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on tap

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RATINGS: 3129   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.18/5   SEASONAL: Spring   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
"Thereís no question that Stone Imperial Stout is revered among enthusiasts," states Stone CEO Greg Koch. "I know, because Iím one of íem and I can hardly wait for it to come out each year!" Some may think that a late Spring release for a special brew of this sort is an odd time for it to come out onto the market. Koch justifies this with the rationalization "What better than a warm time of year to come out with a brew that tastes great as it warms up!" Thatís because "ice cold" is certainly not the appropriate way to serve the beer. Nearly without exception, the darker, richer and more alcoholic a brew is, the warmer the serving temperature should be. The Stone Imperial Stout label describes the brew as being "intensely aromatic (notes of anise, black currants, coffee, roastiness and alcohol) and heavy on the palate...expect this mysterious brew to pour like used motor oil and taste even heavier! Serve at 55 degrees."

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Maddog (522) - Kettering, Ohio, USA - SEP 25, 2004
One bad ass brew. Dark, oily, heavy, but has roasty, complex flavors. Pours jet black with a dark tan head. I had the 2004 edition for the first time, and I was seriously impressed by its alcohol power and explosive flavor. A true gem. Give this to a puny bud lite drinker and he will be asking for his mommy.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
IMtheOptimator (1164) - Bethel, Connecticut, USA - SEP 20, 2004
UPDATED: SEP 21, 2004 Poured jet black with a small dark brown head. Aroma was not as strong as I would have expected, and smelled of some coffee notes and a slight alcoholic character. Initial taste was slightly sweet with some roastedness. A definitive malt character was present throughout the mouthful. It ended with a moderate bitterness. Overall, despite the hype, I was not extremely impressed by this brew. However, I donít think my experience with it was situationally ideal, for 1) I served it too cold (although it did warm up and I did notice that it got more pleasant as it warmed), and 2) I ended having to drink the whole bottle by myself, and I felt rather ill towards the end. If I get my hands on another bottle, I will rerate it under better conditions at a future time.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
zach8270 (4022) - Henrietta, New York, USA - SEP 20, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 7, 2008 [22 oz. bomber - 2004 vintage] Pours like motor oil with a slick and creamy looking tan head. Full roasted and sweet aroma of dark cherries, chocolate malts and coffee. Very complex flavor. Begins roasty and burnt with a very dark sweet flavor following it and a nice smooth and fruity finish. Very thick and sticky mouthfeel with a lingering sweet flavor that stays in your mouth for a long time. What a great brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
estoppel (1028) - Buffalo, New York, USA - SEP 20, 2004
UPDATED: MAY 28, 2008 Early summer 2004 release, sampled 9/20/04: Really dark body, small tan head receding quickly, dark fruits and coffee in the nose. Roasty, burnt, coffee, licorice, some fruitiness, medium finishing bitterness. Nicely balanced, nicely done. RERATE: The second (warmer) bottle poured with a huge head, so Iím upgrading the appearance from 4 to 5. Original scores 9 5 9 5 18: 4.6. RERATE Spring 2007 release: This has an overwhelming charred flavor that is not pleasant at all. 6 4 5 3 11 RERATE Spring 2008 release, 5/08: Still has some charred tendencies, but much better than 2007. Heavy on the alcohol, still nowhere what the 2004 was.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
GeniusGirl (221) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - SEP 17, 2004
2003 bottle. black like motor oil, small mocha head. aroma canít hide the alcohol, like someone spiked your latte... thick flavors smmokey, mocha--thick--slick-- it settles nice and strong. *whew* an experience to say the least. I was so engrossed with this I forgot about the food in the oven and almost burned my apartment down

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ontario102 (794) - Boise, Idaho, USA - SEP 14, 2004
2004 bottle: pours with a dissipating, moderately small creamy head; deep ebony color, and thick as 10w40, esp. on the palate....lovely bready, chocolatey, licorice, and some coffee aromas; rich, complex, colossal flavor that includes dark fruits, smoke, mocha chocolate, and licorice; slightly medicinal/phenolic; great balancing (huge) bitterness; awesome brew

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Goblincat (399) - Petersburg, Michigan, USA - SEP 13, 2004
Bottle. Pours a beautiful black with a rich looking chocolate colored head. Nose consists of malt, chocolate, coffee. This stout is good. Godly good. Flavors leap out, such as Hersheyís Syrup, malt balls, plum, and a touch of spice. Amazing.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
shameusburp (171) - Virginia, USA - SEP 7, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 20, 2005 Tried it on tap at Pizza Plant on Transit in Buffalo NY. Truly great IRS. Awesome blend of flavors of malt and hops. Curiously minimal roastiness.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Enniskillen (2045) - Salinas, California, USA - SEP 6, 2004
2004- Pours thick, black, with a thin bubbly tan head. Aroma is licorice, bitter chocolate, coffee, alcohol, raisens, and a lil caramel. Alcohol is nicely covered but still gives you that warming feeling which is very pleasant because it is so subtle; the alcohol seems more in the 7% range. Smooth, heavy, the flavor isnít as complex as the aroma would make you think, coffee and malt are the main tastes. A darn good I.S.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - SEP 5, 2004
Color is as black as sin, thoroughly opaque, utterly dark, and well-endowed with a full, thick, lush roasty-toasty tan head. Aroma: Oh, goodness, gracious, golly! Sweetness, rich, lush, chocolatey, and burgeoning with a myriad of further flavors, dates, raisins, anise, molasses, maple syrup, dark, twisted, delicious...Iíve compared certain other Imperial Stouts to candy bars (Bellís Expedition, to name one, whose glass I drink this from), and this goes a touch beyond that, without testing the boundaries of sweetness. Magnificent. Taste: No body could be fuller, no taste could be richer, the malt is thick and juicy, even, and the hops keep the tongue busy and happy. A complex melange, a viscous mouthfeel, constant tussel with the palate, insistent pleasure on the tongue. Now, the thicker, slicker, motor-oliy feel kicks in, but by now, you love it, or youíre out. Strength, too, sets itís feelers out and begins to trickle into the feeling and the brain, as well. Sticky and treacly, though dark, and thoroughly delicious, if your tastes run like mine. It rolls around and around the mouth, washing all the senses with this rich, dark, utterly decadent flavor. Oh, what dark malts can do, for this flavor is so rich, so thick, so fully flavorful, this is decadence, indeed. Finish? There ainít none! It just keeps going in the mouth! Mouthfeel? It is utterly dominant, thoroughly covers every inch of the senses...an amazing beer!

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