Indra (2710) - Suburbia, Kansas, USA - MAR 8, 2002
Chalk this up as another re-rate...that earlier description of mine just was no help at all to anyone. In addition to amending my rating, I am also awarding this beer a perfect 5...more on that here in a bit. Firstly, I was led to believe that the beer I tried was aged approximately 6 months, so the late 2001 batch, then. The aging process takes place in old whiskey barrels appropriated from McCormick's brewery and distillery in Weston, MO. It is, like the Barleywine, also served at proper cellar temperature and in a brandy snifter. It has an intriguing, partially opaque red/black appearance, with a small number of tiny bubbles that cling lightly to the side of the glass. The head is very slight, and also composed of some of the smallest bubbles I've yet seen in a beer. The aroma is roasted, but also very sweet, with some licorice and alcohol...this is certainly one of the most complex aromas I've ever experienced. Words (or, at least *my* words) do not properly do it justice. The flavor is also very, very complex and hard to describe, but has sweetness, alcohol, a very small dash of whiskey, licorice, raisin, and a minor amount of chocolate as well. I was unfortunately unable to determine the malts used in this beer...another time, for certain. It has a slightly syrupy finish, and an interesting thing struck me as the flavors faded away -- this beer has no coffee flavors whatsoever. Interesting to have such maltiness in such a huge beer but no coffee. Anyway, there is some hoppiness, mostly apparent in the finish, but overall the malt flavors dominate. Finish is very, very long and sweet, not dry. Here are the few stats I was able to retrieve: 27.5 P, 1118 O.G., with an alcohol content of 9.4% by vol. This is such a unique and astoundingly complex (not to mention indescribably delicious!) beer that I feel it deserves a 5. Every sip I am newly amazed at the panoply of flavors on my tongue, and it makes me shake my head in wonderment, quite literally. I have never had anything like this, and I sincerely wish there was a way for me to share it with all of you! BBB63 (6567) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - OCT 21, 2003
UPDATED: AUG 29, 2004 BIG, BIG, BIG THANKS for the nip Emily and Jeff, great people! (Expedition glassware, near room temp) Nearly jet black with the exception of some gimmering burgundy highlights. What few bubbles escaped the massive brew formed the coolest 4 pointed star upon the top of my beer, that is damn neat, is it a sign? Nice oily grainy cling as well. Big bold bourbon, chocolate malt, and rich ripe fruity nose. Additional smoky, coffee, licorice, and woody aroma. Wonderful. Velvet smooth upon the tongue with a sticky feel on the lips. FULL-BODIED for sure! Taste is a rush of fruity and malty sweetness followed by a nip of well placed bitters and a touch of acidity. For something so big, the balance was a work of art. The finish contained a woody dryness and minor alcohol presence to help clean the palate and make you want more. I find it amazing that this beer (or nectar of the gods) can be so rich yet never becomes cloy or overpowering, just perfect in it delivery. I can't believe I about to say this, but I have finally found my 1st perfect beer. WOW! csbosox (1229) - Prairie Village, Kansas, USA - DEC 8, 2004
UPDATED: JAN 27, 2008 Per Brewmaster, this was brewed in April 2004. The color is black, ink black. Light tan head subsides quickly. Sweet, malty, bourbon, woodsy nose. Coffee, bittersweet chocolate, fruit rind flavor. My last note appears to be (This was one of the last beers of the night) "like drinking sweet motor oil, it coats the tongue." I may have had a few in me, but I have had this beer, A LOT, and it is a frickin treat every time. 9/5/9/5/19 4.7 tupelohoney (1) - Topeka, Kansas, USA - MAY 9, 2006 does not count
RERATE (March ’05) This is a 2000 poured from a growler into my NB worthy glass @ 50.5°. Pours dark brown, black with a non-existent head, just a few bubbles. (When I had the ’00 fresh from the tap earlier this month, there wasn’t much more carbonation). Aroma is divine, roasted malts, chocolate, coffee?, dark fruits e.g. plums and prunes, spicy hops. The nose is like a beer perfume. The taste is smooth and bursting with flavor; mildly roasted malt, lots and lots of dark, ripe fruits, vanilla, almost like vanilla ice cream with a topping of a dark fruit puree. I can taste the barrel aging more than when this was young; it adds a complementary vanilla and a mild, really mild oak and bourbon flavor. This really is one of the best and most complex beers I have ever had; it really straddles the line between a barleywine and imperial stout. The taste is remarkably smooth, meaning that I do not get the peaks and valleys of malt sweetness and hops bitterness; it is all just fully integrated. I believe I know what a 5.0 beer tastes like, it tastes like this. The aroma is divine, the appearance has lightened over the years, but is still strong and bold, the taste is multilayered and complex, the mouthfeel is substantial, but silky smooth and like velvet. This is the epitome of beer. My new rating is for the 5 year old 2000.
