better than that. Taste is of bittersweet chocolate, espresso and molasses, with light citrus. Full bodied and chewy. A bit rough. Finishes bittersweet, with a good balance of the two, and with some length. Far exceeded my expectation from a so-so brewer. Anytime something can be mentioned in the same breath as Alpha Klaus, with the hoppy bittersweetness, you are top of a class. Rougher than Klaus, and stout-y, but somewhat similar. Probably would be good to age, so will have to look for another.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
crossovert (6363) - Illinois, USA - MAR 10, 2014
2014 vintage. 650ml bottle. Dark pour, dakr head. Really nice looking head that is really foamy and tan. Smell is herbal and piney hops, chocoalte, graham cracker, and licorice. This one is big and boozy, prickling carb. Lots of hops, super hoppy, think darkness but drier and hoppier even.Tons of coffee and dakr cocoa flavors. This is freakin awesome.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Westmeister (1534) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - MAR 9, 2014
Just how I like my stouts. $6 bomber and big flavor. This one you could say is run of the mill upper echelon imperial stout, but that is a severe compliment. I still love a bold roasted, chocolate, high octane stout done well for a good price. This one is in the realm of purchase again for the sake of just seeing what the hell happens in 3 years.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
annunz123 (809) - Taunton, Massachusetts, USA - MAR 4, 2014
Chocolate, coffee, raisins, and vanilla in the aroma. More of the same in a bittersweet flavor, with some alcohol and roast coffee bitterness in the finish. Another great beer in their Big Beer series.

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