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 (1177) - 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.
Ramones79 (13) - perryville, Missouri, USA - JUL 16, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Thanks to Shag for this beer. What can I say, I love Stone! This is very thick and chewy. I taste alot of alcohol and chocolate in this beer. Its one to warm up with. Too bad its hot right now. I love stouts and porters and this one fits the bill. I said you owe me a beer Shag and you delivered! I may need to save a few of these
flutetokill (523) - Fresno, California, USA - JUL 12, 2004
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Oh man! An intoxicating aroma of Chocolate, coffee, cherry, currant and malt. Rich flavors of coffee, chocolate, cherry, currant, wood and pepper. Thick, rich feel with a slightly crisp finish. One incredible brew!
wunderbier (1434) - Tampere, FINLAND - JUL 12, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUN 10, 2006 Iíll stick with my original score, but add some thoughts. The 2006 version doesnít seem to be nearly as hoppy and uses a pleathora of roasted malt instead. I donít think Iíd have enjoyed it as much this time around had it retained all of those piney/citric properties. Thereís still significant hop bitterness, it just doesnít seem to make itself as well known in the aroma and flavor profile. But damn, this is fine stuff. Major props to a west coast brewer who chose not to force-feed a beautifully malty Impy with off-key hops.
22 oz bottle, snifter. Caramel, chocolate, coffee, roasted malt (H); flower, spruce, and citrus hops (M); light alcohol, banana, prune, pear, port, cask wood, smoke, vanilla, pepper aromas. Average sized, creamy, dark head is well lasting and sits on a deep black body. Heavily sweet, moderately acidic, lightly bitter flavor becomes a moderately sweet, moderately acidic, moderately bitter finish. Full body, oily/creamy texture, lively carbonation. Astringent finish. The bottom line is: acidity and astringency will hopefully improve with time...if only I can keep from opening my other bottle!
BitterPoet (57) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JUL 12, 2004
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
2004 Bomber tasted in a snifter.
Iím writing this with a solemn tone. I have to. Appearance is well pulled espresso with a hint of brown to denote body. Espresso-like crema for a head, with lacing of same. The nose is muted power and the poverty-stricken pitch black of Siberian winter nights, along with prunes, molasses and whispers of whisky. The taste is the perfect balance of sweetness, strength, bite and warmth. THIS is what I thought this style could aspire to. My Lord, what a philtre.
DocLock (9504) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 7, 2004
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
2004 bomber, which was very hard to get my hands on.
The pour was deep black, with a slight ruby component through direct light. Nice big brown head and lacing...perhaps the brownest head Iíve seen. Definite 4-5 for appearance.
HUGE aroma of coffee, chocolate, black currants, malt, black licorice, slight smoke, cabernet, cinnamon, and definite alcohol. Super complex aroma. Definite 10. Anyone giving this less than 9 for aroma needs to have olfactory surgery.
Tastes of malt, big coffee, dark chocolate, black licorice, currants, hops, with a roasty, slightly creamy, alcoholic finish (There is definite alcohol in the finish. I suspect that Stone wanted it that way...sort of saying, "Weíre not going to completely hide the alcohol. If you donít like some alcohol taste, then take it up with the gargoyle, punks, and proudly drink some pale yellow beer that might give you more sex appeal with sluts, or drink beer with stupid labels that might as well say, "I have a very small penis and an even smaller brain"").
This beer is complex, dense, firm, alcoholic, and delicious. I suspect that some raters are low-balling this one to try to be controversial and make themselves stand out. Anyone giving this less than at least 4.0 has just lost all credibility with me.