abcfan (920) - New Jersey, USA - MAY 15, 2012
Fantastic brew. Pours black with a caramel head. Nice oat aroma. Soft/creamy in mouth with sweet chocolate notes. Finishes velevety smooth with a touch of magic as the name implies. HoochieMama1 (32) - - MAY 13, 2012
FlacoAlto (4182) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAY 8, 2012
A vigorous pour into my New Belgium globe glass produces a fat-two-finger thick, brown stained, dark tan colored head. The beer is a rich black color that shows some clear, brown hues around the edges if it is held up directly to the light. The nose smells of roasted grain, well browned, quite toasted whole grain bread, touches of roasted coffee and just a generally, ample dark / roasted malt character. I like that the nose escapes being sharp or acrid from the roast malt focus. There is a touch of roundness and perhaps subtle sweetness towards the finish of the aroma; this accentuates touches of chocolate and perhaps some sweet coffee ice-cream like aromatics. As the beer warms up it picks up more of a roasted nutty like character.thirdeye11 (6160) - Dallas, Texas, USA - MAY 1, 2012
Light bodied and dry up front, as the beer moves across the palate it picks up a touch of perceived, and perhaps even actual sweetness. The sweetness is brought out by a very soft, subtle Bourbon barrel influence that leans towards toasted coconut and vanillin and perhaps a hint of Bourbon / oak spiciness. The barrel influence is really quite subtle, and if I didn’t know it was here, I might not have really picked it up. Ample cold coffee roast flavors are here, there is a full, whole grain toasted character here, as well as a touch of complexly browned, barley husk like notes; this last is quite smooth and integrated and adds a sort of whole grain spiciness to this brew. The body has a certain creaminess to it, my vigorous pour knocked out much of the carbonation; this is definitely light and quaffable, but I like that it has a touch of fullness to it. The finish has a lingering, slightly bitter, burnt roast character to it; this is accentuated by a light, prickly effervescence from the carbonation.
The Bourbon barrel influence is quite subtle in the aroma, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot of Bourbon character here, but it is definitely quite reduced from Velvet Merkin. In the flavor it is soft, but it is also noticeable; I do like that it was kept at a very low level here, but I almost feel like it could use a touch more as I almost feel like it is too subtle. That can be a dangerous thing though, as I definitely prefer that the barrel character be kept fairly low. Still, this is a fantastic beer and is something I am quite happy to have a 6-pack of (the $6.99 price doesn’t hurt either); the extra boost of smooth complexity from the Bourbon barrel really adds something to this beer.
(bottle) clear dark brown with offwhite tan head. Nose of espresso, very roasty, oats, lightly fruity. Taste of espresso, light roast, light oats, body is a bit thin though. Good beer. ChiefBeer12 (81) - Irvine, California, USA - APR 29, 2012
Bottle. Smells of licorice, chocolate, coffee... Looks awesome. Nearly pitch black, tan head. Taste almost exactly how it smells - solid stout. Lasting palate.
OldGrowth (3474) - the Containment Area, North Carolina, USA - APR 29, 2012
Pint at Crown and Anchor pub in Monterey. Nice rich roasty. Nice milky oat and coffee dark chocolate aroma. Blackish, brown color, good head, spotty lace. Bitter sweet flavor. Medium body, smooth creamy mouthfeel, sweet finish. Darn tasty. I’m equally happy with aroma in flavor. Flavor has nice smokey, chocolate taste. Aroma shows little more of the oat. Winner. mansquito (6438) - Nueva York, New York, USA - APR 29, 2012
Big Top, Rosslyn variety 24 pack: Pours a black colour with a beige head. Aroma is pretzel, roasted malts, chocolate, and dough. Taste is kind of bitter. Dark chocolate flavours manifest themselves powerfully. Really nice mouthfeel: velvet is a good way to describe it. Not really sweet. Well-balanced drinkable and full of flavour. sonnycheeba (5988) - Federal Hill, Baltimore, Maryland, USA - APR 28, 2012
Cask. Pours opaque black with thick, frothy beige head; good retention and lacing. Aroma is chocolate, roasted malt, earthy hops, figs, light oak, and faint coffee. Flavor is malt forward with faint dark fruit esters and hops; dry finish. Medium body with low carbonation and warmth. SDbruboy (1864) - San Diego, California, USA - APR 27, 2012
On draft at Zodo’s in Goleta, CA. Ebony color with garnet highlights and small tan head. Aroma primarily dark roast coffee and bitter chocolate. Flavor follows suit with a bit of fig and herby hops noticible as well. Quite nice. Medium body and prickly carbonation. sherm1016 (1274) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - APR 25, 2012
12oz bottle received as an extra in trade. Thanks Kev! Pours a jet black color with a tan head. Aroma is malty, roasty, chocolate. Just a little heavy on the palate with soft, smooth, creamy carbonation. Flavor is sweet, malty, chocolate, roasty, coffee, with a light, bittersweet finish. An excellent stout for not being an imperial.