TheBeerLover (1025) - 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.
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.
Wakie (612) - Centreville, Virginia, USA - MAY 5, 2004
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Absolutely fantastic imperial stout. Deep dark black appearance. So easy to drink. A beautiful blend of malt and sweetness. Hints of cotton candy.
jasonp (1555) - Leesburg, Virginia, USA - MAY 1, 2004
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Incredible Imperial Stout!!! Pours a deep black with a dark brown head. Aroma is very nice and roasty with an alcohol presence. Taste is of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, dark fruit and hops. Very chewy and delicious with the perfect amount of sweetness. Mouthfeel is very full, round and beautifully thick. Highly recommended! One of the best imperial stouts I’ve ever had.
StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 16, 2006
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Hand bottle via Styles - thanks Chris and everyone else who made this happen! Slight hiss as the cap comes off, pouring opaque and inky black in color. Sexy legs and some miniscule bubble lacing serve for the head. Deep, roasty aroma, as it spawns dark chocolate, cinder and ash, espresso grinds compacted together for macho-ness, a slight hint of alcohol, and oatmeal made with a double batch of artesian coffee. Flavor is unforgettable. Full, dark chocolate and dense fudge brownies give us some thick fodder to chew while fully supporting encasing, blackened, flame scorched pecans. Man, this is good. Lingering dark chocolate truffles infused with caramel and Godiva liqueur. This one could run a marathon with Expedition. Feels hot in the mouth but alcohol is barely detectable, save the lightening of whit that signals its strength. Lovely, palatable array of melted fudge syrup. Admirable hop bitterness elevates it to imperial status while malts stay chewy and bear the brunt throughout. Finish is summarized by decadent artesian chocolate that’s almost designed to be looked at, because drinking it would bring the honeymoon to a close. I loved it.
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.
kenb (1102) - Oregon, USA - JUL 23, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
12 oz bottle via Dickinsonbeer(thanks!).Pours a pitch black with a small brown head. Nose is chocolate and bourban. Taste starts sweet, then lots of chocolate, roast, soy, and licorice, with a piney finish/aftertaste. A bit of warmth in the finish. Body is medium/full, carbonation is medium. A very nice yet bold Imp Stout.
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 2, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
cask (RAF): Definitely put the other imperials to shame at the real ale fest...it dripped from the cask blacker than Tupac and sat in the glass spitting forth deep dark chocolate fumes raped by raisins, sour plums and figs..then drenched in coffee..almost hitting vinous qualities at times..The mouthfeel was THICK, like it should be..super tasty chocolate oozing fudge sprinkled with a complex intertwinement of raisins and plums..representing true Imperial Standards
SeamusNeko (45) - Anacostia, Washington DC, USA - APR 29, 2004
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Setting: Served in a sample glass at the Michael Jackson Beer Tasting held at RFD’s.
Appearance: Ruby-tinged black topped by a dark brown head which quickly dissipated to a film and a ring. Wee blobs and specks of lacing were left on the glass.
Aroma: Black espresso, dark chocolate, and bitter prunes. Very dense and dark.
Flavor: Earthy and robust dark malts with wackloads of burnt, espresso, and bittersweet dark chocolate flavors. Long lasting aftertastes. Nummers
Palate: Thick and chewy with a slight alcoholic burn on the finish.
Overall: A sipper for sure, but definitely one to have as a night cap. Righteous.
CaptainCougar (7132) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - MAY 21, 2004
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 26, 2004 Completely opaque darkness with a 3/4" well-lacing tan head. Very rich complex aroma of sweet caramel and roasted malts, brown sugar, black berries, and a hint of oaky tartness. Starts rich and caramely sweet with a full, syrupy mouthfeel and a touch of smoke. Plum, molasses, and milk chocolate lead to a robust, lingering roasted coffee finish. Hides its alcohol very well and is tremendously balanced with a thick complex sweetness and moderate hoppy bitterness. Many thanks to jeffc666 for hooking me up with a growler of this gem!