beerinmarch (2830) - Washington, USA - JAN 28, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at Belmont Station. I had a chance to try this beer previously, but this was the first time on draught. Very dark brown pour, almost black, with a tan head. Roasty chocolate in the nose, soft licorice note. Pretty boozy at first. Overall itís a decent imperial stout/belgian hybrid thingy, just ok up front, a touch sweet and cloying. I was really impressed with the finish, very smooth with a long drawn out chocolate finish and aftertaste. Enjoyable creation overall, but the booziness needs to soften as well as the price.
MartinT (8396) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 28, 2009
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAR 28, 2009 My Bottom Line:
Licorice seemingly grows within the blackberry wine flavors of this Dark Belgian Strong Ale, as roastiness peers on the horizon, attracted by chocolatey lengths. This creative Struise brew is as complex as it is drinkable, which I was not expecting at all considering its announced potency.
Further Personal Perceptions:
-A dollop of beige foam is perched atop the obscurity, drawing silky lacing.
-Carbonation is somewhat frothy, but that is to be expected. It never supercedes the dextrins though, actually juggling them expertly.
-Alcohol is extremely well hidden for such a strong brew.
-This brew is not heavy-bodied at all; its mouthfeel is luscious, but it is definitely easier to approach than most American-style Imperial Stouts.
-The finish is a fading out of the flavor profile and is strangely not very bitter.
-I preferred this brew at around 5-6 degrees Celsius, which is unusual for me.
-Iíll age a few bottles and see what happens. The aroma could use a touch of maderization, methinks.
From a few bottles and also on tap at Ebenezerís.
nickd717 (3602) - San Francisco, California, USA - JAN 26, 2009
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 2, 2009 Overrated? Hardly. Overpriced? Maybe. Paid $10 each for a couple of 330ml bottles. The "extreme beer" movement has really swept well-crafted but not over-the-top beers like this one to the wayside in a lot of peopleís eyes. Pours black and fairly thick with a tan head. Aroma is roasted malts, coffee, and some candi sugar. Flavor is the same, with bitter chocolate, slight vinous notes, and a bitter hop finish. Heavy mouthfeel, but not nearly to the same extent as something like Dark Lord. A winner in my eyes, but of course there are naysayers.
Butters (3946) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - JAN 26, 2009
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle at Tronranerís Xmas Eve^3 tasting. Iíll be honest here, I really didnít see what the hype was about. It was pretty good for a stout, but it just didnít do all that much for me. But I am clearly in the minority. Pours a very dark brown with fair brown head. Raisin and tobacco aromas with a little soy in the flavor. A little boozy but nothing unpleasant. Overrated and extremely overpriced.
dkingsella (152) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 24, 2009
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Enjoyed this one on tap at the Green Dragon in Portland, OR. Attended the keg tapping...one of only 20 kegs shipped to the U.S. Paid $10 for 6oz., but well worth it considering the limited availability. Poured a very black with small mocha head. Nice example of a Russian Imperial Stout. Very well balanced. This is a big beer...13%abv, with tons of hops...100 IBUís...that said, I was surprised at how well balanced it was. Didnít taste over the top hoppy and the alcohol didnít distract at all. This is a very drinkable beer. Did not detect a lot in the nose...maybe some chocolate. On the palate it was very oily and heavy. Medium carbonation with a very nice mouthfeel. Noted chocolate, malt and dried fruits in the taste with some hops. Very, very good beer. Glad I had the opportunity to sample it.
altonbrownd (3752) - Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA - JAN 24, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Small bottle from Cracked Kettle. Another classic Struise product. Noir pour. Tan head. Taste of chocolate, toffee, candy and malts. Really smooth with a nice bitter finish. Excellent.
jrob21 (2858) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JAN 24, 2009
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Did not get much of 13% in this one. Thanks to Cylinda by the way for bringing this back from Amsterdam and holding on to it for a while for me. Get a lot of fruit in the aroma with a bit of molasses sweetness. Flavor has the red fruit in the background but up front is more chocolate malt goodness. Another quality brew by these guys that will not disappoint.
greenhorn1 (850) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - JAN 21, 2009
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle. Damn this beer rocks! Pours pitch black, canít even see through it when put next to a light. Creamy brown head. Aroma and flavor of chocolate, coffee, candy sugar. Very complex. Hidden notes of dried fruits and some faint smokiness. The 13% ABV leaves a slight warming sensation, it is very drinkable.
nightrider (754) - encinitas, California, USA - JAN 21, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pour from a bottle acquired in Belgium last fall revealed black opaque with a thick tan mocha head. Aromas of coffee and sweet malt. Full bodied and ever so rich and smooth on your palate. Complex flavors of dark chocolate, vanilla, dark fruit, caramel , smokiness, and a hint of biterness. long interesting finish. Great brew.
ucfknightscott (56) - Casselberry, Florida, USA - JAN 20, 2009
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours a medium body with a thin tan head. Aroma of milk chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, cherry, toffee, and caramel. Taste is not as complex as I expected but the flavors do come to life as the beer warms down. Has a dry finish and a slight hint of alcohol. A very solid beer and a great stout. Expected a little more though.