ThisWangsChung (826) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - SEP 17, 2013
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
22 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Pours a supremely dark brown color, one thatís very opaque. Very little head here, just a thin tan-colored film, and even that retains poorly. On the other hand, this has visible alcohol legs.
S: This has a lot of boozy dark fruits, along with perhaps a twinge of nuttiness and a twinge of chocolate. Thereís also a twinge of bourbon - not actual oaky character, though. An acceptable nose...but man, I was expecting something that was total batshit insanity with a side of bourbon-soaked pecans. And itís just not; itís really just...boozy. Inhaling directly from the bottle yields more pecan notes, though.
T: The opening flavors are very chocolaty - always a good thing in imperial stouts. Bourbon very briefly pops up in the middle, before turning into a spicy, boozy finish. Some pecan flavors also pop up on the back end, becoming gradually bolder as more is imbibed; the strong nutty character is very redolent of Arrogant Bastard to an extent. The booze bite on the back end is more fruity than fusely. Itís about as alcoholic as I expect a 13% stout to be, no more, no less, and becomes less of an issue as this warms up. Actually, my chief complaint about this brew isnít the alcohol presence (that gradually calms down), itís the lack of complexity. There really isnít much to this beyond booze, chocolate, and pecan. Even worse, there really isnít a lot of harmony or balance between those flavors. But itís endearing. Endearing, much in the same way that íMerica is endearing.
Gawd bless íMerica.
M: It feels a bit light (Iíd call it medium-bodied if it werenít 13%) and airy, along with a touch of rye-derived coarseness. There isnít much of a substantial feeling on the palate - itís almost like it was designed to be surprisingly drinkable for such a big stout. And honestly? It is. At a higher temperature, the boozy notes become obscured, making this even easier to sip.
O: Itís not often I get a brew where the flavor profile is MUCH better than the aroma (without the aforementioned nose being out-and-out horrid and/or not to my liking), but this is exactly that. I wouldnít call it top-caliber - it doesnít have supreme depth, or even a good balance for that matter. Still, it has a definite charm that makes it much better than the average imperial stout. And hey, itís far more likeable than Wesley Crusher ever was.
djd07 (5386) - Houston, Texas, USA - MAY 28, 2015
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap at The Wine Bar Destin. Pours a dark brown with large creamy tan head that leaves sticky lacing. The aroma is nutty malt, wood, chocolate, toast. Thick mouthfeel, rich chocolate malt, vanilla, bourbon, very sweet, really enjoyed this one.
koleminer20 (934) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - MAY 16, 2015
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 oz bottle shared with ebone1988. This one dons the cartoon character label. The pour is a dark dark brown/light black pour with a minimal head that retreats to a nice khaki colored ring of head with no lace. The aroma is a bit of whiskey. There is a nice dark fruit and roasted malt presence, but then it all gets overtaken by a heavy whiskey presence. The flavor is incredibly heavy on whiskey. Jesus Christ. Once you can get through that bomb there is a ton of roasted malts and dark licorice. There is a hefty roast, but a good portion of that is concealed by the booziness. The mouth feel is a bit light with a good carbonation to help balance it. The aftertaste is lingeringly boozy with a solid malt and dark fruit backbone. Not too bad, but really hot.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
ebone1988 (323) - Wyoming, Michigan, USA - MAY 16, 2015
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle shared with koleminer20. Aroma is nice, bourbon barrel, nice roasted malt, sweet, like a Bourbon County. Appearance is black, light brown head. Taste is roasted malt, licorice, like black licorice hard candy, bitter and nice, a touch of booze. Mouthfeel is boozy, but thick with good carbonation. Overall, I like it a bit.
superspak (3227) - Michigan, USA - MAY 8, 2015
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 6/25/2013. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, caramel, toffee, toast, dark bread, spicy rye, nuttiness, vanilla, raisin, prune, date, bourbon, oak, light char, and roast/oaky earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, pecans, and bourbon barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of huge dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, caramel, toffee, toast, dark bread, spicy rye, nuttiness, vanilla, raisin, prune, date, bourbon, oak, light char, and roast/oaky earthiness. Fair amount of roast/char bitterness and oaky spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, caramel, toffee, toast, dark bread, spicy rye, nuttiness, vanilla, dark fruits, bourbon, and roast/oaky earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, pecans, and bourbon barrel flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy, fairly slick, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is fairly well hidden with a light-moderate warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an awesome imperial stout. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, pecan, and bourbon barrel flavors; and smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.
PartyFowle (457) - - MAY 7, 2015
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle, first release. Thick black -- no light coming through this guy. One finger of dense, sticky sandy tan head grips the walls in full sheets. Something tangy in the nose, like apricots mixed with chocolate. A little vanilla, a weird splash of unripe banana. Splash of oak, too. Unripe banana is all over the flavor. Very weird. Lots of Maple, rough oak, a splash of pecan, a bunch of alcohol too. A little hot.Thick, medium-full body with mild, massaging carbonation and a lot of alcohol numbness. This one will be much better after a year or two-- thereís too much alcohol flavor at this point.
raoul_duke (149) - - MAR 21, 2015
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
On tap at bar Buena. Caramel foamy head which sticks around. Extremely dark brown to black. Malt nose with some chocolate. Very alcoholic flavor. Some coffee flavor I guess. Thinner than youíd expect. All in all a bit disappointing but still above average.
GothGargoyle (1598) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 21, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark brown with a chocolate head. Aroma is raisins, dates, chocolate, caramel, hint of anise. Full bodied, lightly sticky mouthfeel, bittersweet on the palate. Taste is raisins, pecans, dates, anise.
BrewHaMeister (228) - - MAR 20, 2015
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bomber bottle poured thick black with a tan lingering head and quickly dissipating head. Aromas of chocolate, woodiness, caramel and roasty malt. Flavor is mild bitter. Yum.
alobar (3019) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 1, 2015
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours a cola brown color with a creamy tan head with exceptional lacing. Aroma of bourbon, vanilla, toffee, and roast. Creamy body with roasted malt, chocolate, nuts, wood, and a slight bourbon hit at the back end. Just exceptional. 2013 bottle.
Dr_Fellini (772) - Norfolk, Virginia, USA - FEB 3, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle to glass. About a year old. Pours a deep brown to black color with a creamy light brown head. Aroma is roasted malts with a light nutty toastiness, somewhat burnt bitter. Flavor brings out a bit more of the burnt roasted nutty malts. No noticeable bourbon quality, but could be that its aged a bit too long. Roast nutty slight burnt malts in the finish. I liked it, but it was probably too late in the night after a solid tasting.