MrChopin (3810) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - DEC 24, 2010
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
black, thin tan head. Plum, earthy anise, bit of oat, nearly barrel like. Flavor is similar, lots of malt, licorice and wood. Good, balanced, soft hefty body playing well into the more dense profile, but a bit straightforward, particularly the flavor.
Ibrew2or3 (7661) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - DEC 23, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Courtesy of jcwattsrugger. Pours deep darkness with nice looking dark mocha head. The aroma is modest in strength with chocolate malt balls, dark to burnt malts, some chocolate, vanilla and faint spicy oak. The taste is rich with dark roasted malts, burnt malts that get to the point of being a touch ashy to midway followed by fudge brownie coming to the surface every now and then. There’s a smokiness surrounding the flavor too as well as some spicy black licorice. Very nice.
sebletitje (8116) - Enghien, BELGIUM - DEC 23, 2010
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bouteille partagée avec Jcwattsrugger.
Brune foncée, mousse est moka/chocolaté.
Arôme est un merveilleux mélange de malt avec des notes d ’espresso, café, malt fumé donnant un cote de bacon, vanille et fine
Au palais, la bière reprend un peu sur l’arôme. Le côté fumé est subtile et se mélange parfaitement avec l’espresso. On ressent un peu le bourbon et le rajout des copeaux de chêne donnent un fini légèrement épicé.
En bouche, la bière est sèche, moyennement effervescente.
GT2 (9412) - Oceanside, California, USA - DEC 21, 2010
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
341mL courtesy of CaptainCougar. Poured a near jet black with a beautiful red mocha head gently appearing and leaving very nice lace. Nose is sweet candies, tobacco, licorice. Taste brings on tobacco, ash, char, mint, spiciness, bitterness, roasted malt, and big unsweetened dark chocolate. Rich, bitter, thick on the palate.
argo0 (12498) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 20, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
341ml, thanks CaptainCougar. Medium brown head with brown-black body. Aroma is moderately sweet, bittersweet chocolate, vinous, some roast. Taste is sweet, bittersweet chocolate, roast, some vinous. Sticky medium-full body, minimal carbonation.
DenisLD (87) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 19, 2010
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
2010 release 341ml bottle. Poured into a large baloon snifter glass...
Appearance - Wow, this looks rather unique. Very very dark brown body, so dark you will not be able to see any light through it. The head is surprisingly dark as well, of an almost brown colour. Great head retention and some very impressive lacing on the glass. Really, this is a perfect-looking RIS!
Smell - Just from the first whiff I could tell this beer is well-hopped. It’s got a floral aroma to it, but that’s not what this RIS is all about, since the malts still dominate the nose! Chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and a bit of wood is what makes up the intense aroma this beer gives out.
Taste - Balance. This beer is all about balance. It’s well-hopped, giving you some nice floral notes and lingering bitterness. It’s super malty, but not to the point of being thick and chewy. Tastes very chocolatey and rather sweet, with a nice vanilla undertone from the oak, and some roasted coffee bean notes. A little bit of a tobacco-like undertone. The bitterness comes from both the hops and the roasted malts, yet it is not overwhelming and fades away gradually. The after-taste is bitter and chocolatey, with a hint of woodiness.
Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is exceptional, at least for an Imperial stout. Medium-to-full body to it, just enough to be felt and not enough to be hefty or too thick. Low carbonation level. Coats the palate nicely and feels almost creamy. NOT boozy, which is amazing and very pleasing. Moreover, it does not get very boozy even after warming up. Somewhat dry but not to the point of drying the mouth out.
Drinkability - This is a sipper, no doubt about that... BUT you could drink it in gulps, and it would still be as pleasant and drinkable. That would be a bit of a waste, though, since this is a special and uncheap beer.
Overall, McAuslan really impressed me with this beer. I did not expect it to be quite as good as it did. It is super smooth, complex and BALANCED! One of the finest Russian Imperial stouts I’ve tried to date! It is almost mind-blowing!
ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - DEC 19, 2010
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Novel notes of raw oak and licorice in the aroma with some light espresso. The taste is moderately sweet, lightly bitter with lots of lactose heavy milk chocolate, some stale coffee and dark fruit. After the aroma, the taste is hugely disappointing.
Travlr (17662) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - DEC 19, 2010
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Maroon color, nice brown head, scant lacing. Nice coffee and chocolate malt aroma. Taste is bitter coffee grounds, bitter finish. OK.
SuzyGreenberg (1603) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 17, 2010
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 oz. bottle in nifty case thingy; thanks Fred!! Dense black pour and huge dark tan head from a rigorous pour; so much so I had a mild foam over – newb!!! Lots of lacing from a slowly fading head; just a beautiful looking beer; rich oats, creamy roast, dark malts and fruits, sweet prunes; fairly big nose too; light, delicate flavor blend of coffee, milky roast, charred malt, bitter coffee and some nutty sweetness; has a rich lightness to it, but well crafted, sweet, smooth and delicate; ashy, chocolaty finish; spot on mix of flavors, richness, restrained bigness and remaining damn smooth and drinkable; everything an impy should be; damn good
georgebrassin (176) - Montréal, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 11, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Dark hazy with a large creamy and rocky brown head. Aroma is Bourbon, Coffee, chocolate, smoked and vanilla. Full body with low carbonation. In mouth is full of different flavors. Bourbon, smoke, coffee, dark fruits, a hint of chocolate. Finish is a bit bitter with expresso.