elihapa (1554) - Honolulu, Hawaii, USA - MAR 4, 2012
1/3/11 notes: 22oz bomber, shared by Desiree. Thanks a million! Pour is viscous, dark brown and with a dark tan head. Aroma is pungent: a dusty molasses-soy, bourbon and powdered chocolate. Palate is rich and sensual, finish is long and coating. Flavor is blasts of mocha, maple, creamy espresso, black chocolate, repeat. Finishes with a twang of both mapley sweetness and bitter roasts and hop residuals. Fantastic. KickInChalice (860) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 29, 2012
From notes. First reviewed 1/10/2011. Served on tap in a stange at the Haymarket Founders event. Batch from this past Spring.
CBS is pitch black, with ruby edges. A small greedy tan head fades due to the ABV, leaving just a little bit of lace on the glass.
Although I have not had a fresh sample, I am guessing the maple has faded a bit since I get a fairly nuanced maple aroma. A load of roasted malt dark chocolate, lots of coffee, and a bit of vanilla, maple syrup, and oak.
In the flavor, a quick dash of maple syrup and some molasses come with lots of dark roasted malts. Bam - coffee. More than I expected. Chocolate malt unfolds, and the bitter coffee flavor drives to the end. A little sweetness sneaks back in right at the finish. Delicious.
There is a noticeable smoothness from the oats. Full bodied to say the least, this is a viscous mother. Creamy carbonation that is almost crushed by the thickness of the body.
Although there is not as much maple as I was expecting, and the coffee sort of took over, this is still an awesome beer. I would still really like to have a fresh glass to see how it compares, whether the maple is stepped up even more.
From notes. Reviewed 10/16/2011. Fresh 2011 batch, poured from a 64 oz. growler into a snifter.
Unfortunately either the keg was light on the carbonation or it lost a bit in the growler. My pour has a minimal tan head that fades to nothing quickly. The color is a ebony with just a bit of ruby in the edges.
The aroma is pretty fantastic, I can tell that I am in for a serious bourbon barrel beer. Dark semi-sweet chocolate, molasses, and roasted malt dominate what aroma I assign to the base beer. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, and a nice dash of maple are from the barrel aging process.
The flavors all make themselves known immediately, with little or no progression. A dark Belgian chocolate flavor blends with sweet molasses and some dark roasted malts. Bourbon, vanilla, and oak all bracket the taste and add further complexity, with the maple simply serving as a way to push the flavor over the edge. Fantastic. There is a soft coffee bitterness at the end that is much more noticeable as it warms.
The lack of carbonation accounts for me knocking it down a notch. Other than that, the body is luxuriously thick and creamy. A bourbon bite lurks, but the creaminess is just right. There is a bit of carbonation and a touch of alcohol bite as well.
The difference between trying this fresh and trying a batch that is almost a year old is like night and day. The bourbon, molasses, and maple flavors are so much better defined, while the beer is full and viscous enough to make it drinkable. Truly a phenomenal beer. One day I will get to try a full carbonated fresh batch and it will probably be a near perfect score.
tkrjukoff (4334) - SWEDEN - FEB 23, 2012
Bomber shared at 7venth Sun by Kan, a big thnk for this man. Pours pitch black olily just a visible rim of tanned bubbly head. Aroma is big fullbodied roasted vanlla barrel sweet fruity and dark fruits. Flavoralso fullbodied rich malty toasty sweet maple syrup vanlla oaky bourbon bitter snd gives you that tingly ferling on your tounge. Finishes bitter malty and dryish despite the sweetiness. dionysus (1486) - Portland, Oregon, USA - FEB 21, 2012
Huge thanks to daknole as usual. Bottle pours deep brown/black with a brown head. Aroma is sweet and boozy with notes of maple, caramel, chocolate, smoke, whiskey, and brown sugar. Flavor shows the same with additional notes of oak, vanilla, dates, and roasted malt. Overall body is moderate to full, heavy sweetness, and finishes with some well hidden alc to warm up the backend. Damn good stuff and a little bit goes a long way. kdmcguire10 (18) - Grand Blanc, Michigan, USA - FEB 21, 2012
Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Founders CBS snifter
Dark as night pour with a fluffy caramel head, 1 finger that dissipates rather quickly.
Sweet milk chocolate smell blended perfectly with espresso notes. The maple and bourbon ties it all together perfectly.
So incredibly smooth tasting. Roasted caramel and coffee notes. Slight sweetness from the maple, but it’s not overpowering. It blends so well with the bourbon. The alcohol is so well-hidden with just a slight warming sensation on the back end. Everything a world-class stout should taste like. Wow.
Luxurious mouthfeel. Thick, luscious velvet-like texture. I could almost eat this with a spoon.
