bender (293) - Reynoldsburg, Ohio, USA - AUG 23, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottled on Mar 18 03
Opaque black body with a quickly dissipating tan head. No lacing.
Big malt and hop aroma. Some raisin and roasted malts comes out in the aroma too.
Huge roasted malt flavor. Tempered by a nice hop flavor. Alcohol is apparent too. Balanced but not mellow.
Huge body that neared an oily appearence.
Ubiquibeer (140) - Cleveland, USA - AUG 15, 2003
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Pours black as a moonless night. Aroma like walking into a brewery--molasses and coffee and roasted malty goodness. Taste chocolate coffee raisins, and, quite the opposite of my favorite beer style American IPA, actually starts out malty and ends with a pleasant hoppy bitterness. Very well balanced with a clean finish, sort of like when a great rock band ends a song on a single note. After my sip I'm left with a pleasantly bitter, malty, and sweet mouth feel. Perhaps not the Dark Lord Himself, but maybe the Dark One's trusted confidant?
roomtempbeer (185) - Franklin, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 11, 2003
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Beer pours (in Chimay glass) a solid dark black liquid that light can not penetrate with a small bubbled, dark caramel colored head that lingers, but falls away to near nothing after awhile. Aroma is of molasses, coffee, and sweetness. Flavor is a medium to strong (closer to strong) hop that gives way to a strong licorice/alcohol with some coffee that warms the belly. Lacing is complete and does not fall away. This beer is for sipping. The licorice taste, as unappealing as it is, is bad enough. Adding a strong hop character to the licorice taste of this beer is suicidal to me - who dislikes both. Sampled at 71 degrees Fahrenheit.
tkaufman (128) - Lewis Center, Ohio, USA - AUG 11, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Aroma of toffee, coffee, and good ole roastiness greets you on the pour. A nice dark opaque black with plenty of mouthfeel. Flavor starts out roasty and malty but finishes with a nice bitterness. One of my favorite Russians.
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - AUG 9, 2003
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: DEC 3, 2004 2003 Vintage (Rerate) I just love to revisit this beer, so I though that on a date very close to the one year anniversary of the first time I had this beer I would rate it again. Here I am 1000 or so ratings later what will I think of it? Black body, not as oily as some other ISs. Very nice dense creamy mocha head, The glass lacing is outstanding. The aroma is still loaded with roasted malt and citrus hops. Definite smoky notes. The flavor is just magnificent, balanced hoppy and sweet malt, wood, smnoke, vanilla, chcocalte, citrus, its all in there. The mouth-feel is incredible, silky smooth, full, and no signs of alcohol. Brilliant. My rating stays the same.
Original Rating - 8/9/2003 Updated: 11/14/03 Very nice light brown head that clings for its life to the sides of the glass. Aroma is hops, wham! Roasted malt aromas develop after your nose acclimates to all of those hops! The flavor is simply outstanding! Perfect mix of raosted malt, chocolate and hops. Wow! Body is big bold and assertive. It coats your entire mouth. This re-rate was a very good idea because this is one hell of a beer.
2002 Vintage I am not quite as enamoured with this one as others but it is still quite good. I will have to reevaluate it (good thing I bought a 6-pack :)). Huge roasted malt aromas. I detected a hint of alcohol and coffee. Black as can be with a quickly diminshing brown head. Initial flavor is hop bitterness, then the bitterness of the roasted grains takes over. Nutty/sour flavors develop and the finish is bitter with hints of all that alcohol.
Kasteelfreak (341) - Fallbrook, California, USA - AUG 8, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 17, 2006 From my score you can tell Iím very excited about this beer. This is second to Alesmith Speedway stout. This is very smooth for the alcahol content. really chocolatey, sweeter than expected with nice hops in the finish. Rates up there with my alltime favorite. Maybe top five. I should open a Speedway to compare, but Iím way too hammered. Rerate 071605: Not how I remember it. I could see through it as I was pouring. Taste is dry, not as sweet as most imperial stouts. Lots of roasted bitterness. The light body is kind of a disappointment. Taste and body have Coca Cola qualities to it. Iím really not sure what to think. The roastiness is good, but itís just a little thin. Score decreased from 4.3 to 4.1. One pint taken off appearance and one taken off palate.
Rerate 111706 bottled on 12/04:
Like a fine wine- complex with subtle flavors. doesnít rely on being overpowering like most imp stouts. I wouldnít say this is thin, itís just an easier to drink imperial stout with excellent flavors and nice balance.
lunaticharness (183) - Torrance, California, USA - AUG 8, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
nice deep black beer with a decent aroma, the begining the beer was hoppy and refreshing, but the beer ended out to taste dull at the end, i dont know if that is because of the temp it reached or what.. but i do have 5/6 of a 6er left so i might be changing this review
SG (465) - Valley Center, California, USA - AUG 6, 2003
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Black as black can be with a small, tan-colored head. It's like a blackhole sucking any light around into it. The smell is alcohol and a swarm of different malts. The taste is the same...big! Espresso-like bite with subtle hops that slowly get more notable. Smooth to bitter play with a slightly funky ending. It's great but something just ain't right. I'll have to get another one to compare but I'm not super impressed.
andy609 (143) - Auburndale, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 4, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: AUG 14, 2005 I am aware that this is the top rated beer at that other site. Blacker than night with a nice reddish brown head. Nice hoppy aroma promises that this isnít your granddadyís stout. Nice hoppy flavor with a good malt accent in the finish. Nicely balanced. Canít taste alcohol in this one, surprisingly.
I donít know what the most astounding thing about this wonderful brew is, the great name, the great taste or the great price. This is the best value in beer! Cheaper than some 40ís!
deprogram (115) - Renton, Washington, USA - AUG 4, 2003
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
12 oz. bottle Victory's packaging excels, as always, with an understated but beautiful design. Here's to a lovely bottle, and a lovely taste, too - scent of sweet burnt chicory, retiring before the monstrous taste, sharp and tingling in layers of malt sweetness. Burning start, evenly balanced finish - this is a pleastantly hearty beer for a Monday evening. Bravo, etc.