JorisPPattyn (10122) - BELGIUM - OCT 1, 2003
(draught) Very dark brown, not black; extremely slim dark head. Grapey nose, sweet chocolate, raisins. Sweet, little roast malt, except for immediately on tasting. I find it a bit thin for an Imperial Stout, very little aftertaste. Nose is great, beer is nice, but one would be excused for demanding more from an Imperial. Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 25, 2003
Pours with a dark brown to black body with red accents topped by a thin tan fizzy soda-like head with little lacing. Slightly sweet chocolaty malt aroma with notes of licorice and a slight roasty character. Slightly sweet malt flavor with strong notes of licorice and a slight touch of mocha and alcohol. Full bodied, smooth yet tingly on the tongue and warming. Kåstå (1272) - Mol, BELGIUM - SEP 19, 2003
Dark amber coloured, no head. Strong sweet molasses aroma and taste. The alcohol is way too obvious. I do not find this a well balanced beer. SimonPatrice (312) - Montréal, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 18, 2003
Dark brown with ruby hints. Really nice chocolatey, winey aroma. Big thick body, big malts,some chocolate, maybe too sirupy and thick though. JonR888710 (999) - Cochabamba, BOLIVIA - SEP 5, 2003
98% opaque body with a very small toasted-brown head. I poured the beer extra hard and still only got a 2 cm rise out of it. Smell isn’t very strong for an IS. There’s obvious sweet hop notes, and some grape. Taste is strong and sweet, starting with molasses, grape, then turning bitter and burnt. This is perhaps the easiest drinking IS I’ve ever had but it is not complex. I was hoping for a lot more, and it is not in the same class with the North Coast, Victory, Stone, DFH or Arcadia IS's. Still, this is not a bad beer and is deserving of a try. Especially for those who are unfamiliar with the style. Also, let the drinker beware, you wont taste much alcohol but you will certainly feel it once you've downed the Bomber. My good friend Jeremy brought this 22oz bottle (2002 Vintage) to me from his recent trip to Denver, CO.
redlem (1306) - Ohio, USA - SEP 2, 2003
A tar black color with a small tan head. A very fresh( almost German wheat like) aroma of chocolate, roasted malts, spicey hops, and alcohol. A sweet bitter taste of chocolate and coffee, somewhat spicey. Silky smooth with an oily feel. This is just behind Bell's Expedition as my favorite Imperial. ClarkVV (6967) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 30, 2003
UPDATED: MAY 17, 2005 2002 Bottle consumed 8/30/03.
Pours a foamy dark blackish brown color. Head varies on temperature but is hardly present. Smells very pungent. Plum alcohol, stiff, bittersweet malt.
Begins very powerfully of dry bitter salty bakers chocolate malt. Then, on top of this stiff taste, the alcohol, which is quite high, kicks in. The texture is very coarse, though I would have thought it to be syrupy. Not so. There is quite a bit of toffee flavor, but it is not sweet toffee at all. There isnt much sweet about this beer, perhaps some moderately sweet caramel malt towards the start and towards the start of the finish, right before you get hit with alcohol, raisins and molasses. The finish provides yet more complex flavors, somewhat spicey, with some acidity, and dark, dark, bitter coffee. The body is certainly full, but overall, the texture and huge amount of alcohol I tasted in every sip turned me off a bit, especially as I had just tried expedition stout a few weekends before. This beer did not mask the alcohol well, in my opinion. Way too much in there. I will say, however, I tried this beer at almost 65 degrees. Towards the end of my 22 ounce bottle, I will admit to liking this beer much more than I had at first sip. I will have to rerate soon.
02 bottle consumed 11/03. Had it at a variety of temperatures. Actually better towards 57-59. Flavor melds together nicely throughout, but again, I am slammed by alcohol on the finish and I am shocked that anyone would call this beer only somewhat acidic. I find Avery’s beers to be above average on acidity level. May benefit from aging, though as it hopefully will even out.
02 bottle consumed July 2004. Wow. This is a different beer. Alcohol is under control, acidity and bitterness, while there and probably too present, are at least manageable. Developed a softer, rounder more chocolatey appeal, and to my surprise, I found myself drinking this stuff easily and quickly. Wow, I’m speechless. SJP (483) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 20, 2003
I swear this is a really black barley wine. Dark brown color, with an alcohol aroma with hints of roasted malt and others. Slighty bitter, cooffee-like taste with a very strong alcohol presence. I didn't really enjoy it, mostly because I was hoping for a good imperial stout, and found it to be more like a barley wine. joeycapps (1468) - Waterdown, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 18, 2003
UPDATED: AUG 19, 2003 Dark brown w/ ruby hue. Small light beige head. Intense, somewhat vinous aroma of fruit (dates, raisins), dark chocolate, earth, & oak. Thick, chewy feel. Sweet, fruity, chocolaty flavour. Some vinous elements. Notes of burnt, bitter coffee. Earthy hops. Radek Kliber (7501) - Toronto (Can) Krotoszyn (Pol), POLAND - AUG 17, 2003
Aroma - some sweet creamy slightly lactic, medium roasted malt. Almost black, plain and white small head. Good, clean. Nice roasted mouthfeel and aftertaste. One of those that grows on you.