Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 1083   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 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Derek881 (1253) - Denver, Colorado, USA - AUG 11, 2008
Enjoyed this beer on draft at Max’s Taphouse in Baltimore. A very dark brown-black color with a big, creamy, dark-tan head that had great retention and cling on the edges. A strange sweet-syrupy aroma with roasty chocolate malt easily present, and a touch of hops. A very sweet taste with some syrupy and chocolate qualities and a touch of accompanying bitterness. A super wet and creamy texture, with very low carbonation and a bit on the thinner side.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
hopson (635) - Williamsville, New York, USA - AUG 11, 2008
bottle- nicely done impy stout with a great creamy mouthfeel, and high drinkability. Chocolate is by no means sweet, but is there along with some alcohol notes. Would try again.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
HonkeyBra (4036) - Lemont, Illinois, USA - AUG 11, 2008
Straight black pour, thick reddish tan head that settles to the rim of the glass. Aroma of hot chocolate, bakers chocolate, sharpie, and a bit of lactose sweetness. Sweet dark chocolate taste. It’s creamy with a bitter hop and bitter chocolate bite. Good balance. Nice mouthfeel with bitter finish with some alcohol. Iíve been looking forward to trying this for a while and it didnít disappoint. In fact, Iím going to pick up some more of this and cellar it.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
TAR (2691) - Marshall (Asheville area), North Carolina, USA - AUG 11, 2008
Jet black. Initially large light-cinnamon head settles into a jagged-edged collar as it quickly disperses. Extremely rich nose of mocha chocolate, ink, espresso, molasses and burnt sugar. Underlying hints of toffee, nougat, blueberry and steeped prunes. Soft pricks of fuzzy carbonation. Initially tongue-coating with weighty residuals swiftly trailed by a fairly sharp surge of alcohol which wipes the palate dry. Tangy mixture of raisins and prunes gel with the bristling metallic char. Bitter notes of black-chocolate-coated espresso beans enhance the smoky roast, though the malts donít particularly possess much in terms of cleanness, depth or structure. Mushy roasted-grain textures are sandwiched between the fruitiness and brisk char. Caramelized malt hints softly exude but fail to withstand the massiveness of the roast and bitter chocolate. Combination of chocolate, residual sweetness, and a forceful omnipresence of roast tires the palate less than halfway through the bomber, as does the alcohol. Closes with an alcoholic sharpness yet with a lingering flabby trail of roasted grains and molasses. Not at all impressive. To me it simply smells and tastes like a big, straightforward, yet poorly crafted, stout with tons of chocolate. And as such it comes across as a novelty rather than something Iíd ever want to revisit.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Silphium (3192) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - AUG 10, 2008
Deep opaque charcoal-brown body, medium tan head. Roasty aroma with chocolate and dark fruits. The dominant characteristic of the body is bitter, roasted malt, but there is a plummy, bready sweetness balancing the bitter roast and chocolate. Salty soy notes are also detectable. Chewy and rich.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
jeffwilliams11 (310) - hooterville, Michigan, USA - AUG 10, 2008
yum!! pours deep deep brown/black with a thick brown head. aroma is chocolate and alcohol, bitter. flavor is similar, creamy bitter dark chocolate, mild alcohol bite.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
bsierra (213) - Vista, California, USA - AUG 10, 2008
On tap at Breakwater Brewing in Oceanside. The aroma is a very nice combination of dark chocolate, oatmeal, roastiness, light cocoa powder, faint fruit with some faint burnt notes. It pours a dark brown with a moderate brown head. The flavor starts with a nice blast of dark chocolate that increases in the finish along with some light roasted coffee. The finish has some bitter chocolate, burnt notes, black licorice, some light plummy sweetness, and alcohol. The alcohol isnít overbearing but itís definitely there. Medium bodied with soft carbonation and a very creamy mouthfeel. Pretty damn good in my opinion. I will be stocking up on this one.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
zathrus13 (1765) - Mount Laurel, New Jersey, USA - AUG 10, 2008
Black, with a brown head. Aroma is chocolate, alcohol, coffee, and roasted malt. Flavor is somewhat bitter chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, oats, alcohol.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Miver (609) - Silver Spring, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 10, 2008
Draft in Boston at the sunset grill with Clark and the gang. Poured deep black with a medium sized tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of roasted chocolate and mild coffee notes. Tastes of a almost burnt chocolate, dark chocolate, roasted coffee, mild oats, finishes a little creamy and dry (I didn’t think that was possible). I enjoyed this.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 10, 2008
From a 22oz Bottle. Pitch black, opaque pour with a thin layer of fizzy charred foam. Lot of roast and chocolate in the nose, along with some hot alcohol. Medium full bodied, moderately carbonated mouthfeel with a soft, oily texture. Flavors are an intense combination of dark chocolate and char. Toasted biscuit and molasses. The finish is exceptionally long and oozing with dry chocolate flavors. There’s a gentle alcohol warmth in the finish, but not as off-putting as I found in the nose. Awesome chocolate flavors without the excessive sweetness.

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