hoped (18) - Arizona, USA - APR 10, 2003
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Limited Late Spring 2002 Release. Pours very thick into the pint glass. I could hardly hear a splash. The color is black with a huge brown/beige head that slowly reduces to a half inch and holds there leaving a nice dark lace all the way down. There is a fine carbonation. I caught myself repeatedly tilting the glass and quicly tilting it back upright to watch the fine bubbles try and catch up to the head. The smell is pleasant and complex. I notice hints of currant, raisin, black cherry, caramel, dark chocolate and coffee to name a few. There is a fine balance of malty sweetness and hop bitterness along with the complex flavor. The taste seems familiar but difficult for me to describe and yes, exceptional. I wonder if all of the ingredients I used to describe the odor were put in a blender and mixed thoroughly, if this would be the resulting flavor. I guess I'd also have to mention the nougat like odors as well, but I'll never know because I will save some time and go buy another bottle or two. The mouthfeel is silky smooth and creamy thick with a nice tingle from the carbonation. The 22 oz. bottle left me definately looking forward to my next opportunity to grab another. Bogartski may be an understatement commissar.
beerguy101 (5319) - Newark, California, USA - MAR 28, 2003
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
2002 version. Eclipse black color. Head is medium. Aroma is roasted malts, fruit esters and dark chocolate. A big bold full bodied Imperial Stout. Deeply roasted malts, fruity (touches of cherries, plums, apricots and raisins), vanilla, chocolate and coffee. It has a nice hop bite. Its very smooth for all the flavor stuff going on here. Soft and creamy texture. Mild and soft carbonation. Excellent sipping beer. Hides the 9.6% alcohol very well. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.
madsberg (10598) - SÝborg, DENMARK - MAR 22, 2003
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: APR 15, 2003 Bottled: Has a deep black colour. Huge head that last long. Aroma is very complex. Chocolate, roastyness, spices, cocoa etc. all in the aroma. Flavour is grand. Oh boy, this is nealy heaven. The balance of this beer is impressive. Alcahol is well hidden in the cocoa, fruit, roasty liqourice flavour. I bend down on my knees and pray that Stone breweries will last forever. Thanks again to Herbjones for sending this mighty brew to Denmark.
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 cafť 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 (2655) - 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 Iíve 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 : Didnít get it due to our bitch ass distributor!.......2004 edition : This just came in to town today. When I had the previous í02 version this beer came as quite a shock, I had never tried an Imperial Stout before. But now Iím 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!" Thereís 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 (263) - 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 (128) - 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 (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!