DarkElf (3033) - La Jolla, California, USA - FEB 25, 2011
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
24-Feb-11 (12-oz sample bottle not commercially available: Free bottle for stewarding the 2008 World Beer Cup in San Diego, CA) Wow, this three-year-old beer really has taken me by surprise! Iíve never heard any mention of this breweryís existence, let alone a beer of such high caliber, so my expectations werenít soaring. This imperial stout, which was entered into the Foreign/Export Style Stout category, pours opaque and black as coal through the center and translucent brown at the edges, but the beer foams a bit on the pour, producing nearly two inches of light-brown head that slowly recedes to a quarter-inch cap and leaves a beautiful, ringed structure of lacing on the glass. The nose offers sweet chocolate, sweetened coffee and milk, dark bread, yeast, molasses, prune, apple, and a grill full of smoked meat, very aromatic and highly enticing indeed, but itís the flavor where things reach an extraordinary mark. Rich, decadent, intense flavors of chocolate bar, sweet coffee, chocolate milk, fresh herbs, prunes, fertile earth, dark toast, licorice, and ashtray bathe the palate in luxury. There is a fair amount of roasty bitterness to counter the high sweetness, so the beer remains extremely well-balanced from entry to finish. On the palate, the beer is full-bodied, rich, and chewy in weight, with exceptionally smooth, soft, velvety, medium carbonation, and a gentle dryness that guarantees the beer never becomes cloying. Wow, just wow! This is an absolutely amazing beer that I strongly regret not being able to share with others. Whether the three years of cellaring has been of benefit, I canít say for sure, but itís complex, vibrant, and incredibly well integrated, and itís as delicious an imperial stout as Iíve ever tried. It speaks of luxury dessert, evoking visions of nobility sipping its decadence from a fancy, gold-adorned glass in the dead of winter.
maniac (3800) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - MAR 14, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JAN 19, 2009 On tap at the brewpub on 01/17/2009. Dark black body with a small frothy tan head. Dark chocolate and roast aroma. Big chocolate, roast and light coffee flavor. Medium full body with moderate carbonation. 8/5/8/3/15 - 3.9
On tap at the brewpub on 03/14/2008. Dark black body with a medium creamy head. Rich chocolate and roasted malt aroma. Huge chocolate flavor with some roasted malt, light caramel and a bit of bitterness. Full body with moderately low carbonation. Creamy finish but slightly astringent. 8/5/8/4/16 - 4.1
Prometheus (160) - Bamberg, Bavaria, GERMANY - JAN 17, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at the brewery. Really liked this one. Poured drak black with not a whole lot of head. Strong chocolate and malt flavors and aroma. Slightly bitter. All in all, I liked this one alot!
decaturstevo (5002) - decatur, Tennessee, USA - JUL 7, 2010
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark brown pour almost black with creamy tan head and lace. Chocolate and abv aroma. Chocolate, coffee, and abv from a nice full bodied offering.
hershiser2 (1210) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - JAN 4, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at the brewery. Black with a nice 1" head. Smells of sweet chocolates, licorice, and some undeterminable aroma. Taste is sweet chocolates. Has a smooth finish. A damn tasty offering!
slimweebs (163) - Los Angeles, California, USA - JAN 14, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 6, 2008 This beer is an excellent imperial stout. I really enjoyed how it stepped away from the incredibly smokey and heavy flavors of the standard imperial, and went with a sweeter more dessert beer approach. Very nice.
krisbierjaeger (844) - dolores, Colorado, USA - JAN 1, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
served at the bar in a pint glass. fortunately, i had my own snifter. the black board discription at the pub tritely claims that it's so dark that it "absorbs light", but i can testify that considerable light survives the passage through this stout, revealing ruddy umbers. the pour supports fragile surface foam. it has the same melon-like odor as other south street beers, plus dark chocolate, bitters, vegemite and perhaps strawberry. earthy dark malts are full bodied, but not quite as robust as the world class imperials. has moderate carbonation, moderate bitterness, dark grains and fruits, some smokiness, alcohol circumspect. nice drink. my typical ratebeerian inquisitiveness and desire to talk about the beer was met by the bartender, "dave" with disinterest and curtness. when i asked for a sample of the sibling "420" stout to compare, i was rewarded with a squirt of nitrogen-induced foam in a shot glass slid across the bar at me without comment. gee, thanks dave. otherwise a cool brewpub with good food and service.
cvillebeer (134) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - JAN 20, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Good stout- a little sweet for me, but not usurprising considering the strength. Dark, roasty, hoppy and smooth. .
alexanderj (3314) - Branson, Missouri, USA - FEB 24, 2007
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Best beer that I had at the brewpup, although that isnít saying too much. Initially I really liked it; had a nice sweet chocolate flavor. The more I drank the more the roasted malt and licorice came through. Had a consistant hop presence.
golubj (1377) - San Mateo, California, USA - FEB 24, 2007
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft. Aroma of roasted chocolate. Sweet chocolate flavor at first, but yielded to a bitter roasted finish. I enjoyed this brew.