FlacoAlto (3849) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUL 12, 2008
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
A healthy pour produces a cresting, initially four-finger thick, richly browned, frothy head. As the head slowly collapses it leaves quite a bit of lacing on the sides of my 25cl tulip glass. The beer is quite simply black and remains opaque no matter how close I hold it up to the light. Bitter burnt grain aroma and substantially toasted malt aromas are easily noticeable. At times a rich chocolate note is noticed, but at others it is drowned out by the roast character. The burnt malt notes at times can be overwhelmingly sharp, acrid and acidic and that once noticed chocolate note seems to be a faint memory. Hot alcohol notes are noticeable as the beer gets near room temperature.
Thick and creamy feeling up front and not any where near as sweet as the body would suggest. Lots of bitter burnt malt notes linger from beginning to end and in fact really lingers on in the palate after the beer has gone down my throat. Some thin, bitter, dark chocolate notes are found in the middle of this beer and the finish has a lingering note of dusty, dark cocoa powder. Even as the beer gets substantially warmer it does not lose its aggressive, acrid burnt flavors. They become perhaps a touch more tempered, but still overly influence the finish and make this excessively bitter. On the plus side, while it is quite burnt in character, the flavor does note get overly acidic from the burnt notes.
This beer is going to need some time before I can really get into it. The question remains though if it will mellow before it becomes overly oxidized. A great beer for those who like aggressively roasted flavors, I can’t quite get into this though as it makes me think I am chewing on charcoal.
Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ
mwelsh13 (499) - Maryland, USA - JUL 25, 2008
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Deep brown and black opaque color. Coffee, chocolate and some smoke in the aroma. Definitely bitter. Nice amount of chocolate flavor,. Would have liked more smoothness from the oatmeal. I also would like to let this warm up and re-rate it to give it another chance.
TURDFERGUSON (4024) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - AUG 19, 2008
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle from secret santa, summer of 08. Thanks! Pours black with a tan lace. Nose is sugar, alcohol ,chocolate, light roast, raisins and coffee. Flavor is similar with a light smokey character and a very astringent and bitter finish. This beer was hard to drink at times and I poured out the last 1/3 of the bottle. It was very sad.
robinvboyer (3532) - Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 17, 2008
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
really nice pour, super black with a huge coffee colored head. Aroma is boozy,with some roasted malt, and a touch of bitter chocolate. Flavour is again very boozy with a touch of coffee, and some chocolate. The mouthfeel is a little thin, i’m not getting any of the oatmeal benefits. This is really quite boozy, and maybe with some time to age it would mellow out a bit.
DruncanVeasey (7634) - NUNEATON, CONF N, Warwickshire, ENGLAND - JUN 11, 2009
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: JUN 12, 2009 Bottle at The Penguin. Huge collapsing chocolate mousse head over tar, lacing thickly at the strength. Burnt toast and oak chip charcoal aroma completely drowning out the chocolate. Spiritous whiskey burn from the off, lightning struck oak, toast fished out of the bin...just a mouthful of smouldering carbon really. Oily but not slick or luxurious. What a disappointment. All roast and no hops, certainly no chocolate or oatmeal. Crumb of incinerated nut, dab of yeast extract. One of the rawest, most ethanol-drenched efforts I’ve had in a while. Bit more choc lurking in the bottom of the bottle, but such a thin and one-dimensional flavour profile. Saw it all off in the end. Not a bad beer but a bad chocolate oatmeal stout.
jgb9348 (5096) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - JUL 3, 2009
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Deep pitch black coloured body with a strong brown head. Aroma of molasses, malt, coffee, whiskey, oak and a bunch of vanilla and a bit of tobacco. Medium-bocdied; Strong assertive roasted malt and chocolate coupled with some sour pungent lactic flavours and sweet sugars. Aftertaste strong and potent - not complex at all and fairly one-dimensional. Overall, a decent beer - better than most of Stone’s sub-par offerings. I sampled this 65 cL bottle purchased from Merchant’s in Dearborn, Michigan on 03-August-2008, sampled on the Eastern Shore of Virginia on 02-July-2009.
Rastacouere (6159) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - AUG 17, 2008
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Intensely roasty imperial stout.
Alcohol levels kept under control. Rich mouthfeel.
I would prefer less intensity in the chocolate bitterness, it grows harsh and lasts with a burning impression despite the relatively well-hidden alcohol. Inky and tar-like aroma feels fairly brash. Not much fruity complexity at all.
Crosling (1864) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JUL 17, 2008
2.9 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
Pours very dark, nearly opaque and appear inky black in the glass. Light tan heads fades into a collar around the glass. Very light aromas of dark fruits, roast and chocolate. Lots of taste, but not the greatest balance. Very heavily roasty and burnt, some dark fruit notes, with a light hint of chocolate. Hops as well, especially towards the finish. A bit brash and overly bitter for my taste, but I suppose it has decent aging potential. Towards the end of the bottle, I was liking it less and less.
TAR (2518) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - AUG 11, 2008
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
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 don’t 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 I’d ever want to revisit.
shadey (1996) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - SEP 19, 2008
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
22oz bottle from BOTW in Henrietta. Aroma is burnt coffee and alcohol. The flavor is a bit more complex with the chocolate favoring the tip of the tongue and the bitterness appearing as it rolls to the sides and the back. The alcohol is heavily present. In fact, after I swallow I feel as if the alcohol fumes continue to exit my throat across the roof of my mouth. Not a pleasant feeling. Overall I’m more than a little disappointed. The lushness of the oatmeal is lost here, and the alcohol is dominating.