gsteph (323) - knoxville, Tennessee, USA - FEB 1, 2005
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pours like used 10W40 and looks like it too. Decent sized cocoa head, not good retention but did leave some lace. Nice aromatic roasty coffee, chocolate and dark fruit medley with a touch of alcohol. Flavor is smooth, to say the least, and very sexy, smoky wood, coffee, bittersweet chocolate and licorice with a warming fruity, alcohol finish. Not too bitter on the finish like some stouts but satisfying. The body is bold and velvety but a little thin...but overall nothing that detracts from this damn fine concoction.
bb (8557) - Alamo, California, USA - JAN 30, 2005
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Dark blackish beer with a nice rich cocoa head. Roasty malt aroma with some chocolate. Full roasty, chocolate, coffee, and some licorice flavors. Rich, velvety mouthfeel. Lingering roastiness in the aftertaste. Very well put together, but for expected a little more oomph to it.
kumite56 (473) - Cordova, Tennessee, USA - JAN 30, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Now this is a good stout. It pours a beautiful black beer with a brown thin but mostly lasting head. The aroma overwhelms you with roaty malts, and dried fruit. Flavor is strong, malty, roasty, coffee and alcohol. My one ding on this bee is that it tended to be cloyingly sweet to me and I downgraded it as a result. Good palate and servicable. If you keep this in the fridge, make sure you let it warm to get the complexity and the mellowness of the brew.
HopsformyHips (113) - Memphis, Tennessee, USA - JAN 30, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
This is a pretty sexy beer....The pour is a dark oil thickness that just coats the glass and evolves a small brown head with some very nice lacing. It is just a good looking beer...that is very inticing. THe aroma intensifies and increases in complexity as it warms. I smell and tasted an exotic terryaki flavor. It had darker fruits, roasted coffee, a slight spice, and maltiness to its flavor. There was a pleasant alcoholic warming effect as it is swallowed. It had a sticky sweetness that had to be handled at a slow sipping pace. The palate was like a heavy velvet blanket. This beer is just so good looking...if pre-teens lusted after beers, this one would be in "Teen-beat" magazine and up on posters in my bedroom.
Fulkrum78 (175) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - JAN 29, 2005
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Awesome beer. Beautiful color, great balance. Can taste the alcohol on the finish. Canít wait to get another bottle!
Jonathan3584 (323) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - JAN 29, 2005
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JUN 27, 2005 Re-rating: 4.8 2004 late summer bomber. Poured as a third contender in the imperial stout off yesterday. This guy was up against Speedway and Dark Lord and held its own amazingly well for such a reasonably priced beer. Pour is opaque black with a dark tan head. The first rating was right -- this looks like old motor oil. Aroma is wonderfully complex with a great roastiness and a more apparent hops profile than either Speedway or DL. Flavor is intiall nice and sweet. Deliciously chocolaty and thick. Dried fruits start coming out once the roastiness subsides. The hops are more notable in the finish than throughout, and balance this sweet nectar very well. I guess itís kind of unfair that we gave this beer an extra year of aging that Speedway and DL didnít get, but it is absolutely on par. Mouthfeel is somewhere between Speedway and DL, in the range of whole milk or half and half. The carbonation is very light. My only reason for docking it is that it doesnít have quite the complexity of flavor that DL does. For 1/2 to 1/3 the price of the other two beers, this one is where it should be. Awesome beer.
First rating (very early in my beer career): 4.3 2004 late summer bomber. Very sweet, understated smell. Pours black as can be -- looks like an overdue oil change. Very little, thin, tan head. Thinner mouthfeel than I expected. Not very carbonated. Tastes very roasty, notes of coffee, very bitter chocolate, hops. Amazing beer.
Cashazza (217) - Morganville, Maryland, USA - JAN 27, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Gorgeous -- thick and black with a creamy, cocoa-tinted head. Roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, dark fruits are among what make up this flavorful brew...alcohol taste present...Stoneís showing more diversity here with this one!
SudsyJason (12) - USA - JAN 25, 2005
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
What a beer! Pours a thick, deep black with a dark beige head. Aroma is super complex, fruity esters, roasted malts, coffee, various and sundry spices. Flavor is as rich and complex as the nose, very full bodied, absolutely delicious.
JoeMcPhee (9325) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 20, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
I canít help but think that this style is overrated since I hardly ever find anything bad to say, but Iím about to do it again... 2004 release. Black as midnight with a thick dark dark brown head. Aroma of dark fruit, figs, dates, coffee, malted milk, cherry and a big blast of roasted grain. As the temperature rises, a hint of beech smoke become obvious as well. Flavour is very good, sweet dark fruits up front, especially dates and black cherries. Lots of coffee and heavy roastiness in the finish. There is a touch of saltiness here as well. Body is thick and creamy. Long warming finish. A great brew, despite my reservations on the style.
crizay (1050) - Brook Park, Ohio, USA - JAN 18, 2005
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 8, 2007 Pitch black, brown head. It is so thick and so black itís scary, the alcohol isnít too much but you definitely know itís there, good roasted/chocolate/coffee flavor to it, silky smooth mouthfeel, and balanced very well.