BuckNaked (1230) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - MAY 4, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2003 on tap (5/3/04): Pours much less creamy, with less lasting head than a traditional stout. Iím not complaining. Aroma: smoked malt, fruit, hickory, burnt match, smoked jerky, roasted nut. Flavor: simply awesome, olive, malty, maply syrup, smoked malt. Finish: sweet maple syrup, caramel, indescribable.
mardermax (71) - santa cruz, California, USA - MAY 3, 2004
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAY 11, 2004 5/2/04: proud day. 22 oz bottle: 2003 release- smells like butter. chocolate smoke belushi. Relatively large head for a stout..But now itís disapated quite a bit.. Tastes of a very slighty (smoked/burned) barley.. Pungent. stone is friggin bizzare and outlandish. they make beers that dont follow normal rules about beer. how is this possible? Full mouth experience no doubt. great, dandy swell, aye caramba. When a beer makes you lie down and think about what you are drinking right now, you know you're there.. Just the right bitterness, followed by smoothe roasty chocolate aftertaste. Simple yet, dank as blap! a true oxymoron.
Sammy (8094) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 1, 2004
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 19/20
smooth thick chocolate more than coffee. Like a porter. Roasty aroma - not the main show. Beautiful black. 2003 edition. Too much to finish on own A bit acidic tempered by some food. Bit of carbonation
brewshthereen (316) - Oregon, USA - MAY 1, 2004
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
I can see why this was rated high! Pours black as night with toasty brown head. Powerful. Roasted coffee, licorice, spices and bitter chocolate at the finish. Chewy and good. Warming and fantastic.
Gandolph (1) - USA - MAY 1, 2004 does not count
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
good stout chocolate and coffee full bodied tatsed better as it warmed up would like to have another
MullMan (1099) - New Jersey, USA - APR 15, 2004
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 17, 2004 Spring 2003 reserve. pours the darkest brown. well, it's black actually. but the very thin brown head makes it seem dark brown. the head disappears quickly. no light even shines through this stuff!! the nose is like roasting coffee and the smell of baking chocolate at the Guittard factory (which drives people crazy). mission fig and raisin notes. first carbonation mouthfeel, then roasted malt flavor. next raisin/fig taste, then alcohol, licorice and hop finish. super stuff!
haddon90 (1384) - Denver, Colorado, USA - APR 8, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Deep black color with a slim tan head. Very black. Complex aroma. Chocolate, coffee, malt, some hops. Very interesting. Strong taste. Deep chocolate flavor. Creamy. Some berries as well. Hint of coffee too. You can get a bit of the alcohol but not that much. Overall, a really good stout. I was very pleased with this!
YourDarkLord (1800) - Urbana, Illinois, USA - MAR 31, 2004
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Had it side by side with Dark Lord and it held its own. Black. Very black. Frothy brown head. Aroma was complex. Anise, chocolate, coffee, berries. Intoxicating. The flavor was gigantic. Full bodied and rich and creamy. Pour some great chocolate in an equally great coffee and you get the picture. Delicious. Right up there with the Dark Lord. Wow.
DavidP (1746) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 30, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Black body with a tan, short-lived head. Coffee aroma with chocolate notes. Big chocolately roast flavor with peachy fruitniness. Flavor actually seems simplistic. Big bold flavors but not that interesting. Bitter, piney finish. Alcohol is well hidden.
Kinz (3188) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - MAR 29, 2004
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAY 18, 2006 Thanks to Eyedrinkale! Pours deep black, dark tan head rises from the pitch much to my surprise, fades away slowly. Tiny particles of almost microscopic black dots swirl around the utmost outer edges. Aroma of thick chocolate and espresso wafts up, with a faint hint of alcohol laden spruce and peppermint. The aroma is definite, but not overpowering. Flavor throws me straight back into my childhood, specifically to the ripple of molten fudge running through Baskin Robins Fudge Ripple ice cream. Touch of pepsin, more chocolate notes, cream, mint, anise, and dark fruit. The layers of flavor are subtle (for an Imperial) and well integrated. The flavor lingers in your mouth long after the swallow without losing intensity. A stunningly good brew. NOTE: 2006 version rather different, most notably sweeter with more of a molasses element thrown in. Good, but not quite on par with previous years IMHO. Leaving up previous rating, as I think that is probably the most representative of what this beer in top form is all about.