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RATINGS: 1506   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.76   SEASONAL: Summer   EST. CALORIES: 288   ABV: 9.6%
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“a stout of great contention” We are not the harbingers of truth as some may suggest but it may indeed be argued that our brewing philosophy is tantamount to a dessert with a bellicose past. How, you may ask, would a brewery determine a likeness to hard-coated custard? Our response is simple; it’s all in the power of history, and of course, the extra finesse needed to top off a contentious treat with definition.

By comprehending the labyrinthine movement of time, one would not think it strange to trace the errant path of an ordinary object such as a cream dessert only to discover that it has been the cause of cultural disputes since the middle ages. The British founders of burnt cream and from Spain, crema catalana, both stand by their creative originality and we respect that, but it was the French Crème Brûlée, amid the strife of contention, that survived to represent our deliciously creamy brew. 9.6% abv • 25º plato • 195º L • 22 oz / 1/6 keg 2-row pale malt / dark caramel malt / vanilla bean / lactose sugar / kettle hops: columbus / aroma hops: horizon

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 8/20
tylerss20 (101) - New Hampshire, USA - JUL 21, 2008
I suppose I was like abcfan. High expectations, great sweet caramel aroma, but the flavor was a massive sugar attack. WAAYYY too sweet. I could not finish this beer. Imperial stout? Even if this were a sweet/cream stout, I would say it was too much. Almost made me sick to my stomach. In my humble opinion, beer should never get any closer to dessert than Peche Mortel or Sam Smith Oatmeal. If it’s sweeter than that, it isn’t beer.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Miver (609) - Silver Spring, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 21, 2008
UPDATED: OCT 21, 2008 Draft at Capones. Poured black with a medium sized tan head that left a nice lacing on the glass. Note: Capones pours these probably a little on the cold side. Strong aroma of crème brulee (Caramel, chocolate, and cream). Taste of toasted caramel, chocolate, coffee, butterscotch, vanilla and cream. Wonderfully smooth body and quite the outstanding desert beer. When this one warmed up it really showed the sugary sweetness more and the aroma was powerful. When I have this again I’ll certainly chill it down a little to subdue the sweetness. Overall the alcohol was hidden very well, and I thought this was one fantastic brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 6/20
abcfan (747) - New Jersey, USA - JUL 20, 2008
I had such great expectations after reading the reviews and description of this brew, nonetheless, I was very disappointed. Poured black with very little head. Had an amazing aroma of burnt sugary sweetness, that I couldn’t wait to try. The taste was an overpowering creamy sugar bomb. Was very smooth/slick on the tongue and had an alcohol finish. Couldn’t finish my glass. First drain pour in a long time. The Blackwater series is now 0-2 for the ones that I have sampled.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
nihar (68) - Ohio, USA - JUL 20, 2008
On tap at Jackie O’s during Ohio Brew Week... pours dark with a very thick head that lingers for a while... the aroma is simply delicious with a lot of vanilla, caramel and irish creme... plenty of flavor ... lots of sugar, butter scotch and malts... texture is smooth... a great "dessert" beer!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
puzzl (3254) - New York, New York, USA - JUL 20, 2008
UPDATED: AUG 2, 2010 Batch 1 tap at the Ginger Man. I quite enjoyed this. My review wont be much different than others’, though, as this beer is so one-dimensional. Deliciously sweet caramel aroma is loaded with vanilla and sugar. Just a pure, 100% unfettered Creme Brulee quality. Incredibly full bodied with a great cupcake sweetness throughout. The only issue is a biting, moisture-sucking mouthfeel. Overall quite delicious. 8/5/8/4/4.0 edit: subsequent tastings of this beer have revealed it to be a horrid, sweet mess. I’ve updated my rating accordingly.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
dmac (4217) - Toms River, New Jersey, USA - JUL 20, 2008
22oz bomber purchased at EZ Liquors and shared with jimmack and joeec. First off I totally agree with chronictonic that this should be a flaovred beer. No beer with an aroma or flaovr like this can be classified as an Impy Stout. Aroma on this is unbelievable. It truely is a liquid desert and smells like no beer, even a flavored beer, that I have ever encountered...tons of buterscotch, vanilla, sugary and only a slight touch of alcohol. The flavor didn’t come over as well but did have lots of sugary vanilla and butterscotch on top of some burnt malts. Very interesting beer and if I ever have this again I will have to pair it with some chocolate to help tame the super sweet flavor and aroma some.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
chronictonic (473) - Oreland, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 20, 2008
bottle (Capone’s) - Let me qualify my rating as that of a flavored beer. Comparing this to a regular imperial stout I don’t think would be "right". I’m also not a fan of flavored beers - especially vanilla additives. However.....Pours a thick dark mahogany brown. Aroma is almost a perfect match for creme brulee. Taste is remarkably like creme brulee also - caramelized sugars, vanilla, some roasted chocolates. There is a alcohol edge that gives it a nice warming sensation. Finishes with some hop bite that helps to clear the palate somewhat of the creme brulee flavors. Overall, this is truly a unique and excellent desert beer - definitely one of the best "flavored" beers I’ve had.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
RomanW70 (297) - Providence, Rhode Island, USA - JUL 20, 2008
From bottle. Pours dark, almost black. Beautiful aroma of well.... creme brulee. Taste is similar, all burnt sugar and vanilla. Alcohol is very present throughout the entire taste and fairly distracting. I guess that’s why Southern Tier recommends a serving tempature of 42 degrees. The alcohol keeps it from being a super delicious beer, although, it’s still tasty in its own right.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
beastiefan2k (2526) - Emerald City (formely NYC & KS), Washington, USA - JUL 19, 2008
Well this was fun to have at a table full of RBians, on tap @ Ginger Man. Its definitely full of what cane be consider very strong creme brulee or very burnt and strong vanilla. And of course with that its very sweet. Its very cool at first, and one thinks heck these guys are giving you exactly what they are advertising. But even after a few sips the sweetness seems to really get annoying and extremely over the top. The smell was so strong people kept moving the glass away from them. Cool stuff but a gimmick basically.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
jb (2302) - Rochester, New York, USA - JUL 19, 2008
Wow this has an unusual aroma, hazelnut, very sweet and heavy. Very minimal head, even with pour right down the middle. Very dark. Very interesting palate. Intensely sweet, but oily, very roasted notes in there, some hops. It is not a meek beer. But the initial sweetness makes you sip this stuff like bourbon. Credit for originality.

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