HighGravity (926) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - MAR 19, 2003
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
(2002 Release) This beer is very dark, perhaps opaque. I poured at a normal pace and the end result was a wonderful thick tan head and lasting lace. The nose is very fruity with a touch of dark chocolate. The palate is thick and warming. I am surprised how fruity this beer is, I was expecting a hop bomb. Fruity is not an underestimation either; there are wonderful flavors of raspberry and black currant. What balances out all the lovely fruitiness is a foundation of rich malt that is very rich in chocolate flavors. As for the finish, it is mellow and reminds me off a good café latte. Heading into this beer, I expected something that would be hopped to the max. It is great to know that Stone can make a well-balanced beer.
Shag (2585) - Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA - MAR 14, 2003
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: AUG 28, 2005 2002 edition :This is one big beer. The only Imperial Stout I’ve had but this is amazing. Pours like motor oil and it has a good warming feeling to it. Despite the 10% ABV it doesnt dominate. If you like stouts dont pass this one up. It has no flaws!........2003 edition : Didn’t get it due to our bitch ass distributor!.......2004 edition : This just came in to town today. When I had the previous ’02 version this beer came as quite a shock, I had never tried an Imperial Stout before. But now I’m ready. So here it goes. Pitch black with a suprisingly small head. Flavor is quite sweet with some licorice, loads of coffee beans, some dark chocolate, smoke and tobacco. The alcohol lets you know its hanging around. Like "Hi, this beer is 10.8% and dont you freaking forget it!" There’s not a load of hops in this beer, which one may expect from Stone. If this were just a tad less sweet it would probably be perfect. 2004 edition a year later : My how this beer has changed. The rough around the edges alcohol burn of a new bottle is now gone. The sweetness and syrupy feel is toned down. The balance is great on this one after a year of aging! Try one Komrad, as the bottle states. 2005 edition : Minus the Russian thanks you PC pieces of crap. Well anyway the appearance is still pitch black. This one has less alcohol showing through than previous young vintages. The flavor is less sticky sweet than the young 2004 with a heavy dose of milk chocolate and raisins coming through. It seems to be more balanced. Unlike previous vintages this one is smooth and velvty in its young form and should only improve with age. Great stuff after all these beers!
Verne (261) - Enumclaw, Washington, USA - MAR 13, 2003
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAY 14, 2003 2002 bottling. Thick and black, light just can't make its way through the glass. Heavy roasted malt flavor and a little sweet. Sour fruity flavors and hops lots of hops. Shockingly this is a very mellow brew but with a tons of flavor. One of the very best of its type
dberger624 (1028) - Phila, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 13, 2003
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Draft at the Stone Kickoff at the Blind Tiger Ale House in NYC.
Almost the perfect beer. Was just a tad to sweet. This is a stout to have.
tkaufman (129) - Lewis Center, Ohio, USA - MAR 13, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This is what an imperial stout should be. Aroma of roasted malts, flavor complexity beyond comprehension, and enough alkeehal in a 22 oz bottle to make you forget about work. Another excellent stone brew.
AustinMilbarge (681) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAR 2, 2003
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Thanks to jcalabre for this one. Creamy, tight, tan head. There was almost a subtle ruby hue to the head. Super black color, my mouth is watering looking at it. Appears to be thick, but not as thick as some that I've had in the past. Good nose, malty and coffee. Wow. Opens up well on the palate. The alcohol is defintely there, enough to let you know that it's in there but not so much that it dominates the experience. There is also a sweetness, but not overdone, plums, maybe. Well done.
kyzr (1148) - Belgrade, Montana, USA - FEB 20, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Wow what's not to like with the looks of this out of the glass. Big sundried raison/prune nose with molasses up front and toasted espresso finish. Very nice!
jazz88 (2546) - San Francisco, California, USA - FEB 18, 2003
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUN 30, 2008 Rating #1 (2/18/03) - Bottle of the 2002 vintage. Black with a dark brown head. Heavy, sour fruit, and cherry aroma and flavor. Thick chocolate and malt body. Rating #2 (5/8/04) Tap (8 3 7 3 17). Solid oil black color with a laced brown head. A rich complex dark malt flavor. Lighter than expected but at its depths the fruits and malts come alive. Rating #3 - Bottle of the 2005 vintage (7/31/05) (8 4 8 5 18). A black oil color with a dark brown menacing looking head. A smoke filled aroma with chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts. Intensely rich with bursts of flavor. I like the 2005 vintage better than the 2004. Rating #4 – Bottle of the 2005 vintage (1/16/07) (7 4 8 5 17). Black as the night with a gloriously dark brown head that sadly never lasted as long as I would have liked. A slightly metallic aroma that dissipated as it warmed. Strong chocolate aroma. Warming. A nice bouquet of coffee and chocolate, smooth, oily, rich, and mildly smoked. A delightful beer. Rating #5 - Bottle of the 2003 vintage (6/30/08) (7 4 9 4 18). Still black as oil with almost no head. A richly delightful light berry and chocolate aroma, so smooth. The aroma has mellowed in this late vintage. Smooth, rich dark chocolate flavors with a nice bitter and light coffee finish. Full bodied and rich with a great finish.
Trappist (284) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - FEB 16, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: FEB 28, 2003 Thanks to Dogbrick for this one! Thick dark and black, with an aroma of coffee and chocolate. A really good job for an Imprial stout!
Gunshy (479) - Ohio, USA - JAN 25, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAY 24, 2003 2002 Ltd. May Edition: This beer poured as black as the night. It formed a lovely dark tan, foamy head that left some nice circular lace. An aroma of malt, coffee and cherries. A flavor of malt, coffee, chocolate and dark fruit that gave it a slight winey feel to it. A medium body and a slightly bitter/astrigent finish. A great imperial stout.