daknole (10828) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - JUN 9, 2011
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark pour, tan head. Roast, prunes, coffee, carob and and odd caraway seed aroma. Flavor has lots of anise and chocolate. This beer really suffers if you drink it too cold.
drjay44 (3305) - Salida, Colorado, USA - JUN 9, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
650 ml. bottle. Pours a short lived mocha head, over a dark brown (SRM 35) clear body....nose is heavy coffee, chocolate, soy sauce, beef, lighter anise...taste is coffee, chocolate, Marmite, molasses, toffee/ caramel, light anise, slight vanilla....mouth feel thick and chewy, slightly sticky, alcohol hidden, carbonation low, but adding light spritz and creamy sensations. This is a very interesting beer. It has great complexity with layers of aroma and flavor. The anise, oak and Belgian yeast are all somewhat understated in the final analysis. BJCP 8/3/15/4/8
TheEpeeist (3709) - Media, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 9, 2011
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
22 oz bottle. Mahogany with a brief tan head leaving bits. Nose is chocolate, anise, vanilla and prune. Silky medium body with a soft sparkle. Holy black jellybeans! Lots of licorice and raisin with a solid backing of espresso and dark chocolate. My favorite from Stone in quite a while.
HughConway (830) - Washington, USA - JUN 8, 2011
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Pours black with thin tan head. Aroma has hints of chocolate and anise. Taste is anise and coffee and chocolate, anise finish. Would be very interested to see how it ages.
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 7, 2011
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Wow, a very surprising beer here. I was expecting to hate it, but low and behold, Iím quite digging this. Huge anise character all around...itís at the forefront of the nose and with vibrant character..its at the forefront of the flavors as well, but it blends with the thick maltiness in an amazingly good way...its like a imperial stout sambuca, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that idea, nor how it has played out in this beer. Luckily enough, thereís such thick maltiness and such vibrant anise character than any gross phenols from the belgian yeast are not detectible at all...though it may be whatís back up and chunkifying the anise character, but thatís cool as fuck here. Very redeeming beer for Stone, and I suppose Iím just a little speechless...maybe itíll wear on my palate after a full bottle and I can make fun of Stone then...weíll see.
jlieber17 (201) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 6, 2011
3.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
22oz bottle. Pours black with tan head. Slightly thinner pour than the standard version; the head dissipates much more quickly and has much less retention than the standard IRS. Amazing aroma: cedar, pine, vanilla, subtle amounts of yeast. Taste is overwhelming black licorice for a while which turns into kind of a weird mess of licorice, earth, spices. Super unique beer; this both intrigues and disappoints me.
3fourths (9016) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JUN 6, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
draft. black body, brown head. nose is medium-heavy roast and chocolate malt, some soy/licorice black patent, little to no oak, very small amount of anise and nearly unnoticeable belgian yeast esters. rich, mildly chewy, mildly sweet, moderately bitter with medium-low acid. rich and decadent without being sweet and syrupy. fairly decent stout, though the ingredients list doesnít exactly match with what iím smelling and tasting.
BeerLimey (2154) - California, USA - JUN 5, 2011
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUN 6, 2011 [Bottle] Deep black hue, solid head formation and retention. Predominantly cocoa chocolate on the nose, malty with some vanilla, licorice and white pepper. Palate is not too heavy for the style. Thereís plenty of chocolate again, creamy almost like chocolate milkshake. Some nuttiness dries it out towards the end while thereís a typical stone balancing citrus in the finish. Iíd heard of the anise being strong but really didnít find it so, it seems to add a little more spice and complexity but seems to compliment the flavor profile rather than changing things. What is more noticeable is the oak flavor that really does add a nice extra smoothness. Alcohol is pretty subdued and secondary to all the flavor making this dangerously drinkable.
achilles4481 (11) - Albany, New York, USA - JUN 5, 2011
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Tastes exactly like it sounds. Classicly good Imperial Stout w/ a taste of Belgium. As is typical with Stone-- very good.
JoeTheYounger (1181) - Lake Arrowhead, California, USA - JUN 4, 2011
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Beautiful black pour with thick mocha brown head. Aroma is super herbal with black licorice (jaegermeister) and mushrooms. Taste is mild roast and chocolate with a big anise finish. Nowhere near as good as the original in my opinion. Ill besticking to regular IRS.