htsprint1 (53) - Urbana, Illinois, USA - MAY 6, 2005
UPDATED: FEB 15, 2006 One of two 11-04 bottles to appear at the post-Dark Lord tasting at the Hampton. Tried side-by-side with Speedway, and it didn’t stand up so well. Aroma: Coffee
Flavor: Coffee. And as others have said, the alcohol is totally undetectable. This could pass for ice coffee in beer form. If you’re the type that seeks out fine coffee, this is for you. If you’re into a fine imperial stout with some coffee, there are better options.
Hopefully the next batch better represents what the tap version of this is supposed to be.
I was fortunate enough to get my hands on three snifters of this off of the Tap at The Blind Pig Co. in Champaign, Illinois. Poored a coffee black with a creamy khaki head. Much more going on in this batch, off tap. The coffee nose adds an element of sweet cream. Coffee still dominates the flavor, but the flavor is more rounded, with dark chocolate elements, a subtle sweetness lingering underneath. And the coffee is a better tasting coffee. Not necessarily a Top 10 beer, but certainly a worthy comparison to Speedway and Breakfast Stout. JPDIPSO (6317) - Wauwatosa, USA - MAY 2, 2005
’04 Bottle. Near black color with a taller dark tan Head Nice rings of lace. Initial aromas of raw coffee and green beans are quite volatile and quickly driven off (thank god) and are replaced roasted barley and burnt coffee. There are some hints of less charred malt, but only faint and well past the charcoal. Flavors show promise. Charred marshmallow come to mind at first, followed by dark chocolate covered espresso beans. Acidic finish, very much a strong cup of joe. As much as I enjoy a good cup of coffee, I am not the fanatic. I leave the espresso to others. The linger is very soothing though, with a mild coffee and caramel mix that invites one to try some more... a hint of its predecessors? BierBauch (784) - Cape Coral Waterfront Wonderland, Florida, USA - MAY 2, 2005
Bottled 11-04. Black, opaque with a huge head of mostly large bubbles. Aroma- choc covered espresso beans, coffee grinds, some cherry in the background. Smoke, lots of ashes. Medium to full body, high carbonation for the style. Slick oily mouthfeel. Black coffee flavor, bitter chocolate, wood ashes. Lots of ash flavors. Drier athan expected. dm9831 (1512) - Monee, Illinois, USA - MAY 1, 2005
deep dark impenetrable coffee color. whiff of coffee in aroma, with a heavy coffee bite in the flavor. finishes off much too sweet, and a pretty heavy brew to drink. RAYBOY01 (2010) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 1, 2005
Obviously well-crafted brew that uses the finest ingredients, but I still find it too one-dimensional to be so lavishly praised.
BeerLimey (2155) - California, USA - MAY 1, 2005
Dark opaque appearance, thick head formation. Strong used coffee grounds aroma and dark choclate shavings. Intense dark chocolate flavor dry hazelnut, slightly chalky, light fruitiness. Heavy coffee roast in the finish, pretty bitter. Intense all around, thick in flavor and aroma. DrGonzo (625) - Somerville, Massachusetts, USA - APR 30, 2005
Bottle, purchased at the Publick House. Nearly black color, large tan head. Huge aroma of three week old coffee grinds, peas, and something that might have recently been burning. Coffee flavor is intense but not quite as much as in the flavor. Bitter, roasted, oak, much less fruit and sweetness than the average imperial stout, dry and bitter finish. Little alcohol detectable. If it’s slightly one dimensional, it does that one dimension very well. temporrari (397) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - APR 27, 2005
Bottled 11-04. Pours black, large and very lasting brown head. Aroma is strong coffee with some dark chocolate bar backing that up. Flavor is pretty much the same, but not as strong on the coffee as the aroma. There is no alcohol detectable. I mean none at all. Fairly one dimensional beer. Mouthfeel is thin for this big a beer, especially this style, and the carbonation is quite lively. Mostly a let down based on what has been said about this beer, but still nice. There was a post today in the forum from someone in Montreal about the difference between the bottle and draft versions of this beer. I can imagine how good this could be, how good it probably is on draft, and I’d almost be willing to commit savage and brutal murders to find out. jtw (1170) - farmington, Michigan, USA - APR 27, 2005
bottle bought at charles st. liquors in boston. fully carbonated with a monstrous ocean-foam head. quite bitter coffee aroma, with some reddish strawberry-like fruits hidden in there. super smooth velvety body, perhaps thanks to the high level of carbonation, but also perhaps to a lot of residual caramel sweetness and starchy oatmeal. less coffee in the taste than in the smell. lots of people have said "overhyped," but i disagree, the hype is mostly true. it is, however, overpriced--designed to be a rare treat. IPFreely (1470) - Sanborn, New York, USA - APR 26, 2005
UPDATED: AUG 1, 2005 Bottle. Pours a very dark pitch black, full brown head. Quite interesting aroma, a different type of coffee aroma, more of the coffee beans than liquid coffee like I’m used to getting. Also some molasses, chocolate, some roast, and some cherry. Medium to full bodied, not the biggest of stouts, but very well hidden alcohol and if I had tons more I could easily drink and drink and drink. This is a very unique (read: excellent) beer and it kicks the shit out of Speedway (although I wouldn’t mind giving Speedway another shot now that I’ve tried this lovely beer). 8/5/9/4/17
On tap: blows the bottle version away. I smelled this beer for literally almost 20 minutes. Coffee, vanilla, cocoa, mocha, espresso. God, this is heavenly. Full bodied, yet very drinkable, no alcohol, smooth beyond smooth. Shit, I’d go back to Montreal just for this.