illinismitty (2270) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - JAN 25, 2009
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
2008 Bottle with the black label. generously provided by Grimreeser. Thanks a bunch Chad! Pours black with a nice brown head. Aroma is excellent, with huge dose of citrusy hops, with some faint milk chocolate in the background. Body is medium to full with a smooth creamy texture. This is not what you would expect from an imperial stout. It’s almost like a good fruity IPA blended with a Foreign Stout. You get citrus hops, oats, chocolate, berry, vanilla countered by a bitterness that is not overdone. Just the right amount of residual sweetness for me. This is a stellar beer, worth the hype, and definitely worthy of its top 50 status. Hops play such an integral role in this beer, like with an IPA. This should not be aged...period. I am not a fan of overhopped stouts or Black IPAs, but this works.
Butters (3990) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - JAN 24, 2009
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
The crowning event at Barrios’ Impromptu Tasting to pop Smitty’s Surly. It’s like someone took an imperial IPA, and mixed it with an imperial stout. Very fruity hop aroma with some toastyness and ipa aroma and alcohol. Flavor of pine hops and roasty malt. great mix. medium creamy body. mindblowing beer. Couln’t even wrap my head around it! Perfect for my 800th rating!
KAggie97 (3529) - Ugly, Hot, and Humid Spring, Texas, USA - JAN 24, 2009
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle from tennisjoel. Thanks, man! The black body slinks into the glass leaving a puffy, air-bubble ridden head. Aroma is straight-up cereal; with a weak hop presence in the background. Reminds me of generic grapenuts. Flavor is a cloyingly sweet blend of molasses, sugar, and dark berry. There is little cohesiveness to these otherwise spectacular flavors. It’s almost as if a vegetable crop invaded the batch and had rotted before being detected, at which point it was too late to do anything about it other than to start from scratch. Chewy mouthfeel. Big, big letdown. Nonethess, thanks tennisjoel!
mixinnixon2000 (227) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 21, 2009
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Had this on tap at Hop Leaf in Chicago. great stout. Nice dark head that stays throughout. complex flavors of chocolate and bourbon to name a few.
markwise (4898) - North of Tampa, Florida, USA - JAN 21, 2009
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: DEC 12, 2011 2011 Vintage. Thanks retorp and tpd975 for the share in 2008 originally and javit for the 2011 Vintage. Pours a deep black with a nice tan head. Aroma is earthy malty, caramel, molasses, some vanilla, dark fruit, alcohol, and chocolate. Incredible depth and complexity and lots of yellow lace when swirled. Sweet on front and back with chocolate, vanilla, and velvety smoothness. A bit messy and unbalanced.
ucusty (2691) - raleigh, North Carolina, USA - JAN 20, 2009
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark pour with fluffy chestnut colored head and thick spotty lace. Sweet malts, molasses and wood on the nose. Silky mouth-feel medium bodied. Sweet malty flavor, dark fruits, chocolate, and molasses. Sticky sweet finish. Not cloying still a little sweet
Rogueone (506) - I F&ckin’ hate those guys from, Ohio, USA - JAN 19, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Acquired via trade, sampled at the Hopsnobbery Collective Stout tasting on 01/16/09 thanks to Dogbrick/JaBier collaboration. Deep motor oily intimidating pour. Aroma is very suggestive of licorice, dark plum, burnt sugar. A little booze. Sweet and sticky throughout, this is packed with dark sugars and dark fruits. I came away from this experience wondering how many calories in sugar I just ingested. Tasty, and gets points for flavor and complexity, but overall too sweet for me.
JaBier (5912) - Capital City, Ohio, USA - JAN 19, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUL 8, 2009 Bottle sampled at the Hopsnobbery Collective stout tasting on 1.16.09. Thanks to Dogbrick for setting up the trade and paying postage. I gave up a bottle of GLBC BA Blackout, so I hope this one lives up to the hype. Pours pitch black with a medium light brown head. Malty sweet aroma with molasses, licorice and raisins. Super sweet flavor of molasses and licorice with a slight hop finish. Alcohol is well hidden on this beast. Worth the trade.
UPDATE 7/8: Yyyyeah, pretty sure I rated this one on prestige before. Very good, but not as good as I rated it. Got to try the ’08 again as well as the ’07 at Muckfest and it’s too sweet to be up there with some other ones I’ve rated so high. Dropping it down a bit.
Dogbrick (10001) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JAN 19, 2009
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Acquired via trade, sampled at the Hopsnobbery Collective Stout tasting on 01/16/09. This brew pours nearly black with a medium and dense brown head that recedes slowly. Thin sheet of lacing on the glass. Aroma of sweet malt, charred wood, molasses and licorice. Rich, velvety body with loads of caramel and sweet malt flavor, as well as molasses and chocolate liqueur notes. Just enough hops to keep the organized chaos of sweetness in check. The finish is mocha and caramel with a lingering malty sweetness left over. Excellent overall.
heemer77 (5210) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - JAN 19, 2009
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Perfectly black with a tan and orange colored head. The aroma was pancakes and coffee. There was also some mushrooms and definite dog sweat. The taste was really sweet with some plums and milk chocolate. There was also some bread crust. Sweet, sweet, sweet. This thick one was cloying.