danielcurtis81 (1519) - San Diego, California, USA - APR 27, 2010 DrnkMcDermott (3176) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - AUG 20, 2009
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sample #10 from GTMW. Here’s the living proof that beer means God loves us, who cares if Ben Franklin said it or not. Smells like a still-warm chocolate covered cherry with cherry cordial in the center. It doesn’t smell like a beer, but I don’t care. Solid black, no head after a couple of seconds in the taster glass. A little bit of sour cherry, a lot of chocolate, and almost no beer to the taste. Again, I don’t care. I feel chocolate running all the way down my throat in a most sinful manner. Not much bourbon barrel to it either, probably the cherry takes it all up.
Served on tap at the America’s Brewpub. The appearance is a cherry edge dark brown. The aromas are sweet with cherry extract, and a healthy dose of bourbon. The flavors bounce between the cherry extract and the bourbon. The malt profile is overpowered with the other activity. The bourbon is very smooth and has a bourbon feel in the mouth. A decent brew but would be better if they used real cherries. 17thfloor (2444) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 20, 2010
Growler from? Aroma is nicely aged bright cherry, anise, dark chocolate, roast, and bourbon, very strong aromas but work well together. Flavor follows exactly, everything is quite strong but they are in relative balance. I really enjoyed this. Dickinsonbeer (5073) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - JAN 12, 2010
GABF 09. Pours a deep dark woody brown almost black with a thinning head. Aroma is bourbon, boozy, alcohol, cherry juice mixed with a splash of vanilla, toasted malts, burnt charred wood, roasted malts, light chocolate. Flavor is earthy with burnt malts, chocolate, roast, lots of barrel, bourbon, booze, vanilla hints, oaky phenolic, slick sweet cherry juice. A bit all over the place- I wasn’t liking this one too much.. BBB63 (6567) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - NOV 14, 2009
GTMW 2009: Deep brown with mahogany hues topped by a thin but lasting frothy tan head and left good lace upon the glass. The aroma has notes of cherry juice (both sweet and sour) as well as cherry pits, some vanilla and oak bourbon vapours, chocolate and toasted malts, hint of anise and molasses, and even some marshmallow too. The taste has a wonderful balance of tart cherries and heavy dense sweet malts with a boozy bourbon kicker. The finish is a tad oaky and spicy which adds to the flavor profile. A bit of black malt astringent notes as well. The mouth feel is rich and oily, soft and as mentioned a bit astringent upon the long finish. Overall a well crafted fruit imbued stout that has no one dominate character, melds well upon the palate. kiefdog (1827) - Tampa, Florida, USA - NOV 7, 2009
Sample at GABF 2009. Pours a dark brown to black with tan head. Aroma is sweet and malty with notes of chocolate, sour cherries, light bourbon, vanilla and oak, some hints of toffee and caramel. Flavor is about the same. Medium to full body with pleasing malty finish.
Cornfield (5569) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - AUG 26, 2009
On tap at the brewpub - This poured an opaque, almost-black dark brown body with some mahogany around the edges with a short, bubbly brown head. It had an aroma of sour cherries, burnt chocolate, Bourbon, vanilla, old wood, dark fruit, and angry spices. Boozey, chocolatey, sweet-sour, dark malt, cherries, vanilla, charred wood... what am I writing about? Oh, yeah - the flavor. The finish is tart and funky and a tad hot. Some dandy craftsmanship from brewer Mike Rybinski. bu11zeye (13239) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - AUG 25, 2009
(Draught) Pours an opaque black body with a thick tan head. Aroma of cherry, bourbon, oak, chocolate, and vanilla. Flavor of cherry (too sweet), oak, bourbon, and chocolate. Unbalanced. Would like to see them cut down on the cherry extract some. Ughsmash (7502) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 25, 2009
On tap at GTMW. Poured black with a creamy, well-retained dark tan head. The aroma picked up sour cherries and oak over well-roasted chocolates.. a hint of oxidation in there as well.. got my attention. The flavor, on the other hand, was sour, funky, and messy.. sweet and sour cherry notes laced throughout, amped up by boozage over a bed non-descript black malts.. long sour cherry and oak impression on the hot finish. Sour and oxidized on the palate, lacking direction, but full of heat.. didn’t go down smoothly. Brigadier (3780) - Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA - AUG 10, 2009
On tap at GTMW 2009
I have never had any beers from America’s Brewpub but with a name like this I could not resist swinging by during a lull between special tappings. It was worth the stop. Even though this is a poor example of how to make a barrel aged imperial stout it still makes an excellent example of how to create a well rounded beer. This makes a good reference point for what constitutes "average" in the world of big beer. Unfortunately I think this may be one of those special releases that only comes out at festivals.
Aroma / Appearance - The oily black body had nice legs on the side. Sweet oak, vanilla, chocolate, anise, and plum were assertive despite the flawed shape of the GTMW glass. Held together with malt it deserved more time than I was able to give it.
Flavor / Palate - The taste is very similar to what you would expect from the nose. The flaw that keeps it from being a 4.0+ is a strong astringency in the finish. Otherwise balanced if this hotness could be fixed this would be right up there with Thunderfoot and many other regionally acknowledged imperial stouts.