DruncanVeasey (7633) - NUNEATON, CONF N, Warwickshire, ENGLAND - NOV 20, 2008
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
First of all, feel the heft of that dainty little 330ml bottle in your hand. This beer is an offensive weapon. Abyssal pitch pour against a variety of halogen spotlights. Not a photon may pass. Itís a little bit black. Thick tan collar collapsing slowly to a halo. Fat luscious nose swaying unsteadily between burnt plastic, bitter bitter high cocoa choc, yeast extract, bramble, permanent marker (black, naturally), cappuccino, choc raisins, cinder toffee, prune and massive sweet red apple fruitiness. Bit too heavy on the solvent, but as with Brewdog Tokyo and Bass P2, snorting this beast is a bit like being clobbered around the head with a kilo of Gala. And loving it. Mouthfeel espresso custard Friij (does not exist)- soft, slick and milkshake-thick. Just the right background tickle of carbonation. Alcohol not discernible other than as faint heat, and instant facial flushing. Opens toffee sweet, but then just rolls around the mouth with singed cocoa bitterness, sweetness, bitterness, burnt toast, black coffee and molten Lindt oaken tun apple-bobbing until you donít know where you are. Afters are apple, smoke, cocoa. Itís not hugely complex, and great stouts arenít. What is beautiful about this is beer is that despite the ABV and hugeness of flavours, it retains the approachability of a stout a half (or a third) as strong. I hung onto every last sip. MASSIVE and lovely.
ogivlado (6246) - Zagreb, CROATIA - NOV 18, 2008
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottled(330ml). -Courtesy of Papsoe, shared with Doggythedog (thanks both of them for giving and sharing).
Deep black coloured, medium sized brown head, pleasant strong chocolate nose. Roasted malt, sweet chocolate and bitter coffee with notes of licorice, raisins and vanilla. Silky and smooth, alcohol is well hidden. Excellant IS.
PilsnerPeter (3029) - Flushing, New York, USA - NOV 18, 2008
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle (Thanks oh6gdx!) Pours opaque with an initially huge head that fades. Big aroma- tarry, licorice, alcohol, and some off notes of rubber-like hints. Slick body, slightly hot. Salty flavor. Licorice, tobacco, some light molasses sweetness, along with off flavors of band aid (as EyeDrinkAle mentioned) Diacetyl, and burnt raisins are in there as well. The finish has some resiny coffee bean bitterness and residual odd phenols. Very overrated. Just a big, salty, hot stout. No complexities.
502Che (999) - @, CAMBODIA - NOV 17, 2008
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
11.2 oz bottle (BA No. 14Ö I am assuming this means Batch 14) into wine glass for lack of a snifter. I paid 25 dollars for this bottle, so lets hope it is good. Off the bat, a perfect pour Ė pitch black with GIANT creamy (so creamy that the surface looks like it came off of a nitro tap) espresso head. Surprisingly enough though, the head didnít leave much lace. Pungent aroma that started filling the room upon opening. Not the typical imperial stout aroma Ė big dark fruit notes, some candi sugar, some molasses, and really vinous in general. I didnít think I would like the Belgian sweetness, but so far it works very well with the aroma. The flavor is very solid and very subtly complex. It was a bit amorphous upfront and I was a bit disappointed, until, from nowhere, came all types of dark fruit qualities, vanilla, roasted chocolate, hops, licorice, molasses, and more. This bad boy has some serious layers to it. The alcohol is hidden well so far, but after only 3 sips has made is presence known in my stomach (nice and warming). This is not nearly the thickest imperial stout I have ever had (and usually, for me, the thicker the better), yet its body is so perfectly matched to its texture and flavor that it is perfect as it is. Soft carbonation silky mouth feel. The more I drink, the nuttier this thing gets, and it works well. Overall: this thing has a big alcohol presence that is at no point overwhelming, in either the aroma or flavor. It is complex as hell, yet easy drinking and not overdone in the slightest (like many other mega imperial stouts). Everything is nicely balanced too. This is by no means your typical imperial stout (more like an imperial porter IMO) but still remarkably well done. This also has one of the coolest labels out there; props Struise!
