superspak (4673) - Michigan, USA - AUG 14, 2016
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 11/15/2012. Pours pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, coconut, toasted oak, and bourbon; with lighter notes of leather, tobacco, raisin, plum, coffee, smoke, and roast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, coconut, toasted oak, and bourbon; with lighter notes of leather, tobacco, raisin, plum, coffee, smoke, and roast/oak earthiness. Light-moderate roasted bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, coconut, toasted oak, bourbon, and roast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel flavors; with a great roasted bitter/sweet balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Slightly drying from bitter/spiciness as well. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky, and lightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent barrel aged Russian imperial stout! All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel flavors; very smooth and easy to drink for the big ABV. This aged extremely well. Tons of barrel presence with no booziness; and well rounded stout complexity in balance with the barrel notes. A very enjoyable offering.
FROTHINGSLOSH (6729) - GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 11, 2016
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Sampled from a 12 oz brown bottle this beer poured thick and black with a small foamy brown head that left minimal lacing. The aroma was bitter with floral hops, roasty malts, wood, whiskey and cocoa. The flavor was bitter, roasty and woody with cola, cocoa, whiskey and an overwhelmingly boozy presence that was too sharp to really enjoy. Long finish. Moderately full bodied. Disappointing.
AirForceHops (6189) - Epping, New Hampshire, USA - APR 1, 2016
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle in a trade. Dat in my cellar about 18 months. Black in color, thin head. Aroma is moderate bourbon, vanilla, and coconut hints, mild roasted grain.
Mild roasted malted grain backbone. Bourbon is has a light warming sensation after the swallow. Alcohol is hidden. Body fuller with a creamy/ lower carbonation. I am surprised at the lower ratings, must be batch (vintage) variations because what is in my glass is pretty nice.
AdamChandler (4518) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA - APR 1, 2016
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bomber, from AFH. Looks really nice, dark, tan brown head, a slight reddish hue but looks like a classic Imperial Stout. The aroma though..next-level. Vanilla, Coconut, Bourbon and chocolate. There is a little bit of smokey year here. Mouthfeel is thin, carb is spot on but thereís just not a to of malt density here. the initial bit of smoke, wood and bourbon are on spot then it fades pretty fast. Actually, yeah the carb is pretty much on point, just itís lacking the malt backbone it ends. The vanilla at the finish is a really nice touch.
katrinaez (1356) - norristown, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 21, 2015
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Nice deep rich black and coats the tongue, but isnít thick. Heavy scent that lingers. A nice bourbon flavor but not bitter or harsh. The oak is even and lends to the idea of a stinky cheese pairing. Tap
drjay44 (3409) - Salida, Colorado, USA - JUN 6, 2015
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
651 ml. bottle. 10% ABV per the label. Pours a medium, slowly collapsing, beige head, with slight lacing, over a clear dark brown (SRM 30) body.....nose is Bourbon, roasted malts with cocoa, chocolate, minimal hops, balance to the barrel.....taste is sweet with Bourbon notes, cocoa, chocolate from the roasted malts, light cola, finishing almost dry, minimal hop bitterness, balance ot the malts.....mouth feel, light body, alcohol warmth present, low carbonation. This is a pleasant, easy drinking beer, but it is NOT an Imperial Stout. The complexity in both aroma and flavor are remarkably low. Many of the nuanced dried fruits from the malts, as well as the subtle hop notes are missing. It is quite sweet, incredibly light in body and has many cola notes. Donít give this to a teenager. The malt back bone needs a re-work, as does the yeast. BJCP 6/3/10/3/5
Carlisle (517) - Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 16, 2015
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
Draft (10 oz.). Black color with tan head and substantial lacing. Sweet bourbon and sweet chocolate malt aromas with a hint of licorice. Rich, sweet chocolatey malt with caramel bourbon flavor. Sweet alcohol in the finish. A little too sweet overall.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
RobertDale (5441) - Lansing, Kansas, USA - APR 2, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
12 ounce bottle. Pours black with a nice tan head. Aroma of malt, chocolate, and coffee. Taste is roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and bourbon. Pretty decent.
Luvystypotables (1652) - Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA - APR 1, 2015
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Aroma of bourbon, malt and coffee. Pours a dark brown clear with no head. Creamy feel, taste of coffee, malt and bourbon with a light phenolic finish.
HappyHandsClub (32) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - MAR 26, 2015
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: AUG 8, 2015 My bad . . . Barrel aged for 2 years (not available again until autumn 2016), I have aged cases on my basement canning room floor for over 5 months & this brew is blossoming into the finest barrel aged imperial stout I have ever had the pleasure to drink. Came in 12oz-4 packs, not bombers. This Czar Brew is the best TWO YEAR barrel aged beer Iíve ever experienced. Couldnít be more balanced with mega-punch alcohol content well beyond label designation. No obnoxious bittersweet chocolate, just full bodied bliss. The 11.9% ABV is understated. Must be up to 15% alcohol by now. 2-12oz bottles & Iím not leaving the house. Makes Goose Island Bourbon barrel stout seem amateurish by comparison. I hope the cases of Sprecher 2 year barrel aged old Scottish ale Commando age as well.
3/26/2015 My mistake . . . the 1st bottle of this brew I drank cold & all I could taste was chocolate. The 2nd bottle was at 58 degrees & I could stomach it. But in comparison to Sprecherís Commando Scottish barrel aged ale, itís substantially inferior in fulfillment. I like my Russian Imperial Stout heavy weight, thick, one bomber suffices. Although Czar Brew is an improvement on the vast majority of íless than thickí stouts, even the non-barrel aged standard Straight To Ale Laika has an unrivaled thickness & uncompromising quality ingredients that barrel aged Czar Brew canít come close to replicating. Just use Laika as your reference & just about every barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout inevitably is a disappointment.
8/8/2015 Although TWO YEAR barrel aged, Iíve rested cases on my basement canning room floor at 58 degree for about six months. Czar Brew has matured into the best Russian Imperial Stout Iíve ever experienced. Talk about balance, smoothness and intense punch all wrapped up in a 12oz bottle. Too bad the next batch wonít be available again until autumn 2016. I will have to be very careful not to run out of my cases stock aging magnificently just like my stock of Sprecher TWO YEAR barrel aged Commando Old Scottish Ale.