BuckNaked (1230) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - APR 30, 2006
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle thanks to jasonp: Pours to a dark brown, near black, body with a small light brown head that sticks atop the beer. The aroma is molasses, dark sugar, sweet plums, light coffee, prunes, and mild cereal. Taste is prunes, pear, plums, roasted caramel, light coffee, earthy caramel, and light cereal grains. Medium-full bodied, moderate carbonation, finishes with some prunes, light smoke, sweet oatmeal, and some light coffee.
argo0 (11530) - Washington DC, USA - APR 30, 2006
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
(12oz bottle, thanks to jasonp) Clear red-black with small brown head. Aroma is moderately sweet, coffee, roast, some chocolate, light earthy. Taste is moderately sweet, coffee, roast, some chocolate, light grapefruit, faint burnt. Medium-full body, some stickiness.
ClarkVV (3892) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - APR 27, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
2006 bottle shared by SuIIy on 4/26/06. Also sampled on draught at GABF 2005
The beer settles out to borderline transluscent-transparent, with no sediment on bottom, seemingly rather filtered, though upon pouring it seems opaque. Deep black, hardly any tinge of the usual auburn/garnet highlights on the edges, some deep crimson, at most, when held to the light. Head is poorly retained for an Imperial stout, starting out at one-finger high and fairly rapidly diminishing to cover and finally a ring of greyish-tan bubbles.
The nose is tremendously understated for the style. At first it just seems like a strong oatmeal stout, with light prunes, some notes of brandy (a very vinous overtone, mixing with some light fusels) and a oat and barley smoothness that is quite apparent and creates a chalky, near-milky note when taken with the chocolate malt and roasted barley. Hops are certainly present, mainly adding citrus and resin notes, but are not overdone in the least, just slipping through on the end, to add a zestiness to the finish and more strength. Continued warming does not produce any huge variation. The softness of the flaked ingredients, with the light chocolate and moderate hops all hang in balance. Alcohol does grow a little more apparent as the fusels evaporate, however.
The flavor is as gentle and soothing as the aroma. Roasted barley vinousness immediately presses in to the palate, but is rounded, somewhat, by a gritty, almost chocolate-peanut butter-like texture and flavor. Chewy and moderately sweet (some fudginess enters, briefly), it quickly begins to fade on the end, allowing a more dry vanilla and light black malt ashiness to enter. This is cleansed, in turn, by the fairly bright, but light (for the style) hop bitterness and light green leafy-juiciness. Vinousness flares up, with an almond liqueur-meets-brandy sort of effect. Aftertaste and retronasal are all vinousness mixed with alcohol notes. I’m not quite sold on integrating any apparent alcohol with other flavors, but I must say, it is intriguing. Coffee hangs about throughout the whole experience, but is also tastefully done. A very mellow example, with low carbonation. Texture seems chewy-gritty at first, and then becomes oily and finally loosens up on the very end. Not the most flawless of executions, as some others have noted, but a great recipe and balance. If they could just rid the aroma of the alcohol....
Dickinsonbeer (5077) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - APR 26, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at Summits in Sandy Springs. Pours a very dark black with a thin deep beige head. Aroma is more chocolate and roasted barley, than it is real coffee. The coffee just doesnt jump out at you like you would expect if you have other coffee stouts like the Bells Java. I noticed the bottled version is pretty much the same way. Flavor has some coffee in it, but it is very balanced and subtle, giving most of the flavors to the malts, and some hops in the end. Nice and smooth though and easy drinking. A very nice and well made beer, it just didnt have that coffee kick that I had expected.
nolankowal (931) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - APR 24, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle courtesy of goldtwins, thanks again Larry! Pours black with a short lasting dark tan head turning to a fine film and ring over the liquid. Aroma of coffee, chocolate and caramel, along with some vanilla. The flavor is big and sweet, lots of chocolate, coffee, and creamy toffee...more vanilla and perhaps some cocoanut. Oily over the tounge, caoting it with a bittersweet end that almost finishes like a liquer. Overall a very good brew with one or two small balance issues.
JPDIPSO (4956) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - APR 21, 2006
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Thanks Tom. Opaque, shiny black color with a smaller, but stable dark mocha, small bubbled head. Sweetened thick coffee aromas. Mild caramel and touch of milk chocolate also in the mix. Thick slick feel. A hearty quaff. Toffee and lightly burnt molasses flavors grab the tongue. A mild malt backdrop late in the swig. Some coffee grounds and phenols (resin) wield their way around. Things don’t seem to come together in this one.
5000 (6300) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - APR 21, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle: Black in color, thin light brown head, sudsy, spotty lacing.   Burnt malt nose, very doughy, apple skin is fairly strong.   Rich burnt malt flavor, fairly sweet, slight milk sugar like lactose.   Some coffee bean towards the finish, slightly bitter, but otherwise moreso malty.   Body and mouthfeel are surprisingly moderate, yet fairly smooth.   Slightly chalky finish, remains coffee oriented, burnt malts, apple skin, with a very soft hop bitterness.   Not as robust or as big as I would have thought, but still fairly tasty.   Thanks to Larry and Jeff for each sending a bottle.
droopy49 (97) - Lancaster, California, USA - APR 18, 2006
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
12oz bottle courtesy of SpingsLicker. Pours an opaque jet black with a great foamy tan head. Good head retention that laces down the sides of my snifter. Aroma is absolutely wonderful, roasted malt, coffee and chocolate notes. Before I take a sip, Alesmith Speedway comes to mind. I am hoping it will be as good. The flavor doesn’t disappoint. Full bodied with a lingering mouth feel. Notes of roasted malt, and sweet chocolate and coffee flavors. Luckily Jay sent me 2 bottles of this stuff.
bmanning (142) - Holly Springs, North Carolina, USA - APR 16, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a thick, oily black with a thin, dark brown head. Aroma of rich coffee, oatmeal cookies, chocolate, and a hint of smoke. Wonderfully rich and complex flavor has more of the aromas, plus toffee, dark roasts, and citrus and floral hops. It’s not as heavy as I was expecting from the pour - medium bodied with a great mouth feel and very smooth going down. Overall this is a very tasty imperial. Great for any beer lover who is also a coffee drinker.
alabamajohn (67) - Alabama, USA - APR 15, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours thick and black. Nice coffee and chocolate aroma. Roasted malts and coffee in the front. Sticky sweet in the back. Very good.