RATINGS: 77   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.59/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 65   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
Brewmaster’s Reserve

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DewBrewer (294) - Austin, Texas, USA - JAN 11, 2006
22 oz. bottle. Dark black with medium head. Roasty aroma. Big dark flavors and lots of bitterness. Pretty dry compared to some Imperial stout’s residual sweetness. Not as balanced as I like but still a good beer. The alcohol is nicely covered by the dark flavors and the bitterness.

YourDarkLord (1800) - Urbana, Illinois, USA - NOV 11, 2005
Jaded. Seems that’s what’s happening. Getting jaded. Too much of too many good things? Who knows. This didn’t impress me as I had hoped. Nice dark, almost opaque black body with a frothy tan head. Hints of chocolate, coffee, molasses, toffee, vanilla. Thin and watery. Decent flavor but nothing that would have me begging for more.

TAR (2787) - Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, USA - OCT 18, 2005
Black maple. Rocky, tiny-bubbled gray-tan foam. Lovely nose of black currants bathing in port. Touch of roast, black licorice, coffee, and hazelnuts. Dry with medium spritz. Airy and firm initially. Possesses just enough softness, however, as ensuing rush of port and moist prunes uphold the body. Chalky, snappy malt spine vivifies the earthier roast twinge. Dab of nuttiness, but there’s little malt depth, otherwise. Tasty blend of brisk roast, vibrant espresso, and dark chocolate truffles is washed away by the char induced astringency and dryness. Quite gritty with some mineral heftiness and more astringency which ride alongside a plethora of fruity esters, ink, and espresso softness to lighten the hard malt frame. Finishes suggestively dry with a salty char accent as notes of black currants and molasses rise to the surface and linger. A pretty nice Imperial.

biz82 (1327) - austin, Texas, USA - OCT 8, 2005
Pours thick and quiet with little head. Sweet fruit and bubblegum with some banana, cocoa and tar. Super slick on the palate finishing with a long bitterness. Chocolate banana flavor with some roasted grain astringency. Distinct flavor combo.

DavidP (1748) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 3, 2005
GABF ’05. Black body, light tan head. Chocolate-malt aroma with substantial hop undertones. Chewy dark malt flavor with anise and latte coffee. Roasty dark fruity finish. A pretty good I.S. that would have been unique 3 years ago.

CaptainCougar (7634) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - SEP 11, 2005
Nearly opaque very dark brown body has a lightly-lacing tan head. Aroma is sweet, caramely and dark fruity with a hint of roastiness. Starts with rich, sweet caramel maltiness and some dark fruit. Finish has a strong roasty, almost ashy presence. Decent balance and complexity, but could lose some of its nearly burnt finish.

beeryum (652) - Norcross, Georgia, USA - SEP 10, 2005
Bottle. Deep dark dark brown pour with dark ruby hints. Sweet roasty aroma, some sweet caramel malts, and some candied darker fruits. Initial sweet caramel flavors, with more roasty malt flavors coming through in the middle, and a decent bitter finish. Some smoke and a fair bit of ashy bitter coffee, as well as some definite notes of raisins.

goldtwins (4319) - Nesconset, New York, USA - SEP 3, 2005
Poured a very dark brown color with a thin tan head. Sweet roasted malt aroma with notes of grape candy and light alcohol. Flavor is roastey and smokey. Big bitter backbone runs from mid flavor through the long finish.

bombshelter (349) - San Francisco, California, USA - AUG 28, 2005
On tap at the brewpub. Aroma is boozy, bready, some roast. Dark and opaque. Medium body, flavor is full-on roast, with some booze hanging over

DarkElf (3066) - La Jolla, California, USA - AUG 28, 2005
16-Jun-05 (22 oz bottle: Shared with SDbruboy at O’Brien’s, thanks Cliff!) Generously provided to assist me on my quest to rate 50 consecutive Imperial Stouts, this was number 47. Poured from the bottle, it’s a very pretty beer. Dark brown color with ruddy edges is lighter than almost any Imperial Stout I’ve had, but the full inch of dark tan head shows excellent retention, holding at a quarter-inch for quite some time. Ringed and patchy lacing adorns the glass, and subsurface bubbles cling to the glass, resisting the urge to join their friends atop the beer. The nose is lightly roasty, but equally malty and hoppy. First impression of the flavor is that this is a hopped up foreign stout, sweet, light vanilla, with a moderate roastiness that is definitely not a focal point. Toward the finish, the roast is pushed aside by a bitter, fairly floral hoppiness, and it’s the hoppiness of this Imperial Stout that is the lasting impression, not the roast. The alcohol isn’t noticeable at all. Medium "plus" body is fairly clean on the palate for the style, .ut that’s not surprising given the hoppiness. Not sticky or viscous. Naming it "Black Gold" is a bit of an exaggeration, but overall, a lighter Imperial Stout than most of what is out there, but still quite enjoyable and quaffable. (7, 4, 7, 4, 14, total: 3.6)

08-Aug-05 (Draft: Full Sail Brewing Company in Hood River, OR) Just a brief update since I’m fortunate enough to sample this directly at the brewery, I’d say the deep, bitter, roastiness is actually the lasting impression, so apparently as this beer ages, the roast subsides a bit. But fresh out of the tap, this is sweet, caramely, bitter, and strongly roasty. No signs of the fruity hoppiness I picked up when sampling the bottle. So, with this sample here at the brewery, yes, I’ll agree that it IS "Black Gold."

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