Cletus (6354) - Connecticut, USA - AUG 16, 2005
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
I usually like Stone’s offerings and this one’s no exception. Pours black with a tanish head. Notes of currants, allspice and cookie dough initially dominate followed by some mellowing coffee and licorice notes. Peppery finish. Rich and complex mouthfeel. The alcohol’s pretty well disguised on this one so it has a tendancy to creep up on you without warning.
jefcon (1472) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - AUG 8, 2005
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Summer 2005 release. Pours like black syrup with no head, no lacing. But the color is tough to get over -- this baby lets no light through. Aromas are heavy on coffee and burnt chickory, some fudge and interestic aromatic spices which are nearly herbal. Hits the palate like a ton of bricks and is well-proportioned and balanced. Nice hops up front, but then a blast of coffee and smoke. The brew finishes with a chocolaty run-up to a slightly bitter woodsy, natural alcohol, and it lasts and lasts. A well-made beer and a great capstone to any imperial stout session.
walter (359) - Staunton, Virginia, USA - AUG 7, 2005
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
22oz. Bottle, summer ’05 release. Poured (snifter) impressive thick black with a very dark brown head. Not as oily an appearance as I had expected-- thins around the edges to a medium brown. Lots of various and heavy roasted aromas-- chocolate dominates, along with coffee, dark fruits, licorice, and a fair amount of alcohol. Heavy body. When cold, the chocolate sweetness is a little overpowering, but as it warms the other roasted malts and flavors come out. Almost chewy mouthfeel with a long aftertaste of bitter chocolate. Surprisingly balanced and smooth for Stone. An impressive hulk of a beer!
TheBeerOrg (2145) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - AUG 5, 2005
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Deep black with thin brown head. Aroma of dark chocolate and french roast coffee. Very complex and the gravity of this beer cannot be hidden, except perhaps with age. Tastes quite spicy with a burnt taste. Mouthfeel is very heavy, oily, and very aggressive. Finish is quite long, moderately acidic, moderately bitter, and slightly sweet.
xenthem0nk (101) - Oregon, USA - AUG 1, 2005
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Holy God. This is a Stout and a half. Incredible size in every element in this Imperial. Indeed it warms the bones. I believe this is Stone’s finest craft by far. Typical super heavy coffee, roasted malts, and dark chocolates in it, but wow are they brewed to perfection. Mouthfeel was syrup, but not too oily which is good. This stout is like a full meal in a bottle.
MI2CA (1340) - Noblesville, Indiana, USA - JUL 31, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
22oz - 2005 - Aroma is thick like every other quality in this brew, coffee, licorice, chocolate, and alcohol. Pours solid black with a very small brown head and no lacing. Flavor is heavy with coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted malt. Palate weighs a ton and sticks like glue. Very nice indeed. I’m excited to taste it aged.
allfreej (553) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - JUL 30, 2005
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours very dark brown, almost black, with a wonderful medium-brown head.The nose is, as advertised, intense, with some fruit notes and a hint of anise. The mouth-feel is just what one should expect from an Imperial, oily and a little sticky. The flavor is outstanding, with chocolate, and currants up front, and a nice, hop-bitter finish to the brew. Truly an Imperial Stout to return to!
madcow75 (426) - Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 30, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
22 oz bottle. Pours oily black with thin light brown head. Aromas of chocolate syrup, espresso, caramel. Tastes like coffee and some fruitness. The coffee taste is not overpowering like some imp stous. Real balanced. Feels full and rich in the mouth. Finishes bitter, can definitely taste the bitterness and it lingers for quite a while.
chilehead (186) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - JUL 29, 2005
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
May be the best imperial stout I’ve had. The head looks like pure chocolate when from the tap. Beer floats made with high quality dense vanilla ice cream are dreamy with this!!! (my new favorite dessert)
lamas (1433) - Washington DC, USA - JUL 26, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 oz. bottle. Limited Early Summer 2005 Release. No light shows through the opaque black pour. One of the darkest brown heads I’ve ever seen. Powerfully rich aroma of coffee, chocolate, caramel, vanilla beans and overripe plums. Packed with intense flavors. Starts off with some very sweet vanilla and dark fruity flavors and transitions its way to some milk-chocolate. Finishes with a roasty, black coffee bitterness that doesn’t linger too long. There’s also some anise and vanilla extract present at this point. Pretty well-balanced too. Moderate amounts of warming alcohol throughout, and in the end it’s a little excessive. Thick and full-bodied.