Sham (1845) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAR 14, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours black. Yeah, no seeing through this one. No head, no lace. Roast malts, chocolate, some hints of coffee. Sweet malts with toffee or caramel coming out the most. Some hops, some fruit. Mostly wine grapes. More coffee and roasted malts coming out in the flavors. Licorice as well. Alcohol makes an appearance. Oily palate, full and thick body, and a finish of alcohol and hops.
dperk (14) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - MAR 13, 2004
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Draft-nitro. Poured a very very deep black with a rusty red/brown head of tiny nitro bubbles. Aroma of sweet malts, chocolate, licorice and a tiny bit of hops. Flavor is hard to describe. It's sweet but somewhat bitter, but not bitter? Lots of roasty malts and chocolate flavor. Almost candy like. I could drink this for dessert! Very thick beer and exceptional mouthfeel on Nitro. This has to be one of my favorites. Outstanding!
TChrome (1423) - Bedford, Texas, USA - MAR 9, 2004
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Motor oil black with a nicely retained dark tan colored head. Very deep decadent chocolate aroma with roasted nuts. Flavor is pleasenly sweet, akin to taking a bite our of a chocolate on chocolate cake. Finish is lingering and has some roastiness. Very delicious. Thanks to hopsrus for this hand bottled 22oz. bomber.
NVBeer232 (467) - Reno, Nevada, USA - FEB 27, 2004
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Poured pitch black. Dark mocha head slowly builds on top and disappeared pretty soon after. Rather carmely and roasty. Intresting bakers chocolate flavors add thickness to the palate and counter some astringent burnt notes. Dry slightly smokey finish. A fine brew.
Slick (1969) - Thief River Falls, Minnesota, USA - FEB 19, 2004
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Black as midnight color,small dark brown head that lasted for a short while and left behind a nice lace.The aroma was Roasty and malty with a nice chocolate and coffee side.There might be some fruit in there but it's hard to get past the chocolate and coffee.The flavor was outstanding.Lots of roast,malty and choclate with a nice coffee flavor.There might even be a light smokiness to this one,but what i can detect dissappears quick.The after taste is coffee and mildly hopped with a nice mild bitter chocolate,coffee finish.Very nice brew and thankfully i have another one for later.Thanks go to Drew for sending me this fine brew.
MAP (1133) - Lakewood, Ohio, USA - FEB 13, 2004
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: SEP 6, 2005 2/13/2004 Head went off like a prom dress, and left a nose most notably marked by alcohol and sweetness. Flavor is quite modest, not what I would have expected in a Imperial, but the does blend in nicely. Nice weight to the beer, decent hop feel to this, and a smooth malty feel to it. Not overdone, but does stull have a decent kick from the alcohol. Rerate/side-by-side comparrison with a hand bottle from a Keg thanks to JCW. The normal bottle pours with a good deal more head. Smell is slightly burnt cookies. Draught version has fruity notes and a much stronger scent. Bottle comes off with the flavor as a little bit more raw and crispy. Draught is silky smooth and fruity. Reminds me of Expedition how it sneaks in some flavor of blueberries. This however, is too smooth. I don’t want to put a slant on the bottle version, but from the tap is pure heaven. When I had a few glasses strait from the keg, and it was smoother than this, filled the mouth like chocolate cream. Pure heaven in beer format. I bumped up the score from a 4.2 to a 4.6 because of how good it actually was/is on draught.
Silphium (3178) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - FEB 2, 2004
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JUL 5, 2004 On tap at the Dayton location. Wow. I hadn't been blown away by a beer for some time until trying this obscenely excellent Imperial Stout on tap at Thirsty Dog. And to think I've been living less than an hour from the brewpub? Shameful. Pours extremely dark brown/black with a creamy tan/light brown/burnt yellow head. Aroma is fruity with well-rounded chocolate and bitter roast. Flavor is amazing: the sip begins with a rush of sweet dark fruity malt which is quickly followed by buttery, creamy chocolate, coffee, and a slightly bitter hops finish with just a hint of alcohol. The body is incredibly silky and creamy. This is a beer to swirl in the mouth, a beer that doles out complexity, a beer worth staining your lips for. Not as syrupy as some Imperial Stouts but is sticky on the lips (a plus). Siberian Night can play ball with Bells Expedition. How can the contract-brewed bottles live up to this? A return visit is a must.
Update 7/6/04: I recently tried the bottled version. Unfortunately, the bottled version does not appear to be the same recipe as the tap version. I found it to be dominated by mocha and baker's chocolate with no dark fruit character, while the tap version is abundantly fruity and much, much more complex. This was especially evident in the relatively weak chocolate/coffee aroma of the bottled version. While the tap version is delectable, the bottled version is merely very good. 7-4-8-4-15 (3.8) for the bottled Siberian Night.
ClarkVV (3892) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 31, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: AUG 25, 2006 2004 hand bottled by hopsrus (Thanks). Thought I was pouring hersheys syrup. Damn, deep deep brown/black, awesome burnt brown head that quickly disippates and clings to the edges. Ridiculous amount of lacing. Huge aroma, bitter hops, chocolate, black black coffee at the end of the pot, ethanol (wasnt too crazy about that). Starts out surprisingly sweet and soft, caramels, chocolates and some prune/winey flavors. On the finish the hops hit, and they hit hard. If I hadnt been hardened through Expeditions, I wouldnt know what to do with that much bitterness. But bring it on. Great balance and just the best milk chocolate aftertaste around. The alcohol and chocolate malt definitely do create a black licorice sort of flavor. I think there is some hersheys syrup in here. . . Well if this stuff is not as good as the previous years, I cant even imagine how incredible that must be. Must get me some of it.
2006 bottle For being rather filtered and force carbed (and brewed at Frederick), this stuff is still remarkably good. Just the right amount of edgy, ashy, burnt bitterness, with a moderate hop bitterness, but more in the flavor department, of green, juicy, citrusy hops. Some light phenols are notable, and there are some rough edges, but a chocolatey sweetness emerges, with plenty of residual sugars. Fairly smooth palate, not overcarbonated. Still, the effects of filtration and force carbonation are evident, even if only lightly so. Not what it was when brewed in Ohio, but still very respectable. 7/4/7/4/15. Score is an average of the two.
kujo9 (1093) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - JAN 20, 2004
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Blacka and oily as a Siberian night w/ a lasting chocolate bar brown head. Thick alcohol legs on the glass. Roasty coffee and chocolate in the immediate nose; plums, light raisin, and currants with alcohol, toasty malt and more chocolate as it warms further. Roast and chocolate up front, caramel mid palate; fruitiness in the form of light raisin follows to a well balanced, lightly bitter burnt grain aftertaste. Raisin flavor gets stronger as it warms but is still a little subtle for a true R.I.S. It also has a little hop bitterness in the finish as well. Very smooth body, lightly warming alcohol, and very full bodied with low carbonation. Very bittersweet version of an R.I.S., and may be my new favorite of the style. I've not tried Speedway or Dark Lord yet, but this is my new favorite. One word of advice I will give you. Don't try to drink a growler by yourself on a work night. Apparently they've kicked up the ABV since the law change last year when it used to be around 7-7.5. I'm not sure what the ABV is now, but it's quite higher than it used to be.
Shag (2623) - Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA - JAN 11, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks to aracauna for sharing this one. Dark black appearance with a brown head. Aroma was roasted coffee beans and sweet chocolate. Flavor was dark chocolate and coffee with some dark fruit and nuts also present. The aftertaste was bittersweet. A mighty fine beer indeed.