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 (1490) - 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 (1747) - 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 (3361) - 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.
Alcoholist (570) - Peoria, Illinois, USA - MAR 28, 2004
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Black as night with a large thick head. Elegant lacing adds to the dark luscious sensuality of this brew. Nose is dark chocolate, berries and anise. Flavour is thick and malty with spicy hops, finish is dry as a bone. Just phenominal, worthy enough to be Dark Lord's granite mistress.
JCapriotti (1379) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 28, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: SEP 27, 2005 2003 bottling. No real head, but it keeps a nice light brown fizziness at the top. Very dark brown/black body. Nice full aroma, milk chocolate, some coffee, and burnt apple. Creamy light chocolate, coffee, anise, peach(?) flavor. Hop hints and has a decently creamy feel to the palate. I really liked it, but I agree with DavidP that it could be more complex.
EddieG (169) - Palos Heights, Illinois, USA - MAR 23, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Another strong offering from Stone. This beer black and almost opaque. Decent light brown head with moderate carbonation. Molasess and licorice come through and nicely balance the light alcohol burn. Hops are present, but not overpowering. A very pleasant and balanced beer
Rastacouere (6137) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 22, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 28, 2004 Blind Tasting, thanks Jazz88 Black hue with almost no head, just a light brown ring. Aroma proposes a solid malt profile of dark chocolate and possibly marshmallows, perhaps a touch of salt as well. Bold grapefruity hops accompany this all. Up to now itís nothing special. In mouth, the malt profile is huge. Very full-flavoured caramel and brown sugar together with a profound grapefruity hoppiness. The difference is.. it works here, very balanced and intense at the same time. You donít realize how hoppy this is before a few sips. Mouthfeel is excellent, silky and full bodied with low carbonation. My main critics are the almost absent fruitiness and restrained roastiness. But as one who didnít particularly enjoy what he had from Stone, I was bound to recognize in a blind tasting that their imperial stout is world-class. Delicious and one of the best, as much as I hate to admit it.
resampling not blind a few months later: quite sweet, lightly vinous, big balancing bitterness. Still one of the best and far and away my favorite Stone offering.