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RATINGS: 1048   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.87/5   SEASONAL: Series   EST. CALORIES: 276   ABV: 9.2%
Who knew a worldwide hop shortage in 2008 would give rise to such a memorable, delicious beer? When it came time to craft a commemorative offering for our 12th anniversary, we decided to trade in the bitterness of hops for the bitterness of unsweetened chocolate, and paired that with flaked oats. Featuring a thick, rich, roasty mouthfeel and chocolate-heavy flavors and aromas, this onyx-colored, malt-forward beauty became an instant classic that shares space on our liquid trophy case alongside our hop-focused fan favorites. Rebrewed for our 20th Anniversary Encore Series.

Hops: Summit, Willamette, Galena & Ahtanum

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
yespr (39962) - Copenhagen O, DENMARK - AUG 7, 2008
UPDATED: JUN 14, 2009 From tap at Stone Bistro. Pours a black brown and creamy chocolate brown head. Roasted malty and slight spiced chocolate aroma. Light smoked in the initial flavour impression with a smooth chocolate base and a malty roasted flavour added in. Lingering chocolate finish.8-5-8-4-17=4.2>br>
From bottle, blind #7. Pours black with a small tan head. Mild smoked, metallic and roasted malt aroma. Light sweet, roasted, light smoked and dark chocolate to coffee flavoured. Light alcohol note. Smooth roasted malt flavoured finish.8-4-8-4-15=3.8

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 7/20
PilsnerPeter (3045) - Flushing, New York, USA - AUG 7, 2008
Bottle: Opaque pour with a deep brown head which falls to a film. Very simple aroma. Tons of alcohol, dark chocolate, soy sauce, and even more ethanol notes (smells like vodka) Slick body with an extreme alcoholic flavor. Tastes like vodka with a homogeneous charred bitterness. The forefront of the flavor offers some bitter dark chocolate/bakers fudge (as notalush mentioned), as well as a salty soy sauce note. There’s just too much apparent ethanol, which is frusturating because this stuff is only 9.2% ABV (which is low, relative to many of those alcohol monster Imperial Stouts, which many happen to have less apparent alcohol flavor than this particular one) I wasn’t able to pick up on any subtleties of the malt, or any nuances at all. Reminiscent of charred vodka. I may have to re-visit this with some years behind it.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 6, 2008
UPDATED: AUG 7, 2008 Pitch black oil pour with milkshake-thick head. the head eventually settles to nothing but a ring of dark suds around the glass. the nose starts burnt but starts to show some complexity as waves of fig, charred fruit, roasted marshmallow, smoke, tar, permanent marker, and tree sap follow. The beer feels somewhat chalky in the mouth as it’s thick and accompanied by very weak carbonation and the chocolate bitterness/ hop harshness start to feel extremely astringent after a while. The ending feel in the mouth is one of warmth to possible burning sensation and a flemmy milk-like aftertaste. The flavors are primarily faceless malts with sharp bitter chocolate overtones but not exhibiting the smoky tar-dripped burnt fruit of the nose. Bitterness makes itself quite evident here with the bitter chocolate hop sharpness. However, other than this sharp bitter-chocolate, the rest of the beer feels muddled and confused and the thick under-carbinated body makes it crash into a mess in the finish. ---NOTE---->>T above description was taken from a 55 or so degree sample...Cool the stuff down a bit and it becomes a little more congruent and less muddled..but of course, colder temperatures hide the flavors that are there in the first place...so it’s irrelevant...though its a much easier swallow at colder temps..

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
mgumby10 (1856) - Jupiter, Florida, USA - AUG 6, 2008
Draft at the Bistro. Pours black, with a small off white head. Smells of some dark choclate, lots of bitter roast, and small coffee notes. The flavor is quite bitter as its title suggests. Also very roasty, with some chocolate andvanilla cream notes showing up. Not a chocolate bomb, but it definitely lets you know its an imperial stout. Oily and sharp on the palate. Alcohol was masked quite proficiently. Nice flavor to it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Dickinsonbeer (5074) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - AUG 6, 2008
Bomber. pours a really rich deep dark black - similar to a dark horse stout black- lots of carafa II must be used- nice tight dark brown head as well with some nice lace. Aroma is initially bittersweet chocoalte, some hints of roasted barley and some light acrid burnt malts, but as it warms some plasticy phenols come out- plastic inflatable pool toy which could be a slight oxidation (of the dark malts?). Flavor is chcooalte bittersweet toll house morsels, lightly sweet, some roast, and good hop bitterness, with some earthy leathery hints throughout. As it warms burnt toast, and other dark roasted malts come through more, some licorice/anise character and a relatively short finish for a big beer. Pretty good overall, but nothing too unique or memorable about this one.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
padrefan98 (854) - (San Diego) Santee, California, USA - AUG 6, 2008
22 oz bottle purchased at Beverages for less in Santee. A very nice imperial stout with bitter chocolate flavors.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
illinismitty (2270) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - AUG 6, 2008
Draft at Stone Bistro for RBSG. Pours black with thin beige head. Aroma of coffee and dark chocolate. Medium- full bodied with a nice velvety texture and perfect carbonation. Flavor of dark chocolate, mild coffee, and oats. Not overly sweet. I did not find this very bitter at all, and alcohol was well hidden. Great beer.

Bottle review coming soon

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
leaparsons (9677) - Wigston, Leicestershire, ENGLAND - AUG 6, 2008
Cask, GBBF 08. Near black with no head.n Aromas are sweet molasses with lots of herbal notes. Coffee and chocolate with woody notes. Flavours are dark chocolate with coffee. Sweet molasses with smoky tobacco. Vinous, fruity and dry on the finish. Great.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
KimJohansen (10411) - Frederiksberg C, DENMARK - AUG 5, 2008
Black with tiny beige head. Sweet aroma with roasted malt, caramel and chocolate notes. Sweet flavor with roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and woody notes.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
ditmier (1508) - Boise, Idaho, USA - AUG 4, 2008
2008 Bottle - Pours pitch black with a large dark brown head....aroma is cofee, smoke and dk malt...flavour is very similar to the Stone IRS, with the main difference being that subtle bitterness present on the back end...people are calling it bitter chocolate, but I thought it was slightly antiseptic...as it warms the flavours develop, more chocolate the longer you wait...nice alcohol thoroughout...will be a fun new experience in a few years...

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