jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - JUL 22, 2003
Almost no body or mouth-feel, especially for an imperial stout. Very woody taste, aged in Oak I am guessing. Some residual sweetness could use more. argo0 (14127) - Washington DC, USA - JUL 21, 2003
Black body with tan head. Aroma and taste are bourbon, wood, vanilla, moderately sweet. Medium body, way too light for the style. raindog (560) - Evansville, Indiana, USA - JUN 2, 2003
Corked 750: Very black,with a well-formed,frothy,brown, head.Aroma mainly consists of bourbon,wood,alcohol. Malts are sweet and rich smelling but in the background.Decent, thickness in the mouth.Really creamy. Medium bodiy.Enticing lightly sweet,but rich malt flavors:molasses,dark chocolate,and pretty heavy bourbon flavors. Finish is smooth and very roasty.Hops are noticeable in finish,but can't stand up to the malts. Schroppfy (2362) - Łódż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - MAY 6, 2003
UPDATED: NOV 11, 2003 I thought it was relatively thin and highly carbonated compared to others of it's ilk. Beautiful presentation in every way, from the bottle to the deep dark brown head atop a perfect black in the glass. Thinner mouthfeel than expeted; fairly alcoholic for 7.8%, bourbonish, yes, good hopping rate (a bit of lip stinging) - dark roated malt flavors abound - good! omnivore (270) - San Francisco, California, USA - APR 30, 2003
UPDATED: JUN 14, 2005 This stuff pours like motor oil, thick and dark. The aroma was burnt and sweet, and heavy with alcohol vapors. It was roasted, woody, burbony (is that a word?). Finishes with a nice bitter leave.
Updated June 2005: The sweet whisky aroma was fantastic. It was reminiscent of the 94 Sam Adams Tripple Bock: oaky and sweet with a long linger and sweet after taste.
UnionMade (621) - Connecticut, USA - APR 19, 2003
After drinking the Grant's Imperial Stout earlier in the week, I was definitely ready for a real imperial. Not to mention that I drove up to VT to get this. It was all sold out in the state within a couple weeks of release. The brewery didn't have it, and they sent me to some big VT state liquor store type place. They had six cases, and all were empty except one lonely bottle with my name on it. With much fanfare, the Thumbsucker was unleashed last night, to a crowd of two other beer geeks eager for a taste. The bottle and packaging is exceptional, the only thing i would change is to switch the label to a screen directly printed on the bottle, like they did with the chaotic chemistry. Slightly viscous tar brown look to the beer when pouring, turning to a muddy black with a thick oily grayish brown head. Aroma is very strong, with a slight alcoholic whisky note. Cask conditioned? Very burnt and roasty. The massive body comes through in the aroma. Flavor is big and strong, almost overpowering. The first few sips i had to get used to the flavor. Hops are definitely present, but take a back seat to the huge maltiness and alcoholic astringency. The bittersweet maltiness and the alcoholic acidity are a strange combination, but make for a very rich, decadent flavor. Slight grassy citrus aftertaste from the hops, and continues into a whisky-like flavor. Carbonation is mild, providing for an almost syrupy mouthfeel. Pretty awesome. It better be for $11 a bottle plus a 5 hour drive. jbak (111) - Torrington, Connecticut, USA - APR 19, 2003
Thick, brown head that dissipates slowly with great lacing. Color is an opaque jet black with auburn notes. Smells of bourbon casks but not nealy as strong as the Chaotic Chemistry was. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy though could be a bit heavier for the style. Alchohol content seems a bit low for the style as well though it is quite warming. Cold, I would say the bitterness was overpowering when combined with the cask flavor, however as it warms the sweet malt and the alcohol blend in nicely. The more it warms, I get a pungent, almost grapefruit taste, that blends well with the cask conditioning. Admittedly, by the end of the bottle, it seemed a bit higher than 7.8%, must be the damn bourbon again. Hopistotle420 (1177) - Amherst, Massachusetts, USA - APR 9, 2003
Dark fruit, wood, dark chocolate, vanilla. Dark deep black. Light brownish head, settles quick, leaves a little sticky lacearound the edges. Medium bodied, lighter than expected. Espresso, mocha like sweetness. Alcohol is evident, as well as a woody charactor. Dark fruit again, finishes with a bitter onslaught. Im not terribly impressed at all...blah. sloth (2957) - Ceciltucky, Co., Maryland, USA - MAR 21, 2003
Fruity,woody,whiskeyish nose.Pours black with a brown chocolatey looking head that dissipates fairly quickly.Medium bodied,creamy mouthfeel.Tastes woody some licorice,kinda citrusy somehow?Has the bourbon like flavors of their chaotic chemistry,which didnt seem to work to well(to me anyway)balance wise.Dry finish.Different,not fer me. muzzlehatch (4975) - Beloit, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 3, 2003
Bottled, 750 ml, one night after having the "uncasked" version, Nail Biter. Midnight-black, inky, cold espresso pour; head is smallish, medium-brown, quickly dying to a thick ring. Nose is smoky, whiskeyish, fruity (prunes and cherries), with bittersweet chocolate thrown in for good measure. Flavor alcoholic and woody, as expected, amazingly smooth but a little thin (milky rather than creamy), with bittersweet chocolate and port being the dominant late-palate qualities. Very little carbonation, bitterness present but not significant. I liked this quite a bit, it's marginally "better" than Nail Biter and I think somewhat more complex. The first time I've been able to do this (almost) side-by-side tasting of two "cousins", variations by casking and aging of the same beer, and I can honestly say the differences are pretty signifcant. Most of you won't get a chance to try Nail Biter, but both versions are worth the effort.