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RATINGS: 988   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.21   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 85   EST. CALORIES: 288   ABV: 9.6%
This massive Russian Imperial Stout brings waves of flavors; chocolate, cherries, raisins, coffee, and toffee. We add a touch of hops to make this delicious brew even tastier. 85 IBUs. Labels:

’07 = Grim Reaper
’08 = Devil
’09 = Mummy
’10 = Vampire
’11 = Zombie
’12 = Werewolf
’13 = Hell Demon
’14 = Harpy (bottled reviews have separate entry in database)
’15 = Bat

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
theisti (3524) - Leawood, Kansas, USA - MAR 6, 2009
UPDATED: DEC 19, 2011
++++ RE-RATE 14 December 2011 ++++
750 ml bottle generously given to me by Dansting, who also was responsible (as a volunteer) for the huge amount of wax that was on this bottle. 2011 Vintage. The pour is black with a thick 1/2 inch khaki head. The head falls with thick lacing. The aroma is faint tropical fruit hops, good amount of roast, and a sweet molasses which becomes more prominent as the beer hits room temperature. The taste is sweet cane sugar molasses, then turns to the roast, which is more mild than it was in the nose, and then turns back to more sweetness in the finish, this time with some vanilla notes. Really mostly about the sweet, which covers the booze nicely, but overwhelms all of the hops, and most of the pleasant roast character. The palate is medium to heavy bodied, with a softer natural carbonation, and the lingering sweetness. My palate has changed since I first had this beer, I am certainly less interested in the sweetness many Imperial Stouts have. For history sake, I’ll keep my score from the original rating. Thanks for this one Dan. (7,4,8,4,14 - 3.7).

++++ ORIGINAL RATING 6 March 2009 ++++
750 ml bottle, red waxed and capped. 2008 Vintage, graciously picked up at Darkness day for me by my parents. Pour is jet black with beautiful cascading leading up to a thick, four inch deep tan head. Head is foamy at the top, but very lasting. Patchy lacing. Initial aroma is semi-sweet dark chocolate and straight cocoa powder. After the initial wave, nice melding of roast coffee, malt and some hops. I thought the hop was pine straight away, but turned more towards a citrus peel bitterness. Sweetness is a little syrupy, though that helps cover up the alcohol almost entirely. Nice nose. Taste is the sweet cocoa roast coffee citrus hops all kind of rolled into one. Nice solid integration of all of the flavors, and with the nose, alcohol was well hidden. A decent blast of pineapple-cherry sugary sweetness pops out in the aftertaste. There is a decent burning in the chest, however. Palate is actually a bit thinner than I would have expected, medium, a little oily and a long somewhat bitter finish - that turns sweet, almost cloyingly so towards the end. I would say the palate was my least favorite part of the beer. Overall, nice Imperial Stout. Thanks Mom and Dad! (8,5,8,3,16 - 4.0)

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
BuckeyeBoy (3865) - Boise, Idaho, USA - MAR 1, 2009
Bottle Pours out a ink black topped with a brown head. Aroma of milk chocolate sweetness along with a nice rich roast malt. Tast was of more sweet chocolate and a nice blend of coffee. A nice little bitter hop on the end. This brew almost lived up to the hipe. Very tasty.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
piscator34 (2178) - Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA - FEB 22, 2009
Bottled sample via DalzAle (huge thanks for this one!). Jet black in colour with moderate carbonation. Herbal and slightly grapefruity hops upfront on the nose, followed by notes of rich chocolate and smooth caramel malts. Flavors are of chocolate covered fruit, more citrus + spice, mild coffee, and a creamy vanilla sweetness. Heavy in the mouth and sweet, but without being cloying. Fans of heavily roasted imperial stouts might not like this, but I really enjoyed it.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
IMtheOptimator (1164) - Bethel, Connecticut, USA - FEB 21, 2009
Generously shared by Cletus at his Chinese New Year’s celebration... thanks John! Poured a thick velvet onyx with a tall dark brown fluffy head. Rich aroma of sweet and bitter chocolate, some vinous fruits, some candy sugar, and a touch of citrus hops. Flavor is fairly sweet with predominantly dark fruit notes, with lots of dark cherry and molasses with perhaps some honey wheat bread lingering in the background. The finish leads to notes of bitter citrus rind and pine hops, somewhat balancing the sweetness and adding some dryness to the beer. Body is quite soft... neither cloying nor thick. The dark fruit in this almost gives it a barley wine feel, which surprised me. Well crafted for sure, though maybe not the type of imperial stout I am inclined to enjoy most.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Indra (2711) - Overland Park, Kansas, USA - FEB 19, 2009
Bottled version, thanks to whoever brought this to the Strong Ale Fest. Aroma of dark cocoa, coffee/espresso, dark chocolate sweetness, toffee and just a touch of hop. Opaque black in color with a fine head. Flavor features more strong dark chocolate, espresso, smoky grains, brown sugar/toffee and molasses, overall quite sugary. Syrupy and thick on the palate, almost viscous, body is of course very full. Good stuff to be sure, but far from the best example of the style in my opinion as it is pretty one-sided. The residual sugars utterly bury whatever amount of hops got this to 85 IBUs.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Gurst (338) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - FEB 15, 2009
2008 Bottle. Chocolaty sweet, kind of like a beer float. Great density and consistency, very smooth. Taste is chocolate, coffee, vanilla, raisin, and bread. Not unusual tastes, but a great arrangement of them. But really the feel of the stout is best part.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
SuperDave (1932) - Beautiful Sunny Mesa, Arizona, USA - FEB 14, 2009
Sampled at the Bockyhorsey tasting, there were several bottles of this and I am not sure who provided the one that got opened, but thanks! Thick black pour with a nice creamy brown head. Lots of roasted malt, grain and coffee in the aroma, along with a touch of fruit, chocolate and hops. Flavor is complex and fantastic. Big and roasty but not overpowering the fruit or the nice hoppy finish. Truly a wonderful impy stout!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
nickd717 (3730) - San Francisco, California, USA - FEB 9, 2009
2008 bottle, tasting at The Bruery. An excellent R.I.S. reminiscent of Dark Lord more than anything else. Black, thick, and oily with a roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate aroma. Flavor is excellent: roasted malts, coffee, cherries, raisins, other dark fruits, molasses, and chocolate. Complex, as you can tell based on the last sentence. Sweet and syrupy with low carbonation. I strongly approve.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
hrking (140) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - FEB 9, 2009
Wow popped a bottle last night for GBS#169 and wow all I can say is try this beer. The flavors just keep coming. Creamy smooth desert stout with fudge chocolate goodness.Dark Lord bow down to the Darkness. This is hands down one of the best stouts I have ever tasted! Alcohol well hidden and dangerously drinkable. This is a must try for any beer connoisseur!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Beershine (5218) - The Sunshine State, Florida, USA - FEB 2, 2009
Bottle shared by Daknole thank you Dak. Pitch black, tan head. Robust deep black chocolate and roasted coffee aroma. Perfectly velvet palate slides right down. Gorgeous sweetness rounds out the finish, and lingering coffee is pure, unadulterated and sophisticated. Definitely a superlative beer worthy of accolades.

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