arjoseph (642) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 30, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 oz. bottle into tulip glass, The Friday imperial stout tasting (beer #36). Smack dab in the middle of the Murdererís Row at the end of The Friday, this deserved the company around it. Following Peche Mortel, this had a huge mountain to climb, and it didnít suffer for the placement. Coffee roast in the aroma was less than the Peche, but of a more subtle character. Roasty coffee flavor was a nice intensity for the less-full body, I was amazed that it could pack that much of a punch. Unfortunately, the flavor took on a bit of a tang that Iím never a fan of, but in this beer it seemed more of a complement than a detraction. Standard looking in the glass, nothing of note. As solid as solid can be, with some superlatives in the flavor; I felt that the sum was better than any of the individual parts.
DarkElf (3051) - La Jolla, California, USA - JUN 23, 2005
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUN 26, 2005 (22 oz bottle: Obtained in trade with footbalm, thanks Eric!) Usually I build up to a final summary by the end of the review, but Iím just come right out and say it. Despite a lot of stiff competition, this is one of the finest Imperial Stouts Iíve tasted. Starting with the visuals, this is an amazingly beautiful beer that is practically perfect. Pouring out of the bottle down the side of the glass (to prevent a glass filled with a billowing head), it runs down with tremedous viscosity, leaving a mini oil slick behind to coat the glass. Despite the careful pour, close to two inches of head builds up. It slowly drops to about half an inch, but holds that level for the duration of the session. The moderately aromatic nose is dominated by roast and chocolate, but doesnít smell especially sweet. Of all the aspects, Iíd rate the nose as the least impressive, but itís still pretty inviting. The roast and chocolate that are present in the nose just explode in my mouth right from the first sip, especially the ashtray roastiness, which is the dominant force in the beer. Wow, this is impressive! Itís quite sweet, but that is balanced by a strong bitterness from start to finish, with a long bitter aftertaste. Alcohol is quite evident, but seems in line with such an immense flavor. Big and beefy mouthfeel, full bodied to be sure, viscous and somewhat sticky, this is a beer that coats the palate and stays there. In my opinion, the only thing that keeps this offering from rivaling the best Imperial Stouts is the lack of a cherry undertone. Otherwise, a sterling effort from a great brewery.
lilannie (384) - Adamstown, Maryland, USA - JUN 18, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Aroma: french roast coffee, roasted coffee beans, some cream, some bittersweet chocolate, and some smokiness
Appearance: very dark brown, light brown head, some lacing
Flavor: bittersweet chocolate, roasted coffee beans, some milk, some smokiness
Palate: a little thin--not as thick as some I?ve had--didn?t pour like motor oil, also lacking a little robustness
Overall: though this beer ranks up there next to Rogue?s, I think Rogue?s imperial stout is still a bit better--more robust, complex, and thick
3fourths (9104) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JUN 18, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: APR 13, 2007 22oz bottle. Acidic, bitter campfire and toasted, burnt hops in the nose. Palate is thinner than expected up front and over the middle... flavors gravitate towards a sort of simple milky charred malt, with some light wood smoke and mocha. Not as complex as I was expecting, and overall a let down while still being a very decent imperial stout.
BBB63 (6557) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - JUN 18, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle and rating #1900
Pours nearly opaque with coppery highlights, an initial creamy tan head and good lace. The aroma has notes of black patent malt and chocolate malt, raisin, prune, molasses, floral hops, and a hint of espresso. The taste starts with a nice balance of bittersweetness heavy malt notes finished off with coffee and mild bitters. Additional undertones of mocha, prune, and a touch of sea salt. The feel is a bit underwhelming all things considered. Seemed to be oily and lively enough, but thinner than I expected. Quite good but does not rank in my top 10 impyís which is hard list to break anyway. Beer geek worthy
jde123 (773) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - JUN 4, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap at Blind Tiger in NYC. Pours very black with a thin white head. Enjoyable aroma and taste, espresso chocolate, all the good stuff one expects in a notworthy imperial stout. Almost too heavy for a spring evening, but I was the one who ordered it. Very good, very enjoyable. Recommended.
MilkmanDan (1943) - Eagan, Minnesota, USA - MAY 25, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark with a brown head with really impressive sheeting. Nose has bitter chocolate and coffee with a raisin/molasses sweetness. Also nutty with a bit of noticeable alcohol. Flavor is dry and roasty up front, plenty of sweet dark chocolate. Rich. A good imperial stout, but nothing particularly unusual for the style here.
richlikebeer (838) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 25, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
bottle provided by jimmacko4 at the jimmack invitational. pour is a solid black, so dark it not only blocks light, but seems to absorb it, topped by a tight layer of coffee colored creamy foam. aroma is rife with coffee, alongside some molasses. flavor was very rich and nicely balanced, starting with smooth almost burnt coffee, giving way to sweet chocolates and tailing off into a late hop bitterness. mouthfeel was thick and velvety, and although this was a 2005 vintage, i thought it was much fuller and smoother than the same vintage Dark Lork. thanks jim.
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - MAY 24, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
22oz Bottle courtesy of Eyedrinkale. Opaque black with a creamy tan head. Not used motor oil thick but still thick. Roasted malt and sweetness in the aroma. Typical IS choco-coffee aromas and flavors. A nice IS but man o man the level of variation amongst ISs is close to zero. Full bodied though not as thick as others, which IMO is a good thing.
beerbuzzmontreal (3487) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 23, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a pitch black color with a thin light brown head. Excellent aroma of roasted malt and dark chocolate. Excellent flavor of roasted and dark chocolate with a roasty, bitter finish. Full body with a dry mouthfeel and soft carbonation. Excellent stuff, Southampton did it again!