jasonp (1556) - Leesburg, Virginia, USA - JUN 18, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours a deep BLACK with a brown head. Aroma is very roasty with dark fruit. Taste is very sweet with a ton of hops, coffee, roasted malt, dark fruit, licorice and chocolate. Tart and mildly bitter.Very complex and extremely tasty. Mouthfeel is very full, round and creamy. Has a slight alcohol burn on the way down. Great brew, Iím glad I reserved two in advance.
brownaler (378) - Topsail Beach, North Carolina, USA - JUN 16, 2004
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
2003 bomber served in a snifter. Wow! Apperarance is pitch black with some bubbles clinging on the side of the glass. The smell is of beautiful smoked malt. The taste only seem a little astringent at first but comes together when it is warmed up. The raisin, chocolate and malt are PERFECTLY balanced in this brew. The best thing is that it is still easily drinkable at 9.47%.
mrkimchee (1414) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 15, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
imperial stout tasting, march 04: black, tan head. roatsy and chocolatey aroma with some boozy raisins and red liquorice. very thick and roasty. bitter chocolate and coffee flavours are most of what I get with the raisins and liquorice from the aroma very much inthe background. still quite nice, but not my favourite from this tasting.
BarleyWino (3) - California, USA - JUN 15, 2004 does not count
4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2004 version, bottle. Less complex than last yearís version, but even better overall! Aftertaste of soy sauce, of all things--and would you believe it works! Alcohol a strong note--not surprising at 10.8% ABV. Some coffee and red wine notes, but overall the flavor is dominated by hops and the aforementioned soy sauce flavor. Malty nose; more hops than I remember from last year. Another tremendous Stone offering. Kudos!
rudolf (2276) - Buffalo, New York, USA - JUN 15, 2004
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap at the Old Toad, 5/28/04. Salty soy sauce aroma. Bittersweet body with a nice tart finish. Blacker than the local goth club. This stuff kicks ass, but I donít know if I could deal with more than a small glass.
FlacoAlto (3450) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUN 14, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUL 9, 2004 2004 Bottling, Sampled June, 2004
Pours a pitch black color that supports a deep brown creamy head. Rich dark malt aromas waft from my glass, and are joined by notes of rum, burnt raisins, toasted biscuits, and a fair amount of grain character. The taste is intensely malty, and it almost has a saltiness to it. It is quite rich, yet somehow light for an Imperial Stout. There is a nice low level of malt sweetness here that balances the roast character, and each of these components is in some way muted by the interaction of the other. This beer is definitely rich and creamy from the front end to just before the finish, after this the burnt, roast malt flavors kick in and linger around a bit
2001 Bottling, Sampled June 2004
I have been saving this bottle for quite a while. Since I am going to be getting a case of the 2004 pretty soon I decided that now would be a good time to try an aged sample.
It pours motor oil black with a deep dark brown thin head. It is quite a clear deep brown color when held up to the light through a thin cross section. The aroma is ripe with notes of dried prunes, raisins, miso, and sherry. There appears to be at least some oxidation character in the nose. Underneath the other aromas I get hints of espresso, and roasted barley. The beer is still quite thick and viscous; it is fairly sweet up front with strong dark malt flavors just dominating my palate. This is incredibly tasty and has aged quite well in my closet. It is slightly oxidized, which adds more complexity to this already complex beast, there is a hint of sherry and some port notes, but none of the wet cardboard type oxidation flavors. It is quite fruity up front with notes of prune, raisin, and cherry. The finish is dry and slightly astringent from all of the dark malt notes that includes espresso, burnt toast, and roasted barley.
Did I say that this is damn tasty? It is quite smooth, and just slides viscously down my throat, coating my entire mouth with lingering flavors that refuse to dissipate entirely. I take another sip and the process begins anew. The middle of this beer is laden with smooth dark malt flavors, but the burnt/ roast character of this beer really only hits you at the very end. As this beer slowly disappears and as it continues to warm up, it just gets better and better. This beer is awesome right now; I am definitely going to have to age quite a few of the 2004 vintage.
beerinmarch (2830) - Washington, USA - JUN 13, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This brew pours a midnight black color with a nice tan head. This brew is the monster from little childrens nightmares. Strong roasted coffee aroma that just attacks the nose. Very thick body with an amazing roasted coffee and chocolate flavor that leaves your temperature rising. Amazing brew, i would call it a magician.
Hab40oz (242) - Grants Pass, Oregon, USA - JUN 13, 2004
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
close to being the best beer Iíve ever had, and I live in the Pacific Northwest. These Stone brewers really no there beer. This brew pours a very very dark color, almost pure black, with a creamy brown head and little lacing. Has a destinked smoky flavor which makes every part of this brew better. I love it, thick molasses apeal, rich and just plain shrummdidilyumshuss!
Discofish (152) - USA - JUN 6, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Full bodied chocolaty and roast. I prefer other imperial stouts over this one, but it is up there.
SanDiegoWino (4) - California, USA - MAY 25, 2004 does not count
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
This is the new 2004 release (one of the perks of being a beer columnist!), and is outstanding. Deep black in color with a coffee-and-cream head, the nose is coffee and deep roasted maltiness. The mouthfeel is thick and rich, like cream, and the flavor has malt sweetness on the front with a very long, dry finish that suggests anise. Wonderful stuff.