ThisWangsChung (836) - 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.
Atom (2139) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - AUG 29, 2016
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2016 Bomber pours a dark brown with a large tan head. Sweet aroma, bourbon, vanilla, oak, big licorice, caramel, toffee, cocoa, yeah maybe some pecan, slightly nutty anyway. Very sweet, cocoa, caramel, toffee, molasses, and vanilla, alcohol and bourbon very present with a bitterness, nutty earth pecans present. Solid.
beerbaaron (1939) - Arizona, USA - AUG 28, 2016
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Black with a thin light brown head. Fantastically full body, smooth and creamy. Superb balance. Rich and full of character but not cloying. Great dark roastiness stands out. Decadent dark chocolate. I didnít find it to be boozy at all. Perfect way to cap off a Sunday.
jazz88 (2664) - San Francisco, California, USA - AUG 28, 2016
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. A dark color with a tan head. A smooth chocolate aroma with a touch of the barrels but mellowed with the wheat malts and nutty finish. Quite nice.
MarinEvelyn (800) - Wisconsin, USA - AUG 28, 2016
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Strong, sweet, chocolate, savory stout. Slight tart, dark fruit. Delicious and rich.
OrthoDoc (175) - South Carolina, USA - AUG 28, 2016
4.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
A top tier stout here. Aroma of chocolate and bourbon barrel, a little vanilla and sweetness. Taste is off the hook- the perfect blend of roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, and barrel notes. No flavor dominates but they all blend together perfectly. Mouthfeel is big, silky, and decadent. A huge delicious stout with almost no alcohol taste or smell. Will try to buy more if I can find it.
SG111 (1229) - New York, USA - AUG 27, 2016
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tap at Clubhouse BFD. Pours pitch black, tan head. Aroma is lots of licorice. This smells like twizzlers and some roasted malt notes. Wow. Flavor is super rich in your face chocolate. Booze, intense roasted malt, twizzlers. But that intense chocolate, and booze is intense.
natejgood (477) - Bozeman, Montana, USA - AUG 25, 2016
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a dark rich brown, but not black like some imperial stouts. Head also goes down somewhat quickly for a stout after initially presenting as a mocha/caramel head. However, the head continues to build from the bottom impressively so doesnít entirely disappear. Aroma of cherries, licorice and dark, rich fruits. Maybe a bit of molasses in the aroma as well. Smooth, rich chocolate in the mouth with just a hint of bitterness. You can taste a bit of alcohol in this beer, but it is 13% after all. I really canít get over how velvety this beer feels in the mouth. And the aftertaste is probably better than the taste while drinking, which is a plus with a beer this strong. You can enjoy each sip for quite a while. Good beer.
Busterhawk822 (2) - - AUG 24, 2016 does not count
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
2016 edition. Pours motor-oil thick with tan head that lasts a long time. Appearance as viscous as you like. On the nose: milk chocolate, berries, dark chocolate, oak, pecans, a little booze, nutty, wheat, cream of rice cereal, tanned leather, banana, cloves, bubblegum, Malt-O-Meal, heavy whipping cream. Taste: Chocolate malt, nuts, a little bit of booze, salted caramel, bourbon, saltwater taffy, sweet dark cherries, dark chocolate, espresso coffee beans, sourdough bread, butter. Finishes clean and leaves you wanting another, though the 13 percent ABV would implore you to reconsider. Overall, a beautifully outstanding beer.
Aggiebob (712) - Huntsville, Alabama, USA - AUG 24, 2016
3.5 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draft. Black with a thin tan head. Light aroma. Chocolate and bourbon flavors with some nuttiness. Very intense alcohol.
JohnGalt1 (1610) - Boise, Idaho, USA - AUG 23, 2016
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours standard black with a very thin dark brown head... absolutely no lacing or cap.
Boozy mash-up of bourbon, light roast malts for a RIS, interesting nutty and dry toffee component.. toasted marshmallow.. bittersweet chocolate with warmth and something that I associate with cinnamon.
There are soooo many different flavors/adjuncts that are in this fresh.. It actually works even given the heavy ABV... Will it work better with age? I have no idea... but I am amazed how well it drinks fresh.