MullMan (1099) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - DEC 13, 2004
2004 . black body, no light shines through. dark tan/light brown foamy head that diminishes very quickly. chocolate, raisin, "banilla"-alcohol nose (yes banana and vanilla together, but a ripe banana that produces alcohol). also licorice and roasted malt nose. oily mouthfeel, fizzy carbonation that surges with the alcohol heat. intense roasted malt, licorice, smooth aged-scotch alcohol flavor, molasses and dark fruits flavor too. slight dry finish with burning alcohol afterglow. tastes like the alcohol is less than 18%, but used very well to play the flavors. PWalk (338) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 8, 2004
UPDATED: SEP 4, 2005 Grey Lodge Pub, Minute by Minute: An imperial stout to conquer all others. Dark, smooth, and just about as close to perfection in a glass as any liquid can be. It is dark in the glass defying all light to peirce throughit. The head is tan and laces nicely. Aroma is sweet with an edge. Flavor is chocolate, fruit and perfectly slightly bitter. The after taste lends a little to alcohol with the final bit very clean. If I could marry a beer it would be the WWS. mtk539 (8) - USA - DEC 7, 2004 does not count
Very robust. I find a very strong alchole taste. Would defintly recommend a try to stout drinkers. matta (1140) - Tampa, Florida, USA - DEC 6, 2004
I don’t quite know how I managed to do it, but I was able to let this beer sit in my cellar for an entire year before I opened it! I think that the trick is when you buy a beer of this caliber, one must; one being me, hide the beer in the very back of the closet… That was my trick…. “out of sight, out of mind”.. right?
beerguy101 (5364) - Newark, California, USA - DEC 5, 2004
This beer pours brilliantly! The body is dark as coal and the head is a deep shade of khaki. There is dense chunky lacing all along the glasses edge. The aroma is pronounced with rich coffee grounds, molasses, date sugars, raisins, and a wine like, dry red grape resemblance as well. The flavor is a bit more full; with enormous chocolaty, charred oak, and vinous notes also. There is a nice bitterness; it’s somewhat fruity and tart, slightly astringent like an aged blue cheese, but dry and sweet in the finish… big notes of molasses! Ageing this beer has given it a wildly elegant complexity! I’m also finding suggestions of whisky barrel aging, with the earthy oak like tannins, and the lightly tart bitter effect mid palate. This beer is exceptionally viscous and creamy. The palate is sticky sweet… and amazingly molasses like.
This is undoubtedly nectar for the Gods…. The Beer Gods that is!
Now I just need to do a vertical side by side of the 2003 & 2004 vintages!
Tasted at the 2004 Pizza Port Strong Ale Fest. Eclipse black color. Small white foamy head. Aroma is chocolate, coffee and vanilla. A full bodied Imperial Stout. Malts are chocolate, toffee and vanilla. Extremely smooth taste. A hint of alcohol bite at 18%. Definitely not any of the soy sauce flavors so prevalent in the 23% edition. This one is a very smooth, very thick and sweet stout. Nice sipping stout. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.
giarcsr (104) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 3, 2004
Wow, this is a decievingly complex beer. As noted in other ratings, there is an aroma of chocolate and malts, with a hint of soy sauce and alcohol. Very dark beer that isn’t too thick. Has a good malty chocolate taste to it that is real sweet, it took me a few sips to get used to it. I was really surprised that at 18% the taste of alcohol that comes through on other high aloohol beers really isn’t a problem here. In fact the alcohol taste is well hidden and is really just a hint in the aftertaste. This is definetely a great beer. Pailhead (6543) - Rochester Hills, Michigan, USA - DEC 2, 2004
UPDATED: APR 13, 2007 Bottle: Aroma is malty with chocolate, black licorice, and fruit. Definitely has a soy sauce smell like previously mentioned. Alcohol is detectable in the nose. Pours a dark brown, virtually black, with a tan head that dies relatively fast. Very, very sweet. Extreme sweetness and maltiness up front. Others flavors really don’t come into play until the finish. Flavors become sweet chocolate, lots of fruit, a little black licorice. No coffee, or if there is any, it’s covered up by the malt. Some hops sneak (and I mean sneak) thru in the finish. Same with the alcohol. Alcohol has a warming effect in the finish, but not much of an actual taste. This is an extremely malty and sweet imperial. A little overwhelmed with all the sweet maltiness at first, but the more I drink, the more I like it. While it has many imperial characteristics, this is different than any other imperial I’ve had. There is probably a lot going on here and even aftet 380 beers, maybe I haven’t quite trained the senses enough, but the two words that describe this best are "sweet" and "malty". Very, very good, just takes a few sips to get used to. **** Having this for the second time, and this is good stuff. I stand by my description, but I do get a slight coffee taste the second time around. Had to bump it up another point in the overall. jmuhops (669) - Winchester, Virginia, USA - NOV 30, 2004
UPDATED: JUN 13, 2008 2003 version. Pours jet black and thick with a smallish off-white head. Beautiful in the glass. Alcohol dominates the nose, but there is a very nice anise touch in there and some dark malt, as well. Incredibly creamy in the mouth, flavor of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, that anise, and alcohol. Warms the throat like a gust across the river Styx. I may be in love.Cornfield (5569) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - NOV 29, 2004
Way too boozy, very little besides hot roasted malt. Previous score was from an inexperienced young taster and way too high. The new one is an average.
UPDATED: JUL 5, 2005 2004: This poured a deep, dark brown and turned black in my glass, supporting a slender tho’ sustained brown head that coated the glass as I drank. The aroma conatined roasted malts, coffee, licorice, a dash of hops, and a surprizingly subdued alcohol presence. This has a very creamy, almost chewy mouthfeel and, man, does it slide down easily. It’s very malty to taste, beautifully roasted, burnt chocolate, dark fruits, anise, coffee, and a slight alcohol presence. Nice roasty, warm finish. I need some more of this stuff, but I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to drive for some.hrnplr (5) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - NOV 28, 2004 does not count
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I first tried this beer at the beginning of a long night of beer tasting. The hops were beautifully integrated into the malt flavor, but the overall impression was that it was meant to overpower me (it did, ruining all the subsequent beers in the process). Certainly the best example of its style that I’ve tried, but I’d still prefer a more seamless integration of alcohol into the beer’s body...