Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 1063   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
michael-pollack (4959) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 28, 2008
22oz. Bottle: Aroma of roasted malts, chocolate, coca and molasses. Poured dark black in color with a small, creamy, dark brown head. Opaque. Flavor is lightly sweet and light to medium bitter. Flavor of alcohol, burnt malts, roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, charcoal, and some oats. Medium to full body. Smooth, creamy texture. Soft carbonation. Alcohol, and roasted malts in the finish. A little too much alcohol is discernible.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
SpringsLicker (3438) - Tennessee, USA - AUG 14, 2008
A black pour throws up a tall, long lasting head of tan. Aroma is dark roast coffee, cocoa powder and alcohol. The flavor is bitter and smooth with a touch of alcohol on the tongue.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DrBayern (1139) - Morehead City, North Carolina, USA - AUG 18, 2008
Date: 08/18/2008, 22 oz. bottle

Aroma - Prominent chocolate, some coffee, burnt caramel, peppery spice, bu thte chocolate is certainly preeminent

Appearance - Black through and through, large, creamy, light brown head settles slowly, decent lace

Flavor - Actually more bitter than I had expected, but not a bad thing in and of itself. Still, I think it could use a sweeter entry, but the bitter chocolate, dark malts, and hop presence is too much of a barrier.

Palate - Full body, lightly carbonated, astringent, quite dry

Overall - Oatmeal in the grist usually tends to soften the flavor, but this isn’t really the case here. We’ll see how it is a year or two down the road, but for now, it seems s little unbalanced. That being said, it still quite good. Stone sets the bar high for itself, and expectations of enthusiasts are similarly high. I think it’s a little off the mark.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
grimreeser (797) - Minnesota, USA - AUG 19, 2008
Pours a dark dark brown with a thin dark tan head. Aroma of chocolate and roasted coffee. Bitter finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
mephisto (1286) - TAIWAN - AUG 21, 2008
pitch black appearance covered with brown head, it has deep coffee aroma, slightly burnt, and chocolate flavor. full bodied, very delicious.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
zebracakes (1339) - Washington DC, USA - AUG 30, 2008
Bomber. Pours tar, tan head. Aroma is chocolate, anise, smoke, coffee, pine, molasses, Flavor is the same with emphasis on smoke. The mouth feel is very oily. I’m not super impressed. This is good, but not great.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
BigBeer45 (1422) - Michigan, USA - SEP 2, 2008
22 oz. bomber bottle from Champanes, pours very black with a dark tan head, swirling places a molasses looking film on the sides of the glass along with some small tan bubbles, no sediment in this bottle, aroma of bitter chocolate, fragrance of milk and/or vanilla, dry chocolate with minimal sweetness, faint alcohol (alcohol somewhat resembles the bourbon from GI Bourbon County Stout which appears to dissipates as the ale warms which is a bad thing…), roasted and dark roasted malt, some sweetness on the nose, some dark and/or burnt roasted malt appear as the ale warms to room temperature, faint strong coffee and/or coffee beans in the background, flavors of bitter chocolate and dark roasted malt, some malt sweetness and smooth on the palate from the oatmeal, leaves some bitter chocolate flavor behind after the finish, some hop bitterness, bitter chocolate and dark roasted malt flavor is not abrupt or beats down the palate, this is smooth and easy to drink, alcohol is a little prevalent when at almost room temperature, alcohol pricks the nostrils (when at almost room temperature), mouth feel is a bit thin compared to some of the Impys that are full on the palate, has some silkiness on the tongue but may be lacking some carbonation, this is a predominately an unsweetened dark chocolate Impy and seems to over shadow the rest of the aromas and flavors that an Impy Stout could have, I prefer more complexity in aroma and flavor, wished the alcohol stayed in the background more so, a nice bitter chocolate stout.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
cathcacr (646) - Oregon, USA - SEP 7, 2008
Nowhere near the quality of Stone’s 11th Ann. offering. They should have just re-released 11th or added that to their regular lineup, because it was marvelous. This is thick, sticky, black, pretty flavorful liquid with no head to speak of. I thought Stone products had no problems generating head? It’s just a flat, thick liquid with general Imperial Stout flavoring. Just not moved by this one. Not going to be paying $7 for another bottle to see if this one was off, sorry. Cut the damn price or something.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
hopscotch (10563) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - SEP 22, 2008
UPDATED: SEP 30, 2008 Bottle… Post RBSG ’08 O-Town/Vero Beach Throwdown Chapter 8… Pours pitch black with a mid-sized, creamy, beige head. Good retention. Simple, straight-forward aroma and flavor… dark, bitter chocolate nibs and cocoa powder. Full-bodied and lightly creamy with moderate carbonation. Chocolaty, bitter finish. Thanks to growler for sharing the bottle!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
bitbucket (2165) - Kirkland, Washington, USA - SEP 23, 2008
Bomber. Has most the standard Imperial Stout appearance characteristics: Opaque black, dense and somewhat lacy tan head. Kinda boozy in the nose, but there’s some licorice and chocolate there as well. Bitter chocolate taste that seems just a little sour. Lots of other little bits and pieces in the taste, with vanilla, brown sugar, espresso and roasty malt showing up. Medium body and light carbonation. Hot baking chocolate finish. Not bad, but they didn’t knock this one out of the park.

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