I was blown away by this beer. Awesome flavor that finished nicely. Just the right amount of alcohol behind in. Gregis (1291) - Stilwell, Kansas, USA - MAY 27, 2007
On tap @ the brewpub. 2004 Batch. Let me begin by saying that I don’t generally believe that ANYTHING should be considered "perfect". Everything, or so I thought, could stand to be improved in some way. This beer, however, has changed my definition of the word. Nothing that I have ever consumed has come so close to a religious experience that I could honestly say that changing a single thing would be sacrilege. This beer is pure bliss; liquid sex.
It pours jet black with a tiny head that clings to the sides of the snifter. Despite the fact that the bartender gave me such a generous pour that I couldn’t swirl the glass until after several sips (no complaints though), the aroma is amazing. Dark fruits abound, with plums and raisins up front, vanilla and a brandy-like alcohol rounding things out. There are no words to describe the euphoria that simply smelling this beer can induce. My buddy and I spent uncounted minutes with our noses in our snifters just breathing and smiling. Once I took a sip, my tongue was blanketed in chewy silky smoothness. The flavor that hit me literally made me laugh to myself and say, "Oh my God." It was a blend of dark fruits, dark roasted malty sweetness, faint chocolate and both a hint of the bourbon and a faint wine-like woodiness that obviously comes from the conditioned barrels that house this incredible nectar. As a fan of cognac and Armagnac, I love "warm" complex flavors. I am utterly blown away that something that costs just $3.50 a snifter can embarrass spirits that cost ten times as much. When I die, I want to be embalmed in this stuff.
If you haven’t gotten the hint yet. I love this beer, and if you ever get the chance to try it on tap rather than from a growler or hand bottle, don’t hesitate.
grant (842) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - DEC 14, 2002
I must say, this is the best beer I've ever had, so far (12/14/02; I may not agree with this in the future). I would give this across the board perfect scores, but I don't think anyone with only 129 ratings is prepared to designate what is a perfect beer. This beer is sublime. Grainy, sweet, malty flavors waft up from the snifter and later seduce your taste buds. As far as the fruit flavors, I experienced the same as PhillyBeer independently; a panapoly of dark fruits, with hints of apricot and peach. Finishes with plenty of spicy, entertaining hops, and a little alcohol. I'm surprised the ABV wasn't higher; one of Free State's doppelbocks and one and a half of these later and I'm pretty ripped. Whew! I wish they'd let you buy a growler of this stuff. It's pretty reasonably priced at $3.25 a glass, though. JB175 (1665) - Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 8, 2007
UPDATED: APR 7, 2009 Rating #700 (a few days shy of my 1year on RateBeer!)- Bottle thanks to hellomynameis. Nice blackish color with a smaller tan head. Aroma is thick with chocolate, wood and bourbon, a bit of heavy cream, and some vinous fruit. Taste has some richly roasted dark malts, a bit of dark chocolate, vinous fruit, and a bit of cream with bourbon and wood remaining after the sip. This one shows the remnants of those 100 IBUs and really benefits from the barrel aging. I’m really glad to have tried this one and hope these guys bring it back at some point in the future. Really good beer! Re-rate from growler. The sweetness and complexity make this the most amazing Impy stout I’ve had. Wonderful does not even sum it up. An all time favorite. djakbar (1) - Westmont, Illinois, USA - AUG 12, 2013 does not count
This is a great stout. Dark Lord type quality if not better. Very smooth. Lots of complex aromas. Was the best thing we had at 2013 great taste. cb (810) - Roeland Park, Kansas, USA - DEC 14, 2002
UPDATED: OCT 19, 2003 Very rich and delicious. Extremely strong and strictly for sipping. I could nurse one of these for an hour or so and feel extremely cultured. Rerate: Dark, oily black shade, just a hint of plum-flesh brown. More bourbon flavor in the batch sampled 10/2003, complex vinous nuances coupled with rich Swiss chocolate almonds. Just a hint of coffee...I can't say anything that has already been said, my senses enjoy different flavors every time I enjoy it.