DTM (798) - Winters, California, USA - OCT 6, 2013
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle shared with a bunch of folks. Pours a dark brown with aroma of chocolate. Couldn’t really smell the pepper. Nice and smooth chocolate flavor on the palate with a hint of pepper on the back end.
klm1 (876) - - AUG 27, 2016
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours black oily color, clear, with one finger creamy brown head, which immediately transforms itself to a big ring around the glass. Aroma: intense roasted and dark malt aroma, with notes of refined dark chocolate, mokke, espresso, cacao nibs, smooth refined vanilla and cinnamon powder, with gentle note of chillies. On the second half steps forward notes which reminds on port wine, boubon, supported with notes of leather, oak....flavor: intense note of malts, which takes on roasted, dark chocolate, espresso coffee, vanilla, cinnamon, cacao nibs, leather, tobacco, port wine, bourbon, with gentle burnt of chilli, which steps forward on second half, perfectly balanced with dark chocolate.
Finish is slightly dry, bitter, with long lasting roasted malts sourisness and at the same time chocolate swetness in aftertaste. Alcohol is noticeable, but not in a disturbing way, body is full, texture silky smooth, carbonation is low. As Alengrin wrote: world-class imperial stout.
Alengrin (4456) - BELGIUM - AUG 27, 2016
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bomber bought at Beergium. Westbrook’s anniversary stout, an ’impy’ aged on cocoa nibs, cinnamon, vanilla beans and habanero peppers - in other words, one of these ’hip’ stouts with a Latin American Aztec, Maya and Inca theme, like the legendary Hunahpu’s from Cigar City, or Totem’s Zipacna here in Belgium. Regularly shaped, very densely structured, deeply tan head, forming a thick and firm rim around the edge of the glass but quickly dissolving in the middle; jet black colour, thick in consistency as the pour already shows (only in the very end, a warm burgundy hue appears on the edges). Incredibly rich, perfumey bouquet of the kind I could be sniffing for hours on end: a ton of bitter chocolate of the purest, most intense quality, coffee liqueur (but less sweet), very pronounced (and actually refreshing) smoky chili peppers, some toffee, burnt toast, cinnamon indeed but subtle as well as the vanilla (both appearing as delicate, fragrant, volatile ornaments on top of the deep chocolate mass below), along with a bunch of subjective hints of dried tomato peel, Mole sauce, freshly cut bell peppers, lavender or violets, caramelized brown sugar, candied lemon, whisky, mocha ice cream, perfumed pipe tobacco, wet leather, biltong, deep fried mushrooms, tawny port, very faint shoe polish. Intense but ’friendly’ onset of candied fruit sweetness (dried fig, raisin) delicately lined with elderberry sourishness and subtle but unmistakable dried meat-like umami; mouthfeel is absolutely perfect for the style, softly and refinedly carbonated, thick but not too cumbersome, oily and smooth. An abyss of dark maltiness fills the mouth cavity: some caramelly sweetness, but most of all a beautiful toasted bittersweetness which eventually evolves into coffeeish roasted bitterness, just at the right time when the bitter chocolate factor comes in, adding another layer of flavor to this already multi-layered whole. As in the aroma, cinnamon and vanilla remain relatively modest, but since both are very outspoken aromas, they are unmistakable retronasally, forming a stunningly beautiful combo there with the malts and the cocoa - it is rare that breathing out through the nose with beer in the mouth, is so intoxicating. The finish goes on and on, adding not only the peppery, bitter hop dosis to support the roasted bitterness, but also the long-awaited chili heat from the habanero peppers, which - unsurprisingly - match perfectly with the bitter chocolate factor; the burn remains fairly mild, giving a lovely kick without destructing the palate. Alcohol is very much present throughout and becomes especially peppery in the finish, where it becomes rather hard to distinguish from the chili heat, but otherwise does not bother me much - contrary to some perhaps more famous big American stouts. I had been reading about this before I bought it and I do not regret it: this is a thing of utmost beauty. Just a tad too alcoholic perhaps, but that is the only form of criticism I can think of; other than that, this is an imperial stout with a distinctive, spicy, dry and extremely refined character and a ton of personality, which I’m sure will become a legend on a par with the others. Hunahpu’s beware, stiff competition is on its way - strange that this beer has not become more of a hype yet in spite of its four years of existence...
