kramer (6682) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 6, 2006
12 oz bottle, via FlacoAlto. Very dark brown, almost black pour with a small off-white head that faded to a thin film quickly. Deep roasted malt aroma, notes of bitter chocolate, licorice, and alcohol. Roasted and burnt malt flavor balanced nicely with significant hop bitterness. Finish is espresso with a slight alcoholic warmth. Oily texture with moderate carbonation yields a mouthcoating beer. Great roasty Imperial, not the biggest or badest, but a solid example of the style. outerupt (133) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - JAN 6, 2006
12oz bottle to pint glass. Pours a thin and dark head releasing a distinct aroma of burnt oak, caramelized sugar, and brandied prunes. The colour is, as is often noted, nearly black. I don’t think this beer hides its alcohol as well as other beers in this style nor do I think it employs a depth of malt character. It is by no means a bad imperial stout but its flavor and palate seem to lack intriguing undertones and length. 2 dimensional at best. imzugzug (103) - Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 3, 2006
Loved this! So pretty in the glass, nearly black with a bit of a reddish tint. Nice lacing on the glass with nearly no head at all. Smell was sweet, with hints of chocolate and fruit. Possibly plum? Taste was exceptional. Thick on the tongue and smooth as velvet. Alcohol was warming and just plain yummy. Only had the one bottle, but definitely plan on picking more up. Britales (56) - Cape Charles, Virginia, USA - JAN 2, 2006
Pours black as Charles Manson’s soul!Beautiful brown head, chocolate, coffee,fig,black bread at first sip.Then oily and earthy with caramel and some citrus! I had 4 of them yesterday and can’t wait for some more! forgot how much I like this one! patrick767 (4063) - fort wayne, Indiana, USA - JAN 1, 2006
bottle - Pours almost black with a thin head. Taste is complex with the most noticeable flavors being coffee and chocolate notes in this thick, aggressively malty brew. There’s also a bit of bitterness and the alcohol is fairly well masked.
gws57 (1276) - Saint Charles, Illinois, USA - JAN 1, 2006
Had this one bottled. Deep reddish brown head, nearly purple, nose of chocolate and raspberries, all kinds of complex tastes of coffee, berries, sweet cream and caramel, chocolate, orange, and bread. This one was wicked awesome. RCWCPACFP (102) - New Jersey, USA - DEC 31, 2005
Thi is a great beer but... It lacked the typical brown head and the sour ting was a little subdued. This is north coast’s best beer by far but I did not get the linger I expected from a complex Imperial Stout. If you are local to Chadds Ford PA go grab a McKenzie 5 Czars... or a Sly Fox Imerial Stout. Same Guys. MrBrewski (42) - Chaska, Minnesota, USA - DEC 31, 2005
Bottle. Pours an almost black with a fizzy, mostly diminishing light brown head with good lacing. Lots of smells going on here, showing lots of promise, toasted grain, strong coffee, some dates and alcohol. First taste, slightly sweet, toasted grains, alcohol, some chocolate, grape/port and light hop. Somehow the flavors are seperate, they lack the smoothness and complex interweaving I look for in a good Imperial Stout. This is a mostly full bodied brew with a creamy texture accented by a soft but present carbonation. Finish was warm with a slight alcoholic aftertase. Not bad just not one of my top picks in an Imp. Stout. hippie4beer (162) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - DEC 31, 2005
Bottle. Pours a deep black with hints of rubywith a nice thick cream brown head. Aroma is sweet with notes of dark fruits, coffee, dark chocolate, and cream. Flavor is sweet with definite coffee notes, as well as, burnt cherries, and chocolate. Mouthfeel is perfect, just the right amount of carbonation, chewy but very smooth. Nice drinking beer. OldMrCrow (2443) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 31, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 20, 2007 From the bottle
Pours an almost entirely opaque obsidian with red highlights and a fine head that fades to a modest haze covering the surface of the beer.
The aroma is chocolate, coffee, raisin syrup, plums, and a hint of wheat.
The flavor is splendid in its balance and intensity; this is a beer that you can savor for an hour without feeling as if you are holding back, taking small micro-sips that explode onto the palate and blast through a robust cycle of flavor. That palate is full and well-rounded and the 9% ABV is masterfully hidden. The flavor? All of the expected - the splendid thing about this beer is not any particular unusual component, but rather the balance and intensity of the components.: plum, raisin, a slight bit of brown sugar, chocolate, coffee, a hint of smoke, and a relatively dry (and very long) finish.
This is one fine imperial stout, and it’s become a regular house beer for me. I go to it again and again and never expect it to be as good as I remember --- and it always is.
Addendum: On tap at Brouwers, along with a slice of chocolate cake, this was surely one of the best beers I’ve ever enjoyed. Darn near perfect.
Aged 18 months. At 18 months, I don’t think that age has improved this beer. If anything, it’s lost some of its edge; the rich intensity has stepped back and there’s really not much new that is coming through in its place. It feels a little thin, still extremely tasty but more like a 4.0 or 4.1 beer.