tronraner (2459) - Walland, Tennessee, USA - NOV 16, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle, courtesy of ygtbsm94. Pours red black with very nice tan head. The aroma is molasses, brown sugar, chocolate, and a spicy yeast character. The flavor is sticky bitter chocolate, and seems quite resinous. Some soy sauce comes out from time to time. There’s a bit of smoky ash and woody bitterness, too. There’s a pleasant roasty sourness in the finish with a slight nutty aftertaste. Amazingly, all that alcohol is hardly noticeable at all. Very well done.
Bontus (685) - Flanders, BELGIUM - NOV 2, 2008
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAR 10, 2009 I donít want to be biased in rating but as this beer will be my 100th rating it has something special for me, from this day on.
Bottle from Hopduvel, wow 13%, really?
Pours the blackest of all beers I have ever seen, like red wine with black ink. Though I havenít had a lot of imperial stouts before. Head is creamy brown, very sticky, very smelly, very impressive.
Aromaís where do I begin? Hazelnuts, almonds, wood, vanilla, kandi sugar, caramel, toffee, banana, licorice, chocolate, coffee, ruby port...
Mouth feel is oily thick but not too lively, no alcohol or yeast in it (or at least seemingly). After taste is sticky bitter with roasted malts and eventually some alcohol starts warming my throat and tongue. Finish is very long... too long. After a while my mouth and tongue got saturated and I could really only enjoy a few sips beyond that point. This beer is beyond awesome for tasting, but hard to drink.
Maria (10192) - Thisted, DENMARK - NOV 2, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
It’s black with a huge, creamy, nougat colored head. The aroma has notes of roasted malt, chocolate, mark fruits and licorice. The flavour has a light sweetness and notes of roasted malt, dark fruits, chocolate, licorice and the long finish has a slightly citrussy, roasted bitterness and hints of alcohol. It’s complex and nice, and I would lover to try this from cask some day.
BeerandBlues2 (10687) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 31, 2008
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle received via trade with ygtbsm94. Pours black with a huge, creamy, light brown head, mostly lasting with excellent lacing. Aroma is heavy malt (caramel, chocolate, roasted), light hops (herbs), average yeast (horse blanket, leather) with notes of raisin, prune, date, and licorice. Full bodied, creamy texture, average carbonation, and a chalky/bitter finish. Long duration, moderate sweetness and bitterness, light acidity.
Marko (4263) - Split / Zagreb, CROATIA - OCT 30, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle that we got from Papsoe during RBESG (huge, huge thanks!), shared with ogivlado and heavy. Poured a body that would be opaque black if not for some red near the bottom of the glass. Big brown head that wnt away slowly. The nose is sweet and remarkable pleasant. Chocolate, raisins, coffee, honey, roast... almost no alcohol detected. The taste surprised me by being soft... a fine sweet maltiness, raisins, roast, some light acidic hop even. A tad vinuous. Superb balance and I couldn’t detect almost any alcohol again, which is a superb feat for a 13% beer. Just lovely.
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - OCT 29, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Pours a dense, inky, dark violet to virtually black color. A massive, spongy, incredibly well-retained head leaves thick, splotchy patches of lacing behind. The appearance is second to none. Aromas are complex as any. Fig jam and pipe tobacco kick things off, followed by damp, musty soil, rich cocoa, caramel and molasses. The nose is not done there, however, as notes of candy sugar, old, oaky vanilla, lactose, and earthy spice finish things off. The scent is as complex as any I’ve ever encountered, and supremely enjoyable to boot. Flavors are also impressive, though not to the same extent. Cocoa, musty oak, smoky molasses, and caramel show in the baseline. Complimentary elements of earthy spice and hops come through as well. The palate is thick, rich, and velvety. A spicy, peppery kick transitions into a semi-dry, yeasty finish. The only drawback is a touch of alcoholic heat. This is a fantastic beer overall, supremely complex and thoroughly delicious. Another world-class beer from Struise!