Sham (1845) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUL 31, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark brown pour with brown lacing and spotty lacing. Roasted aromas with chocolate, coffee and bitter hops. Some fig or grapes. Molasses and brown sugar. Flavors have a big smoke quality to them. Chocolate, coffee and mocha follow. Fruitiness with some caramel. Bitter hops stand out as well. Palate and body are smooth and thick like molasses. Bitter roasted, chocolate finish.
igel (196) - New Mexico, USA - JUL 30, 2004
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
An opaque black color with a dark brown head. No obvious signs of carbonation. Head dies, and leaves a nice lace. Aroma is of roasted coffee and barley, malt, caramel and hops. Mouthfeel is full bodied and smooth with a light effervescent and sharp hop finish ? rolls and bubbles off the tongue. Flavor is of malt, coffee and chocolate. Sweet at the start with a well balanced, but light (for Stone) hop finish.
An apparently simple beer with complex undertones with a nicely balanced combination of intensity and subtleness. A well crafted brew.
bierchik (95) - lakewood, California, USA - JUL 26, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
dark brown almost black, w/a nice tan head. pours like motor oil..., rich coffee aroma & taste w/hints of chocolate. has a thick rich feeling in your mouth, a great imperial stout!
NVBeer232 (467) - Reno, Nevada, USA - JUL 26, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUL 21, 2005 Wow, this is a big mother... Deep motor oil like pour. Lots of intense aromas (roast barley, chocolate, coffee, smoke, booze, etc.). Ultra rich and smooth as silk. Flavors of crystal malts, chocolate, coffee, bitter yet spicey hops, and a little bit of dark fruit just jam you up. Snappy, lively finish. Going against the grain a bit, I like the edgy hop quality in this one, but Iíll let a few of these age for a while to see how they are when the hops mellow out a bit. 8/5/8/5/17
ReRate,2005 edition: Not as full bodied and rich as the other vintages that Iíve had. Sweeter, too. WAAAAAY boozy both on the palate and in the nose. Iím not as impressed as I used to be.
dolemike1 (1288) - Jeannette, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 25, 2004
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Draft: Jet black, with no head by the time it got to my table. Aroma of coffee, sweet syrup, and a hop or two. Flavor, intensely sweet, chewy, almost like syrup, some hop bitterness in the finish. Good, but odd a little too sweet, and not quite to my liking.
AleDrinker (1089) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - JUL 21, 2004
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
It really does pour like used motor oil... only darker. Very lightly carbonated but still tons of aroma- nice and malty sweet mixed with berries. Flavor is very roasty but sweet. Alcohol creeps in during the aftertaste, especially towards the end of the bottle. The best imperial stout Iíve tasted.
CamdenD (1123) - Madrid, SPAIN - JUL 21, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUL 17, 2005 (2003 edition) This is an intense beer, as you would expect. Aged for just over a year, this beer poured out of the bottle with little head, but wonderful lacing along the glass. The smell os of coffee and nuts and a hint of alcohol. The taste is full and dominating. A bit more aggressive than the rasputin or storm king, but Iím not sure itís necessarily better. Given the other comments, this beer may have mellowed a bit over the past year as itís also wonderfully smooth and tender.
Re-Rate Summer 2005 edition: intensely thick and viscous. HUGE aroma and huge taste. Perhaps Iíve come more around on these larger Impies, but this just seemed better than what I had rated it before.
jimmack (1223) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - JUL 20, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sampled at Brewtopia í04. Black with very little head. Great roasted malt aroma along with raisins and licorice.
The flavor of the chocolate malt is amazing. Great mouthfeel. You can almost chew it. Nice and warming on the finish. Wish I could get my hands on this all the time.
Falconseye8 (542) - Evans, Colorado, USA - JUL 19, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Very very good Imperial Stout. Potent, Chocolately, roasty, Potency is drowning out any undertones there might be. Bottom line, Stone makes terrific beer. This is no exception. 22ozís of liquid gold. This is truly a great beer. Whatever you guys are doing in SD I hope you keep it up.
DrGonzo (625) - Somerville, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 16, 2004
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Late 2003 edition. Pours, in spent motor oil fashion, a near black color with almost no tan head. The aroma is sweet dark chocolate, in muffin form, slightly fruity. Not all that complex, but wonderful anyways. From the start this beer is velvety smooth, very little carbonation. This is about as full-bidied as it gets. Punishingly sweet chocolate, the bitterness comes later on, and the finish is long and lingering. The coffee flavors are restrained by copious amounts of sugar and cream. The hops are subdued as well, especially for Stone. This is a chocolate loverís dream; pair this with some good dark chocolate (70%) and melt away. Filling and damn strong. The taste holds steady from 45 to 70 degrees, with just a bit more of the alcohol appearing towards the end of the bottle. Just a great beer.