rodenbach99 (4572) - Longueuil, Quebec, CANADA - APR 19, 2017 ThisWangsChung (836) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - JUN 30, 2013
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
9.3 oz bottle into a snifter, 2009 vintage. Bottle says 9%
A: Pours a pitch black color. The head is a one finger tan shade that fades away gracefully. A creamy ring of lace remains on the glass before that fades, as well.
S: Man, my fellow reviewers weren’t kidding when they said this had a sour edge. The aforementioned tartness has a wonderful cherry tone to it, as well. When given a chance to open up, it develops stronger notes of chocolate, molasses, soy, and smoke. In a nutshell, the aroma is basically chocolate-coated tart cherries. Epic.
T: The first sip bowls me over in terms of layered complexity. It’s also roastier than the aroma suggested. Because I had every expectation of this being sour, its opening presence doesn’t bother me. Flavors become roasty near the middle, and smoky on the back end. A distant aftertaste of earthy notes become prevalent, as well. It’s far more complex than I described, though - the more I sip, the more distinct flavors I pick up (dark fruits, licorice, caramel, tobacco, peat, and leather). The only real flaws I can find is that the depth of flavor isn’t perfectly cohesive, and the finish develops a bit too much char flavor at times. Otherwise, this is some stunningly contemplative stuff.
M: It’s creamy, but at the same time, airy and VERY dry. The feel gradually becomes ’wetter’ as more is sipped, giving it the proper decadence it deserves. As a nitpick, it could stand to be a bit beefier in its body - especially since this isn’t something that I’d call ’easy to drink’.
O: This ain’t for everyone. I like to think of this one as a rite of passage for most beer drinkers - many will hate it, but those that aren’t initially put off by its strange chocolate-meets-soy sauce-meets-char-meets-sour cherries approach to a RIS will be rewarded spectacularly. In a word, superb; how fitting something of this magnitude was my 500th review on BeerAdvocate.
Bouteille. Une robe brune foncée avec une mousse beige foncée.Un nez légèrement acide de chocolat, fruits rouges, sauce soya. Une bouche ronde, chaleureuse, bien faite, texture collante avec des saveurs de chocolat noir, cacao, sauce noire et fruits concentrés. J’aime. koleminer20 (3595) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - APR 9, 2017
275 mL bottle from 2008 shared with ebone1988. The pour is a lighter black with a thicker dark khaki head that falls to a thick ring with a spot of two of lace. The aroma is really messy. There is a tartness about it. The roast and licorice is just messy. The tartness is just interesting. It’s a sharp sweetness that has an edge to it. The flavor is interesting and better. The blend of roast and licorice just works a little better together but the dark fruits are interesting. It is kind of fighting itself here. It’s not undrinkable, but it’s pretty weird. The mouth feel is lighter and a little waterybwith a sharper carbonation and a lingeringly strange sharp roast and dark fruit. Nah. ebone1988 (1923) - Dearborn, Michigan, USA - APR 9, 2017
Bottle shared with koleminer20. Vintage 2008. For the book. Why. Aroma is tart, slight roasted malt, apple, oxidized, awful. Appearance is dark brown, light brown head, poured thin and flat. Taste is smoke, roasted malt, coffee, tart, oxidized, bready, weird but not as bad as it smells. Mouthfeel is medium body, light carbonation, smoky roasted malt oxidized aftertaste. Overall, it’s bad, but not as bad as expected. SlovakSniper (5561) - Candiac, Quebec, CANADA - APR 8, 2017
Sauce soya et fruits piquants, voire aigres. Mélasse et chocolat sauvage. Profondeur vineuse dans cette texture crémeuse. Riche tête brune qui flotte longuement sur cette robe qui n’est pas noire mais bien brune. Une dentelle qui décore. Vintage 2013. Cuir de ces levures que j’imagine collées sur cette version qui pourrait bien être celle qui est la plus collée à l’histoire du stout impérial russe. Le liquide noir destiné à Catherine devait à la fois être aigre et doux, gracieuseté d’un jeu poussé des malts et des levures indomptables. Une fois tempéré, le liquide révèle une profondeur fruitée, du tabac à pipe, de la réglisse noire, du chocolat. Viande à chien, sa complexité m’impressionne. En finale, une impression rôtie infusée de framboises noires avec fioriture boisée et amertume un tantinet terreuse. Solide. D’un point de vue historique, je pense qu’on a ici ce qui se rapproche de la vérité vraie. minutemat (5483) - Shropshire, ENGLAND - JAN 31, 2017
275ml bottle @ monthly tasting, at Chez Sophie, courtesy of Mike. Pours dark, foamy tan head. Aroma is fairly sweet, chocolate. Taste brings strong, rich liquorice, coffee, dark fruits.
zacgillbanks (5180) - Tyne & Wear, ENGLAND - JAN 1, 2017
Bottle from Binns, Darlington. 2001 Vintage aged for around 16 years and drank on 2017-01-01. Opaque inky black with no head at all and no carbonation. It has a very strong leather, oak and bitter chocolate flavour followed by a smooth dark chocolate, liquorice and leather finish. Pretty good considering the age. RichTheVillan (7852) - Birmingham, West Midlands, ENGLAND - DEC 25, 2016
Bottle as an Xmas gift from Sarkynorthener cheers Martin; black pour with a bubbly tan head, aroma has rich chocolate and some dark fruits, taste has deep roast, hints of liquorice, chocolate, dark fruits, some coffee. s_hartshorne (2784) - wakefield, West Yorkshire, ENGLAND - DEC 21, 2016
Bottle shared with sarky northerner cheers Martin. Sour fruits dark malts treacle soy sauce and lots of spice nice sticky mouthfeel. Decent not my cup of tea a bit too much SarkyNorthener (4620) - West Bromwich (Yorkshire Expat), West Midlands, ENGLAND - DEC 21, 2016
Bottle from beerhawk and shared with s_Hartshorne at the family Christmas gathering. Black beer with medium tan head. Aroma of roast malts and chocolate. Taste is sourish, roast malts, chocolate and some dark fruit. Full bodied. Very good. wheresthepath (2334) - Buckinghamshire, ENGLAND - NOV 27, 2016
Bottle from the BeerHawk stand at the Good Food Show at Birmingham NEC. Black with a moderate brown head. Viscous yet ultra-smooth. Massive aromas and flavours- chocolate, red wine, leather, bitumen, blackberries and loads more. Hugely complex and satisfying, yet still strangely drinkable and more-ish. A fantastic beer.