JJClark (551) - Roscoe, Illinois, USA - MAR 25, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Growler from trade with kmweaver. Thanks Ken! Pours a pitck black color with a dark tan head. Has a nice heavy body with the aroma of expresso, smoke, licorice and rum. Taste is slightly bitter with hops and not as well balanced as I had hoped for. Seems to be a bit of a soy like twang in the flavor like someone else mentioned. However, still a good stout overall.
kmweaver (3200) - Petaluma, California, USA - FEB 24, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Rating #400. Tap, Merrifield location. Pours a pitch black core; dark tan head with fine-bubbled lacing. Plenty of milk chocolate and vanilla and roasted malts in the aroma. Full, chewy mouthfeel: plenty of dark chocolate, marshmallow, and vanilla; balanced out by a healthy dose of citrus hops coming through; tasty, dense, balanced, and remarkably drinkable. It’s nice to have an imperial stout that one can actually drink a pint of comfortably. Long, milk chocolate, marshmallow, and citrus finish.
detroiter (958) - Euphoria, Minnesota, USA - FEB 3, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pours a very dark brown, the only way you can tell it isn’t black is by holding it up to the light. But don’t do that, just drink it! Huge head of thick creamy brown foam, easily 3” thick even from a gentle pour. Very nice lacing throughout the glass. Dark roasted malt and plumy aroma.
Sweet chocolate malt and bitter roasted malt at the same time. Fresh vanilla. Coffee. Plum. Raisin. There are flavors going on all over the place. Bitter roasted coffee and a nice bitter grassy/herbal/minty hop presence in the aftertaste. Just about full bodied, smooth and nearly creamy, fantastic carbonation.
rtcpenguin (4) - Alabama, USA - SEP 1, 2006 does not count
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
As a person who doesn’t typically enjoy particularly dark beers, I was hesitant to try the Imperial Stout, but as I had never been displeased with any of SweetWater’s offerings before, I gave it a shot.
This is certainly the best beer I’ve ever had, dark or light. Its crisp and rich, with a flavor that rivals any of the best in its own category or elsewhere.
Mangino (1027) - Mississippi, USA - MAR 26, 2006
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Huge thanks to Joel for sharing this badass brew. Hand-bottled. Pours a pitch black color, no head. Smells of sweet chocolate, just a little coffee with some booze too. Flavor is sweet, lotso f chocolate and roasted notes. A little burning plastic (boo) bourbon, sharp. A touch of oxidation. Overall tasty stuff.
Styles (2014) - Lincoln Park, Michigan, USA - MAR 14, 2006
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Growler brought back from DC by Pailhead. Pours dark oily brown with decent beige head. (especially considering this has been in a growler a week). Coats the glass quitw nicely. Aroma full of chocolate, roasted/burnt grain, dark fruit, spicy licorice and pine hops in the background. Flavor much the same. Sweet chololate malt with tons of cherry and fig up front. Fades to roasted grain and a big coffee finish, I am not to fond of. Syruppy mouthfeel, but still a tad thin. Overall very well done.
Foxbush (1145) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - MAR 2, 2006
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 1, 2009 This is an amazing stout. My friend from NOVA brought me a growler to enjoy. Little did I realize I was in for the ride of life. This complex beverage is all that they say. The frothy head bubbles over the glass. Lacing down the glass with a deep black liquid inside. It sets the standard for Imperial stouts. There were flavors of chocolate,rasins and coffee.. You let the beer roll around on your tongue as you enjoy this rich stout. The .5 gal growler is not enough. Another chance to enjoy this stout in Cass, WV. The stout poured with much frothing. The alitude must affect the beverage.
TheBeerLover (1019) - DC Metro Area, USA - JAN 26, 2006
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
High Desert Imperial Stout pours to a beautiful, deep ebony color with a rocky dark tan head that fades and a soft to moderate amount of carbonation. The nose on this beer is just jam packed with character. Deep aromas of dark chocolate, roasted barley, espresso coffee, and peppery waves of alcohol flood the nose. The body on this beer is rich and decadent, very full and slick on the tongue, with massive flavors. Dark chocolate, espresso coffee, deep roasty notes, vanilla, and alcohol flavors of pepper, coat the tongue and glide down the throat. High Desert finishes with more complex chocolate, coffee, and roasty flavors and ends with a long, soothing, warming, roasty, and bitter finish that lingers.
This is one of the most impressive Imperial Stouts I have ever tasted. Stylistically it is flawless, and comes in at a warming 9.7% abv. This beer is the ultimate after dinner drink at Sweetwater, and is the perfect match with their key lime cheese cake or flourless chocolate waffle.
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - JAN 18, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle from Pailhead and Styles, Motown brethren. Handbottled. Pours an impenetrable black color with a slight brown head. Scant lacing is left behind. Deep roasted grain aroma, chocolate and coffee, fully loaded with roasted barley. Full bodied, lower carbonation level that is pleasant for the style. Roasted barley out the wazzoo, plenty of hop balance. Not really astringent which is great. Alcohol hidden nicely. Very nicely done!!!
JPDIPSO (4956) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 18, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Opaque dark brown color with a few small bubbles adrift atop. Thick and chewy looking. Sweet roasted malt aromas with a mild backdrop of pine-wood and a hint of alcohol. Strong and formidable flavors. Molasses and tar cover the road with licorice hops in the rear-view mirror. For me it lacked the dark fruits that really bring out some of the other complexities.