FlacoAlto (3810) - 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 I’ve 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.
mkobes (2141) - paramus, New Jersey, USA - MAY 16, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Lots of thanks too eyedrinkale. Deep brown in color with a nice fluffy tan head. Very malty. Chocolatety notes. Licorice. Good beer. Enjoyable.
MaiBockAddict (1497) - Good Beer Bar Deprived, New Jersey, USA - MAY 16, 2004
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: SEP 10, 2004 2004 Bottle. Worthy of an upgrade. Flavor and aroma to a 9, overall to a 16. Aroma is well balanced between the roasty malts and the alcohol. Flavor is round. No sharpness and hops are less prevalent. Flavors are very rich as well.
2003 Bottle courtesy of Eyedrinkale. Pours deep brown with a tan head. Aroma of hops and chocolate. Big malty flavor with some hops and plenty of malt bitterness. One tasty Russian. Thanks Mike! 8-5-8-5-15
motelpogo (6876) - Plzen, CZECH REPUBLIC - MAY 5, 2004
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
not totally to my tastes but this does have its appeal. aero bar aroma. tasted of rolled oats, golden syrup, cocoa powder and, of course, a mass of hops. pretty black. not bad but i wasn’t too disappointed to finish the glass
BuckNaked (1230) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, 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. I’m 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 it’s 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.