bigeastie (2) - , Washington, USA - SEP 21, 2008 does not count
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem& the greatest beer ever made... each and every year it gets better and better
I found this beer on Ebay! BrotherGrendel (787) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 13, 2008
’07 version poured into an Old Guardian tulip glass
Appearance is absolutely amazing, pours the brownest hue, head is three fingers of creamy, sparkling frothy head that cascades upward and amazingly sustains over tiime, big milky lacing on the glass.
Smell is also excellent, sweet milk chocolate dominate, some roasted malts, slight anise, molasses, gingerbread, bourbon alcohol, and a surprising presence of fresh earthy/grassy hops.
Taste is superb, sweet milk chocolate rides a wave of underlying ginger/bread malts, bourbon and alcohol warming enters midway as do bittering hops, cocoa sweetness rebounds and finishes with alcohol warming on the soft palate through the back of the throat.
Mouthfeel is full-bodied, smooth and creamy texture, lively carbonation that is a touch prickly.
Drinkability is high, this is my new favorite IRS, I’m a big fan of the sweeter chocolate malts compared to the uber-bitter coffee malts, great all around appearance/aroma/flavors, I think the balancing hops are impressive as well considering they don’t detract from the dominant malt profile, I sure am glad I was able to secure a case of this, I am sure this will age well in the coming years! kegbear (436) - Orange, California, USA - SEP 13, 2008
Pitch black with a dark tan head. Licorice and expresso dominate with a strong dry bitter expresso finish that detracted from the beer overall. I was a bit dissappointed and thought that the Deschutes Black Butte XX was more balanced with more complex flavors. carruthm (1401) - Seattle, Washington, USA - SEP 1, 2008
black with tan head. oak, bourbon coffee aroma. smooth palate and a dark dark taste. Lots of the licorice and dark sugar. DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 31, 2008
pretty dark but showing glimmers of an orangish brown in the light. thin dark tan head. remarkably vivid brownie aroma, chocolate galore. thick lucious chocolate flavors...signifantly sweet, but perfectly so. biscuity chocolate everywhere...hop bitterness is there but completely balanced by the sweetness ...slightly roasty but only enough to round out the chocolate flavors and bridge them with the subtely spiced hops. this is one of those imperial stouts that is really hard to find faults with....well done!
enginaaron (73) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 23, 2008
On tap at Churchill’s in San Marcos, Ca. Incredibly dark and viscous with a large, very dark tan head. Aroma low on hops but strong on the roasted barley with background chocolate and coffee and alcohol. Flavor is hugely dominated by coffee but develops quite a bit. Strong molasses flavor in the beginning but that soon develops into roasted barley, coffee, a small bit of chocolate, vanilla, and a strange sweetness I can’t put my finger on (actually was a rather dissapointing part of this beer.) Finishes with a huge coffee bitterness that I don’t think was favorable. Overall... good, but an off flavor that made it less enjoyable.
JoeMcPhee (9427) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 23, 2008
Thanks to puzzl and/or EDA for this one... I can’t remember which of them actually gave this to me. Pitch black, sticky and oily pour topped by a thick dark brown head. Aroma is really intense, heavy roast, rich sweet cocoa and chocolate, light licorice and a very soft and surprisingly subtle oak/bourbon vanilla character as well. The aroma is really lovely, molasses, dates, brown sugar and rich cocoa/vanilla. Really lovely aroma that is rich and sweet. The flavour is equally intense, rich roast/cocoa with a lovely oaky sweetness that accents rather then dominating everything. Sweet and chewy with some light molasses and brown sugar. Even a hint of smokey roast. Really tasty impy stout. grant (842) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - AUG 22, 2008
Dark, with thick, rich light brown head. Earthy, coffee-laden aroma, quite woody. Soft, sweet but bitter espresso bean flavor. Extremely roasty with a significantly bitter finish. LilBeerDoctor (3931) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 20, 2008
UPDATED: DEC 15, 2009 2007 bottle courtesy of iowaherkeye. Pours black with the prettiest dark tan head that slowly subsides. Aroma of rich sweet malt, oatmeal, coffee, molasses, and just a touch of bourbon. Flavor of sweet molasses and sweet malt, smoked and charred malt with some woodsy notes. Thick mouthfeel with an alcohol burn in the finish. Just a little bourbon, which works well for me. This gets a little too sweet by the end and is a bit hard to drink. I liked it but would prefer better drinkability.
8/5/8/3/15 [3.9/5]fredandboboflo (1570) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 20, 2008
Update 12/15/09: 2009 bottle. Aroma of sweet roasted malt, molasses, oatmeal, bitter chocolate, and light bourbon. Flavor of sweet malt upfront with a finish of bitter roasted malt, coffee, bourbon, oak, and chocolate. Very smooth mouthfeel. Definitely on the sweet side but more drinkable than the 2007 version. 8/4/9/4/15 [4.0/5]
UPDATED: NOV 18, 2008 Bottle and tap ratings averaged.
Bottle. Aroma starts off with a strong coffee character before developing into a blend of coffee, chocolate, molasses, and complex notes from the subtle bourbon aging that seem to come and go, sometimes with more bourbon, sometimes with more wood, sometimes with more alcohol sweetness. Flavor is big with the same notes, and I continued to be impressed with the subtle yet tantalizing bourbon component. Bitterness arrives cumulatively in the form of hops, bitter coffee, and intensely roasted malt as the glass goes down, building on the tongue and in the back of the mouth, balancing out all the sweetness in a businesslike but necessary manner. Huge creamy mouthfeel. Great beer. 8-5-8-4-16/4.1
On tap at the third release 11/08. I didn’t take notes, but looking over my first rating, it sounds pretty accurate. However, the incredible balance of bitter coffee (especially at the finish) with the rich, chocolaty malt and sweet subtleties contributed by the bourbon really stood out to me in this super fresh form. This balance also translated perfectly to the mouthfeel which became unbelievably silky, milky smooth, less viscous than than my impressions from the bottle, but losing nothing in richness. 8-4-10-5-20/4.7