bradlyc77 (226) - Sebastopol, California, USA - NOV 20, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 11, 2009 Hoppy for a stout, great aroma. Sweet maltiness, but seemingly lighter in body than expected. Components of hops and malt seem not well balanced and separated, perhaps some age would help. Thanks to iowaherkeye.
NobleSquirrel (3437) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 19, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 13, 2009 Update: 2009 edition on draft at Kuma’s. Full pint pour of this bad boy. Much better this year than less, better attenuated, though still a bit sweet. Some chocolate and dried fruits. Big NW hops. Really hoppy and reminds me a lot of Storm King, but a whole lot more body. Will increase rating as much better this time. 8-5-8-4-16.
2008: Draft at Kuma’s. This was one of the most underwhelming beers I’ve had to date. Pours a pitch black with dark brown head. Nose is slightly hoppy and smokey, though mostly I get a ton of sweetness, which is what I get in the taste department as well. A very sweet beer with an unbalanced hop bitterness. Astringent and cloying. I’ll have to revisit, but I was sorely disappointed... 7-5-6-3-12
hombrepalo (1819) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 18, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
10oz goblet. Nice to have tried it! Better than Darklord for sure. Poured a dark black color with brown edges and an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of strong pine, chocolate, smoke, and some dark fruits. Taste is similar with a huge chocolate silkiness. Ultra full-bodied with a mouthfeel resembling a fusion of mineral oil and heavy cream. Subtle carbonation. Lengthy, lightly sweet, burnt, medium bitter finish. Pretty damn good and exciting.
502Che (999) - @, CAMBODIA - NOV 17, 2008
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
(Thanks John, Kosko20, for hooking me up with this one!). Popping this Friday afternoon to start off the birthday weekend with a bang. 2008 bottle. Easy 5 on appearance: pitch black (though not an oily) pour with a great large mocha head that has great retention and leaves dense beautiful lace. Aroma is… holy shit! I am not a huge fan of hops in stouts, but this is unbelievably well done. Great doughy, chocolaty malt backbone that is complemented by an incredibly fresh and juicy citrusy grapefruit hop presence in perfect balance with each other. The flavor is not as hoppy and perfect, but still very enticing – very chocolaty and rich upfront and fades into a bitter roasted coffee finish. The finish is a bit hot, but generally the alcohol is hidden remarkably well. The chocolate character is unlike any I have ever experienced for reasons that I can’t put my finger on. Some hop bitterness is beginning to accompany the hot alcoholic finish, and works well with it. There is so much going on in the flavor and, unfortunately, that is darkness’ slight downfall. To me, this is an example of where extreme brewing goes a bit over the line. IF surly toned this down a bit (towards 9% alcohol) it could be a 5. The palate is much thicker and richer than the pour would have had me guess – very little carbonation with a velvety smooth and voluminous body that lends to a very creamy mouthfeel – easy 5. Overall: truly world-class beer that is a slow sipper, yet proves impressively drinkable – but when it gets really warm the alcohol really pulls through. The one think that keeps lingering in the back of my mind is that this might be just a tad bit overdone and is a tad bit too sweet, but not enough to detrimentally affect its true beauty.
Rusty (1536) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - NOV 17, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Sample courtesy of some kind stranger at the lost abbey barrel tasting. Pours a dark thick black with a nice brown head. Aroma is coffee, licorice, hops, burnt cocoa, molasses. Flavor is huge thick black chocoloate and coffee, significant hoppiness balanced out with a rich yet delicate and not cloying sweetness. I was very surprised that this lived up to the hype, great stout!
omhper (19237) - Tyresö, SWEDEN - NOV 17, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottled, thanks Marsblursi! Very black, rich beige head. Concentrated coffee aroma with some black currant. Hops mixed with brandy and licorice. Vinous and not overly full sized. Very well made in that ther is no stickyness at all. Creates elegance out of a chaotic orchestra of flavours: chocolate. molasses, oat flakes, port and licorice. Finishes salty and very bitter.
BlackForestCO (976) - Aurora, Colorado, USA - NOV 17, 2008
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle thanks to StFun, thanks a ton for hooking me up dude! Poured a deep brown color with a moderate beige head that faded to a ring. Aroma of dry, lightly earthy hops with some light pine and a hint of chocolate. Very one dimensional. Smooth, sweet entry with an overpoweringly sweet chocolate malt and molasses flavor and a hint of earthy hops, but not nearly enough to balance the flavor. I didn’t detect any fruit whatsoever. Low carbonation, and far too thin on the palate. One dimensional in all aspects, and nothing very ’’imperial’’ about it, just a very sweet stout. I hate to be a party pooper, but this beer was just incredibly average. Still nice to try, thanks again Josh.
after4ever (6089) - Brier, Washington, USA - NOV 17, 2008
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
22, capped and waxed. ’08. Thanks, BrewCzar! What a cool thing to do to include us in y’all’s celebration. And what a beer to celebrate with. Pours jet black with a very dense, creamy, and moussy tan head. Beautiful soft chocolatey nose--milk chocolate with a little bit of mild craft cream chocolate in there as well. Undercurrents of fruit. Rich, creamy medium body--not anywhere near as slushy as I thought it might be. Some chocolate, roast, and coffee--the usual suspects--but together they’re just one layer. The layer under that is complex dark pitted tree fruit: nectarines, plums; not too sugary, though. Well-integrated and beautifully harmonious, just like everything about this beer. Definitely a triumph and very much deserving of the hype surrounding it.
timbeer (69) - Rosemount, Minnesota, USA - NOV 3, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Shared with matsciguy on a glorious fall afternoon. Very dark and viscous liquid - carbo-bubbles had a hard time coming to the top makes for an interesting looking pour. Great hop, barley and malt with a bit of alcohol in the nose. Fruity, hoppy flavor with a very smooth mouthfeel. Strong. I enjoyed this a lot and it was worth standing in line!
MatSciGuy (907) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - NOV 2, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
[2008 Bottle] shared by Timbeer, thanks! Pours an awesome viscous black with an amazing tan head that slowly cascades back into itself. One of the coolest looking pours I have ever seen. Aroma strikes out at you with loads of floral and citric hops, roasted barley, sweet, sweet malt, chocolate notes, and a touch of coffee. Flavor is much different. Flavor is quite sweet, with a lot of berry notes, but which berries I can’t quite put my finger on. This gets much more enjoyable the longer I sip it. There is a good amount of bitterness, which just about balances the sweetness, but not quite. The hops are significantly present in the flavor. The alcohol is much more present on the nose than it is in the flavor, but never detracts from what the brew is trying to get across. Overall, I would say this definitely deserves the hype.