cmonster (1000) - Portland, Oregon, USA - OCT 18, 2009
Before I put in the details.... WOW!! Bottle served at near-room temperature into a snifter. Minimal light-brown head that quickly rings to the side of the glass. Almost pure-black in color. Oil-like and reflects your mug from the top after the head has settled. Sweet, intense aromas of caramel, chocolate, wood, vanilla, alcohol, and roasted nuts. The flavor and palate have the dial turned up to 11. The fact that there is so much creamy, robust flavor in just a little sip is utterly spellbinding. The alcohol is there on the finish, but in a good way, prickling over your tongue and warming into your limbs. Again... Wow!! zvikar (6465) - Ramat Gan, ISRAEL - OCT 15, 2009
UPDATED: NOV 9, 2009 Bottle bought @ Whole Foods NY, pours dark opaque and sticky with no head, aroma of scotch, raisins, chocolate, nuts and cherry, strong flavors of chocolate, raisins, smoked malt, hash, scotch, cherry liquor and bitter sweet long aftertaste, pretty amazing body. Outstanding
@Freaktoberfest 2008 bottle, pours total black with a small deep chocolate head, cream like aroma with some maple, toffee, caramel, vanilla, chocolate and cherry liquor, flavors of brandy, cherry, scotch, wood, caramel, liqurice and soy sauce, supreme brew with complex flavors and aroma, and great mouthfeel. WOW corby112 (2813) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 15, 2009
This review pertains to the 2005 vintage.
Pours pitch black and completely opaque without even the slightest of lighter colored edges when held to a light source. Completely still with no head at all. This looks like a goblet of oil.
Aroma is dominated by a ton of oaky bourbon with hints of vanilla. Also, I’m picking up a lot of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee bean, burnt toast and bourbon, bourbon, bourbon!
Heavy full chewy viscous mouthfeel with such a smooth creamy body that I can’t believe this beer is 11%. The alcohol heat is excellently masked. Lots of wooden earthy oak notes and bourbon flavor with hints of subtle vanilla. Also a good bit of roasted chocolate malt, burnt toast, coffee, oatmeal and Bourbon! So creamy, smooth and well balanced. This beer is incredibly mellow afte the three years of aging. Nice alcohol warmth in the finish with some subtle hops. This beer is absolutely fantastic. I want to get a few more bottles so I can try it fresh and age a few for a decade or so. ISO more bottle!
Wegro (332) - Fresno, California, USA - OCT 14, 2009
whooo you can smell this stuff from across the room! raisin/prune and alc aroma. flavor is similar, it’s like a big mash up of raisins, wine, and chocolate. really winey. very oily. tons of flavor, alc apparent in finish. really warming but not overwhelming. it’s kind of crazy and i wouldn’t drink it regularly but it’s a real treat, really glad i was able to have one. NayTron (133) - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - OCT 13, 2009
UPDATED: OCT 16, 2009 Huge thanks to coyotehunter for giving up a bottle.This is all about the bourbon. The flavor is strong, sweet, chewy and warm. A sipper for sure. If you like bourbon this is a must have.
savnac (2656) - Anchorage, Alaska, USA - OCT 10, 2009
12 oz bottle of 2005 batch. Pitch black with a tiny head from a hard pour that disappears fast. Aroma is really boozy with chocolate, molasses, vanilla and oak. Flavor is huge, lots of sweetness and plenty of bitterness, there is also a alcohol flavor. Full body with mild carbonation and a creamy thick mouth feel. This is a great beer, a bit boozy but still a really nice sipper. minch25 (577) - Medford, Massachusetts, USA - OCT 8, 2009
UPDATED: DEC 20, 2009 Rerate. 2009 650ml. Appearance: same. Aroma, a lot cleaner, no oxidation. Just cool sweet bourbon. Very smooth, low roast, low hops, lots of bourbon, dark sweet and rich. Very similar to barrel aged Speedway. Which means it’s really good.
wunderbier (1434) - Tampere, FINLAND - OCT 8, 2009
8 4 9 4 17 4.1
Orig. rating. 2008 bottle.
Pours pretty dark brown, close to zero head. Smells a little oxidized. A ton of bourbon and chocolate in there. Take a deep breath for that cleansing rush of alcohol through the nasal passages. Very rich flavor - stands up to the richest Expedition Stouts. A lot of bourbon, very sweet, and again that distinctive bourbon oak flavor. Extremely smooth and creamy. Low roast levels compared to some other RIS examples. It’s really rather amazing that this is a 13% beer because it really comes off far from boozy. Very tasty and a good example of how to make an extreme imperial stout without going overboard.
7 3 9 4 17 4.0
Thick, oily, headless pour of a seal brown beer. Intense dark chocolate and vanilla extract aroma with secondary notes of bourbon, roasted coffee, and salt liquorice and a strong undercurrent of baked raisins. Balance is firmly to the powerful sweetness, though followed by significant roast- and hop-derived bitterness with a constant round acidity and moderate saltiness. Powerful flavors mimic the aroma but are viciously overpowered by a hot alcohol and salted, smoked fish combination. Thick body, oily texture, faint carbonation.
Wildly out of balance, harsh, and difficult to drink. Bottled on 10/08/2008. tmoreau (4642) - Lombard, Illinois, USA - OCT 8, 2009
UPDATED: JUN 13, 2013 Finally decided to review this after a number of years and many samplings, but was finally motivated by the 08 draft version now on tap at Lunar Brewing Co. Oil pour to a snifter, with a dark, black/brown hue, minimal foam, and a few spots of lacing. The aroma was notes of dark fruit, chocolate, wood, smoke, and caramel, but were mostly overwhelmed by the potent bourbon. The flavor exhibited the bourbon’s very warming qualities in addition to the blend of aroma notes. A syrupy, full bodied, kick-ass elixir!
Just recently shared a 2009 bomber with beer friends at Lunar Brewing Co., viscously poured to snifters additionally showing some garnet highlighting, leggy coating on the glass, a full nose of barrel notes, dark cherry sweetness, and mellow but strong, bourbony alcohol. Full bodied, syrupy, softly carbonated, plenty of alcohol warmth, bold but really smooth. Aged extremely well! cathcacr (647) - Oregon, USA - OCT 8, 2009
UPDATED: JAN 9, 2010 1/9/2010: Bought a bomber of the 2009 on the assumption this would be rating No. 600, but turns out I had bought a regular bottle of an earlier year. This year it’s just fucking delicious. Full sherry/brandy-like aroma, thorough and rich flavor, nice full silky semi-thick mouthfeel. Awesome. Rating applies to ’09 version.
2008. Very bourbon-y on the nose, it was evident without looking at the name. No head, just thick black liquid with bourbony, alcoholy fumes. Full rich Impy flavor, just doesn’t hide the alcohol or seem to make any attempt to. Seems I’ve had something very similar to this before - maybe Dogfish Head WWS except more bourbon-y?