MAP (1133) - Lakewood, Ohio, USA - JUL 27, 2003
UPDATED: MAR 14, 2005 Re-rate 3.14.2005. Bottle year 2001. First off this was the worst cork to open. I thought I had it all the way in, then it breaks. Then when I try to get the second part of the cork out it goes half way in then moves down lower. Great, so then I have to get the right combination of pressure and turing to penetrate the cork and not push it into the beer. The payoff? A black stout with no head, but flecks of cork floating about. Aroma is overwhelming. It has currant, cinamon, cloves, ginger, soft wood and port smells eminating from it. The flavor is just too ackward. It really has a port-like alcohol flavor to it. My solution? Shake up the little amount of liquid left in the bottle to get the yeast all fluid and pour the rest into the bottle. I think that actually smoothed out maybe the first 4% of the flavor. Then it hits you in the gut like a still jab from Ali. I just remembered what this beer reminds me of: Samichlaus, but more of a chocolate finish. Or am I thinking of Sam Adams Triple Bock but less like soy sauce. I give this beer pleanty of credit for its complexity, as it is in a class by with few others, since it is hitting so many facets of the beer spectrum. It has the dark and chocolatey side a la stout, the strong spicy flavor one might expect from an aged barley wine, and a rather viscous tart mouthfeel as an IIPA would deliver. A quality brew, but not a daily drinker in my book.
Origional Rating 7.27.2003: Smell is overpowering, more like a wine really. Hints of anise, and other very complex scents. Taste is equally as strong. Thin mouthfeel but a strong bite from the alcohol. Definate fruity flavors in it tho. A little on the strong side, but damn thats an interesting beer. SJP (483) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 27, 2003
2000 vintage. Pours black as night with almost no head, just a little tan lace. Smells almost like wine, fruity and yeasty, with a bit of chocolate. And the taste: strong roasted malt flavor, as well as a very bovious alcohol taste. Almost like drinking a turkish coffee and a strong red wince together. But really tasty, and very complex. sloth (2930) - Ceciltucky, Co., Maryland, USA - JUL 21, 2003
Corked, dated bottle. 99 vintage.pours completely flat. Couldnt even swirl up a bit of head. Black, opaque. Full bodied, oily slick. Fruity, licoricey a slight roastiness in the nose. Oxydation in the aroma also. Fruity, roasted, black malt flavors, leather, soy sauce and some more oxydation also. Finish is fairly dry with a somewhat unpleasent astringency?sourness that lingers a bit to long. Some carbonation would likely have helped this beer. Did not age very gracefully, ashame it was probably a decent beer at one time. Wrath (362) - Valparaiso, Indiana, USA - JUL 10, 2003
Pours like old Black motor oil. Thin head with little bubbles.Aroma has a strong licorice smell as well as some fruit notes and some dark chocolate notes too. Very complex.Alcohol is fairly strong but does not overwhelm the incredible flavor that this stout provides.Goes down heavy but smooth. Finishes long with a strong aftertaste.A classic. Dogbrick (13547) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JUL 6, 2003
2000 Bottle: This beer reminded me a lot of the 23%DFHWWS, even though the ABV is much lower in this 11.2oz bottle. This was probably my first corked Imperial Stout. Pours a black tar color with an ultra thin light beige head. No real lacing to speak of. Aroma will knock your socks off with licorice, chocolate and port wine. Full bodied flavor with a great roasted aspect. Flavors of malt, alcohol, spice and coffee come in wave after wave. This beer also has a very long and roasty burnt cedar finish. The only way to enjoy this beer is SLOWLY.
krisbierjaeger (844) - dolores, Colorado, USA - JUN 16, 2003
this handsome bottle would look august and epicurean on the condiment shelf pressuming to be a steak sauce. no 'hiss' was heard when i bade the cork to yield, not even a sniff. the contents flopped heavily into the glass, exciting only a peppery dotting of golden bubbles-- a pour of primordial swamp ooze comprised of composting dinosaurs and rubber trees crushed and baked for a geological age or two under the weight of the continental mantle. aroma is a beautiful melange of cointreau orange and cabernet, salt air and oil from a rhine river barge, and plums-- not just dried but smoked and made resinous in the gummy chambers of a hash pipe from an ottoman palace. at once both sweet as raisins and bitter as lime peel, it elegantly envelopes the tongue in it's smoky sweet puissance and squeezes like a boa. some carbonation would be interesting, but likewise this silky elixir of snake oil, darkest chocolate, india ink, alcohol and worchestershire sauce is magnificent as a flat, sipped cordial. great thanks and cheers to indra. thedm (6309) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - JUN 10, 2003
2001 Vintage. This brew poured a very small head of large dark brown bubbles that quickly disappeared leaving a ring of very small bubbles around the top of my mug. This aroma of this brew is amazing. It is very strong licorice aroma that can be smelled from across the room. Its body is 70,000 mile motor oil thick black. It has a strong licorice and roasted coffee flavor with a noticibly high alcohol content. A very interesting brew with a fair amount of complexity to it. I would like it better if the alcohol content was more hidden and the mouthfeel was more smooth. None-the-less, it is a very potent stout indeed! hotstuff (5233) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - JUN 10, 2003
2001 Vintage. This particular imperial stout poured a small head with very large bubbles that dissipated quickly. There was no lacing on the sides of my glass. The aroma was that of vinegar in my opinion. It had a smooth taste and a lingering aftertaste. Libeerian (209) - Garner, North Carolina, USA - JUN 5, 2003
1999 vintage. This full bodied beer pours thick and very dark. The flavor is a complexity of roast malt, chocolate and licorice. Don't try these big beers until they're a couple years old or you won't taste anything near their potential. JohnC (3008) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - MAY 23, 2003
1999 vintage. Pours like motor oil and tastes of soy sauce. No head. very alcoholic aroma, w/ some more roasty notes.