FlacoAlto (4176) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JAN 21, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Early 2007 USA release, Sampled January 3008
Pours with a frothy, three-finger thick, chocolate tinged, dark tan colored head. The beer is quite simply black, whether held up to the light or not, but it did show a clear, dark chocolate brown color as I was pouring it into my tulip glass. As I pour this I get aromas of prunes and raisins. A deeper inspection of the aroma yields these notes again, but this time with a substantial roast side to them. Deeply roasted notes of espresso, dark chocolate, burnt-caramelized fruit, well toasted whole grain bread. Heady notes of slightly warming alcohol contribute a coffee liquor note as well as having touches of fruity brandy. After a bit of time the beer loses a bit of the appetizing fruit notes and becomes more burnt, acidic and roasted than before.
Thick and chew, but with a substantial burnt acidity to it that somehow keeps this a bit lighter than it is: The burnt acidity adds some acrid notes to the beer though, so it is not any more drinkable. Sweet, thick malt notes show through the roast character though and contribute to burnt, caramelized fruit notes of raisins, touches of prunes and a hint of berries. At times this can seem soft, creamy and inviting, but at other the roast character can intrude a little too much. Chalky burnt grain, bitter roast malt and a substantial hop bitterness when on provide a great balance to the sweet fruit and chocolate-like malt notes up front, but at other times can magnify the burn, roast, acrid acid character in this beer.
As the beer warms up a bit, the burnt acrid flavors become more under control; the beer becomes more soft, rounded, creamy and dark-chocolate like. Really this beer needs to be much closer to 60°F / 15°C than the 50°F / 10°C recommended on the label. This, much more integrated, smoother flavor, after the beer warms up really saves my experience of this beer.
A huge, roasted, malty Imperial Stout; at best this can be quite tasty and balanced, and even at worst it is still a solid example of the style. Imperial Stout fiends definitely need to get a hold of this one, but prepare yourself for a huge burnt grain character. The roast / burnt grain character should help this beer to age for quite some time, the one year of age on this does note even show up.
Purchased via mail order: <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Solutions
alobar (3708) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 21, 2008
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Impressive. Pours jet black with a light brown head. Aroma of roasted malts, chocolate, hops, and yeast. Taste is roasted malts, chocolate, hops at the back end and caramel. Nice complexity. Would love to have more.
jtw (1163) - farmington, Michigan, USA - JAN 20, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle thanks to jrob_21. Pours black with a thin brown head, very lightly carbonated. Rich aroma of roasted malt, caramel, fig and raisin, oaked red wine. Thick and full body, tannins and coffee bitterness pervade, and it finishes a bit hot and raw. This would probably be excellent after a few years in the cellar, and quite good fresh!
DownsouthGav (601) - Greater London, ENGLAND - JAN 20, 2008
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Pours a thick, pitch black beer with brown smouldering head and visible sediment. Nose of roasted malts and coffee. Smooth, oily, silky mouthfeel. Rich tones. Nuts, toasty, hoppy, liquorice and malt. Dark chocolate and coffee tastes. The taste finishes with a medium bitter taste with some warming. Beautifully well balanced beer that I had to accompliment with some chocolate ice cream - exquisite.
unclemattie (4358) - Georgia, USA - JAN 19, 2008
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
A gift from my friend Audra. 22oz bottle, purple label. 23°P, 75 IBU, 9% ABV. I chilled the bottle out in the snow! Pours like liquid tar. Dark, Jet Black, dark brown creamy head. Aroma of coffee, malt, dark chocolate, molasses, espresso, and grassy hops. Flavor is rich, roasted, burnt to a crisp, malts. Lots of dark chocolate flavors. Very bitter finish. Big hopp pines linger on the back of the palate. Very HEAVY bodied, just the way an Imperial Stout should be. DARK. THICK POUR. ROASTED BARLEY. SHARP BITTERNESS. BIG ALCOHOL. This one is for the Bolsheviks...
treadyroc (150) - St. Leonard, Maryland, USA - JAN 18, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
The maltiness is so smooth it’s almost creamy. Pours black with a deep amber hue to the edges. Leaves a healthy amount of sediment on the bottom after drinking. One of the smoother imp stouts I’ve had.
bubbleflubber (2207) - Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA - JAN 18, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Rich, oily opaque black pour, with a nice brown cap, leaving webbed lacing. Nice chocolate, dates, figs, roasts and slight vinous notes to the nose. First, there presents a dark tart at the front of the palate, followed by a drier bitter chocolate. These are backed with lots of roasts and dark coffee beans. The finish is a smoky bitter that rounds out the pull and ties everything together nicely. The mouthfeel is medium-rich and smooth. My only concern about the brew has been shared by many... although it works (and well at that), the complexity is left lacking a bit. In order to make this one for the books, I look for a little more depth. The dry, straightforward approach tends to leave this one interesting at first taste, but a little forgetful in the long run. Alcohol is well-integrated, but as the brew warms, the bitters reveal some possible nitrous intermingling in there. It doesn’t make the brew acrid, but a bit much at the end of the pull.
tennisjoel (1425) - Rochester, Minnesota, USA - JAN 15, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pitch black pour with a generous tan head. Aromas are fig, vanilla, chocolate, grassy hops, and roasted coffee beans. This is more of a coffee forward beer, with a bitter but nice finish. Not too complex for the style, fairly smooth palate. I’m going to let this warm a little and hopefully some the other flavors come out. Not bad.
lordeche (479) - Quincy, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 14, 2008
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours pitch black and oily with a mocha colored head. Big roasted barley nose contains deep dark chocolate, vanilla, slight oat, and floral hoppiness. Flavor is dominated by big roasted barley notes, dark chocolate, and bitter hops. Flavor is nice, but not quite deep enough to classify this as a top-tier imperial stout. That being said, it is vastly enjoyable and well worth another try.
Adenila (1560) - DENMARK - JAN 12, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pitch black with an oily texture and a dark brown head. Aroma is so rich of chocolate, that i havnt experiented something like it before, decent amount of subdued alchohol and with a good amount of flowery hobs. Flavor has a good amount of sweet chocolate notes, but is dominated by bitter hobs and bitter raw chocolate and black liqurice. Really enjoyable stout right there