footbalm (1219) - Western Minneapolis Suburbs, Minnesota, USA - MAR 10, 2005
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
A surprise brew from Jeffin7.Dark,dark,I mean I canít see any light thruí this thing.Nose is roasted malts,chocolate,molasses and dark coffee,not that sweet milky crap.First sip is hard to stop.First I get a think chewy layer of chocolate syrup,then it levels off to a complex blend of chocolate ,molasses and dark fruit,like plums or dark cherries.Great mouthfeel.
Thanks Jeff for this brew which I never would have had if not for your generosity.
jeffin7 (613) - Silver Spring, Maryland, USA - MAR 4, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Draft @ Sweetwater Centerville:
Pours black with very little head. Aroma is of chocolate, roast, a slight coffee. Flavor is of sweet chocolate syrup, coffee, bitter chocolate, slight licorise. Not much hoppiness but there is a strong balancing bitterness. There is nothing outlandish, over the top, or experimental about this beer it is simply an excellent expression of a classic imperial stout.
arjoseph (642) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 28, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: APR 11, 2005 GABF 2004. This was labeled as "Great American Restaurant" High Desert Imperial Stout. C. Quiroga and I drank about half of what they brought, I think. Itís funny now to think about how the brewer assiduously poured our first samples only up to the prescribed tasting line. After our fifth refill, he automatically topped us off. The appearance of this beer was the most remarkable Iíve seen for a stout, especially the head (for details, see Chrisí review). I could smell the wonderful roast flavors before tasting; after tasting, I was delighted that the flavor was as much imbued with dark fruits as it was coffee/chocolate. Importantly, I would say this was the "freshest" tasting impy I had at GABF, crisp all the way through. Considering the amount of traffic the table got during the times Chris and I stood there, this was a very underappreciated beer. You should all lament that you didnít get a chance to sample it.
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - JAN 5, 2005
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Black as night with a tan head. Nice chocolate and roasted malt aroma with some expresso and hops. Taste is Belgian chocolates, day old strong coffee and a nice hop bite.
Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 5, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This impy stout pours a black body topped by a thick head with great lacing. The aroma and flavor are sweet and malty with slight vanilla and chocolate notes, a nice raostiness, as well as some fruit. Full bodied and smooth.
Sickboy282 (1114) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 2, 2005
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a deep black hue with a small brown head. Aromas of soy sauce, chocoalte with flavors of the same but with a little coffee kick to it. Very smooth with a clean finish. MInimal hop presence.
cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - OCT 16, 2004
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
10/1/04. On draft at GABF í04 in Denver, CO 10/1/04. Called "Great American Restaurants High Desert Imperial Stout." Black-brown color with excellent dark tan head. I need to take a moment to sing the praises of this wondrous head-- it created a frothy, full, meringue-like seal atop the lovely opaque beer, and it was so plump and unwavering that I would tilt the glass like 70 degrees on its side (almost horizontal), and the surface of the head would stay level as the beer would fight to push its way out. Simply unbelieveable. And the retention was probably the best Iíve ever seen on an imperial stout. While the rest of the beer was pretty awesome, the head was really otherworldly. Roasty nose with some mulchy dark malts and only subtle chocolate and coffee aromas. Quite nice, but a bit simplistic and tame for an imperial. Flavor brings it home. Rich interplay of roast and burnt malts, subtly mingling with a hint of chocolate sweetness and a tinge of acidity. Terrific dry finish follows up the initial taste with a cocoa powder/dry coffee ground snappiness. Very nicely balanced and full-flavored. Medium-full body with a long and surprisingly subtle and delicate finish, only subtly alcoholic. Wonderfully refined and controlled beer. A damn good imperial stout.
3fourths (9150) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - OCT 4, 2004
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: OCT 10, 2013 GABF 2004 - Under the name Great American Restaurants High Desert Imperial Stout - Black body, medium sized brown head. Musty, leafy basil, plum, compost and cabbage aromas, with a piney sweet hop/juniper note as well. Flavor of wood and plums, average body, medium alcohol presence with a chalky and sour finish. I sampled this beer on two nights of the GABF, the first time being turned off by the vegetable/basil notes, but on the second night I was more impressed. Something I have at the top of my list for a rerate.
Ringo (963) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - OCT 4, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
A sleeper in the Imp Stout wars - the "relatively" low ABV and lack of the "throw everything in there" flavor and syrupy palate combine to make this a better Imp stout than many of the "celebrities."
JCW (1278) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - MAY 29, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle for me by CaptainCougar-Many Thanks Tom!. Dark black, totally opaque. Aroma is chocolate and burnt coffee like flavor mixed with some sweet flavors like dried plums or raisons. Slight tartness. Moderate body for an Imperial Stout. Balance and perfect finish. Great Beer.