jethrodium (366) - Berkeley, California, USA - APR 17, 2011
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAY 8, 2012 750 ml bottle courtesy of RaffyS. Thanks. 2012 Vintage. Pours a pitch black with dark tan chocolate head that has good retention and leaves some light lacing on the glass. The aroma is rich decadent chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, light coffee, and a bit of chilies. Quite nice. The taste is sweet chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa, a bit of coffee, and some smoked chilies. The finish has a light bitterness and leaves a little bit of lingering heat from the peppers and a bit of roastiness. Full, creamy body with low carbonation. Great beer. Itís definitely on the sweet side, which I usually donít enjoy, but it works here. All the flavors come together quite nicely. It also might have one of the best mouthfeels out of any beer.
750 ml bottle courtesy of J2Brew2. Thanks Joe. 2011 release. Pours a pitch black with a dark tan head. Possibly the darkest beer Iíve ever seen. Barely any light gets through even at the edges. Also the darkest head that I have seen. Good retention and lacing. Aroma is huge vanilla and dark chocolate as well as a little bit of cinnamon. Phenomenal. The initial taste is sweet with vanilla, dark chocolate, and some cinnamon. A light smokiness and a hint of the pepper comes through in the mid palate. The finish is very smooth with little trace of the alcohol coming through. A bit of pepper heat comes through after swallowing. Quite pleasant. A big, full bodied beer. Creamy mouthfeel. Not syrupy a bit. Medium-low carbonation Pretty much everything I could ask for in a beer. This is certainly one of the best beers that I have had.
steelcitybrew (454) - Orlando, Florida, USA - APR 17, 2011
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
My 100th cigar city rating! Pours a perfect jet black with a great brown head. Nose is good sweet vanilla, ancho chillies. Milk chocolate. Taste is good vanilla milk chocolate, faint chillies. Brown sugar. Palate is awesome, perfectly balanced. Nice heat. A pretty great beer but better on tap.
phredrik (1024) - Copenhagen (formerly Aalborg), DENMARK - APR 13, 2011
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from a trade with Mashmaster. Wow, Iíve been wanting to try this one for a long time, nice to finally try it. Engine oil pour with an intense brown head with a beautiful red shine. One of the most beautiful beers Iíve seen. Aroma is rather sweet with fresh vanilla beans, chocolate, cocoa, cinnamon, coffee, fudge, brownie, a whiff of chili sharpness and a small hint of strawberry. A slight medicinal touch. Taste is very nice as well, loads of cocoa, roast, coffee, vanilla, rather medicinal as well, the chili becomes more evident the longer you keep it in the mouth. Very interesting, but also very very nice. But the medicinal component notched it a bit down for me. Overall a very complex and delicious beer.
48FanInCali (848) - California, USA - APR 11, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Not was I was hopping for based on the hype. Poured a dark stout color. It is fairly obvious that the base is Marshal Zhukov but this actually is a bit better than that grog. Taste had hints of coffee and chocolate. ABV of 11% is well hidden. I would like to try a BA version of this as I think it would certainly make this great.
beeranarchist (232) - Aalborg, DENMARK - APR 9, 2011
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Pitch black with a wonderful dark reddish brown head. Very odd aroma with spicy coffee, chile and vegetable notes. The flavour is quite sweet at first with a roasted and bitter finish. It is very odd but also very interesting. Iím not sure wether I like or not. I can taste the chile and vanilla, but I really the flavour has more hints of hokkaido pumpkin and medicine (cough syrup?). It is indeed very interesting, but is it good? Iím not sure.....
fiulijn (19831) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - APR 6, 2011
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Courtesy of Beershine
Black color; medium sized dark brown head. Light aroma of roasted malt, chocolate, cacao, light alcohol, very light vanilla. Thick and quite viscous mouthfeel; very strong chocolate flavor, lightly smokey, salty; light chili pepper too; tobacco; more liquorice in the end, with warming alcohol. Peculiar, very good, not easy, but bold.
radioscooter (41) - Pennsylvania, USA - APR 5, 2011
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
This one has some hype to live up to.
Pours dead black with the most amazing cocoa head ever.
Smell is a bit off-putting. Nothing inviting here, bitter, dark hops and/or cacao.
Taste is COMPLEX. Getting cacao beans, and a healthy cinnamon burn which is amazing. Coffee roast coming through as well. Not getting a ton of vanilla. Did I mention Cinnamon and chile burn?
Wow, this is a wonderful taste. I love cinnamon and chocolate combined and this is the best of all worlds - Cinnamon, chocolate and BEER! But it works. This reminds me of the descriptions of ancient Aztec hot chocolate drinks back when the cacao bean wasnít the invention of Milton Hershey.
Not much else to say. Not going to be a favorite if you donít like new things. :) I love this - though I canít see drinking it all night.
sthlm (1286) - Duluth, Minnesota, USA - APR 4, 2011
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAR 23, 2012 [Bottle, thanks so much for the trade!] Pours black with a very dark brown head. Aroma is spiced chocolate cake, apple crisp, vanilla, rounded fruitiness (reminds me of banana, but not quite the same). Taste has the cinnamon again, apple, chocolate, and pepper comes out as it warms. Really integrated beautifully though, as the heat is in the background and just compliments the other flavors instead of overpowering them. A little ashy in the finish, but fairly subdued. A little thinner than the Zhukov, but still very thick. Smooth, and has a long finish. Outstanding imperial stout, in fact, one of the best that Iíve ever had. Very unique, and everything worked for it. Thanks again!
I still crave this beer quite regularly, so it is getting bumped up a point. I need to trade for some of this!
Guerde (1295) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - APR 3, 2011
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
(bottle shared by OSLO, thanks Al!!) Pours jet black with a very thin dark brown head. Aroma is very strong of both vanilla and cinnamon, and itís very unique as it smells like a spiced chocolate pudding. The pepper isnít present at all in the aroma, and itís predominantly spice and chocolate. Flavor is very similar with plenty of chocolate and cinnamon that pair very well with one another. Pepper is present here and the subtle heat builds the longer you drink, and is most present in the finish. This is really good and very unique, and every aspect of this beer is very well integrated, with no aspect dominating the other. Thanks again for sharing Al!!
hamilton23 (619) - Alpine, California, USA - APR 2, 2011
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Poured from a 750ml bottle from JDubFL. Sampled as part of a CCB tasting night at my house. Pours black with a fair amount of tan head. Nose has some chocolate and vanilla, but I could not get the peppers. Taste was similar to Marshal Zhukov, but without as much soy sauce taste as is prevalent there. I got some chocolate there, but not as much as I expected. It was decent, but the hype was a bit overblown.