holdenn (2094) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 23, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
330 ml bottle pours black with a tan creamy head that fades to a ring. The nose is fairly light at first but as it warms fruity alcohol, yeast, and chocolate. Salty soy sour fruit roasty and chocolate flavors. As it warms the roastiness comes forward to balance out the off putting notes. The chocolate is rich and creamy but the sour fruit notes are extremely distracting.. Finishes dry. Disappointing beer.
NobleSquirrel (3438) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 23, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: AUG 1, 2012 Re-rate. Bottle is a couple years old, I think. Black with a huge tan Belgian head. Nose is full of molasses, burnt sugar, deep cocoa. Some estery fruitiness, sherry-like oxidation. Dark fruit as well. Booze and vanilla persist. Faint cherry as well. On tasting, very caramelly with a big bitter chocolate profile. Molasses and a hit of burnt sugar and black malt roast. A fruitiness comes through as well. Some tart cherry is present as well. Biggest thing is the bitter chocolate. No hops noted. Plenty of fruit though. Better than last time but still leaves something out. 8-4-8-4-16.
Bottle from Armanetti’s on Lincoln. Pours a dark brown that fades a bit to black in the middle. A touch muddy looking and larger bubbles form a brown head. Nose is pretty obvious Struise at first, Belgian and fruity. Then it starts to fade to another place, with sweet licorice, treacle and fermented honey. Distinct alcohol notes in the nose as well. Light fruit notes as well. Taste is different from any other IS I’ve had. Sweet, a touch of skunk, alcohol. Quite bitter. Some roasty notes come through, along with some acidity. It’s decent enough, but I was expecting more depth. I’m not sure how much I agree with the Belgian aspects of this one, they seem to have the opposite of the intended affect by muting a lot of the great aspects of IS. It’s definitely an interesting beer, but far from transcendental, imo. Nice enough. 7-3-7-4-16
markwise (4867) - North of Tampa, Florida, USA - MAR 23, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from trade with BrewCzar. Pours black with dark tan head and particulates. Nose i molasses, dark chocolate, earth, whiskey, ripe dark fruit, some band-aid, yeast, and some coffee: complexity galore. I had to sit with it for a while to get to know it. Flavor is earthy- lots of dark malt, ripe dark fruit, plum, a hint of bitter and smoke reveal themselves around the finish. Spice, cola, and anise all emerge at different times. Enjoyable and complex like getting reacquainted with an old friend. Yellow lace galore.
chicagodri (1683) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 21, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Pours black with a tan head. Interesting aroma, roasted malt, dark sugar, chocolate, and interesting yeast. Good flavor, just a little bitter. 13% ABV is well hidden. Very sweet.
auerbrau (3182) - Peace Dale, Rhode Island, USA - MAR 21, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
33cL Bottle. Ultimately quiet, soft, supple nose that runs in line with generic malt, belgian yeast starter, and some Mr. Clean floor cleaner. Coffee and generic rubbery/pine character that’s either cleaner or belgian yeast. Weird aroma. Not entirely sure I’m digging it. Pours vibrant black, with an intense cocoa powder-colored head, super lacy and thick. Slowly fading. Wow. The flavors just don’t develop. Thin, watery and washed out. A dead, slacking yeast-smacking flavor, heavy with some generic belgian yeast, and bread and toast forward roast character, a good chunk of caramel and some soft chewy sugar. Meh. This just isn’t very exciting. Wet. The belgian character is fine and some of the roast and sugars are okay, but the body is flabby and the alcohol subdued. The lingering character is sticky and lingers in a slightly metallic, lightly bitter manner. This is overrated.
bdigital (658) - Ft Wayne, Indiana, USA - MAR 20, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle from batch 14: Dark black pour with a thick tan head. Dark fruits rule the nose with notes of roasted malts, candy sugar and loads of belgian yeast character. Heavy carbonation with a full body. Flavor is dark fruits, roasted malts, chocolate and some sweet bread dough. Great, world class brew.
jamvin23 (162) - chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 19, 2009
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pours opaque black with tan head. Aroma is sweet, mostly roasted nuts, brown sugar and chocolate, with a little licorice. Taste is the same
thenick (766) - North Bellmore, New York, USA - MAR 19, 2009
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Pours jet black with a medium and lasting tan head. Aroma is wonderful - I detected vanilla, chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and dark fruit. Flavor is more subtle than you’d expect, with sweet grain, chocolate, roasted malt, dark fruit, vanilla, and vinious characteristics detectable. Body is lighter than you’d expect, but it works together very well. There is a slight bitterness that doesn’t overwhelm the beer, and the alcohol is amazingly well hidden. Fantastic.
beerbuzzmontreal (3488) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 19, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
The pour reveals a very deep black color with a thick light brown head that never dies and leaves nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is very appealing, crème brulée, chocolate, roasted malt, fruity esters and maybe vanilla waft into my nose and make me happy. The flavor is not very powerfull, but the elements are united and balanced, there’s a definite cake feeling in there,of course chocolate and roasted malt, crème brulée and fruity esters. Moderate bitterness appears in the end. The body is medium with a liquorous, almost vinous texture and moderate carbonation. Yet another superb beer from De Struise!
illinismitty (2270) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - MAR 18, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle at the Nashville BA tasting. Pours black with a light brown head. Aroma of fruity ale esters, chocolate, and a hint of roast. Medium bodied and on the thin side for an Imperial Stout. Flavor of chardonnay, mild roast, yeast, and chocolate. Very little bitterness. Different and definitely a twist on the style. Enjoyable, but not top 50 in my opinion.