turbo (1271) - Arizona, USA - DEC 4, 2005
Bottle poured black as oil with a huge, thick, creamy, chocolate head and heavy lacing that lasted throughout the entire beer. Capa (3490) - Kitsap, Washington, USA - JAN 11, 2006
Rich roasty chocolate malt and molasses aroma.
Flavor is rich and thick, chocolate, coffee, burnt malts with a nice heavy body. Alcohol is very well hidden with just a taste in the finish.
Good shit maynard!
UPDATED: MAR 7, 2013 Poured very dark, and very thick. Minimal brown head formed on top. Aroma was chocolate with raspberries and cherries, also hit with alcohol. Drinks like a meal with chocolate, alcohol, fruit and hops. I had picked up only one, but I think I'll have to go get another to keep around for a while. SoLan (1550) - Florida, USA - JUN 25, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 7, 2008 Balck, with modest, dense brown head. Roasty, burnt malt, bittersweet dark chocolate, dark vinous fruits, mocha, light dose of bitter and resinous hops, subtle anise and vanilla. Full, chewy body. Excellent. 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. Jvittorio4187 (255) - Boardman, Ohio, USA - MAR 6, 2007
This beer pours like 90W 120 gear oil! Very big flavor. I am very greatful to Mike and Ron forgiving me the privilage to tasing this beer.
boboski (1095) - Alabama, USA - MAY 6, 2007
What evil pours from this bottle, dense as unrefined petroleum and dark as the deepest reaches of space. Black is not a fitting color descriptor. Thick is an insult. A true Russian Style Imperial stout, definitive and turbulent. Another world class stout from Bells? You bet. Larry Bell is a genius. Thin, deep tan head rises from the depths and sinks slowly back underneath. Oily sheen glistens under all too bright lamplight. Lacing forms from sloshing first sips, dense and dark and sticky. The aroma is as dense as the body. Roasted malt that seems like it was rescued from a towering conflagration ignites the senses. The malt is smoky, vinous, rich and exacting in its drive forward. Chocolate follows, bitter and succulent. Coffee is delicate and fully roasty, and a full black cup dumped in doesn’t even begin to stand up to the onslaught of roasted grains. Hops are brisk and citric and floral, copious. Dark fruits such as prunes, plums and black cherries squeeze into the melee. Molasses, brown sugar, anise and alcohol are noted. Juniper berry nuances provide a swift kick on the back side of every inhalation. Nosing this beer takes me far away, I feel lost in the Siberian night, cold and ready to bring my blood to the boiling point with a sip so anticipated I can’t wait any longer. Rewarding is the taste, voluminous in flavor and complexity. Heavy bitterness shreds through like a diamond encrusted drill bit. Sweetness extinguishes the heat that so quickly set my tongue afire. Brash chocolate notes clash wildly with raw anise. This beer is so unbalanced it’s ludicrous. I love it. It’s a bitter dessert espresso with Godiva liqueur and plums. The fruity notes are nearly lost among the heady malts and blasts of roast. The mouthfeel is exceedingly full, bittersweet and amply carbonated. With every sip my mouth is punished, a rare case study develops; with each ounce passing, the desire for more increases twofold. The finish is glamorous and punishing at once. Heavy bitterness lingers for what seems an eternity. What would seem at first like a challenging quaff is one of the most rewarding beer experiences I’ve ever had. Unbelievable. 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 (8792) - 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.