kramer (6905) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 28, 2006
From Growler, via KUEric. Pours an inky black with a thin ring of beige bubbles. Thinner looking than I was expecting. Enormous bourbon nose off the bat, then a heavy dose of charred oak, then alcohol. Notes of vanilla, soy, dark chocolate, and black patant malt. Bourbon is very pronounced in the flavor as well, as the flavor very much mimics the aroma. Bourbon and charred oak up front with soy and chocolate on the finish. Completely still carbonation and very oily in texture, it leaves a long lingering finish. A very nice beer for those who enjoy the big bourbon Imperials. For those who don’t, you may want to avoid this at all costs. Me like. harlequinn (2744) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - FEB 27, 2006
I was expecting a little more just based on all the positive ratings and the "hype" of this beer. Deep brown murkiness, oily like 30W, with aboslutely no head. Aroma is intense and immense with rich dark chocolate, some dark fruitiness and just a touch of alcohol. Lots of sweet alcohol, plums and other dark fruits permeate the flavor profile, aftertaste is wonderful with creamy vanilla and a hint of bourbon, brown sugar and spicy cinnamon. Very good and complex for a sweet stout, but I was just expecting a little more balance. BückDich (5477) - McCall, Idaho, USA - FEB 24, 2006
Sampled from a growler. Deep murky black color, completely opaque. Nose of bourbon, licorice, soy sauce, maple syrup, mocha espresso, ethanol (but fruity), light vanilla and raisins. The flavor is nice and creamy, smooth with the perfect level or roast and astringency. Sweetness blends with the bourbon which blends with the other alcohol notes, which are there, perhaps a bit more than I like, but it works for me on this beer. Excellent example of balance and control of extreme flavors. This beer shows me the creamy drinkability sides of a strong sweet stout. Perhaps it’s the low hopping (only ~100 IBUs!) or the strong residual sugars, but it’s good. My hat’s off to harlequinn for getting his folks to pick this up in Lawrence. alaskanwarren (286) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 28, 2006
Inky black appearance, wiht light brown hints in the bubbles, laces the edges heavily. Aroma: molasses, brown sugar, fruits, cake, roast, some prunes. Flavor is like burnt brown sugar, roasted coffee, sweet, tangy, fruity. Very rich. I really enjoy this sort of Imperial stout. The body is velvety, thick and very cloying. It’s really everything I really love in an Imp. Thanks to Doppelganger for bottling some from his growler for me. And thanks to Aaron for picking it up for him. beeryum (652) - Norcross, Georgia, USA - JAN 16, 2006
Old notes from a tasting late last year. Opaque black pour, no head. Huge roasty chocolate aroma, with good amounts of prunes and plums, and touches of whisky. Creamy smooth mouthfeel, with big roasty malts full of chocolate, toffee, caramel, and loads of dark fruits: plums and prunes. Warming, but alcohol was decently hidden. Very much enjoyed - I’d consider planning a trip to Kansas soley around this beer.
segfault (103) - Centennial, Colorado, USA - JAN 3, 2006
Thanks to alakanwarren, I was able to try this one. Pour inky blank. Aroma is chocolate malt, prune, molasses, coffee, and sweetness. The flavor is a lovely maltiness with a pleasing velvety mouthfeel. A delightful balance of bitter and malt. This beer has a wonderful lingering warmth, hints of oak, and fruitiness. Wonderful complexity. I’m quite impressed. It is everything I want in an Imperial. Very enjoyable, a special beer enjoyed with good friends. Highly recommended. henry3r (586) - Wichita, Kansas, USA - NOV 6, 2005
The tap poured an opaque black beverage with almost no head and what was there to begin with dissipated almost immediately. The aroma was very complex. There was a heavy roasted malt character with mild coffee notes. In addition, I also noticed a defined tawny port taste and notes of Prune and oak with a decided alcohol warmth. The body was very full with almost no noticeable carbonation and a creamy or oily texture. The flavor started off quite sweet with port and notes of prunes. The finish was very long and it was here the coffee came out along with the heavy alcohol warmth. Crosling (1864) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - OCT 16, 2005
Black color, with a very thin foam of light tan. Rich medley of aromas, which are not in any way hot, alcoholic or "bourbony," but instead loaded with both malt and bourbon influenced wood, giving hints of chocolate, tiramusu, fudge, vanilla, cocunut, wood, bourbon and fruit. Well balanced and delicious. Rich caramel and toffee, with bitter chocolate and well extracted vinous fruit flavors. Woody and bourbon influenced, but not overly so. A really lovely brew. Lots of different dimensions and flavors.
Ray1975 (251) - Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, USA - OCT 15, 2005
From Growler.. Thanks to Beerhandy.. Poured black as night with a few bubbles of carbonation creeping up through the thickness a few seconds after the pour. Aroma was heavy on the bourbon with vanilla, chocolate and coffee. Flavor followed suit with bourbon standing out most and a heavy vanilla flavor with a bit of chocolate and roasted malts. Heavy, thick motor oil consistency.. Great Imperial Stout!.. Doppelganger (1389) - Dry County, Arkansas, USA - OCT 11, 2005
UPDATED: OCT 4, 2008 Rating update: hand bottled from the same growler as my original rating, three years later. Opened with Craig, Stella, Fin, Loz and Traci, at the "What’s This Label Supposed To Be Anyway?" tasting. Still a little bit of carbonation, though very soft. Sweet vanilla and milk chocolate aroma with a little viney touch. Creamy and soft all around, the edges melding and smoothing into each other. Still remarkably good, and the age adds some interesting dimentions. Overall, I think I prefer the somewhat sharper character of the younger beer, but it is really fun to see how good it still is.
From a growler, same-day delivered to me by my friend Aaron and tasted a couple of days later when I was in the right frame of mind. So very kind of you AJ!
Dense black in the glass, with a fine layer of crema-like head, settling to a viscous ring that hung on tenaciously while I swirled and sniffed, waiting for it to warm a bit more. The aromas keep moving around on me, so that every return to the glass offers a new adjective. The highlights: toffee, figs, rum. It does smell strong, but remarkablly smooth at the same time. Dark, full chocolate flavors, blending to buttery rum vapors, with just a bit of smooth espresso roast in the finish. Hops evade my notice, though at 100 IBUs, I’m sure there are a bunch of them. Dark chocolate seems like the right description for the palate too. Fills every corner of my mouth with creamy flavor, but then departs with a surprisingly clean finish. I know if I tasted this in July I would give it a much lower score. Some Imperial Stouts handle summer fine. This is a cool-weather only stout. In the pleasant October chill, it makes me warm. And happy.