Epic beer! This is truly a masterpiece - a real luxury. The perfect stout in my estimation. This is the gold standard by which all imperial stouts should be judged.
Serving type: bottle
Reviewed on: 01-01-2012 02:47:25
gorditoabd (637) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 21, 2012
Bomber shared by Justin in DC. This is a righteous groove, my man. Pours lovely black. Nice brown sugar foam. Vanilla, anise, maybe a dusting of cinnamon and much bourbon in the nose, along with a stark plum presence. Taste does not disappoint, matching the nose all the way but smoother and more well balanced. Hard to believe, but the alcohol and blend of things is more subtle. Amazing stuff, and I’m so glad I finally got to try it. I love you man. dimenhetfield (2554) - , Florida, USA - FEB 20, 2012
On tap at EBF Saturday session. This was another big highlight for me. Didn’t think I’d get to try this one. Super dark pour with a good bit of maple in the aroma. Thick and a little bit chewy but the flavors were pretty intense. Great beer. FlacoAlto (4234) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - FEB 20, 2012
A steady pour into my Lost Abbey Teku glass produces a dense looking, darkly browned head. The beer has a clear brown sheen to it as I pour it in thin sheets from the bottle, but looks exceedingly dark and opaque as it sits in my glass. The aroma smells strongly of concentrated, cold coffee up front; it is a bit acrid, exceedingly roasted, sharply burnt, with a clean, charcoal smokiness. More digging yields a deeply toasty, dark bread character, as well as notes of burnt molasses that intermingle with the huge roast character. Once you really take a couple deep draughts of the aroma in a row a sweet, maple and dark chocolate character become more noticeable, both of which are boosted by a dark, concentrated malt sweetness. The nose is definitely quite rich, it is a bit too dominated by the burnt and acrid roast grain / coffee character than I would prefer, but I can’t say that I actually expected anything different. The maple character is quite subtle, but I like that it is at least slightly noticeable.illinismitty (2377) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - FEB 19, 2012
The beer has a dark malt and chocolate sweetness to it up front, but it isn’t nearly as sweet as I might have suspected from the aroma. The sweetness is quite well tempered by big, bitter roast notes that are redolent of concentrated coffee as well as roasted malt; the coffee is quite distinct here, as the roast character from coffee does have a different character than roast grain; there is definitely a touch of acrid character, as well as a hint of sharpness / acidity from the burnt character. There is a soft, prickly carbonation that at times goes unnoticed underneath the rich, viscous heft that makes up the body of this beer; this is not anywhere near the heaviest of Imperial Stouts, but is most definitley a meal in a glass and a sipping brew. Woody roasted notes seem to be accentuated just a touch by a hint of maple sweetness that lingers on a bit in the finish. The finish is mostly dominated by a lingering, bitter, hugely roasted flavors though. Some of the acrid, roasted character seems to be accentuated by a slight, woody astringency that is likely contributed by the oak; without having known this was aged in a barrel I doubt I would have attributed this to wood, but now that I have noticed it, I can’t help but continue to notice the contribution in each sip; this is especially true in the long finish as there is a subtle, spicy oak character here.
Chocolate notes become more and more prominent as the beer warms up and the maple sweetness also becomes a touch more noticeable as well. Nicely the acrid, bitter, and burnt roast character becomes a touch tamer as the beer warms up too. The oak character becomes a bit more woody and spicy and a touch more noticeable, though it still forms a secondary role in this beer (as opposed to the subtle one it played when cooler). I really like that the acrid / excessively-burnt character has been reduced, even though it has been replaced by more sticky sweetness my palate seems to be able to deal with the former a bit better.
I can definitely see why this beer is so enjoyed by people, but it isn’t quite as good to me; this is still a tasty tipple, but in the end the burnt coffee notes and even the spicy / astringent oak add a harshness to the character that just doesn’t quite speak to perfection for me. On the other hand without the ample roast character and balancing oak, this beer would be a sweet sticky mess; somehow this beer is missing balance & is certainly a long way from achieving finesse. Not all beer needs to achieve this though, and this is still quite enjoyable. This is certainly a nice beer to enjoy as a long extended dessert, over an evening spent keeping warm.
GABF and Yazoo Sue Fortuitous release. Pours deep brown with a chocolate brown head. Aroma of dark roasted malts and smoke. Full bodied with a slick texture. Flavor of dark roasted malts, unsweetened dark chocolate, maple, and smoke -counted by a spicy bitterness. Very complex and balanced beer as far as flavors go. Worthy of the hype if you ask me burg326 (5630) - Florida, USA - FEB 13, 2012
Poured a dark black color with aromas of coffee, chocolate, maple, and bourbon. Flavor is blended chocolate coffee with bourbon, not much maple comes through. As the beer warms, more bourbon notes come through, outstanding beer.