Silphium (3198) - Traverse City, Michigan, USA - APR 4, 2005
UPDATED: MAR 27, 2006 Re-rate based on 2005-2006 version, sampled at the Michigan Winter Beer Fest in Lansing.GonZoBeeR (3061) - ste-catherine, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 28, 2006
An incredibly rich, balanced Imperial Stout with strong roasted coffee dominating the aroma and flavor. The year-long bourbon aging left a soft, round vanilla and oak character that beautifully complements the rich coffee and understated chocolates. This was an excellent step off the heavy, sweet RIS path paved by most of the other brewers at the fest, despite the impressive nature of many of those brews. Absolutely no acidity. Smooth, balanced, beautiful. Much improved over the already good 2003 version.
Bottled version, sampled 27 March 2006. Served at room temperature. Deep opaque brown body, thin-medium ochre head. Rich aroma of roasted coffee and vanilla beans, with added emphasis of tannins from the oak barrels. A deep sniff yields some alcohol burn. Swirls of oak and vanilla infiltrate the roasted coffee and dark chocolate body, with a slight bourbony alcohol burn on the finish. Rich body, but not syrupy or heavy. I believe I’ve said all I need to say about this beer. Rating stands. Go buy some.
2003 version. On tap at Founders. Dark brown/black body, thin tan/ochre head, leaving nice lacing. Prune, plum, chocolate, and bourbon aroma, definitely aged and nicely complex. Compared to the Bourbon Stout, the bourbon in this beer was much stronger in the flavor, with the strong vanilla and oak still allowing plum and chocolate to peek through. A very good beer, but not all that similar to the Breakfast Stout; the bourbon tends to dominate the flavor and gives this beer a unique character. Rich and very tasty.
On tap at the EBF...
Aroma:Liquorice,chocolate,coffe,alcohol... brown head...
Flavor:Liquorice,alcohol,coffe,chocolate. i love it....... OhioDad (2492) - Hilliard, Ohio, USA - MAR 11, 2006
12oz bottle It is a little late for breakfast so this is more like lunch stout, but I did just wake up a couple of hours ago. Pours black with a nice dark tan head that settles quickly back to 1/8 of an inch and laces in thick layers. Aroma is full rich coffee, milk chocolate, and just a hint of bourbon. Quite pleasant and one of those brews that you just want to sniff for a while before you sip it. Flavor is just as divine as the aroma. Nice full coffee flavor, some rich milk chocolate up front as well but the back of each sip is where you find the nice sweet bourbon flavor and just a touch of oak and vanilla.. Nothing too extreme or overdone just full flavored and blended oh so well. Nice smooth palate without much carbonation. Feels almost slick and oily in the mouth. Nice smooth finish and the alcohol is nowhere to be found except in the warmth that this brings after a few sips. This is some really really good brew!! Gorbalev (3000) - Ontario, CANADA - APR 20, 2006
Bottle shared with Hogtown Harry, Blankboy, GregClow, Harry’s bottle (thanks again for sharing this Harry!!). Wow, fresh coffee bean aroma and some malt in powerful aroma - very nice. Pitch black, creamy small tan head. Taste is lovely - all coffee, but also lots of bourbon - nice balance (my attitude towards bourbon beers has been shifted dramatically because of this tasting tonight - this and the Old Numbskull). Thick body, needs that heft to hold these flavors in check. Lovely lingering roast and hops. Pretty stunning stuff, not quite the heights of the Breakfast stout, but not far off. apoptosis (1317) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAY 10, 2006
Thick, heavy, coffee- and bourbon-filled aroma. Very meaty. Great full-bodied flavor too. Nearly no head at all. Slightly astringent in the finish and highly oily. Obviously agened in bourbon barrels, but the bourbon flavor is not over-powering.
Kevster (344) - Bradenton, Florida, USA - MAY 14, 2006
Since I love beer, bourbon, and coffee I couldn’t wait to try this one. Pours a dark brown (close to black) with a small fizzy light brown head that dimishes slowly leaving good lacing. Malty aroma is roasted coffee and bourbon with hints of vanilla. The bourbon is more evident in the aroma! Flavor is all about the coffee with a light bitter bourbon finish. Easy drinking beer for sipping since the alcohol is well hiddenl. A good beer to splurge on since I paid $19.99/4-pack! This beer Rocks! rajendra82 (1103) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - JUN 12, 2006
Received from BA orbitalr0x as part of BIF 33, this much anticipated beer came in a stubby bottle with a label design reminiscent of bygone time. When poured, the deep brown opaque body aided by a mocha colored, one finger thick, foamy head was inviting and imposing at the same time. The aroma was heavily laden with dark roasted coffee and freshly hewn oak. I took a half a point off for the smell being a little too acrid, and lacking either the chocolate or dark fruit undertones of other imperial stouts. The taste was naturally coffee driven as well, with the Bourbon barrel aging providing a smoother, and drier feel than was expected in a stout of this strength. The vanilla like oak tannins and the substantial hop and roast grain bitterness came through much clearer towards the end of each sip, before being subdued by the eventual warmth of the peppery ethanol. The mouthfeel was abundantly thick and just a hair short of chewy. The hefty punch of alcoholic strength made this a fine late night digestif, but detracted from the drinkability a little. If you drink this at breakfast, call in sick and go back to bed till noon. ross (2146) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - JUL 2, 2006
Bottle from John (JPDIPSO) Thanks! For #900 I wanted to drink something that I thought would be special, and from my favorite style. This was it. Pours very dark black. Smell has a little notes of bourbon, coffee, roasted malts, and a little bit of alcohol. Taste is rich, and not very much like bourbon (which is good since Im not a fan really). This was like drinking a thick, slightly chilled glass of coffee with some Beam in it. Simply an amazing beer, the best oak aged beer Ive had before. This reminds me of Oak Aged Yeti, just more smooth. I would love to have this for breakfast :) scraff (2125) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JUL 28, 2006
Dense black, creamy swirling tan head. Intense rich nose of used espresso grounds and black chocolate that float on a soft wave of caramel, burnt ashy wood, vanilla, and a faint bourbonesque tone. The flavor is just as nice and generally mirrors the aroma. The barrel is expertly used here for complementing, not overwhelming. Full bodied, soft carbonation, bittersweet finish. Fan-f’in-tastic! Thanks for saving me a bottle Hopscotch... TomDecapolis (4636) - Milton, Delaware, USA - AUG 1, 2006
Much thanks to hopdog for sharing this brew off my wants list. Pours a dark brown bordering on black with some red when held to the light with a smaller dark tan lightly lacing head. Aroma of coffee grinds, vanilla, wood, lighter bourbon and some chocolate. Flavor was very smooth, well blended mix of coffee, vanilla, bourbon and a roasty malt.