fredandboboflo (1570) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 29, 2007
UPDATED: JUN 30, 2008 (First ever rating, left in tact for posterity.) Bottle. Black as far as the eye can tell. Very small, dark tan head. Aroma mostly of sweet, dark fruits, some alcohol, blended nicely, but I’d like more to come through I didn’t pause to savor the aroma as I am sometimes compelled to do.. Flavor overwhelmingly roasted, tons of bitter chocolate, dark fruits, coffee in the background. Definitely a sweetness to it, but more bitter than most noticeably sweet imperial stouts, excellent balance not shying away from either end of the spectrum. Palate full, weighty, but not too sticky. Little carbonation. Overall awesome imperial stout. 7-4-10-4-17 Rerate 6/30/08: Bottle. Still quite black. Aroma starts off very roasty with tinges of coffee, some alcohol-soaked plums/prunes, later segways into unsweetened chocolate, the most natural, dead-on such scent I’ve gotten to date in a beer. Flavor has highlights of super powerful alcohol soaked plums/prunes along with a constant roastedness and smooth, creamy chocolate. Roasted, semi-bitter, chalky finish. Not heavy for an impy stout. Exquisite. 9-4-9-4-17 lisalucy (3) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - DEC 28, 2007 does not count
a bit lighter than I enjoy my imperial stouts, yet still very good. Very palatable, a smooth yet thick feeling in my mouth. Dark tan head, black in color make for a beautiful looking beer. Not as impressed with the flavor - reminds me more of a porter than an stout. stobbe74 (3789) - DENMARK - DEC 28, 2007
Bottle, 50cl. The beer pours pitch black with a dark-brown/chocolate colored head. The arome is roasted malts with chocolate, licorice and coffee. The flavor is smoked and with rich malts. Also notes of coffee, chocolate and some bitterness. The flavor hangs in the mouth and has a nice dark aftertaste. Good palate. Overall a good imperial stout. Illini08 (542) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - DEC 28, 2007
Duane shared a bottle of this with me. Thanks! Thick black pour with a 1-finger tan head. Roasted malt and dark fruit aroma. Very roasty and bitter with some dark fruit or berry-like sweetness. Maybe some bitter chocolate swirling around as well. Overall a very tasty imperial stout. dkoonce (911) - People’s Republic of Athens, Ohio, USA - DEC 26, 2007
Pours deep, thick and black, with a massive tan head. Chocolate aroma, that fills the nose. Not much alcohol evident in the aroma. Wow, this beer is heavy and bitter. Heavier than I anticipated, almost like an old motor oil. The bitterness kills the sweet finish.
merlin48 (656) - Jenkins, Kentucky, USA - DEC 26, 2007
Bottle pours the darkest liquid I’ve ever seen. Wow! This one is black as Satan. Tall, cocoa head retains well and leaves some extravagant lacing. Aroma of dark roasted malts dominates. Roast coffee, dark chocolate, licorice, dark fruits, and dark bread make for an inviting nose. Thick and rich in the mouth with a pervasive roast bitterness. Taste is more dark roasty bitterness, with strong notes of scalded coffee and dark chocolate. Dark fruits, vanilla, and Columbus hops add considerable depth. Very nice sipper on a cool winter evening. ElGaucho (2401) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - DEC 23, 2007
Bottle. Been sitting on it for 9-10 months or so. Rich, sweet, alcoholic aroma that is very typical of a good imp stout. Some lactose notes. Although a "pfft" was heard when opening the bottle, the head was quite small when pouring. Small, tan head; large bubble. Some lace. Really excellent. Rich, perfect balance, perfect strength. Good hop profile and English ale yeast contributes to the deliciousness. I’m guessing this was even better 10 months ago. A little softly carbonated which may be due to age. Outstanding. pintsize (1042) - Austin, Texas, USA - DEC 23, 2007
UPDATED: FEB 1, 2008 11-17-07 bottle and again 1-6-08 at tasting. pnista (1007) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - DEC 20, 2007
Black thick pour with a creamy tan head - pours like a chocolate fountain. Heavy imperial stout aroma - rich chocolate, roasted honey aroma. Hints of gingerbread and banana nut muffins in there too. Complex smell and very interesting to the nose. Taste is a thick sweet chocolate flavor. Nice semi-sweet finish and an ideal mouthfeel. Feels like melting chocolate on the tongue. Alcohol is present as it warms - almost overpowers the rich flavors that were present before. My rating was much higher before the presence of the alcohol became overly obvious in the smell and taste.
In my humble estimation, this is not what an imperial stout should generally aspire to be, rather this transcends imperial stout, beautifully crafted. Pours as dark as a beer can, oily with a dead on imperial stout tan head, thinning to something dense and modest quickly. I didn’t notice it at first, but my girlfriend pointed out the really startling smoke in the nose of this beer. I thought it was charcoal, but now I think smoke is an even bigger player. Dark bitter chocolate. Alcohol, sweet round malt. Really just heavenly balance of bitterness from the roast and maybe some big piny hops with that ROAST! Thick full mouthfeel. Almost like oil. Really hard not to give this a five from feel, the hell with it, I’m doing it. This is almost a milkshake! A big sweet creamy beer up front with plenty of wonderful character. Big roast. Big alcohol. The two counter a big massive malt backbone. A bit of acidity, some significant bittersweet chocolate, pine, char, and a long lingering char bitterness at that! And again, that smoke, it’s there and it comes on more with the finish. A campfire in my mouth, with a dash of bacon and chocolate. That sounds unpleasant, but I can’t imagine anything more enjoyable right now. I have been moved. As it warms, more anise comes out, as well as more roast. Neither of which is a bad thing. nearbeer (5372) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 20, 2007
500 ml. Opaque black with a four finger head that lasts. Charred wood, cocoa and slight citrus? aroma. Big, slightly sweetened chocolate-coffee and molasses front turns to a more roasted, bitter, and mildly acidic version of the same flavors. Just the right (slight) alcohol touch on the end. Medium-heavy palate is silky smooth and sufficiently dry on the finish to make this a pricey, but excellent, 2-to-3 pint session stout.