fidemaster (335) - Naperville, Illinois, USA - MAY 7, 2006 DrnkMcDermott (3130) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - DEC 31, 2003
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: DEC 18, 2007 Draft, Dec 31, 2004 at Flossmoor This is the same batch mentioned below but with another year of barrel aging, and dang it, I’m rating this higher than my previous 4.7. It’s just as smooth as drinking Jack Daniels in silk chiffon. Deep brown -black color with a thin brown head that only remains in the glass through surface tension. Smooth as vellum bristol board, but then a nice warming alcohol note. Smell is a big heady whiskey mash. Deep tones of raisins, currant and plums from mellow roast malt. Excellent all around.
Draft. The 2003 edition is Todd’s last as brewmaster, and new guy Matt VanWyk gave it another month to mellow out, serving it Christmas time from a jockey box. It’s freakin’ incredible. Pours dark, dark brown, not black, with a tan head that hangs around, then leaves more of a coating than a lace. Even sipping on the head is a revelation!. The extra month of aging really mellowed it out, none of the alcohol harshness of other Russian Imperials. Taste just swims with cognac, plums, toffee and vanilla. Texture is silky, but makes you think of an old stuffed leather chair. Just wonderful, I tells ya!
UPDATED: MAY 11, 2013 Had it on tap. It was a dark chocolate brown color, not much of a head. chocolate, malty, and whiskey is the best way to describe it. It was good.
willblake (2654) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - DEC 17, 2005
09.29.05 GABF Dark, dark brown is nearly opaque even in this tiny sample glass. Little head. Loads of chocolate all around, only noticable bitterness seems to come from heavy roasting, yet it’s not heavy bitterness. Mostly it’s chocolate and cocoa flirting with the palate and sticking to the teeth and lips, sticky and oaty. Warming indeed, it’s as boozy as that DFH Old School I keep getting samples of, but, well, uh, not at all similar. Cheers, this stuff rocks. I think they ran out fast. tiggmtl (4544) - East York, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 8, 2005
Liquorice and grape notes are strong in the roasty aroma with plenty of sweet, thick chocolate character. Opaque brown body is topped by a decent tan head that recedes to cover. Deep, rich, thick chocolate flavour with light fruity and roasty notes but chocolate is the diva in this ensemble and lingers on the tongue seemingly endlessly. Medium full body is velvety smooth and thick. Some pleasant alcohol warming is apparent. Sampled at GABF 2005. erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - NOV 4, 2005
GABF- Pours deep black with a deep brwon tightly knit head. Caramel ad chocolate nose. Huge body. This is one of the most caramely beers I have ever had. Really great. Don’t know if I could drink it every day but this is awesome. Only thing lacking is a little more complexity. Rastacouere (6177) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 18, 2005
Pitch black, wearing a good light brown head. Certainly woody in the nose, but this is not dominant, the whiskeyish undertones remain at the complement level. The most intense flavors remind of double concentrated espresso and cocoa through soily and woody roastiness. Interesting mango and prune nuances dont quite push it to world-class level, but certainly sets it apart from the trend followers out there. Medium bodied, oily vanilla laden texture, well contained alcohol heat. Top 50? I think not, this is just a straightforwardingly well made imperial, focusing and roasty, but certainly not one of the most complex, to me anyway. I had to go back 3-4 times after Stephen convinced me I underrated it, he was right I must say, perhaps it would grow on me if I had a full snifter, but I can’t compare it to stuff like Jaywalker that makes you watch the ceiling from the first sip.
Aubrey (3516) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - OCT 9, 2005
Nice and dark and black. Vinous, inviting nose. All kinds of stuff in attendance, with multiple dark fruits, silky caramel, aged wood, smooth bourbon, rich chocolate, and aromatic vanilla. Roasty-bitter finish with an incredibly rewarding aftertaste. AWESOME ... I loved it. Lumpy (1802) - Carrollton, Texas, USA - OCT 4, 2005
Nose-smells like a cold brownie. Opaque body with a beige ring of bubbles. Taste-hHershey’s chocolate syrup, tootsie rolls, roasted marshmallows. Good roast and chocolate combo. Simpily excellent. whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 4, 2005
GABF 2005. Fully opaque black body with a persistent creamy tan head. Aroma and flavor have great qualities of toasty rum raisin, plums and grapes with a nice hop profile, medium high sweetness, and a good bitter counter-balance. This is a great imperial stout. Mangino (1027) - Mississippi, USA - OCT 4, 2005
Tap @ Great taste of the Midwest- Pours a very dark brown, no head. Aroma is coffee, chocolate whiskey. Flavor is whiskey, dark chocolate, tons of roasted malts and the barrel dominate the hops. argo0 (14127) - Washington DC, USA - OCT 3, 2005
(GABF05) Ink black body topped by a tan head. Aroma is medium sweet, coffee, chocolate, roasty. Taste is moderately sweet, coffee, cherry, some chocolate. Smooth and creamy full body that eclipses the alcohol very well.