ClarkVV (5686) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 24, 2016
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2016 bomber shared by Jtclockwork on 8/13/16.
Deep ebony-mahogany body is topped by a dark tan head showing moderately-strong retention.
Lots of fudge in the nose with vanilla and spice attempting to balance. Not overdone on the adjuncts, though they’re certainly not terribly subtle either. Initially there were some fairly strong glue-like fusels, but they very quickly burned off, leaving dark chocolate, the aforementioned rich fudge notes and a moderate roast character that comes off intense and fairly balanced, if somewhat sweet.
Big bursts of cinnamon-habanero spice up the rich, thick, sweet fudgey body, with a viscous, softly-malted texture full of various cocoa and vanilla notes. Some balancing acidity from the roast gives a light char character towards the finish, adding much needed balance. Habanero heat lingers enjoyably, and it comes together a bit better than it seems like it’s going to, initially. Certainly very similar to Bomb! though it does seem to be a little less sweet and boozey, which is the main problem with Bomb! Pretty nice, though nothing particularly compelling/unique here.
Garrold (4107) - Sheffield, South Yorkshire, ENGLAND - AUG 21, 2016
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Cotteridge. Pours viscous and slow. More or less black in the glass. Thin, dense, lasting, tan head. Looks great. Nose has cinammon chocolate cake. Vanilla pod. Some peppery, vegetal notes. Notes of raisin and date. Background of chocolate malts. Taste is sweet, and cocoa dry. Some roast bitterness. Smooth, silky mouthfeel. Medium to full body. Soft carbonation. Doesn’t come across 10.5%. Light, silky, cocoa bitter finish. Beautifully balanced. Lovely beer.
josanguapo (1044) - SPAIN - AUG 17, 2016
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
From Beergium. In Teku glass. Watching Los Soprano 1x10.Perfectly balanced. The peppers touch is soft and adds taste. Vanilla pretty noticeable. Alcohol completely hidden. Wish it were cheaper and easily obtainable
BrettGT (152) - Aalborg, DENMARK - AUG 17, 2016
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle (2016 vintage). Aroma of huge cinnamon, honey, vanilla, chocolate, brownie. This smells like the Danish type of ginger bread!
Pours out pitch black, tan one finger head.
Taste follows the aroma but is supported by the pleasantly warming habanero. This is leaning more to the sweet side with the stronger cinnamon presence this year. Higher side of medium bodied, oily mouthfeel, soft carbonation, warming finish. This is a great batch. Enjoyed it a lot.
mariuspoenari (1422) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - AUG 16, 2016
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
65cl bottle shared at home. Pitch black pour with a medium height espresso head. Aroma includes cherries, sherry, roasted malts. Tastes like vanilla chocolate, cinnamon, cocoa, dark cherries, licorice, peppers and light chillies in the finish, just enough to warm the throat. Full bodied, very low carbonation and a chocolatey bitter-sweet finish.
Hoprider (403) - DENMARK - AUG 13, 2016
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Rating based on the 16 bottle. Pours black with a small dark beige head. The nose offers fairly big chocolate cake notes, some coffee and green pepper, light cinnamon and black licorice. The taste is medium roasted and has notes of chocolate, pepper, coffee, dark chocolate and a light kick of peppery heat in the finish. Carbonation is medium and the body is fairly creamy. Good beer.
Beergaard (300) - Aarhus, DENMARK - AUG 11, 2016
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pretty good spiced up imperial stout. Maybe a bit too spiced up for my taste, but for what it is, it is great.
Tons of cinnamon. Cocoa, chocolate, vanilla and chili presence as well. Some booze on the nose. The cinnamon pressence makes it taste pretty much like an apple cake.
ClubGonzo (5406) - Bergen, NORWAY - AUG 8, 2016
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sample from bottle, shared with X random people in the Cantillon Blåbær 2016 line in Copenhagen. :-) Pours a jet black body with a large creamy beige head. Nose is vanilla, cocoa, chocolate, coffee, cinnamon and hints of caramel, toffee and mild herbal notes. Taste is dark chocolate, caramel, toffee, cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon and hints of clove, chili, deep malts, biscuits and dark syrup. Full body, medium to soft carbonation. A real "new school" sipper, saturated with cocoa/vanilla and spices. Pleasant and enjoyable, although not quite in my range of blissful flavors. Solid stuff though.