raphael (1728) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAY 15, 2023
UPDATED: MAY 15, 2023 got this as a birthday present two years ago, basemented. aromas of dark chocolate, dark cherries,, bourbon. flavors of milk chocolate, early strawberries, alcohol and a little roast malt. A little viscous and silky, smooth finish. Cristobal37 (2361) - Tustin, California, USA - MAY 7, 2023
UPDATED: MAY 7, 2023 2023 bottle from brewery. Pours jet black, beige head. Aroma of chocolate, wood barrel, coconut and baked bread. Big molasses, bourbon, chocolate flavor. Little sweet creamy finish. Massive imp stout, very tasty. solar (172) - - APR 10, 2023
UPDATED: APR 10, 2023 As close to 55˚ as I could get it, 12 oz. bottle, 2023 vintage... nose on the bottle opening is sublime... dark fruit and smoke... cherry and honey. Mmm. Pours a viscous dark brown with modest tan head. Great looking rim and lacing. In the glass it presented a nose where the bourbon essence comes through. First taste was slightly astringent and sharp, the presence of 13.6% alcohol apparent. But then the story begins... leather, smoke, chocolate, fig, raisin, currant but most of all a leathery tobacco taste on the backside. Almost like a fine cigar. This is a bold, hefty, aggressive beer. Appearance is 10/10 with solid legs and excellent head retention. Not as smooth as anticipated, but a couple of years of storage would fix that! A world class imperial BBA stout deserving the highest praise. chinhaez (328) - Ouray CO, Colorado, USA - FEB 9, 2023
UPDATED: FEB 9, 2023 12 oz bottle. 2019 vintage no 10. Pours a dark brown color with a small khaki colored head that slowly recedes to a fine film and ring. The aroma is strong with dark fruits, chocolates, and vanilla. The taste, like the aroma, is rich with dark fruits and chocolates in the forefront, and molasses, vanilla and bitter pecans filing in the back and sides. The palate is smooth and creamy with soft carbonation. Finishes medium in duration and slightly sweet. Overall: Top shelf shit y'all. Paired well with a robust Gouda cheese. Samtzu (1999) - Palmerston North, NEW ZEALAND - JAN 8, 2023
UPDATED: JAN 8, 2023 2022 edition. Pours jet black with mild amounts of brown head. Soft nose full of roasted, dark, and specialty malts bringing chocolate, vanilla, cacao, and coffee. Full body with lighter carbonation and mild velvety notes. Rich forward with cacao, molasses, chocolate, vanilla, and soft coffee bitterness at the end. Hides it ABV extremely well. While I feel like I haven't described anything out of the usual for a Imperial stout this is just so well balanced and well crafted that it stands above many others.
DWestrick (2204) - Ft Wayne, Indiana, USA - DEC 20, 2022
UPDATED: DEC 20, 2022 12oz bottle - 2021 Autumn edition. Lovely imperial stout - complex - lovely bourbon notes. Loved it wxman (2049) - O’Fallon, Illinois, USA - NOV 28, 2022
UPDATED: NOV 28, 2022 Pours a midnight brown with a thin, but retentive, small bead tan head. Aroma is chocolate and alcohol. Taste is sweet dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, espresso, and some vanilla. This brew is complex, but very well balanced and terrific. PellicleMeister11 (426) - Torino, ITALY - SEP 25, 2022
UPDATED: SEP 25, 2022 Bevuta alla spina al salone del gusto.
Aroma complesso: cioccolato, orzo, tostatura, affumicatura, liquirizia, liquore.
Schiuma da espresso. Nera, tendente al marrone.
La beva è impegnativa. Gusto molto complesso, parte a liquirizia arriva a cacao.
fgPr Brigadier (4845) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 8, 2022
UPDATED: JUN 8, 2022 22 ounce bottle
J_man (1242) - Tustin, California, USA - APR 28, 2022
This 2011 vintage had about ten years on it when finally shared with others and still managed to impress. I don't know that I would continue to age it - especially as I work through all the other older imperial stouts, barleywines, and things lurking in the cellar. Even so if you've been sitting on one for a rainy day invite over a few friends and savor a blast back to the days before barrel aging and adjuncts were the rage.
Aroma / Appearance
Oily coffee, raisins, and sticky sweet malts cloud the air with a thick boozy haze. Dark raspberry adds potency to an already intense profile. Tying it all together is the rich oily base with legs that crawl downwards like ice on a window. Even the cocoa head makes a statement of its own as it refuses to give way to the tarry core beneath.
Flavor / Palate
Sticky tar, coffee, and pureed raspberry essence cling to the tongue and mouth with a warm boozy emphasis. The heady licorice transition then throws in some more dark fruits before a coffee rich finish. From start to finish this keeps one's interest and somehow, despite the ABV, manages to not feel over the top intense. Even after a decade it remains a world class example of the style.
UPDATED: APR 28, 2022 2012 vintage, 650 ml (1 pint, 6 oz.) bottle packaged in a cardboard box. I’ve been holding on to this bottle for a long time, partly to let it age and partly because I just didn’t get around to opening it (or kept waiting for the “right” time). Starts off with a boozy, charred wood and molasses aroma. On pouring it, I noticed a distinct hissing sound like soda and saw that this has strangely fizzy carbonation. This leads to a nice tan head that dies down fairly quickly, which might be due to the age on this. Dark brown color that shows to be crystal clear and ruby-colored under a bright light. The first sip is full of molasses, dark chocolate, and earthy bitterness. This is followed by roasted coffee and woodiness. The body isn't thick which isn’t too surprising given the color and carbonation, but it’s not watery either.
It’s definitely a big beer with a definite bite, but it’s also very well balanced and drinkable. Finishes with cocoa and dark chocolate flavors that linger. It seems like most barrel aged stouts these days are aged in whiskey (or another spirit) barrels that dramatically change the taste (usually with delicious results), so it was nice to taste one that wasn’t over the top in that way which let the stout’s flavor shine through. Since I have no comparison, I’m going to assume that the last 10 years have been very good to this beer as it was quite delicious.