JaBier (7972) - Capital City, Ohio, USA - APR 17, 2017 ThisWangsChung (836) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - MAR 1, 2014
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
22 oz bottle into a tulip.
A: Pours a very dark brown color. The khaki-colored head, while short at less than a finger high, has pretty decent retention and good creaminess. Minimal lacing is left behind.
S: Wow, this smells great. The first whiffs bring a ton of chocolate, only to develop stronger notes of bourbon, cream, and vanilla when allowed to open up. When it opens up even further, it gains a touch of dark fruits, along with some banana. I don’t even miss the low oak presence, because this has a fantastic and complex dessert-y aroma.
T: Okay, NOW the oak is coming through strongly on the opening flavors. This is ridiculously bourbon-forward, almost to the point of excess. The first few sips really lack balance, but it becomes more harmonious as it warms up. Some pleasant chocolate and vanilla characteristics develop near the finish, before the alcohol bite envelop said finish strongly. On the plus side, the booze helps to give this some palpable nuance between its roast, chocolate, cream, and vanilla flavors. I wish it was slightly sweeter (to cover the alcohol better), but thanks to its complexity, I am warming up to this the more I sip.
M: It has a pair of characteristics I like in an imperial stout: it’s initially creamy, yet dries nicely on the finish. I also like how the barrels didn’t overly thin the body out. There is a harsh tannic bite post-swallow that could be cut down some, though. Carbonation is slightly high for the style, which means it’s still rather low.
O: If the rest of the beer had lived up to the aroma, it could have been a local, readily available Parabola killer. Still, there is more than a passing resemblance to the Firestone Walker stalwart - it brings both the bourbon and the stout nicely, it’s complex, but it’s also rather abrasive. Honestly, in a blind taste test, I’d have trouble telling the two apart. I’d definitely buy another bottle of this to age a year.
Bottle shared by a friend. Pours darkest brown with a thick tan head. Aroma of malt, bourbon, chocolate and licorice. Malt and chocolate flavor with a bourbon finish. b33r (875) - Ohio, USA - FEB 18, 2017
Dark black color with thin light brown head and messy lacing. Aroma and flavor have strong bourbon, vanilla, roasted malt, coffee, and cocoa. Very smooth and rich. Very good overall. Dfonorow (2216) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 2, 2017
Bottle share @ Hampton Inn pre-DLD 2016. Pour is dark brown with a small tan head. Notes of marshmallow, roasted malt, chocolate, booze, and caramel. Finish is boozy and overly sweet. BroadestTom (446) - Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 17, 2016
Almost a two year old beer that aged well. Lots of wood and bourbon in the taste. Definitely a sipper. I would suggest this beer to a friend.barnyard, anthony850 (472) - Andover, New Jersey, USA - MAR 13, 2016
Very smooth stout. With hints of chocolate, vanilla, coffee , easy drinking high alc. Beer
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Msdrbeat (780) - East Lansing, USA - MAR 11, 2016
On tap at Old Town Pour House. Slight vanilla aroma. Very nice. Slightly boozy. Very dark. JDBaker11058 (2206) - Maryland, USA - DEC 6, 2015
Appearance: near black, creamy tan head. Aroma: burnt chocolate, vanilla, caramel, coffee, earth. Taste: dark chocolate, crème brulee, caramel, espresso, light licorice, molasses, vanilla, and booze. Finish: a bit ashy and dry, with a lingering vanilla-booze sweetness from the barrel aging. Notes: A little harsh in the mouth, a little more watery than expected, but this was a decent enough imperial stout. There’s just so many good ones out there that it’s hard for one to stand out. Bottle from Sarah for Beerthday 2015.
corby112 (2804) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 18, 2015
Pours pitch black, completely opaque, viscous and oil like with a one finger beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Good retention for the style and ABV with streaks of spotty lacing left behind.
The aroma of this beer has a prominent bourbon barrel presence that is very nicely integrated into the elements of the base beer. Complex barrel character with some slightly charred oak, spicy, sweet bourbon, vanilla bean, marshmallow and toasted coconut without completely overwhelming everything else. Underneath, there is a nice mix of sweet, dessert-like malt and subtle roast. Slightly smokey/toasted with hints of burnt toast, dark chocolate, coffee bean and toast countered by caramel, toffee, flourless chocolate cake and fudge-y sweetness. Very inviting.
Lighter body than expected and slightly watered down which is surprising considering how it poured. Unfortunately, it’s also not as complex or flavorful as the aroma suggests. The complex barrel presence found in the nose is lacking and what is there isn’t integrated very well into the base beer. Very strong oak presence with dry, charred oak and toothpick flavor that lingers throughout, dominating the palate. Very faint vanilla character along with a weak spicy bourbon flavor that just isn’t very appealing. There’s also some lingering boozy heat but the 11.5% is decently masked. The barrel presence is much stronger than I prefer overpowering the complex malt bill that I was hoping for. Much more roast than sweetness which compliments the oak and spicy spirit but it hides all of the dessert-like that is needed for balance. Overall, this beer looks and smells pretty good but the body is too thin for my liking, the barrel flavors aren’t very good and it’s a bit one dimensional. phaleslu (10264) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - OCT 19, 2015
22 oz. bottle via trade a few years ago. Barreled 3/21/12, bottled 9/21/12. I had no intention of keeping it this long, but have brought it to multiple tastings and it winds up being the last, extra bottle that I’ve never gotten to. Go figure. Anyway, it pours a deep opaque brown with a small tan head that settles into a ring and a few spots of lace. Hasn’t lost anything in appearance. Notes of vanilla, cocoa, tobaacco, earth, fudge, dark fruits (raisin, plum, and figs), roasted malts, and flat cola. Light-medium bodied, with low carbonation and a thin, ribbony mouthfeel. Has thinned, to be sure, and is starting to show a creeping fruity note but it’s held up remarkably well overall. Whew. I’m relieved. And I wound up enjoying it quite a bit, as did my wife and dad. Steasy66 (1155) - Minnesota, USA - JUN 15, 2015
Black, small tan head. Barrel Out = 10/01/14
Aroma is choclately and a bit tart. Flavor is tart throughout. Its mild but it is there. I don’t think its just acidity from the roast. Almost belgian yeast type red fruit. Booze is strong in the finish. This isn’t bad, but I wouldn’t get it again.