StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 18, 2005
UPDATED: JUL 6, 2006 Five gallon party keg via AleSmith jockey box, my brother’s wedding, July 2006.jennajlover (135) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 31, 2006
Silk-screened bottle, consumed January 2006.
Opaque and black with a separated oiliness displaying at the edges when put to light. No head, but there are some legs on the snifter from time to time. Aroma is leaping off the charts. Dark chocolate, burnt espresso roasters, dark chocolate milk (if such a thing exists,) vanilla, caramel currents and brown sugar. The wafts are intoxicating, eventually revealing an unsweetened, sugarless iced mocha, sans ice, so as to not distort the bitter chocolate character. Flavor is resilient in all dimensions. Abrasive bitter sludge sluices through the taste buds. Vanilla beans duke it out with said coffee beans, mashing and melding for a sweet bitter force that’s cunningly sweet, solidified and righteously beautiful. Oily sludge saturation, administering a waxy reconnaissance throughout. Chewy malts, honed carbonation and fresh bitter extremities. Caramel and dark chocolate traits are a given, but they’re a damn good reliable steed, and one that we shouldn’t take for granted. Quite the glow hanging to the tonsils in the finish, signaling its otherwise covert alcohol presence. I told myself I wasn’t going to rerate this batch, but it was far too moving and poetic not to. Bless you AleSmith.
Labeled bottle, consumed May 2005.
Black and opaque in appearance; moderately thick in viscosity. Head is minimal at first but quickly diminishes to an oily overlay. Bitterness jumps out of the gate first for aroma, along with unsweetened dark chocolate, mocha mousse and cafe o’ lait. Coffee and roasted malts are definitely represented in this speed demon. Alcohol is discernable in flavor. Bitter chocolate and espresso flavors dominate. It’s like sucking on a handful of greasy, dark roasted espresso beans. Body is oily and dense. Malts seem to favor flavor over viscosity. Definitely has its share of IBUs. Moderate carbonation is probably livelier on the palate than in actuality because of the dactylic touch of alcohol. Finish is warming, bitter and mouth watering. While I served it at about 55 degrees as recommended on the bottle, I liked it better as it got even warmer, say 60-65 degrees. At the higher temp, it seemed to thicken and improve its body. Uber thanks to tpkenned for the bottle!
ABSOLUTLY UNBELIEVABLEPoured blackish brown, opaque, with a rocky, full, caramel head.Alcohol-steeped chocolate coated coffee beans in the nose.Chewy, rich and complex.Aromatics finish with dark fruits, vanilla, hazelnut, and a vineosity peering through.Full bodied and creamy, thickish on the pallet.Rum spiked chocolate cake batter with cocoa dust and espresso.Warming and juicy under the thick, full carpet of darkness.Finishes long with hints of Kahlua, Amaretto, and port.PERFECT BEER IN MY OPINION GG (2332) - NorCal, California, USA - FEB 6, 2006
Whew!! Now THIS is a stout. This one blew the house up when I popped it open for sampling. Major notes of roasted coffee and roasted malts in the aroma. Pitch-black appearance, and I mean PITCH BLACK. No carbonation and no head at all. Mouthfeel was extremely full and hard to finish it all because it’s so damn filling. Flavor explosions of malt, coffee and hops are incredibly well done. Overall, this is an outstanding stout that is well deserving of the attention it gets. I think that this is the The White Albulm of the stout world. tennisjoel (1460) - Rochester, Minnesota, USA - MAR 17, 2006
200th rating. Bottle. Thanks to El Gaucho for grabbing me this beauty. Pours thick black with a nice tan head. Slowly disappating. Aroma of dark fruit, raisins, dark chocolate, roasted nuts, vanilla, coffee, licorice. Extreme to the max! Ahhh....yeah!! I know I’m going to like this! This is freakin’ awesome! Complex malts with a great hoppy finish! You can’t tell this is 12% ABV. This one sure lives up to the hype. A great sipping stout. This one gets a perfect score from me! snowden719 (130) - Arizona, USA - JUN 2, 2006
