notalush (5716) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 25, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Before I say anything about this beer, I need to give a huge thanks to beastiefan2k - it is only fitting that I am consuming this beer on Christmas, a time of year associated with giving, generosity, etc., because Eugene hooked me up with a bottle of this beer, and asked for absolutely nothing in return - in all of my years on ratebeer, I have continually been astonished at the level of generosity I have witnessed, and I can think of no one else that embodies this more than Eugene - thanks, man! - so, to all you folks that sold this beer to your fellow beer lovers on ebay for a tremendous profit, screw you! - anyway, I must say that I am glad that I didnt trade away my cellar for this stuff - she looks pretty good - really dark ruby, with a large, dark tan head - the aroma is of damp cedar, red wine-like tannins, espresso bitterness, burnt qualities - smooth in the mouth, with just the right amount of carbonation for the style - flavors of charred malts, wet wood, light smoke - some wine-ish tartness - a lot of coffee bitterness through the middle - gets sweeter and sweeter as the flavor progresses, ending with some sweet raisin character and brown sugar - it is a nice beer, and certainly a lot more balanced than a lot of over the top american impys, but a top 10 beer? a top 50 beer? - I really dont think so - thanks again, Eugene, for saving me from the trade frenzy.
sleestak (226) - Williamston, Michigan, USA - DEC 21, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap at Bohemian Lodge and later at Flossmoor Station. Pretty heady for an impy stout. Aroma was coffee, vanilla, chocolate, dates and everything else in life that truly matters. I didn*t get the legendary hoppiness that everyone talks about with this beer, but there was still tons to enjoy. Beautiful roastiness and just the right amount of sweetness. Thick, creamy mouthfeel. Amazing stuff, and I*m thrilled to have had the opportunity to drink a round or three with some great people.
JMFG (1587) - Florida, USA - DEC 20, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Courtesy Redlight. 2008 bottle. Black with a broken dark tan head. A ton of molasses and raisin on the aroma along with a light roast, very little alcohol apparent. Very sweet and surprisingly little roast on the taste, but some does appear on the finish along with some chocolate hints.
RCL (2030) - Waltham, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 20, 2008
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Licorice and fine chocolate liqueur explode out of the glass in the aroma. Flavor still retains mountains of malty sweetness as well as super chocolatey and vanilla-y elements. Syrupy, sticky and thick. This stuff is wild! And delicious!
StefanSD (2359) - Ouray, Colorado, USA - DEC 12, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
650 ml bottle courtesy of Guerde. This is the 2008 release. Shared at the Alesmith BA Numbskull line tasting. This was the first of a number of great beers passed around. The color was opaque black with a big three finger tan head that had great retention. The aroma was pungent with dark fruits, mostly raisins, dates and figs. Also present was roasted grains and a bit of peanut brittle. The flavor was sweet with more dark fruits, sweet nuts and brown sugar. I did not detect any real underlying hop character, the description says 80 IBUs but half that is more likely. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy. The finish was long with lingering molasses. Overall: A very fine RIS, worth at least some of the hype.
Swolf3 (262) - Elkton, Maryland, USA - DEC 11, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Big Ups to Hophead22 and Dalzale for this bottle. Poured black in color with thick tan head. Very nice strong aroma of hops, raisins, and fruity. Taste was similar with some coffee, chocolate and malt. Very smooth and easy to drink. Enjoyed
Rosebud butternuts (2396) - Denton, Texas, USA - DEC 11, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
bottle thanks to bman113vr. this is my 200th rating and what a great one at that. poured black with a nice dark tan head and legs that held to the side of the glass. aroma was awesome with chocolate, some raisins, and some pine. flavor was sweet greatness of chocolate, great hop use. this was a very balanced beer. i believe this could be my favorite brew thus far. thanks for the gathering bman!!
BMan1113VR (7916) - Los Angeles, California, USA - DEC 10, 2008
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 11, 2008 2008 bottle from a trade with Kosko20. Had in a tasting alongside Dark Lord. Darkness wins the battle of tastes to me. Great beer, pours thick and black as night with a huge, dark brown head. The liquid leaves waves of brown coatings on the side of the glass. Aroma of soy, chocolate, raisins and pine hops. Taste is sugar, chocolate, great hop balance with chocolate malt and alcohol. Darkness or Goodness? Syrupy and mouthcoating as hell, light carbonation. Great beer. My 1200th Rating.
GMCC2181 (1588) - Newark, Delaware, USA - DEC 9, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle (08) from wolf and josh. Thanks guys. Black, average head. Nice aroma. Fruity, not what I expected, coffee, chocolate and malts. Taste is very unique, lots of fruityness in there. Sort of reminds me of Black Albert. Nice touch of coffee, chocolate and roasted malts. The texture is thin but not light. Good beer, very unique. thanks guys.
noompa (130) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 9, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: DEC 18, 2008 On tap at the Hopleaf and Reggie’s. Beautiful pour, jet black, that gives off just the right shade of Van Dyke Brown against the light. Raisins galore in the aroma, along with molasses, caramel, brown sugar. Overpoweringly sweet at first, but it grows on you as the dark fruits and red wine come through. Mouthfeel was exquisite, like drinking velvet. There are better imperial stouts out there, but an awesome sipper nonetheless- dont have it too cold.
Post Script: There was a lovely Swiss Cheese head the second time around that I thought was beautiful.