aarossell (151) - Grandville, Michigan, USA - DEC 4, 2006
Smooth, deep, dark, creamy, rich flavor, robust but not overly cocky, pure stout and pure flavor. No nasty bitterness, no sick alcohol overtones. Just delicious, holy crap was this good. KAME (160) - California, USA - NOV 28, 2006
2005 Vintage. Had this on tap at the brewpub during a recent trip to the midwest. What a brew in deed. Lacks the oaky vanilla aroma that you learn to expect from barrel aged stouts. Aroma is of light bourbon and dark coffee. Flavor is very impressive with a stong kick of roasted malts, bourbon, and some oaky vanilla smoothness. Body is full and best served at near room temperature. One of the highlights of the trip. cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - OCT 26, 2006
10/25/06. Poured out of 64 oz. growler, obtained in a trade with badnewsbeers on RateBeer 10/25/06. 2005 Vintage. Dark black-brown color with orange highlights and a medium-sized tan-brown head, mostly diminishing but dense and creamy. Lacing is spotty at best. Dark fudge nougat and maybe even some tootsie roll in the nose, chocolate-bourbon with a forward accent of charred espresso, lightly boozy. Some unwelcome vegetable notes (charred bitter green veggies?) poke in behind the coffee, but the nose is so bitterly roasty one moment and decadently oily the next, a shapeshifter with only the slightest shades of sweetness, that it suggests a rich and luscious dessert that I can’t wait to sink my teeth into. The actual flavor is a marked disappointment in comparison. Fairly straightforward dry chocolate and black malt, bourbon-vanillin emphasis and bakers’ chocolate. Sort of a papery fuzziness and general oxidation that somewhat saddens the beer (which I don’t necessarily mind in general, but it seems to be sucking away some of the lusciousness and chocolate mousse-y excitement here). Medium body with a slight oily texture and a touch of espresso acidity, all shaded with detection of the aging hops in the form of a papery mintiness. Nice gliding finish to a subtle and mostly dry roasted chocolatey trail. Long in subtle stages, but there’s still something missing. I like the finish and I like the flavor, but not as much as I wanted to like them. Seems like they struck a pretty good balance with the bourbon and chocolate/coffee, but almost everything is predominated by the oxidation at this point. Still pretty good, but not what it could be. Styles (2014) - Lincoln Park, Michigan, USA - MAY 14, 2006
Darft at MBG summer 05’. Dark oily black with big tan head. Beer was "growing legs" in a plactic glass, pretty impressive. Aroma has a nice mix of chocolate, bourbon and faint coffee. Flavor much the same with tons of chocolate initially, faint bourbon and coffee. Can dig this because neither the coffee or bourbon completely dominated the beer. Rastacouere (6177) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 22, 2005
Ypsilanti sample. Pitch black pour, elevating a foamy tan head that lasts surprisingly well. Beany, fennel reminiscent roasty and vegetal nose offers a lot to think on. Light yet sufficient carbonation, full bodied, well done in that regard as barrel-aged impies tend to be pretty thinned out. Pleasant and obviously well brewed, yet frankly, I’d rather have the regular imperial stout. This tastes pretty much as the commercial description puts it, in other words, I don’t see what sets it apart from another bourbon impy, oily and sweet with great doses of hampering roastiness, ponctuated by woody vanilla suggestions. While the malt appears well extracted, but coffee imparts a rather raw vegetal feel and and at the same time enhances the cheap alcohol feel which is really too bad as the "barreling" was not overdone.
tiggmtl (4544) - East York, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 20, 2005
Thick chocolate with vinous bourbon, vanilla and oak in the alcoholic aroma. Opaque black body is topped by a dense tan head that lasts well and laces. Roastiness in the flavour with liquorice notes that are somewhat overwhelmed by the alcoholic, bourbon barrel character with oak and vanilla also apparent. Thick, rich mouthfeel with fairly low carbonation. Sampled on tap at the Michigan brewers Guild Summer Festival 2005. Mangino (1027) - Mississippi, USA - OCT 18, 2005
Finally this has been figured out so I can enter my rating. On tap @ The Great Taste Of The Midwest- Pours a jet black, small brown head. Aroma is full of fresh roasted coffee and notes of chocolate and nuts. Flavor starts with buttery bourbon barrel flavor, fading into a huge espresso mocha kick. Finishes sweet and filling to the palate. A fine brew no matter what its called! Pailhead (6543) - Rochester Hills, Michigan, USA - OCT 15, 2005
UPDATED: OCT 23, 2006 On tap @ MBGF: Don’t know what the big secret was, but for some reason they didn’t want to say exactly what this was until one of the guys behind the tap inadvertantly shouted it out. Now it turns out he shouted out the wrong name, and now my rating is here instead. Excellent chocolate aroma with bourbon, light alcohol, and a hint of wood. Dark brown with no transparency and a tan ring for a head. Roasted coffee is really subdued compared to the regular version. Notes of bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate. Chocolate increases in the finish and lingers into the aftertaste. As it warms vanilla becomes more noticeable. Absolutely excellent. Please bottle this so I can get more!!! And one more thing, when you brew something this good, tell people what it is. jsquire (4537) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - OCT 12, 2005
This was my standout favorite of the 2005 MBG Fest. Very dark beer with an oil slick of a brown head. Coffee and bourbon dominate the nose. Lots of buttery bourbon, wood, roast coffee bean and chocolate flavors with a strong hop finish. This is a good example of using the barrel to compliment the beer and not just to overpower it. I could enjoy the Breakfast Stout on a more regular basis, but this is a very special treat. SuIIy (1983) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - OCT 12, 2005
Moved from bourbon to kentucky, now back to bourbon....
Draft at MSBF. Pours a dark oily black color with a thick tan head. Nose is chocolate, java and some very light notes of bourbon. Taste is rich and chewy, leaving a velvety feel on your mouth. Enough bourbon is tasted to make an impression but is not overwhelming. Chocolate and coffee also make an appearance.