UPDATED: SEP 18, 2006 Dark black, with a medium tan head. Rich smell of coffee and hint of chocalate. Very rich coffee taste, with a nice amount of bitterness. Nice dry taste, the sweetness of the stout isn’t overpowering or cloying. Medium to heavy body for a stout. Excellent
User37895 (3042) - - JUN 3, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 2, 2007 Re-rate in yet another Sept 07 horizontal, the clear winner, kicking the buttocks of DL07, DFHWWS06, HF Boris, and Expedition (but Expedition was a darned close 2nd). No new comments, this is KING of the Impy Stouts for sure!. Re-rate, July 07 after Westv 8, and a quad horizontal of St. Bernie’s 12, Westv. 12, and Roche 10, I’m moving this beer to a 5.0 from a 4.9.... the closest thing I’ve had to a 5.0, perfect beer, undoubtedly the #1 impy stout in my world. Re-rate, Apr 07 in a horizonta against 063FDL, 03-06 Stone RIS, Deschutes The Abyss, 01/03/04 Rogue RIS, and a NC Old Rasp Millenium edition. Top notch, beat ’em all. This beer hasn’t lost to any other impy stouts in my tastings. Only aroma and appearance remain at 9/10 ratings. Re-rate, Mar 07 in a horizontal w/ Peche Mortel and Mephistopheles, ever so fantastic, beautiful hop and coffee malt balance, June 06 re-rate stands, although if you’re looking for over the top coffee, the Peche does beat this one out. Best overall Impy stout, though, is the AS Speedway. Re-rate, June 06: Thanks, doulos. Freakin’ fantastic, no idea what was holding me back on the first tasting!!! Beautiful appearance, nice tan-chocolate head. Mouthfeel was perfect, asbsolutely perfect, syrup like, motor oil type feel, just nice. The aroma was coffee and dark fruits with some dry nuts. Flavor was coffee, chocolate as it warmed, roasted nuts, and some fruitiness (prunes?). Would not know this was 12% alcohol, well-blended in the flavor and aroma profiles. Finishes in a really complex fasion, initially just a bit bitter, good hop touch. Then after a few seconds, the late aftertastes arrive, nice zing on the tongue, but not a bunch of junky hoppy flavors. This was one of the best hopped stouts I’ve ever had, where the bittering and zesty/zing levels were there to support the relatively sweet malt base, but not in a way to overpower with pine, floral, or citrus attributes. Original Rating: A nice stout, but I found it to be over-rated. The Peche Mortel was superior, as was the DFH WWS. Poured with a small brown head that wasn’t overly impressive and laced a bit. The aroma was sharp, coffee and a touch of alcohol as it warmed. The mouthfeel was fairly thick and moderately carbonated. The flavor was coffee, sweet to start with and bitter to finish. Would have another one, but not at any elevated prices. anaheim1983 (140) - Anaheim, California, USA - JUN 12, 2006
Big cool champagne type 750 ml bottle 10 bucks but you think that 12% is like 3 4% beers at 3.33 a pop so a fair deal cuz its an awesome brew hah hah just read the description and it is spot on! railcat1 (702) - Kissimmee, Florida, USA - JUN 24, 2006
WOW what a great beer.coffee and chocolate finish with great taste.took to a pro stock car race at illiana speedway in indiana and it was the perfect beer to drink at track .i have 2 more and will enjoy what a treat User57106 (246) - - AUG 11, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 6, 2007 This review refers to a draft pour at Boneyard Bistro in Studio City, CA on 08/11/07.
The glass must have had a black hole in it, as no light escaped from this jet black beer. The minimal tan head was appropriate for a CO2 pour (not on nitro, as I would have preferred). Coffee and a very subtle sour cherry aroma greet the nose. The beer crosses the threshold into the mouth with a luxurious velvety smooth texture. Coffee! Sour cherries lurk furtively in the huge, agreeable coffee bitterness. MIld astringency and a predictably bitter finish last well into the next day. Even though the flavors are huge, they are in balance and agreeable. One of the best examples of imperial stout I have ever had. brownaler (663) - Alexandria, Virginia, USA - AUG 12, 2007
Thanks to kujo9 for this bottle! Fresh chocolate aroma with a burnt toffee within. Taste is a smooth milky complexion with a dark chocolate finish. Bitterness overall. Fantastic.