Beaver (1620) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - AUG 18, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22 oz bottle of the Summer 2005 version. Pours a completely opaque midnight black. It has a small and fizzy head that is the darkest brown head I’ve seen. The head quickly goes down to a thin ring.
The aroma is sugary lactic cocoa with some anise, coffee and a little fruitiness.
The flavor is sweet chocolate and fruits that quickly morphs into a strong burnt, somewhat acidic, licorice bitterness with a noticeable alcohol finish. The mouthfeel is very full-bodied and viscous with light carbonation.
Overall, a solid brew. A little strong on the sweetness and the alcohol in my opinion.
PullMeABeer (203) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - AUG 17, 2005
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Limited Early Summer 2005 Release. Bottle. Truly pours like oil out of the bottle, paper thin dark brown head that immediately fell to nothing. Utterly black body, with some lacing (alcohol coating the glass). Aroma is huge, alcohol bite to the nose, rich peppery spices, dark burnt molasses, also the intoxicating aroma of freshly baking sweet breakfast rolls backed by strong freshly brewing coffee. Initially sweet and coating on the tongue, bitter sweet chocolate, dark rye bread, cookie dough addictiveness, and the alcohol in nicely blended into the flavor of this beer. Heavy mouth feel, lacking almost any carbonation. Gives you a nice wallop.
ebin603 (5) - Upland, California, USA - AUG 16, 2005 does not count
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: AUG 19, 2005 Very creamy, strong coffee and molasses flavors. The alchohol content was a bit high. Which left a lingering aftertaste
Cletus (6355) - 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 (1612) - 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 (555) - 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!