SB (334) - Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 24, 2006
3.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
On Tap @ Alternative Brews, Amherst, NY
Poured very dark, very opaque. 1-inch thick bubbly brown head. Aroma of coffee and malts. The coffee is the dominant flavor, but underneath is sweet caramel notes, and bready notes. Slight bitterness in the finish. Again Syrupy mouthfeel, and light to medium bodied with a dry finish. I bet this would be really good aged. It probably needs time to mellow out the coffee flavors and mix the others. Not bad fresh, but not what I expected.
jimbowood (1036) - Freeport, Georgia, USA - MAR 24, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle courtesy of Shadey. Thanks Shane. Underneath the huge coffee flavor is a great beer. You just canít find it because the coffee flavor is overpowering. Take away the coffee and youíve got a great, malty imp. stout. Add some barrel aging and maybe the coffee flavor mellows. Average, but could be great w/ less coffee.
ClarkVV (4208) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - MAR 19, 2006
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
2005 bomber from Downton Liquors consumed on 3/19/06. Chilled 20 minutes in freezer and allowed to breath at room temperature for 15 minutes. Served in a trappist style chalice
Vigorous, hard pour, yields barely one-finger of deep tan head that immediately fades to a ring. Body is opaque through the middle, as close to black as you can get with deep tan-magenta tinges on the edges when held to the light.
The nose is a composty, beany, fresh coffee that really wraps around the nostrils, adding waves of light vanilla, bitter black chocolate and some tart-like molasses. Hops are only barely perceptible at first, further adding dryness (deep resin and bitter grapefruit).
WOW. First sip is immensely bitter, dry, sharp, strong and smacking of alcohol. Ouch, makes me cringe. Very dry coffee, some peanut brittle and sticky-sweet caramel, but on the end a blossoming hop bitterness (acidic and heavily bitter) with roasted barley/black malt astringency and fiery alcohol. I see they werent kidding about the 125 IBUs. Further sips prove bitter, sharp and full of alcohol, with the coffee seemingly tastefully done, but just overwhelmed by the black malts and hops. Tar, resin, burnt wood, citric acid and heavily bitter black chocolate pulverize the palate. Compelling, in a masochistic sort of way, but no, this is just over-the-top decadence. Upon warming further, more coffee emerges, but then, so does the alcohol (though, in itís defense, the alcohol is not TERRIBLY apparent for this level). Retronasal is green, citric and piney hops. Donít find much complexity in the flavors. Coffee, of course, with caramel, prunes and roast. Donít find the smoke that others have mentioned. Like Eyedrinkale says, "Burn baby, burn."
Texture is sticky, creamy, caramelized sugar-like with low carbonation and the coffee and caramel really sticking to the palate. Oddly enough, they filtered this one too (actually itís not that odd). Kind of like DarkLord 05 in texture, which isnít a bad thing, but I would have loved to see them go unfiltered.
The farther in to the bottle I get, the more difficult it is to drink. Hope I donít offend anyone with my rating. Iím in to balanced beers (excepting some Cantillons) and this one is about as far away from balanced as you can get.
sliffy (2040) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - MAR 18, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle: Black, with a smallish tan head. Tons of coffee in the aroma and flavor. It really didnít do anything for me, kind of a dissapointment.
kylelackner (13) - USA - MAR 15, 2006
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
It pours very syrupy, even at the suggested 55F serving temperature. The taste matches the consistency, with very pronounced roasted malts and coffee. The alcohol is well hidden, but you could hide a body in this beer itís so enormous. On the bottle it claims 125 IBUs, but the malts are so strong that the hops almost donít matter. In texture and thickness it most reminds me of the WWS, but doesnít quite match the DFH standard. Like the Imperial IPA that was just released by Southern Tier, itís at least worth it for the novelty.
Dogbrick (9425) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - MAR 14, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
On draught at Surly Girl Saloon. Pours pitch black with a thin light brown head that does not last very long. Thin, stringy lacing. Loads of coffee and malt in the nose, as well as some dark chocolate. Rich chewy body with a big roasted coffee flavor. Malt and chocolate undertones too, with a simmering alcohol presence throughout. The finish is bold and flavorful with more coffee and some spicy hops. Very tasty and enjoyable from start to finish.
beeryum (652) - Norcross, Georgia, USA - MAR 11, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Opaque black with small tan had. Big roasty coffee aroma, with some dark fruit. Big coffee flavors with sweet milky chocolate, and some dark fruit notes as well. Thick body, and a clean finish with light bitterness. A touch on the sweeter side as far as imp stouts go, but it works well with the roasty bitter coffee. Very well done.
hopdog (9829) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 10, 2006
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22oz bottle acquired in trade with OhioDad (thanks Scott!). Bottle labeled bottled on November 22, 2005. Poured a dark, dark black color (doesnít get darker than this one) with an averaged sized brown head. Aromas of coffee grounds, vanilla, and pine. Tastes of lighter coffee, chocolate, and dark fruits. I really enjoy coffee beers and this one was good. The coffee was not overdone. Light alcohol finish (but not 12%).
weeare138 (936) - Collegeville, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 10, 2006
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thanks to hopdog for this...
Appears a midnight black with a small brown head that slowly fades. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of creamy, lightly lactic but enjoyable coffee.
Taste is of heavy coffee, rich cocoa, and mild cream.
Mouthfeel is slightly sweet with rich coffee lingering smoothly along the palate.
egajdzis (5573) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 10, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Poured an opaque black color with a medium sized, tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of coffee malts, light chocolate, some vanilla, piney hops, and faint dried fruits in the background. Taste of sweet chocolate syrup, some smoke, light dried fruits, and a bitter coffee finish. ABV was well covered.