RATINGS: 951   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.79/5   SEASONAL: Series   IBU: 60   EST. CALORIES: 291   ABV: 9.7%
Barley, wheat, rye and oats provide the foundation for this big stout. Layers of complex flavors slowly emerge from the glass: espresso, roasted fig, creme brulee. Belgian yeast provides a plum-like fruitiness, noble German hops reveal spicy, herbal notes, while the rich, velvety mouthfeel mellows to a dry, smoky finish. Such a robust beer stands well by itself, but also makes a wonderful end-note to any rich, indulgent meal. Discover the secret of combining this roasty ale to sweets, by pairing with dark chocolate or caramel, or even by pouring it over ice cream.

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   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
FlacoAlto (4176) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAY 29, 2012
Purchased at D&Q Mini Mart; Best by September 8, 2013; Sample May 2012
A steady pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces an almost four-finger thick, darkly brown stained, dark tan colored head. The beer is a concentrated chocolate brown color that shows opaque when held up to the light. The aroma smells slightly smoky, most definitely roasted, perhaps a touch savory, it has a cold espresso character to it, a subtle sweet plum fruitiness, some definite warm alcohol, and a richly toasted dark grain character that leans towards dark chocolate aromatics.

Smooth, yet still effervescently textured, the beer has a creaminess to the body that lightly coats the palate; certainly chewy though, but without being overly heavy. Deep, dark chocolate flavors intermingle with an expressive toasted / roasted whole grain character. The toasted and roasted notes linger for a long time in the finish and provide a touch of burnt bitterness, a hint of acrid character, and even some burnt derived acidity. Mixing with the rich chocolate flavors are notes of roasted raisins and figs, and perhaps a touch of clove; this last seems to come out more as the beer warms up. Deeply roasted flavors are more reminiscent of richly darkened, roasted malt than coffee; burnt, yet balanced by roasted malt richness / savoriness / not-quite-sweetness. Sort of makes me think of a malted, heavily dark chocolate laden, espresso boosted, ice-cream shake, but without all the sweetness or milk / cream flavors. Touches of alcohol mix with the turpene like spicy clove character in the finish and helps to add some bite to this brew. As the beer warms up the bitter, roasted malt character softens and more of the chocolate, smooth, richly malted notes come out.

While a bit atypical, I like that the body of this beer is a bit more viscous and rich than your typical, Belgian in origin, Belgian Stout; especially with such a huge roasted grain component, the residual body helps to temper and balance this brew. This definitely drinks like a meal, and is quite enjoyable if you are looking for a roast focused, chewy stout. It could have used a touch more of an expressive Belgian yeast character, but that can be a hard thing to balance in a stout, and I certainly dont have any material complaints with this beer. In the end this is quite nice, and I am quite happy that I picked up a bottle of this to bring home.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
rodenbach99 (4447) - Longueuil, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 22, 2012
UPDATED: MAY 24, 2012 Style et rsum: Imperial Stout hybride avec malt anglais, levure belge et houblons allemands.
Comment: Bouteille de 12oz un cadeau de Patrick.
Description: Bire brune fonce avec un mousse brune. Le nez est intressant avec des notes fruites de raisins et de dattes. La bouche est costaude, puissante. Il y a beaucoup dalcool, mme trop. Il y a tout de mme de belles notes de caf et de raisins. La texture est crmeuse mais tout suite cette sensation est rompu par les brulures causes par lalcool.
Note: 6+/10

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
burg326 (5454) - Florida, USA - MAY 22, 2012
12 ounce bottle that poured a dark black color, aromas of coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malt, and a hint of soy sauce. Flavor is roasted malt, coffee, and touch of dark chocolate, quite enjoyable.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
jcartamdg (3315) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 21, 2012
12oz bottle poured into my bruery tulip. Pours dark black with a three finger head, good lacing and a head that stays. The aroma on this is crazy good. Malts, coffee and an Irish cream aroma, smells even better than it tastes. Taste is similar to the nose yet less dynamic. Not as complex as aroma, malts and coffee. A decent mouthfeel but not spectacular. Very good but not great.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
seymour (1957) - Maplewood, Missouri, USA - MAY 18, 2012
UPDATED: NOV 17, 2014 Thanks Scott & Tommy at Pearl Cafe! Tasted from fresh 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It poured an opaque, very dark brown color with moderate beige head, alcohol legs when swirled, and lasting lace. Aromas and flavors presented "the essential truth" of an Irish Stout: brown bread, roasted barley, slight grain bitterness, and a tart, dry finish. But add to that nicer body and head retention from diverse unmalted multi-grains, blend of perfumey German noble with American Citra hops, and Belgian yeast esters and phenols. It had faint hints of coffee and chocolate but otherwise lacked the extreme stereotypical barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout characteristics, which was fine for a change. Great stuff.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
wilderthanyou (758) - Guelph, CANADA - MAY 16, 2012
Looks like a proper stout should. The aroma is great, smokey, dark fruit, raisin, molasses, chocolate, booze, awesome. The flavour, is also awesome, starts out sweet with dark fruits and brown sugar, roastiness balances that out with coffee and dark chocolate, finishes off with notes of cigar and licorice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Savvy1982 (1706) - Lethbridge, Alberta, CANADA - MAY 13, 2012
Bottle at home, from my Minneapolis Town Hall glass. Pours clear black, thin tan head, spotty lacing. Nose is soft, with citrus, toast, mandarin orange, lots of smoke... Flavours of smoke, tar, clean grapefruit finish. A nice beer, but it couldnt keep up with the rest of the lineup.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Bricktop86 (824) - Moore, Oklahoma, USA - MAY 9, 2012
UPDATED: JUL 9, 2012 Pours dark brown with a lot of mocha head. First imperial stout I have seen with more than a fingers worth of head. Smells of alcohol, roasted malts and dark fruits. Tastes of caramel and toffee with a hint of alcohol burn.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JoeinDahlem (1478) - Berlin, GERMANY - MAY 9, 2012
Black, rich, spicy-hop-bitter, impression of dark baking chocolate, gorgeous brown head, large beer yet balanced, hairy yet smooth, dry but with that touch of mocha sweetness, and then its all gone. Excellent workmanship. Further testing required.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jkwood04 (5379) - Connecticut, USA - MAY 7, 2012
12oz bottle in a snifter. Pours black with a thick, tan head. Aroma of dark malts with roasted and chocolate notes, a little coffee, plus some floral hops, and dark fruits and spiciness. The flavor is good, but I dont know how I feel about the Belgian yeast. Smooth texture. A pretty good beer, but not the best of its style.

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