JaBier (7972) - Capital City, Ohio, USA - NOV 29, 2008
UPDATED: JAN 19, 2009 12oz bottle. Dang, I forgot to write down the batch number on the back label (he he). Pours pitch black with a huge tan head. Aroma of bourbon, dark fruit, chocolate and coffee. Flavor is pretty much the same, with the alcohol presence being just a tad too much. Surprising, seeing as this stuff was bottled in ’05. Wonder what another year or so might do. Still an amazing beer.
Update - Usually not my style to update ratings, but I had this one again at the Hopsnobbery Collective stout tasting on 1.16.09 and it was the best of the night up against some of the big boys. Did not seem as astringent as the last bottle and that really brought out the other flavors, so I have bump the flavor up to 10. Aroma got bumped to 9, bringing overall to 19. danielcurtis81 (1519) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 30, 2009
12 oz bottle via trade with Adrian910ss. Thanks man! This is my 700 overall rating and 100 imperial stout rating. Thanks Andy for pointing out the crossing milestones. It was hard to find the last few impys but I managed. Wish I could have shared this one with you Andy! I haven’t though about it till now but it’s pretty crazy that 1 out of 7 beers I’ve rated was an Imperial Stout. After the past 2 weeks of not being able to find any unrated ones locally I guess that makes sense. Pours a rich velvety ruby toned black with a small disappearing burnt brown head. Body is very dense and free flowing as one. Nose is mouth watering to say the least. It teases with a rich darker chocolate aroma, fresh espresso, vanilla, a touch of bourbon, and a hint of plums/prunes. Flavors do not disappoint the tease of the nose. High quality dark Belgium chocolate, richly roasted malts that are pushed just to the edge of being bunt, a peppery wooden note begins to come to the party. Also on the list are some raisin. plum, and fig notes that get accented by a smoky almost cigar after taste. Flavors of roasted coffee beans as well. All of these wonderful flavors real ride along this deep roasted on the edge of burnt driving force. Mouth is perfectly smooth and slick with a slight almost bitterness on the sides. A ever slight alcoholic after taste. Wonderfully done beer and aged perfectly. If you have more please send my way!! brainlair (236) - Maryland, USA - FEB 23, 2010
Pours pitch black, completely opaque. Little chunks coming out as it pours from the bottle. Smells like sweet licorice, roasty chocolate. Just enough bite in the nose to balance out the sweetness, the best RIS i’ve ever smelled. Taste starts off like a smooth, creamy chocolate, fading into a delicious roasty coffee and raisin finish, leaving a great bitter feel coating my mouth. This stuff has peaked, if you have a bottle NOW is the time to be drinking it. polomagnifico (1202) - Saginaw, Michigan, USA - JAN 12, 2011
700th rating! Bottle from 2005. Aroma has notes of chocolate, caramel, espresso, wood, red wine and dark dried fruits. Very dark brown that sits black in the glass. Small light brown creamy head that mostly diminished and left speckled lace. Flavor is very sweet and med bitter. Palate is very full bodied and oily soft. Just an incredible beer. Very chocolaty with great mouth feel and looks. The aroma and taste are just incredible. This beer has aged very well. It was an honor. kenb (1102) - Oregon, USA - OCT 21, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 31, 2009 12 oz bottle via Clarkvv(thanks!). Pours a fairly thick pitch black with an average size tan head. Nose has notes of licorice, anise, mocha and alcohol. Wow, this is tastey and complex. We have roasty chocolate, espresso, licorice, vanilla, and more chocolate. Very nice bittersweet aftertaste. Very hoppy though.
Brewkult (1) - USA - NOV 18, 2007 does not count
Thick dark blackness from the depths of Bell’s brewery. The malt flavors tasted as if heavily roasted or even burned. Flavors of bitter chocolate, coffee, and caramel weight heavily on the palate. This beer was a mighty triumph and testament to the excellence of U.S. craft beers. To bad it will never resurface. axilla (962) - New Providence, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 9, 2007
Poured a oily opague black body with a thick, longlasting chestnut brown head. Strong dark chocolate aroma with hints of carmel, sweet cigar smoke, raisins, and coffee. Incredibly complex flavors. Dark bakers choclate, mild bourbon, dry oak, coriander, burnt coffee, and some citrus in the finish. Aged incredibly well!! fredandboboflo (1570) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 14, 2009
Bottle. Aroma of huge anise, quickly backed up by sweet coffee, sweet and bitter chocolate, ranging from tootsie roll to 85% cacao, big toffee, very earthy, woodsy nuttiness. Flavor quite decadent with a notable but perfectly delectable level of booze, highlighted by molasses, the toffee and those nutty, earthy notes (I very viscerally feel like I’m outside as I drink and smell this) and really comes full circle to a very minty, liccorice-y anise. Despite all the decadence, finishes medium-sweet, medium-dry with a big burst of chocolate, and with a notable level of bitterness even at this late date. Such a monster, yet I would still ascribe to it the words intricate and delicate. Best of all worlds for me. I wish this was called, well, anything that didn’t indicate it was brewed 2000 batches ago never to be brewed again. nimbleprop (8377) - SouthWest, Washington, Washington DC, USA - JUN 25, 2009
I think I got this via last years Secret Santa. If so, thank you Saint Nick. 12oz bottle pours a viscous, oily, opaque black with a very thin, bubbly tan head. Legs down the side of the glass like a fine scotch. Aroma is strong but doesn’t beat you over the head, toast, roasted grain, raisions, dark chocolate, earth, tobacco, molasses. Flavor is very strong on the brown sugar, chocolate, slight coffee, toast, very heavy raisin, vanilla, bourbon, booze, molasses, nuts, you name it really. I was surprised at how drinkable this was, easy on the tongue for 12% alcohol but still very complex. Sweet and bitter on the end, thick and oily. A real treat. I wish I had a case. Bells really knows how to do their stouts. msante79 (2225) - Mount Prospect, Illinois, USA - SEP 22, 2009
#700. 12oz bottle thanks to Northernbrews. Pours black with thin dark tan head. Aroma is sweet molassas, roasted malt, dark fruits, bourbon, vanilla, and some booze. Flavor is roasted malt, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, sweet fruit, and some booze. Mouthfeel is syrupy but smooth and creamy at same time. Stuff makes you just want to lick your lips after every sip. So nice to have a big impy that isn’t dry. This is extreamy complex and about a good as a RIS can get. I cannot even imagine what the BA version would taste like.