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RATINGS: 854   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 17/20
Walt (2449) - Austin, Texas, USA - AUG 14, 2005
Pour is deep black with a thin tan head...smell is lots of coffee with some vanilla, sherry, chocolate...mouthfeel is a little thin...taste is chocolate to coffee to sweet alcohol with a bitter coffee finish...nice, but not remarkable...

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
wnhay (722) - Princeton, New Jersey, USA - JUN 9, 2005
UPDATED: JUN 10, 2005 Pours dark like Godiva chocolate with very little head. Aroma was not real strong on draft. It had various chocolates, caramel, molasses and pine. The taste had a wonderful chocolate and coffee combination. I could not quite place the chocolate taste which was the best part. Very chocolately on the palate. I had this aged in a Jack Daniels Cask which brought out some vanilla as well. Quite good.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
ClarkVV (3892) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JUN 2, 2005
UPDATED: AUG 17, 2006 2003 bottle generously provided by OldGrowth on 5/28/2005. Opaque deep, dark brownish-black colored body with a moderate amount of tan head that recedes to cover/ring. Smells of chocolate with some piney hops and bits of dark malts. Not overly aromatic, though. Flavor of milk chocolate, piney hops that have faded nicely and leave more flavor and little bitterness. Quite dry on the end, with some notes of peanut brittle that linger on. Medium-full body, not over-the-top in anyway. Has aged very nicely. Wonderful, soft creamy mouthfeel with low, natural carbonation. No alcohol detected.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
DarkElf (3033) - La Jolla, California, USA - MAY 23, 2005
UPDATED: MAY 25, 2005 (22 oz bottle: Obtained in trade with Eyedrinkale, thanks Mike!) A rather earthy nose sets the stage, but also disappoints because I’m starting to think that many of my aged (9 months or so) Imperial Stouts are showing signs of too much aging, as many are pretty earthy and pungent. This earthiness is dominating the nose, to the point where I really can’t pick up anything else. Like I’m out hiking in undisturbed environs and move a decaying log. The flavor is also fairly earthy and pungent, malty, somewhat toasty, lightly roasty and bitter. But the overwhelming flavor I pick up is earthy. I don’t expect that is the intended primary flavor of the brewer, so it’s probably the aging talking here. Medium bodied. Very dark brown in color, with a fairly small tan head that gradually dies down to nothing, not even a small halo. So I like this beer, but as Imperial Stouts go, it’s nothing special, merely average, riding off into oblivion.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Silphium (3167) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - MAY 5, 2005
Deep chocolate-brown body, thin light tan head. Aroma of molasses, roasted malts, chocolate, and piney bitter hops. Bitter, roasty, hoppy body (almost burnt), with chocolate and a touch of coffee. A potent example of the style, but it didn’t live up to the fresh 2005 Dark Lord cracked earlier...acquired in a trade but I’m forgetting the donor right now.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Styles (2014) - Lincoln Park, Michigan, USA - APR 18, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 6, 2005 Bottle as an extra in trade from Footbalm. Re-rate courtesy of Pailhead. Pours dark oily black with a nice brown head. Aroma is all chocolate, with faint coffee and spicy hops in the background. Flavor is coffee up front fades to some sweet malt/chocolate throught he middle and a spicy/bitter coffee finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Jeppe (2631) - Ølbutikken, DENMARK - APR 17, 2005
Pitch black, fine brown head. Creamy and roasted aroma, full and sweet, tones of coffee and chocolate. Full flavor as well, sweet chocolaty and creamy with a good hoppy bitterness. Very well blanced and a beer I could drink again and again. Simply excellent!!!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Marc (486) - Yokosuka, JAPAN - APR 10, 2005
Black viscous body with a ruddy sepia head that left a lot of laceing. Coffee, figs, chocolate and black malt in the nose. Perfectly balanced mouthfeel brings across french roast coffee, milk chocolat, dark chocolat, coco. Finish fades into carmelized marshmellow.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Ungstrup (29284) - Citizen of the universe, DENMARK - APR 4, 2005
A black beer with a brown head. The aroma is of roasted malt combined with notes of alcohol and chocolate. The flavor is sweet roasted with notes of chocolate, straw, and and alcohol, and a very smooth mouthfeel.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - MAR 24, 2005
Poured black with a medium tan head. Aroma of chocolate and coffee. Roasted malt flavors continue the choc and coffee. Medium length bitter finisih. Medium bodied.

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