irishsnake (355) - Oakland, California, USA - FEB 7, 2003
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours extremely dark, with a brown, slow-forming but emphatic head. Nose shows a little age (raisiny), along with some roast and a little too citrusy a hop.
Initial sweet flavor quickly overcome by combined bite of hops and roast malt. A very dry imperial stout. Hop flavor unfortunately too pronounced, and somewhat off target
Pjones6738 (500) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 5, 2003
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Really dark. Here's an interesting one. Poured this into a pint-and-a-half glass I have. Tried my best to get some head out of it. When I set it down after pouring, it had almost no head. Half a minute or so later, it expands, and I now have about an inch of head, which isn't going away. Roasted chocolate aroma. Hmm...okay, I'm halfway through this glass, which I'm drinking rather slowly, and I have no idea what to make of it. A little more bitter than I'd expected of an imperial stout, but this is the same company that makes Hop Devil, so I suppose its to be expected. Its an odd taste, like pouring chocolate on a grapefruit. I can't decide if I like it or not. If this was supposed to be an imperial IPA, then I guess they've succeeded. Otherwise, I don't know. Raindog, the gentleman that he is, sent me two bottles of this, so I'll give my final opinion after having the other one.
EddieG (169) - Palos Heights, Illinois, USA - FEB 5, 2003
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: NOV 13, 2003 Not what I expected this year... Sorry..lets talk shop to all others in area about adherence to style or not... Let me know.
GregClow (2879) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 2, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Colour is a beautiful opaque black with ruby flashes and a small mocha head. Rich, smoky aroma with hints of malt, chocolate and oily hops. Flavour is nice and mouth-filling, with the roasty malts and peppery hops in perfect harmony. Warm, lingering finish that becomes slightly boozy as the beer comes closer to room temperature.
jskendzel (602) - Washington DC, USA - FEB 1, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Very rich and sweet aroma right from the start. Poured thick and oily, somewhere in the middle of the road in consistency when compared to other Imperials I've tasted. Mouthfeel is good, and the profile consists of smoked malt, and some (but rather limited) toasted notes. Raisins too. Finish is mildly bitter. Alcohol well hidden. Not as thick as others I've tasted, but still a good example.
winterlager (101) - Orchard Park, New York, USA - JAN 31, 2003
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Very very good stuff...just goes down so smooth and just warms you...I could drink this to relax with and just begin with or end a evening with..
bac080 (398) - Bloomington, Illinois, USA - JAN 27, 2003
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Victory Brewing sure does love their hops. I, however, do not. Not bad overall, but disappointing for an imperial stout.
chronictonic (472) - Oreland, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 23, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
I've had this on tap several times this year - it's as good as ever. Fully body, rich malt flavors but with plenty of hop kick to keep it all in balance.
JPDIPSO (4956) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 21, 2003
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Black and opaque with a thick light chocolate head. Sweeter aroma - light hops and caramel. Starts with a light citrus and moves to a sweet chocolate, light licorice infused flavor. Hoppy yes, balance somewhat. While I enjoy the beer, the style is so off as to distract. An India Imperial Stout? I feel like the sorting hat in Harry Potter - "Where to put this one?". My second of two bottles - thanks to hopscotch, and my rating, (numbers, it all about the numbers) if not opionions, still waits. OK - Very good Beer but not world class!.
JoeM500 (1904) - Crown Point, Indiana, USA - JAN 20, 2003
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle version from Venom, I must thank him again for our big year-end trade!!! Great Rogue-like hops all over this one (front, back, above and below!). The alcohol is never too much or in-your-face but will be evident after you drink one or two! Not the massively complex stout that I expected, but either was the Dark Lord that got my perfect rating. This is just a hoppy smooth stout with just the right amount of burnt coffee, roasted malt flavor and big alcohol to distinguish it from the rest. I'd love to sip this side by side with the other Imperials.