kyzr (1153) - 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 (2558) - 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.
brian1233 (30) - North Augusta, South Carolina, USA - JAN 25, 2003
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Oh my. This is a superb beer. My brother was so excited about this beer that he called me after his first taste. I opened mine a few minutes later to discover an excellent beer. It has a nice yeasty, fruity aroma. It poured black and syrupy with a nice beige head. It takes the first couple of sips to get adjusted to the beer (high alcohol), but afterwards it is not even an issue. Very complex, remniscient of a dogfish head worldwide stout. Fruity, chocolatey, coffee flavors (chocolate covered raisins?). Slight tartness is noticeable. Wonderful aftertaste. Very full bodied. Problably my second favorite imperial stout.
Gregory (357) - Pullman, Washington, USA - JAN 25, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours deep black, and thick. The aroma is complex. With hints of vanilla, chocolate, and toffee. The palate is nearly perfect. Full, rich and dark. Some sweet notes come through as well. The beer finishes strongly with just the right amount of bitterness, and warms the stomach.
CaptainCougar (7132) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - JAN 22, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: OCT 31, 2003 (1/22/03) Sweet plum and molasses aroma from the black oily body with a light brown head. The onset of flavor is almost overly sweet, but it mellows toward the finish. Body consists of cranberry, raisin, and lots of malt with a thick palate. Lightly hoppy with a touch of bitterness in the finish. Hides its abv very well. The 2002 bottle almost tastes like it's been aged for a few years.
Re-Rate (6/12/03): It's true the 2002 bottle I just tried was sour. Too acidic for enjoyment. This loses points for an imperial stout that can't last a year.
Third rating 2003 vintage (10/31/03): This is much better than the soured 2002 I tried last. In fact this is better than the fresh 2002 I remember. Has a nice thick sweet body with even some bock character to it. Roasted malt and plums are the main flavors supplemented with an assertive bitterness. A very nice beer that I hope ages better than last year.
jskendzel (602) - Washington DC, USA - JAN 22, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 23, 2003 Very rich, intense aroma. The alcohol is evident and so is the sweetness of this beer--sweeter than other ImpStouts I've tried. The balance of malts and hops, however, is wonderful. Bitterness subdued and present in the end of the swallow. Quite tart, acidic, and irony, especially as the beer grew warmer. Lots of fruits like apples and pears in the finish and it was also quite dry. Overall very well done.
dhurtubise (568) - Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 20, 2003
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A tasty offering to be sure. It is quite complex, with notes of coffee, chocolate, some fruitiness, some "funny" tartness or sourness. The alcohol heat is very prevelant (not much of an attempt to conceal it) but it works well in this brew. The beer has almost no head and has no carbonation to speak of. It is thick and syruppy in texture. This likely my favorite imperial stout so far, but I've only really sampled a small handful. It is not a very hoppy Imp. Stout (especially for a stone beer).
NDmullet (208) - South Bend, Indiana, USA - JAN 16, 2003
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Definitely opaque, but there"s a steady source of bubbles rising up the perimeter, light froth around the edges of the glass. Complex nose, lots of molasses and brown sugar, amaretto, sweet dark malt, and pungent hops. Thick mouthfeel, bordering on syrupy. Very sweet, nearly cloying, with a welcome touch of puckering astringency. Becomes salty at room temperature. Too sweet for me...I thought this was Stone, where"s the hop onslaught? Also, I find the palate lacks the complexity, dark fruit, roastiness etc. I look for in the style.