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 doesnít 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 canít 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 itís ludicrous. I love it. Itís 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 Iíve ever had. Unbelievable. Brewkult (1) - USA - NOV 18, 2007 does not count
Thick dark blackness from the depths of Bellís 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 Iím 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 didnít indicate it was brewed 2000 batches ago never to be brewed again.
nimbleprop (8297) - 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 doesnít 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 isnít 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. JoshuaB (476) - Detroit, Michigan, USA - OCT 16, 2005
Pours a deep black, like Texas crude. Loads of beautiful brown head. Just gorgeous looking. Aroma knocks you on your feet, but only preps you for the amazingness you will experience later. Aroma is hops and mad mad wicked roast, with a hint of EtOH noticeable. The first sip knowcks you to your feet with flavor. So many flavors, just beautifully meshed., and the alcohol is barely noticeable on the finish. Dry dark chocolate, loads of anise, vanilla, oak, molasses, caramel, pepper, tobacco, and dark fruits are just some of the flavors that stick out. This beer just keep makes you thinking, trying to understand everything that is there. Defintely the thickest beer Ive had, this stuff really is chewy. Oh man, pure goodness. The scariest thing about this beer is that it is still young and will age beautifully, just like Expedition. Its going to be hard to save this stuff for anything longer than a week. burcusabrews (106) - St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA - OCT 25, 2005
Okay, this is the first beer that I have ever needed a glass of water to help go down. It makes the Expedition Stout seem refreshing! Really quite an experience, but all of the overall points are going to the extremely good aging potential that lies beneath this beer. I bought a case, drank one bottle, and wonít touch the remainders for at least a year or two. This will be an excellent beer in 2012-2017. Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - OCT 25, 2005
Stygian darkness drops from the bottle into the glass, utterly opaque, with a huge, rich cocoa/ brown head...oooo, the look sets the anticipation, and the sense are tingling...
Aroma: richness personified, thick and chocolatey, toffee, maybe some maple, but damn itís a sloppy chocolatey gooey glop of goodness...Mmmmm...
Huge, thick, massive attack on the palate...enormous blast of malt, rich, thick...Iíve said that already, right? ...but thatís what it is, HUGE, impressive, dominant, majestic, overpowering...holy god, buddha, muhammad, jehova,...shiva...whoíd I leave out, Ganesh? ...Mercury? Poseidon? ....
...itís an acheivement to shame so many others, and a creation to dwarf so many efforts. Amazing. And I mean that.
Enormous mouthfeel, and texture, slick, rich, huge body, long, tenacious, even, finish...no "finish" really, it hangs long and thick in the mouth...Great Zeus, this is astounding, and ranks among the best of stouts that you can think of. Does indeed. This is phenomenally good...no, great...hell, I donít care, itís amazing....sip on this, relax, luxuriate, begin anew....