Serve in Shaker, Snifter


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RATINGS: 304   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.02   SEASONAL: Series   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
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Imperial Oatmeal Porter brewed with coffee beans and aged in bourbon barrels

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Stine (1453) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - APR 24, 2008
Leaving work. About to seek out a beer Iím likely to hate. My preconceived dismissal of anything rashly attempting to harness the subtleties of coffee through a hopeless medium or to siphon away unpleasantries through bourbon aging just seems envisioned for this one alone. Stop myself, thinking why after all; I donít care about rocking the boat or going against the grain. For the experience, possibly. For the reassurance that my personal biases are in fact those that I imagine to be most correct. For a new experience with malt, hops and yeast, and affectations. Most of all, for the intriguing opportunuity to have those biases proven too limited and too uninformed; to have my haughtiness undercut by something that seems so much a caricature of itself and of brewing in general and to have my vision broadened. The discovery begins with a tap pour at the Happy Gnome.

Pours dark brown with ruby highlights and a brimming ring of tanned cream. Aroma first brings coffee ice cream and espresso machines being cleaned. Tart presence of dark chocolate with berry leanings and some cinnamon and vanilla impartation. Burst of german chocolate cake warming through the closing half. Acrid, certainly; coffee of an oxidized stripe, while bourbon settles it a bit, and plays no unfavorable part of its own. Flavor is impish and inexpressively sweet; lots of toasted coconut and vanilla, bakerís chocolate, old coffee thatís taken on the character of a wet brown bag, and some healthy, juicy roastiness. Mid palate is mostly vegetal tartness and cloying hints of burnt milk and oversugared coffee. Texture is frothy and of a medium body, with an obnoxiously jagged base beneath a silky surface. Throughout, the immediate tones of aroma and flavor are quite pleasant, but as the beer breathes these retreat and wither; the acridity and ugly buttery sweetness enfolding with a suffocating, grotesque force. Altogether, the bourbon aging seems more to soften things a bit than to provide any kind of dominant flavors, which is salutary for the overall impression. Finishes with lots of sweetened coffee, burnt caramel, and a warming, rich hint of seared rare steak that lingers quite beautifully, providing a bit of restitution there.

