Leighton (8675) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 16, 2012
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle kindly shared by Paul at The Kernel, London. Pours black with a thick, creamy beige head. Dark malt nose with some licorice, alcohol. Medium to big sweet flavor, some burnt dark malts, light rubbery chocolate, strong roasted malts, some earthy bitterness. Full bodied with fine to average carbonation. Lightly warming on the finish with dark malts, chocolate, bittersweet cocoa, light rubber, mellow spices. Pretty OK stuff.
Scopey (4615) - Croydon, Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 15, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from Cali Road trip. It pours near black with a small tan head. The nose is roasted malt, toast, milk chocolate, toffee, salted liquorice, light sulphur, soy sauce. The taste is roasted malt, spice, earth, light tang, dark fruit, chocolate, varnish, toast, salted liquorice and alcohol warmth with a dry, somewhat spicy finish. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Tasty, but not a patch on the regular version.
rederic (2790) - montréal, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 11, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
22oz bottle, vintage 2011, deep black color, with a big frothy bubbly tan head, with a yeasty, fruity, good spicy anise, chocolatey nose, with some cocoa, dark bitter chocolate baking bar, licorice accents, and a faint absinthe liqueur, medicinal herb, roasted, black malty note in the aroma follows through on a full-bodied palate with a warmth smooth, dark bitter chocolate, spicy anise, fennel, licorice character, with some coffee, brownie, chocolate cake, roasted, chocolate, toasted malt, faint oaky flavours, leading towards a warming, roasty bitterness, strong anise spiciness finish.
HopTsing (399) - Sandston, Virginia, USA - DEC 10, 2012
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
From the tap came a very dark brew with a thin, dark brown head. Aromas of malt, chocolate, anise, and a hint of raspberry. Full bodied with rich malt and chocolate flavors with a nice hint of anise.
tia (848) - Sandston, Virginia, USA - DEC 10, 2012
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Tap. Pitch with tan head and lacing. Definite licorice aroma- candy! Flavor follows but also tastes a little chocolaty. Slick mouth feel, moderate carbonation.
marcus (5615) - Sacramento, California, USA - NOV 28, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle from Healthy Spirits. Pours near black with an attractive tan head and a treacle aroma. There is a chocolate and dark molasses flavor with a hefty dose of black licorice. The Belgian yeast is overcome by the other heavy tastes, so is not really a factor.
MadIndian (2222) - Levittown, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 13, 2012
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottled. Odd, but good. Dark pour with Anise, licorice, bread and wood taste. I think the Anise might be a tad toom much...it sort of throws off the balance. None the less, it still has a good flow to it. You really notice the alcohol at the tail end of the sip.
jmohno (966) - Iowa, USA - NOV 9, 2012
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
2011 bottle.Black with not much of any head from first pour of bomber,thin ring with slight lacing.
Aroma is dark oatmeal cookie,slight anise coffee/cocoa,good at first,upon warming it gets some meaty,B-vitamins,cherrie syrup.
Taste is stout with cherrie coughdrop,anise, some dry-woodyness,roast/ash with mocha some mild dry alcohol in finish.Slick and strong with strong earthy hop. Some ashy/roast that lingers with earthy hop bittering. Cant really get away from the b-vitamin/medicinal thing it has. Probably one and done for myself with this one. Since this is aged I dont really notice much belgian but more of a weird medicinal thing which Im thinking belgian and imperial stout are more of a no go for me as well as alot of other belgian imperials.
Dorwart (2312) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - NOV 3, 2012
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Strong dark brown head of very small and dense bubbles. Distinct aroma of dill pickles, wet oak, chocolate malts and some weak anise. Color is basically black. Sweet and oaky flavor with dark chocolate, a bit more dill pickle, burnt toast and medicine. Some anise up front but is quickly overwhelmed by the oak and dark roasted malts. Body is a bit thinner than what I expected but is still very full bodied. Finishes roasty and strong with some lingering oaky sourness. Not the best combo from Stone.
MartinT (7307) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 3, 2012
2.6 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
My Bottom Line:
A pickled, phenolic touch seeps from this brew’s star anise, as chocolate and vanilla to camouflage an idea gone awry.
Further Personal Perceptions:
-A sheet of foam laces around the darkness.
-It took a while for that aroma to evaporate, leaving way for pure star anise.
-Alcohol heat and prevalent phenols kind of clashed as well.
-Mouthfeel, on the other hand, was quite healthy.
-A rare miss from Stone.