fredandboboflo (1570) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 22, 2008
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. Aroma of semi-dark chocolate, charred cracker, sweet and alcoholic raisin and anise. Flavor has a sweet characteristic likely derivative of the oatmeal, bitter chocolate. Bitter chocolate turns to a bitter finish. Very full-bodied, a chalkiness attempts to keep heaviness and cloying sweetness at bay. Still, though, as the glass goes down, it just gets harder and harder to drink. Not as bad as their regular imperial stout fresh, but a very similar heaviness nonetheless. A beer that would have scored very well had I had a 2-oz. sample, but with 11 oz. in front of me...tasty but hard to get through. Put it in the cellar with the Imperial Russian Stouts.
rayOfBeer (673) - El Cerrito, California, USA - JUL 25, 2008
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
Poured from tap and inky black with medium sized brown head. Aroma of roast coffee, bitter chocolate and alcohol vapor. Flavor was full with roast coffee, bitter coco powder, caramel, a rather pronounced alcohol note, and touch of smoky grain. The flavors were not well blended at this time. Palate was a bit harsh with the alcohol but shows nice flavor tones that should mellow and mesh well with age. I’ll be coming back to it in 6 months to re-rate.
santos999 (318) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 14, 2008
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
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.
notalush (5352) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JUL 17, 2008
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Viscous black beer, with a short-lived, dark tan head, that leaves a small ring of lace - quite a bitter cocoa/bakers chocolate aroma, with some leafy tobacco notes, a bit of ashy character, a very subtle underlying notes of berry and vanilla - alcohol is fairly strong at the back end of the aroma - it’s a good thing the word "bitter" is in the title, because there is a very strong bitterness in this one (both cocoa bitterness and hop bitterness), a bit too much so really, and this combines with some tobacco and charred character to make the beer fairly ashy - this bitterness and ashy quality overpower most of the beer’s other nuances - a little bit of vanilla/cream sweetness a very faint blueberry flavor arrive late - potent, warming alcohol in the finish - one dimensional and overly bitter/ashy, but still worth drinking - I don’t quite understand all the super-high ratings so far, though.
uhclem (393) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - JUL 26, 2008
3.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours like any other quality stout. Nose is subdued, with alcohol, chocolate and coffee prevailing.Taste is of fruit and bitter chocolate (surprise!). Again, the alcohol made it’s presence known, and not very pleasantly. Mouthfeel was oily and the finish was very metallic and unpleasantly bitter. And this is coming from an IPA drinker. Did not finish the bottle. I have been very pleased with Stone products. This one, not so much.
twitcher (298) - framingham, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 30, 2008
3.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
bottle. Pours a scary thick opaque black with a big 2" dark brown head. Aromas very muted- mostly sharp chinook-y bitterness and some burnt cocoa. Flavors follow the aroma- mostly just sharp aggressive bitterness with not much else. Some flavors of burnt toast, toasted nuts, and some faint hints of chocolate. Flavor isn’t bad, but also not especially impressive. Palate is thick and full flavored, a little bit of a bitter finish. Overall a decent drinkable brew, but nothing especially impressive, doesn’t really live up to the billing.
bdigital (658) - Ft Wayne, Indiana, USA - AUG 7, 2008
3.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle: Viscous, black pour with no head. Nose is complete with notes of dark chocolate malts, dark fruits and alcohol...this definitely needs to sit for at least a year IMO. The mouth feel on this is what I wish their RIS was, thick and chewy...very nice. Ashy flavors hit immediately followed by some dark chocolate, roasted malts and alcohol. The most disappointing part about this was the lack of oat. I was initially pretty geeked about this coming out and I was a bit disappointed.
Stine (1657) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - AUG 7, 2008
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Poured from a 22 oz. bottle. Hugely thick oily black pour. Roast and chocolate, fat coffee bean aroma; maple and molasses and baking chocolate. Firmly bitter and sweet. Flavor brings a feathery but pungent herbal mint quality and a heavy, soapy patent black bitterness that together would seem to achieve a fair feat of astringency, although this graciously never occurs. Somewhat simple. Malt character is a bit wet and cardboard-textured; flavors of graham crackers, dark roasted coffee, vanilla granola, and semisweet chocolate. The herbal sensation lingers and lends a cooling, lightly acidic touch through the mouth and nostrils. Smooth texture, in a full palate; oily, and rich, but still quite bitter, which tends to make it seem obese and simply overstuffed; little balance in the malt character ultimately. Some maple sweetness lends a comfortable richness in the finish, with a bit of doughy sugar. Passable; there’s too much darkness in the beer and not enough softness. Thanks Bob!
canary dog (697) - Rutland, Vermont, USA - AUG 7, 2008
3.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
A complex and roasty dark drink. Some vague chocolate notes; but many vague notes because of its richness and complexity. Beer gains considerable alcohol presence as it is held in the mouth. Overall, I didn’t find this beer too impressive, although I was expecting a lot. It did not seem balanced and smooth, just a complex and dark mish-mash of hops, malts and their accompanying characters.
argo0 (12115) - Washington DC, USA - AUG 11, 2008
3.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
(22oz bottle) Smallish brown head atop brown-black body. Aroma is medium sweet, dark chocolate, some milk chocolate, roast, light coffee liqueur. Taste is moderately sweet, milk chocolate, burnt coffee, alcohol, some dark chocolate, roast. Smooth medium-full body. Alcohol presence detracts from what otherwise would be a very enjoyable beer.