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RATINGS: 1027   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.21/5   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
’16 = Cerberus

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
dreambrother (19) - Bemidji, Minnesota, USA - JAN 30, 2009
Bottle(s) from Surly Darkness Day. Pours pitch black with a dark tan head; very thick head, I could eat it by the spoonful. Nose is chocolate, citrus, inviting. The mouthfeel is absurd; pure motor oil, so thick I could swear I could chew it. Now the taste is just as unbelievable; rich chocolate, sweet citrus, some coffee, finishes with a minute hint of alcohol. Highly highly recommended beer, one of my all time favorites.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
mbsmith (72) - Missouri, USA - JAN 29, 2009
Wow. If the Westvleteren monks made an imp stout this would be it. Palate like silk (seriously, the only palate i can compare this to is Westy 12.) Can’t believe the rating has dropped some lately- as much as i love the Expedition this edges it out. Usually an IS has a bit too much coffee or a bit too much molasses or a bit too much of everything but this is beautifully balanced. Everything you want without going overboard. Mmmmm... black sugar. I’ll stop typing because i can’t do it justice.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
BeerHawk (1810) - Huntsville, Alabama, USA - JAN 27, 2009
Bottle shared by illinismitty @ the Barrios tasting. Poured very dark with a creamy tan head that had a thin layer last and spotty lacing. Awesome mix of citrus hops and chocolate malts in the aroma. The flavor had milk chocolate, light roast and citrus hops. Full body, creamy, sweet yet bitter in the aftertaste, complex. Awesome!

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
MaltOMeal (1093) - Land of Sugar, Texas, USA - JAN 25, 2009
UPDATED: FEB 23, 2009 2008 bottle thanks to KAggie for sharing. Pours black as coal with a nice tan head. Kinda weird with the big bubbles in the head. Did have good lacing though. Nose was of sour (in a bad way) milk, cereal, some cocoa powder and veggies. Taste was of chocolate milk and licorice. Mouthfeel was chewy with some chalkiness and slight bitter finish. I was very disappointed in this beer. It had been hyped by so many, but it was not even good. I’ve had many, many Imperial Stouts better than this one. Way overrated.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
illinismitty (2270) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - JAN 25, 2009
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Butters (4038) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - JAN 24, 2009
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!

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
KAggie97 (3529) - Ugly, Hot, and Humid Spring, Texas, USA - JAN 24, 2009
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!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
mixinnixon2000 (227) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 21, 2009
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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
markwise (5135) - North of Tampa, Florida, USA - JAN 21, 2009
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.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ucusty (2691) - raleigh, North Carolina, USA - JAN 20, 2009
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

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