frylock (1135) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JUL 27, 2003
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Black, opaque body with a nice dark brown head. Sweet malt and chocolate aroma. Roasty and sweet flavors. Coast the mouth and warms the body. Some hops come through in the finish. Complex and delicous.
cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - JUL 27, 2003
4.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Poured out of 22 oz. bottle, bought at Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA, 7/24/03. Tight, light brown head that dissipates quickly but looks fantastic while it's there-- like a thick chocolate malt. Dark, extremely opaque body-- almost completely black like a bottle of ink. Nice lacing along the glass while the head lasts, but like most good things, it's not forever. Nose is not terribly strong, of subtle, inviting, dark, roasted chocolate. Taste jumps out with dark roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate malt. Medium-full body and smooth mouthfeel with a dark sweetness that hints at growing overwhelming but somehow still remains on the edges (and roof) of the mouth. Incredible dark roast and chocolate finish. Delicious and surprisingly well-rounded beer, this is one of the best imperial stouts and one of the best beers I've had.
whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 26, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUL 12, 2004 Intense aroma of Turkish coffee , bitter roasted chocolate, and grassy hops. Unlike many stouts this actually smells like BEER (due to the hop fragrance). Dense tan head, and body the color of a black hole. Ultra-intense flavor of dark, bitter chocolate with a blast of hops. Ethanol-kick in the finish. Richest of the rich with many intense elements yet smooth as silk. This beautiful beast will sneak up on you.
Re-rate, 2004 vintage: Roastier than I remembered. Dominates other elements. Rating mostly the same except I dropped one point overall.
omnivore (270) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUL 26, 2003
2.5 AROMA 2/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
I think it's probably just me, because everyone else I know LOVES this. It's just REALLY REALLY bitter... too bitter for my tastes, unfortunately.
roomtempbeer (185) - Franklin, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 26, 2003
3.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Beer pours (in Chimay glass) an oh so black liquid light can not penetrate. The darkest beer I think I've ever seen!! With no head unless agitated - when agitated, head is oh so dark caramel-brown that quickly disapates to nothing. Aroma is of coffee, molasses, alcohol, and sweet fruit. Flavor is of alcohol and maybe slight hop eventually giving way to a light coffee, bittler finish - more coffee than bitter. This beer warms the belly. Alcohol flavor is a tad too much and makes this beer not all that appealing. Others do it better with more flavor and less emphasis on alcohol/ alcohol content. Almost easy to sip, but not that easy to take in mouthfuls. Great beer overall, but strong alcohol keeps it from being better. Sampled at 71 degrees Fahrenheit.
drinkbeer (283) - Redondo Beach, California, USA - JUL 25, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours out like motor oil. Awesome. Aroma is like roasted ground coffee beans, alcohol. Almost smells like Kahlua. Tastes SMOOTH, roasty, bittersweet chocolate, fruity notes. Mildly bitter in the middle but finishes dry.
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - JUL 23, 2003
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: DEC 3, 2004 2004 Vintage - 8/5/9/5/18 - 4.5 This puppy is completely opaque black. Very nice creamy rocky mocha head. Lacing is superb. Big roasted malt aroma, molasses, chocolate, and other various malty aromas. The hops are there but are muted, Roasted malt flavors such as coffee and choclate are most pronounced then some more subtle falavors come into play, dark berries and some citrus hops. The body is big but not over powering. The alcohol is a bit more evident with this vintage than others I have had. One of the top Imperial Stouts out there!
2003 Vintage - 9/5/10/5/19 - 4.8 One of the best Imperial Stouts I have had. Very dark and oily looking. Medium brown head with decent but not great lacing. Aroma is that of alcohol and malt. When it hits your mouth the first tastes are that of malt, lots of malt. Chocolate malt, Black Malt, Roasted Barley, you name it. Very creamy mouth-feel. The alcohol is most noticeable in the nose. The malt seems to mask it in the mouth. There are good hints of hop bitterness to be found underneath all that malt. Find it, buy it, and drink it.
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - JUL 19, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours out of the bomber a deep dark leathery brown of 5W-30 motor oil vescosity only to settle as if its been through the engine much longer and without a filter. That means black to the unmotorized-friendly. A waffer thin, tightly sponged, light cocoa brown head sits atop which fades to a skim always present, lace sticks in ink blot patches.
Smell is subdued but moderately present of dark roasted malts and black malts, quite lusciously so...a light sense of dark fruits favoring raisin, plum, fig, and alcohol warmth mixing in the nose with some chocolate sweetness and coffee notes in there as well.
Taste is quite creamy rich and moderately hefty, but mellowing of dark roasty malts with a slight coffeeness, hops arrive quickly with favorable rich bitterness that fits in quite nicely helping finishing this out with some chocolate twingy tangyness.
Quite a nice easy heavily creamy full body, rich, lusious, and filling, with an incredible lingering chocolate and mild hop bitter drying finish with a bit of alcoholic warmth showing up late taking effect on your head after half the bottle or so.
One excellently done stout in its drinkability, it goes down so wickedly; nearly dangerously smooth and easy for an Imperial Stout its just a knock-down dazzling splendid yummy packed treat that makes you crave every sip after yummy little sip.
erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - JUL 19, 2003
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: AUG 28, 2004 Pours a "Black as night" with a velvety, purpleish-hue. Aromas of burnt malts, raisins, rum and anise. The alcohol and hops coat the tongue dilightfully followed by a slow alcohol burn in the throat and rests with the taste of espresso. Delicious!
Well, Greg said that the recipe for this has not changed. If it hasen't changed then why is there so much more alcohol? Why is the body so much more watery than it used to be? Why is the amount of Black Patent just downright obnauxious? This is not the same beer at all and I don't like it!
BillKismet (3335) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUL 17, 2003
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
This beer unfortunately did not sway me from the belief that imperial stouts are much overhyped. This was an above average brew, but not nearly as complex, entertaining, or tasty as the average baltic porter. I find this brew analogous to Alaskan Amber. They are both good beers, with fair, rounded flavors appearing following aeration and warming--beers you would not hesitate to drink again-each good for its own season and occasion, but neither are anywhere near 4pt beers--imo.
Black forest body with a perfect chocolate head--I am certainly prejudiced in favor of dark beers. Deep black malts appear aromatically from the start, running into deeper vinous veins that stretch as the beer warms finishing in a slap of chocolate alcohol. The flavor is more ordinary, with coffee and chocolate on the finish, preceded by weak cloud of black malt. Slighlty more flavorful and alcoholic/vinous with warming, but the palate is never quite satisfied.