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RATINGS: 852   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
chandernagor (39) - Oak Park, Illinois, USA - DEC 18, 2004
Pours dark black with a frothy brown head and some sediments. Aroma is earthy, coffee and dried fruits. Flavor is mostly dark coffee, with a hint of smoke. Very unbalanced to me. This finishes very bitter, burnt, almost salty, and the mouthfeel is a bit watery for an imperial. I’m a bit disappointed to get here all the things I didn’t like from their "Robust Porter" even though it’s still a nice beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
hopdog (8867) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 24, 2004
Poured a dark, dark black with an averaged sized brown head. Aromas and tastes of roasted malts, chocolate and coffee. Sweet with a nice bitter balance. Smooth body. This was a good beer that I would definitely drink again.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
mkobes (2140) - paramus, New Jersey, USA - NOV 14, 2004
Bottle. Deep dark brown in color with a tan head. Roasty aroma, and flavor. Chocolately. Caramel notes. Well balanced. Full bodied. Decent beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 28, 2004
This Imperial stout pours with a black body topped by a medium thick head with some lacing. The aroma is slightly sweet yet bitter with a note of licorice, a touch of coffee and a little roastiness. The flavor is slightly sweet yet bitter and hoppy with a touch of coffee, a very slight rostiness and some licorice. Full bodied, smooth and a touch tingly.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Sickboy282 (1115) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 27, 2004
Pours a deep black hue with a small white off-white head. aromas of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and the flavors are the sam as the aromas but in a good way. Thi brew is very tasty despite the alcohol tasting.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
rajendra82 (952) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - OCT 18, 2004
Provided via a trade by BeerAdvocate ppoitras, this big beer series member came in a 22 oz. brown bomber. The beer pored just a shade brown of pitch black with a khaki head. The body was opaque with no highlights at the edges. The aroma was like a fine mocha espresso. The taste was dry and bitter, once again reminding me of a strong dark coffee. Very roasty and burnt with a hint of sourness, this beer was clearly not trying to appeal to those with a sweet tooth. The body was a bit thin for an imperial stout, and the alcohol was not quite up there. A couple of more percent ABV would have made this spectacular.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
5000 (6257) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - OCT 14, 2004
Bottle pours black as space, large foamy tannish head, with so-so lacing.   Hops and roasted malts on the nose.   Strong roasted malt character, slight hop bite.   Decent body, alright mouthfeel.   Nothing stands out as this being really fantastic.   Its a good Stout, but just not as heavy as I would have thought for an Impy.   Finishes with a good hop bite, slight roasted maltiness.   No chocolate notes, or hints of soy.   Meh... Thanks goes out to radiomgb for the trade!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - OCT 13, 2004
Draft - Max’s. The ABV on this version is not 7.1%. Was told the 04 version is 8% (by Smuttynose). Ultra black hole black, creamy dark tan head. Nose bursts full of flavor with black chocolate, Italian roast coffee turned mochachino, sweet vanilla, with a slight dark fruit edge. Sweet and bitter fight the battle to the end. Full bodied, soft carbonation, semi-bitter, dry finish. This version kicks some serious ass. Wish I could have found it in bottles.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
hopscotch (9115) - Indian River County, Florida, USA - OCT 13, 2004
This beer rocks!... Pitch black ale with a small, creamy, beige head. Excellent retention. Very thick, creamy lacework. The aroma is of espresso, dark chocolate, black strap molasses and vanilla. Well-bittered, burnt flavor with big notes of espresso grounds and licorice. Full-bodied with a very silky/creamy mouthfeel and fairly soft carbonation. Lengthy, burnt, bitter, dry finish. World class imperial stout!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
beerhugger (542) - Oshawa, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 4, 2004
UPDATED: OCT 23, 2004 My notes for this one were somewhat minimalist - the main thing I put down was that it was a very solid, traditional Imperial Stout. So then: black and oily and roasted malts and coffee and chocolate and a big rich dark tan head and a smooth rich bitter finish. Mmmm mmm good.

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