Unfulfilled curiousity settles in. An odd challenge approached with an open mind, while not fully predictable in its outcome, produced in the end a very ordinary result; this does nothing to push the boundaries or to show what possibilties there are for brewing with coffee for uniqueness or stashing in a barrel for slow sophistication or for temperance. Admittedly, thereís no reason why that should have been the point, but itís certainly the reason why for me, my biases are proven justified in this case.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
tyler_mn (1475) - SLP, Minnesota, USA - APR 24, 2008
12oz bottle. Aroma of under roasted cold press, green pepper, chocolate and a fairly heavy charred wood presence. Pours a dark, near opaque brown with a dense mocha head. Charred wood, bakers chocolate, cold press on the tongue. Thereís a touch of steel and toasted vanilla bean. Fairly silky on the tongue. Good carbonation. The finish is a tad weak. Some bitter chocolate and coffee notes fade quickly. Yet another slightly better than average coffee porter. As expected.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Syd (920) - Waconia, Minnesota, USA - APR 24, 2008
UPDATED: APR 25, 2008 Bottle pours black and rich with a large tan head and interesting lace. The aroma is coffee, molasses, light peat, vanilla, and dark chocolate. The flavor has one of those ďtaste one thing first, then another, then anotherĒ things going on. It starts out mild and chocolaty, morphs into a more roasted coffee, changing into dark fruits, with a lingering vanilla sweetness. The palate is creamy, but not sticky, and lively. Overall, this is a good beer. Iím glad I got two of the four packs. Thanks Tyler at Zipps! Update next day: this is one of the rare times I would say that I liked it better cold.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
railcat1 (676) - Hammond, Indiana, USA - APR 22, 2008
I loved this beer it had all the flavors and aspects of a good porter with alot of coffee and bourbon flavors,it poured a pitched black and had a creamy finish which was a great blend,overall a awesome porter.CHEERS!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
pepsican (1419) - @ $13.99, Iowa, USA - APR 22, 2008
Pitch black pour with a medium sized espresso head. Aroma was strong oat and coffee. Flavor had plenty of coffee up front and a bit of breakfast in the middle. That faded into a nice bourbon finish with oak and vanilla. Very interesting here. None of the flavors seem overly strong, but they blend together nicely to create a pretty intense beer. Finished creamy, very nice.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Petrucci914 (902) - Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA - APR 21, 2008
UPDATED: APR 27, 2008 Pours a pitch black with a thin mocha head, only if you do an aggressive pour - the head fades very quickly. Aroma is heavily dry coffee grounds with some vanilla, almost reminds me of the Meantime Coffee Porter, but with more of an organic coffee aroma. The taste is very smooth, strong coffee here with hints of vanilla, oak, and bourbon, but finishes a bit dry for me.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
incutrav (577) - Woodbury, Minnesota, USA - APR 21, 2008
Im going to agree with ol ThirstyNeck. The coffee aspect of this brew is amazing, as it has more coffee then any brew I have had, but what seperates it is the smoothness and balance of the coffee and the bourbon. The bourbon aspect is pretty subdued, but its there, with a little sweetness at the end. The coffee is so smooth, creamy, roasty, good. I didnt think they could top the regular Devil from last year, but this has just that little extra that makes it the perfect brew for me.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Mrthirstyneck (341) - Minnesota, USA - APR 21, 2008
UPDATED: JUN 6, 2008 Incredible. I love coffee beers, and the original devil was something to write home about. However, this one is insane. Everything about it is just perfect. The bourbon is not overpowering at all, there is just enough hints of chocolate, sweet vanilla, and oaky toastiness in this one. Amazingly smooth and creamy on the tongue, and a real treat as it parties on the palate for quite some time. The aroma is of dark heavily roasted coffee with a touch of vanilla and sweet bourbon, but just a touch. Canít say much else besides wow........yep best coffee brew iíve had yet. Though there are many great ones! I must add to this AGAIN! The more i drink the more incredible it is. I have 30 bottles but cannot bring myself to drink them out of fear of what ill do when its gone! Swish it in your mouth a bit and swallow it... wait a few seconds and lick between teeth and gums.....OH MY OH MY.! Woooooo

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Skyview (5109) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - APR 19, 2008
On draught at the breweryís taproom in Lake Mills, Wisconsin. Pours an opaque dark brown brew with a thick and creamy tan head that slowly dissolves and leaves behind a retaining head and some spotty lacing. Aroma of mostly coffee, espresso, and more coffee. I could pick up just a hint of roasted dark malt and a touch of vanilla and amarillo. Taste is full bodied, thick and chewy with flavors of deep roasted coffee, dark chocolate, some vanilla and roasted dark malt. Finish is when the bourbon flavors come out with a decent aftertaste of dark chocolate, bourbon and some coffee character. Another excellent beer in the Brewers Gone Wild series.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
JPDIPSO (4956) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - APR 19, 2008
Dark brown color with a seafoam tan head. Heavy coffee aromas. Actually only coffee aromas, some espresso and latte mixes, but certainly coffee. I am now catching some dark chocolate after a minute or so of sniffing, but still coffee. If you like coffee and donít like the scent of this one... well what do I know. Smooth and lightly oily on the palate. This one glides very gently across the tongue. Quite sweet with sugared coffee, light caramel, toasted malt and hint of vanilla. Bourbon takes its time coming out in this one and only really sticks out in the vanilla and when held on the tongue for a significant period of time. Nice blend. Iím not sure how the bottles will hold up, but I would wager a keg of this in a few year will be a smooth, decedent elixir.

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