nbutler11 (1267) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - OCT 30, 2011
3.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle shared by daknole -- thank you, sir! An ounce of this was plenty, and damn near unnecessary. Really. This beer is just too much. I LOVE ashy imperial stouts, but this is over the top. Pours a lumpy obsidian color with a thick brown head that leaves a surprising amount of lacing. Permeates the aroma and flavor of black licorice, ash, coffee roast, bitter cocoa, and booze. Overwhelming. Seems like something BrewDog would do to press the envelope. More of a novelty than a treat.
OleR (4802) - Oslo, NORWAY - OCT 26, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sample from a big bottle, kindly shared by Club Gonzo. Thanks mate! Pours as black as the original sin. A thin ruddy-brown layer of bubbles on top. Big and bold aroma of roasted dark malts, black chocolate, marzipan, extracted plum marmelade and alcohol-soaked dark fruits. Most of the same is featured in the flavors. Roasted coffee-ish and chocolatey dark/black malts in the lead. Underlying tones of dark dried fruits, marzipan, and a vinous port-like sensation. Full body, Thick, and syrupy texture. Big alcohol warmth throughout. What a monster! Exciting and challenging. Impossible to dislike.
bluebetty (1019) - AUSTRALIA - OCT 17, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Pours jet black with smallish dark tan coloured head. Super oily. It installed stains the glass. Aromas of coffee, roast grain, and dark malt. Surprising whilst it is there the alcohol in no way dominates. Flavours are much the same. Roasted grain and espresso coffee. Alcohol is more prominant. Super creamy super full mouthfeel. Struggle to drink more than half a glass but amazing all the same.
dimenhetfield (2487) - , Florida, USA - OCT 16, 2011
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Big bottle shared with friends, I needed the help for sure with this bad boy. Iím not sure how to compare this beer with anything else that Iíve tried before. Itís just simply incredible for the size and ABV. Itís got everything. The pour is like jet engine oil. It stains the glass black instantly and has super long legs. The flavor isnít just booze, though it is still quite boozy. The ABV is obviously super high but still itís easy to sip on.
bgburdman9 (858) - Kettering, Ohio, USA - OCT 14, 2011
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle at Dayton draft meeting. Super thick. Aroma is super rich chocolate and roast. This does not taste like 26% alcohol at all. Very good tasting beer
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - OCT 13, 2011
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: OCT 17, 2011 750ml bottle. Lot # A/CD1/2010. Best by April 2016. I first opened this up with the Redlight crew after sampling Utopias. At the time, I thought it was pretty darn harsh...and since we didnít finish the bottle, I vacuum sealed the last 8 oz. or so to see if it would change after a day or two. What I found was pretty surprising....
The much anticipated pour yields a dense, extremely dark mahogany body (surprisingly not pitch black). Unexpectedly, a creamy, dark brown, chocolate milkshake head rises out of the inky depths. Even after 2 days under vacuum seal, the head stayed strong. A few swirls of the glass leaves a thick, ultra-viscous, motor oil sheen on the glass. The liquid is slow and lumbering.
The nose on the freshly opened bottle was honestly pretty gross. There was a smoky beef jerky quality so it that threw me off big time. Alcohol was potent and harsh, and burnt roast trumped any underlying depth. The 2-day old version, however, showed alot more character. The roast mellowed out a bit, as did most of the smoky-salty tones, allowing for some sweet caramel, burnt marshmallow, bourbon, and stewed fig to emerge. The alcohol is still strong and somewhat obtrusive, but considerably less so. Anise is sharp, adding a licorice component. Oak and vanilla round things out.
Like the nose, the initial flavor I gleaned from the freshly opened bottle was harsh and meaty. It bordered on ashy at times, laden with char. Yet once again, after being open for 2 days, it mellowed out a bit to reveal caramel, nougat, bittersweet black chocolate, and woody bourbon notes. Sugars overcame most of the char, though roast lingered on well after the finish.
The palate is, predictably, quite dense and chewy. How could it not be with this much residual sugar? What is a surprise is the fine, velvety carbonation that dances across the tongue (I expected near-flatness, and this was actually quite lively). The booze component is quite hot and astringent, burning the throat a bit on the way down. Sugars coat the tongue and teeth after the swallow.
Overall, Iíd classify this as a "must try once" type of brew. It is certainly an experience, though not necessarily one that Iíd go for again, and definitely not something Iíd pay anywhere near the asking price for. I also canít figure why theyíd go with 750ml bottles for such a monster. 250ml would be perfect (and even then Iíd probably split it 3 ways). If youíre placing any weight on this review...Iíd say try the "open and let it sit" method, as it definitely improved a great deal.
Drake (8998) - Free Union, Virginia, USA - OCT 12, 2011
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle shared by GT2. Pours pitch black with a large dark brown head. Good head retention and lacing. Aroma of roasted malts, fudge, sweet malts, toasted malts, faint tobacco and hops. The taste is toasted malts, anise, berries, coffee, chocolate, nuts, booze, soy and bitter hops. Full bodied. Very intense. Nice beer.
omhper (19975) - TyresŲ, SWEDEN - OCT 12, 2011
1.3 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 1/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 5/20
Bottled at Stockholm Beer Festival. Near black, no head. Syrupy alcoholaroma. Super-mega sweet with black hole style body. Compact with syrupy sugar, resin and burning saccharine compressed to a singularity. Inky and very aggressive. Yikes, this is certainly not for me.
thirdeye11 (5635) - Dallas, Texas, USA - OCT 11, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
(Bottle thanks to Cavie) jet black pour, viscous in appearance, coats the glass well with a ring of deep tan bubbles. Nose of big fudge presence, alcohol, raisins, graham cracker, quite rich. Taste of HUGE alcohol, raisin, hairspray, more alcohol, fudge. The body of this beer is as thick and viscous as any Iíve tried (only other comparable I can think of was 2008 Dark Lord) and has a huge linger that reminds me itís 26% ABV.
VsXsV (2455) - LinkŲping, SWEDEN - OCT 9, 2011
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sample from 33 cl bottle at SBWF 2011. Black, clear liquid with very small or no tan head. Aroma of chocolate, coffee, raw sugar, syrup, dark fruit, booze, oak, vanilla, bourbon. Taste is extremely sweet, medium to high bitterness, alcohol and some notes from the wood aging. The sweetness is too much, feels like drinking syrup after a while. Very thick body with sticky mouthfeel and burning alcohol. Iím kind of ambivalent towards this beer. The first two tastes were very enjoyable but I got sick of it very fast because of the high sweetness and viscosity. Two centilitres (about an fl oz) was absolutely enough. No drinkability whatsoever.