SkyinBrian (430) - Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - NOV 20, 2004
quite sweet. tastes like it has about half of the alcohol that it does. creamy body, mocha, huge roastey, sweet malt presence. a wonderful brew. NobleSquirrel (3438) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 20, 2004
Definitely looks like an imperial stout. Hides the alcohol very well. Thick and creamy, slightly floral smell with some molasses. Taste was thick, with chocolate and coffee. Amazing cover for the alcohol. Very sweet, though, probably due to the huge amounts of barley. Quite good. Enniskillen (2055) - Bakersfield, California, USA - NOV 16, 2004
Tons of cocoa and coffee, caramel, very nice aroma and couldn’t even smell alcohol. Taste has nice complexity for an Imperial Stout, starts out alcohol, then blends to the coffee and chocolate. This is a big damn beer, and the 18% is covered up much better then Avery the Czar ’04. Nice and chewy. crizay (1050) - Brook Park, Ohio, USA - NOV 15, 2004
UPDATED: JAN 8, 2008 Pitch black oily pour with a faint brown head that doesn’t last. Aroma is boozy but sweet and very rich. Flavor is chocolate, a touch of roastiness balanced very well with the sugary sweetness and hot alcohol. Some fruity esters but probably just boozy, licorice and a hint of anice. The alcohol is very well hidden and this is hot but the flavors are all so balanced. Caramel sweetness realy shines as it warms and a smokiness is left on the aftertaste along with a good amount of fresh leafy hops. Medium carbonation with a cloying chewy mouthfeel. Really the booze is not at all too much and the chocolate and roastiness is all there with a good amount of sugary sweetness the whole time. Great beer. joeec5 (204) - bayonne, New Jersey, USA - NOV 15, 2004
2004 version. sitting in my fridge, staring at me, begging me to drink her. I refuse. I waited as long as i could. Two whole days later i popped her open. Black color, small tan lace. sweet and sweeeeeeet. How could you not like a drinkable 18 percent alc. beer? Only noticed the alc in the finish of last few warm sips...great flavor, though too sweet at the moment im sure it will dry with age...but why wait, this is good now!
JonR888710 (999) - Cochabamba, BOLIVIA - NOV 14, 2004
UPDATED: APR 13, 2005 Perfectly dark body. So dark, in fact, that absolutely no light will come through, no matter how bright of a bulb you put it near. Head is frothed thick, with cola-esque light-brown color and it respectfully laces the glass. Aroma is very subdued for an Imperial Stout but it does give a few hints: dark chocolate malts, toffee, roasted dark hops, and some floral and spicy notes. What my nose detects is trace but I am still able to gather a lot from it. Mouth feel is glorious, rich and silky. I could probably talk for two paragraphs about the unique sensations this presents on the tongue, cheeks and lips. It is like no other beer out there, or any liquid for that matter. Taste is sweet for the most part, not overly so, but sugary dark chocolate and plums ride the palate from beginning until end. Alcohol is obviously there but it is nowhere near as overpowering as the 2002, 23% version, or other Imperial Stouts with half as much alcohol. It definitely warms the throat and stomach a bit, but in no way detracts from the flavor. The roasted hops show up about 4-5 seconds after a sip and meld into the finish nicely. It is in the warm aftertaste that all the flavors make their case, richly and prominently. Dark chocolate and fudge, grapes, plums, espresso, molasses and an earthy component that is not easily described. My senses gather earthen dirt, grass and sandy beach. It is truly unique and equally enjoyable. Cheers to DFH for making the greatest beer I’ve ever tasted. The beer is a pure anomaly: tons of alcohol, but not on the palate; tons of flavor, but not over the top like most Imperial Stouts, just subdued and refined. You’d be hard pressed to find a better beer than this world wide, so just go pick one up and find out for yourself. Purchased at Whole Foods in Vienna, VA. RichJ7 (1175) - Cullman, Alabama, USA - NOV 11, 2004
UPDATED: MAR 25, 2005 Damn, but this is a strong beer. Rich, roasty, and very tasty ... but perhaps a bit of alcohol overkill. Pours an opaque black with a thin brown head. Aroma of malt and alcohol. Taste is coffee, chocolate and alcohol. Lightly sweet finish and a ton of alcohol warmth headed down the gullet. Great beer, but DAMN. madsberg (11770) - Søborg, DENMARK - NOV 11, 2004
Bottled: Pitch black coloured. Light brown chocolatish dense head. Lasting is a bit dissapointing, but can be due to the glass. Fruit, molasses, light roast, alcahol and some coffee/toffee notes in the aroma. Delicious, delicious. Chocolate, loads of alcahol (but nothing compared to the strength), light coffee notes, prunes and plums in the flavour. Quite complex but also a bit overwhelming. Is very warming and has loads of alcaholburning on the lips and the palate in the end. Is light bitter and fruity. This is an extreme beer, which is a bit too much for me, and thats why the rating dosn’t hit the tops. I now have had the 18% and the 21%, and both are excellent beers without having the grandeur of the exquisite beers of my personal top 50 beers of my world. Many thanks to egajdzis for trading this. tex (52) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 10, 2004
This beer was the most amazing stout I’ve tasted in quite some time. Obsidianly dark pour, virtually no head. Very complex flavors with huge range of spiced flavors. Hoppy finish left me sipping more. For an imperial stout, it balanced well and was very drinkable, compared to some other brews that only the strong can tolerate. This beer is worth seeking out. DrunkAsASkunk (847) - Lynnwood, Washington, USA - NOV 7, 2004
November 2003 issue (18%) -This beer is a marvel to modern beer making and should be placed on a mantle in everyone’s home so they may cherish in the granduer that is Dogfish Head. To say that I was stoked to try this beer would be an utter understatement. It pours a thick, viscous black thing with a thick dark orange and tanned head which left considerable lacing on my Duvel glass. The aroma was powerful and very pleasant with deep dark roasts...chocolate, coffees, cocoa’s, vanilla’s, woods, slight burning alcohol, mustiness, caramel, licorice, dark fruits and orange peel. The flavor just picks up right where the aroma left off. Wonderful caramels, vanillas, molasses, chocolate and where in the holy hell is the alcohol...WHERE...its not here..its not there...did the white rabbit take it away? The only noticeable effects of the alcohol is the warming finish this gives off...and let me just say that a "warming finish" does not do this justice. The flavor has serious aged qualities...a PERFECT meld of sweet vanilla, wood, molasses, twigs, with a hint of chocolate. Strangely enough its heavily carbonated for an imperial stout...but trust me, that isnt a bad thing. Thick gritty mouthfeel, thick syrupy finish,....ridiculous amounts of alcohol hidden so well its beyond description. I am having a beergasm as we speak.....