Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 813   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

BleacherBum's rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BleacherBum (177) - Blowing Rock, North Carolina, USA - OCT 2, 2009
What a unique beer: Not that overly impressive techniques, ingredients or unexpected results culminated in such a fantastic beer, but rather that I’ve never tasted anything like it. This is a hop monster, which leads me to believe I have a very fresh bottle on-hand. The aroma on this is piny/floral hops and licorice. That’s it. That’s all I get. Flavor is more of the same. Piny, bitter hop bite, dark fruits (from the hops), licorice and a hint of dark chocolate. Hints of mint and Jaegermeister??? The finish is dry and resiny. This beer tastes like a damn Christmas tree (makes mental note to pick up a couple extra bottles for the holiday). Body is medium. No alcohol burn. Aftertaste is almost asphalt-like, but not in an offensive way. I’m sure it’s roasty, but almost all aspects of imperial stout are masked by the copious amount of hops. This is the definition of an ager. I’d hope the coffee, caramel and chocolate flavors would eventually come through in a couple years, but maybe not as this puts any "Black IPA" to shame, IMO. A force to be reckoned with, but with a price tag to love. $5.50/22 oz.. Pretty good now. Should be fantastic with age on it.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
wheresyourball (445) - El Cajon, California, USA - APR 15, 2014
Tap in Rochester; server proclaimed it "the best stout you can get for the money." Dark black pour with mocha head. Nose is coffee and caramel. Silky smooth mouthfeel with coffee, chocolate, caramel, malt, and medium carbonation. More bitter than sweet, but very good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Ktwse (1465) - SWEDEN - APR 15, 2014
Pours black with thick tan head. Aroma of coffee, chocolate, molasses, syrup, earth. Taste is balanced vanilla and chocolate followed by rich coffee bitter that lingers. Body is rich and creamy with soft carbonation. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Dazz3 (1476) - Hällefors, SWEDEN - APR 10, 2014
Bottled. Pours pitch black with a big brown head. Smells licorice, dark chocolate, roasted malt, a bit sweet and barry. Tastes licorice, dark chocolate, coffee, a bit smoky and sweet with a roasted malt bitter finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Linnet (1029) - Umeå, SWEDEN - APR 9, 2014
Roasty, chocolatey, coffeelike aroma, black colour, medium beige head, lacing.big bite, rich, noticable sweetness, ABV evident, but well integrated, very rewarding! Fullbodied, soft carbonation, bitter, roasty and salty finish. Great.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
rlgk (9371) - Göteborg/Jönköping, SWEDEN - APR 8, 2014
Bottle from Systembolaget. Pitch black beer with a very nice lasting brownish head. Malty caramel aroma, roasted, dark chocolate, some earthy notes, licorice, cocoa powder, some vanilla, figs, tar notes. leather, some coffee. Roasted chocolate and coffee flacvor, dark chocolate, figs, some hoppy bitterness, licorice, salty notes, earthy, some cream and toffee. Extremely drinkable with alcohol very well hidden, full bodied and with a pleasant balnaced finish bringing chocolate, vanilla, cocoa, licorice, salt and some toffee. Really nice beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Ed5388 (1718) - 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 (2149) - 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 (1041) - 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 (1782) - 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.

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