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RATINGS: 1575   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.76   SEASONAL: Summer   EST. CALORIES: 288   ABV: 9.6%
“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 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
DeweyDell (159) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - AUG 1, 2009
22 oz bomber. I had this last year and (falsely) remembered it being dark brown to black in color, but it’s actually more of a medium brown with unexpected hints of red. If I could give this beer more than 10 points for aroma I would... this may be the best smelling beer I’ve ever had. Lots of carmel, vanilla, straight up sugar... it smells like melted dulce de leche ice cream, if you can imagine that. Not as thick in the mouth as the nose would lead you to believe, but still pretty heavy. Taste is everything described in the aroma, with a bit of an alcohol bite and something that reminds me of well water... iron? Rust? Not sure. Very roasty flavor. As a whole this brew is pretty delicious. I’m not an expert on cellaring, but it seems the flavors could meld a bit and this would be better with some time in the bottle.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
wavers1 (916) - Notown, California, USA - AUG 1, 2009
UPDATED: AUG 3, 2009 22oz courtesy of bmartin08 and wow. how you make a good imperial stout smell like candy and taste like creme brulee with a bitter roasted finish, i do not know. but they have done it.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
l1br4r14n (451) - Rancho Cucamonga, California, USA - JUL 30, 2009
Holy smokes! This beer smells just like cheesecake! Vanilla, caramel - is there any beer in this thing? Flavor is way to sweet for my tastes, sugar, sugar sugar. A sip and a smell is all you need for this one.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
drowland (7051) - Georgia, USA - JUL 29, 2009
Bottle pour This is great! the aroma is toasted caramel and cream with wafts of vanilla and roast - it smells almost exactly like a dessert. The flavor has those characteristics as well as a burnt/roast backing with layers of sweet complexity and even a hint of hops. Quite tasty!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
pete4999 (1254) - Buffalo, New York, USA - JUL 26, 2009
22 oz bottle. Pours dark brown, nearly black. Whitish tan head, fades quicker than hoped. Immediate smell of milk chocolate and caramel. Smells like a piece of chocolate cake, very rich scent. Very sweet beer with a delicious roast aftertaste. Tastes like caramel, but just enough bitterness to not make this sickening sweet. Very creamy mouthfeel. This is pretty much what I was expecting...sweet, roast aftertaste..delicious.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
foundmd (210) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JUL 26, 2009
22oz bottle. Pours black with thick creamy head that leaves some beautiful lacing. Huge aroma of butterscotch and burnt toffee. The flavor is as advertised. All the qualities of crème brûlée are here: creamy butterscotch, toffee, caramelized sugar, vanilla, lactose. Insane. There’s also coffee, bitter hops, chocolate, and roasted malts. Medium bodied, slightly fizzy, and a subtle bitter finish. Not my cup of tea, and certainly my least favorite of the series. But if you love the real thing, then you might like this brew.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Pawola22 (3262) - Plainfield, Illinois, USA - JUL 23, 2009
On tap at the Flying Saucer in KC. Pours a mostly black body with a tint of red to it. Inch thick, very creamy, milk chocolate brown head that dissipates slowly and leaves a boat load of creamy lacing. Aroma is extremely sweet and liqueur-like. Very aromatic as well. I can easily smell this from several feet away. Like a Werler’s butterscotch candy mixed with Bailey’s and vanilla extract. Some chocolate and rum covered candies too. Just barely a hint of roast and cherries. The taste is just as sweet. From now on when I think of "dessert beer," this will come instantly to mind. Just a touch of roast attempts to hold the vicious palate attack together, but the intense, carnivorious sweetness dominates. A little more towards the chocolate souffle rather than intense vanilla and butterscotch, but still plenty of creme brulee taste. Finishes with a light cloy and loads of sweet aftertaste with a little too much of a rummy taste. Palate is rather light and slick with a subtle dry aftertaste. Overall, way too sweet for my liking, but I give them credit for brewing exactly what they claim this to be.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
JaBier (5529) - Capital City, Ohio, USA - JUL 22, 2009
On tap at Barley’s Smokehouse. Nearly black pour with a medium tan head. Super sweet aroma of caramel and vanilla. Reminds me of this caramel soda they used to sell at the cafe at work (Frostop maybe?). Flavor is about the same. Incredibly sweet and tastes just like that damn soda with just a hint of chocolate as it warms. I’m not a hater of ST’s big and sweet stouts (hell, I love Choklat), but this one is a bit too much.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Birdiebeagle (958) - Perkasie, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 22, 2009
Bottle Pours a good black with a good tan head. The head is creamy and lasting. It also laces quite well. Has a sweet aroma of toffee, caramel, and creme brulee. Has a decent carbonation. The flavor is candy sweet with hints of toffee, smoke, and vanilla. The alcohol is hidden in the sweetness. Has a thicker texture. A good mouthfeel. The finish is good and the aftertaste is okay but a touch sweet for me. This is differnt but tasty.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
DalzAle (2011) - Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA - JUL 20, 2009
Bottle. Dark black pour, a little carbonation, and plenty of sweet/syrupy burnt sugar aroma. Flavor is smoky coffee, vanilla and again burnt sugar/caramel. I’d probably give this a slightly higher overall rating if it just backed off the sweetness a little bit.

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