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RATINGS: 887   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.88/5   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 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BMan1113VR (7914) - Los Angeles, California, USA - JUL 15, 2008
At the "Open Eyes" tasting, pours like motor oil, with a quickly dissapating dark brown head covering a completely black body. Aroma of burnt cereal, bitter choclate, apple-like stuff, and a light hoppiness. Taste is oatmeal, bitter chocolate and lots of burnt coffee beans, and some very forward alcohol towards the finish. Lively bubbles and syrupy mouthfeel. Still very young and very hot!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
santos999 (318) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 14, 2008
Dark, dark black body with a nice brown, well lacing, super sustaining head. Bitter, almost salty (is that possible?) aroma, with some chocolate and coffee hints. Very strong, astringent notes come out as it warms, as well as the alcohol. Chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, some anise, and a bit of dark fruits in the mouth. Still very Windex-y, with a long, uncomfortable alcoholic burn. The mouthfeel is nice, thanks to the oats. It’s about all they add. Overall - a decent Impy Stout, but I don’t think the chocolate or oat adds a whole lot to the mix. Personally, I’ll take their regular Imperial Stout.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
SuperDave (1932) - Beautiful Sunny Mesa, Arizona, USA - JUL 14, 2008
UPDATED: JUL 31, 2008 Dark brown/black pour with a dark creamy head that lasts throughout and leaves streaky lacing. Aroma of super dark roasted grain, roasty malt and cocoa. Flavor is mostly the dark roasted grain and malt, but definate cocoa and bitter chocolate notes are there, mostly on the finish. Also some alcohol. This would benefit from some age. Overall, a really nice different stout.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Oscbert (1193) - Sacramento, California, USA - JUL 14, 2008
~Pours black with creamy dark brown head. good lacing. ~Nice aroma of chocolate, coffee and roasted malts. A bit cloying on the roasted end. ~A nice roasted taste. Alcohol is definitely present. Good chocolate flavor. ~Creamy and smooth. Bitter finish with an alcohol kick. ~It’s pretty good. Gets better once the alcohol numbs the mouth and it gets a bit warmer. I’m glad I got to try this one. Not overly impressed though.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
WeeObese (18) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 14, 2008
This beer is a nice Chocolate Oatmeal RI]S. The beer poured dark brown-black with a small dark brown head. Aroma is dark chocolate, roasted malt and slight alcohol at the end. Flavor is warm alcohol, roasted malts and finishes like a 70% Cacao chocolate bar. The palate is full bodied and silky from the oatmeal. I would recommend this beer to chocolate lovers and RIS drinkers, Very enjoyable, not a beer I will stock up on but I will cellar at least one for later enjoyment.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
shigadeyo (3461) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JUL 14, 2008

7/12/2008: Don’t let the name completely fool you. Be sure to read the label as "bitter chocolate" not separately as "bitter" ... "chocolate" as this beer is definitely bitter, but there isn’t really a rich, creamy chocolate quality about it. That’s completely fine by me, but I wan’t to put that disclaimer out there for those who might see "chocolate" in the name and expect it in the aroma and beer. I guess it is there to some extent, but not in the way many would probably expect. Anyways, this beer pours an extremely dark brown color and has a slightly violet-like hue to it. The tan-colored head is thick and does not disappear quickly. Had I been blindfolded and not poured this beer myself, I would have guessed that somebody place a big bowl of steamy oatmeal in front of me dusted with some cocoa powder! It smells delicious. That same hearty and creamy oatmeal runs throughout the flavor and helps to mute the alcohol that comes across a bit sharp at times. There is also plenty of bitter chocolate and roasted maltiness in the flavor as well. The bitterness is quite apparent and is enough to turn most away. Remember, this is a BITTER chocolate stout and as such has quite a bit of that unsweetened Baker’s Chocolate quality to it. This beer has a medium-full body and is creamy and slick on the palate. Overall this is really the best Oatmeal Stout I have had in a very long time. Stone did an excellent job of balancing all of the characteristics to create this Imperialized Oatmeal Stout. They were also able to achieve a high level of bitterness by using the bitter chocolate and presumably a much lower than previously used amount of hops. Congratulations to them for pulling off such a tasty a fairly unique beer that features artisan chocolate and lots and lots of yummy oats! Stone Twelfth Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout

1 Pt. 6 Fl. Oz. bottle (9.2% Alc/Vol) from The Party Source in Bellevue, Kentucky. Rating #62 for this beer...

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
EithCubes (5367) - New Jersey, USA - JUL 14, 2008
Bomber. Nose is all about dark chocolate, roast and a little black malt murking through with faint hops and chalk. Pitch black pour with a pretty, dark brown dense and rocky head. Taste is big chocolate black malt and roast, dark and sultry, only lightly bitter (from what was expected) with a little prickling, reasonably well hidden alcohol in the sweet mid-body and a viscous, sludge feel going into the aftertaste. Dry and dark. Big story here is the oatmeal! Swimming in it, great flavor. Prunes and a salty end. Lovely citric hops taking over toward the end [along with a little Fuji apple and red berry], relatively mild but contributing a lot, and not of the normal Stone profile; they’re enough to pull this over a 4.0 for me. Really nice, going to go try it with some cheese, should be great.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
railcat1 (702) - Kissimmee, Florida, USA - JUL 14, 2008
This was a good chocolate and slighty bitter IPS with a dark brown head, it poured a dark black with hints of roasted malts and some fruity overtones,i was surprised to see it was a IPS but it was enjoyable.CHEERS!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
RedXIII (127) - Powell, Ohio, USA - JUL 13, 2008
UPDATED: SEP 23, 2008 Been a while since I’ve had a unique Imperial, but I enjoyed this. Aroma and taste matched the title with bitter, dark chocolate, along with some earthy scorched chocolates and coffee. It’s syrupy pour gave it an intimidating appearance, but this brew did not copy the common formula for Imperials which pushed it ahead of many.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
nbutler11 (1267) - Rota, SPAIN - JUL 13, 2008
UPDATED: JUL 19, 2008 To be fair -- I only had a small sample of this brew at a release tasting in Arizona, but the advertised chocolate and oatmeal in this stout were unfortunately overpowered by a smokey (nearly burnt) roast.

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