cheap (6247) - CHINA - APR 7, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 1, 2008 On tap at the Mad Mex in Robinson near Pittsburgh. This was listed on the bar menu as 10-50 and here it is listed as Ten-FDIY. Is this 10 fifty or is it 10 Fie-dee? Go figure. Must need Ebonics to figure this out. Let me begin my rating by saying that imp stout is not my favorite style so my chances of enjoying such a beer is low. I hope I don’t piss anybody off by hurting the percentile. The color of this, once poured, is black opaque like the oil that comes out of my shovelhead after 5,000 miles. Same viscosity too. The head is like chocolate mouse, so creamy and dark. For this I give it a 5 in appearance. The aroma is earthly and dirty with a coffee-ish substrate. First taste is unbelievably bitter and offensive. This stuff is fusel and the alky is not hidden what so ever, in your face buddy! Immediately my mind reminisces the tastes of Lion foreign stout. Imp stout lovers everywhere better go taste this. It will be on the top of your list. Tho I don’t care for imp stout, I can easily see why this would be a hit with ratebeerians. For me, it is too much for my girlie taste buds. No carbonation, flat. Coal black bitterness keeps on going and going like the energizer bunny. Hey, barmaid, get me a glass of water! I feel like I’m going to gag, but in a good way of course! ClarkVV (7050) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - MAR 29, 2007
Batch 1 growler from the brewery, shared by CharlesDarwin at Dr. Bill’s get-together on 3/22/07StewardofGondor (1933) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 27, 2007
Thick, viscous liquid is deeply black with hardly any reddish hue on the edge. Clarity is low. The head is dark tan and rises up quite high, only to fall back down, steadily, to cover, leaving no lacing, but some film/legs behind. This stuff looks like a monster.
Roasted barley in no short supply, as a strong, medium-dry coffee and bitter chocolate note wells up from the glass. Medium-sweet, creamy base malts provide a nourishing backbone to the aroma, while something (esters?) is adding cherries and light plum notes. Milk chocolate effortlessly clears the aroma through the middle, thick and fairly rich, making way for a good deal of char and more roasted barley saltiness. Alcohol is rather well contained and the malts are very well mashed and soothing. Quite a strong aroma, as well.
Bitter chocolate malt confronts a huge pale malt sweetness with a hint of light vanilla. Chocolate covered cherry notes ride the wave of balance that is created through the middle of the flavor. A roasty reprise is found on the finish, with a bit of phenolic character and, my biggest complaint, a dull, rather ashy black malt overabundance (perhaps even some madeira-like oxidation). It strikes a great balance, overall, however and dosent overpower with chocolate or caramel sugariness. Well fermented too. The strongest point, however, is definitely the beyond-full, viscous, rich, creamy body/mouthfeel. Alcohol is practically absorbed in to the thick body and remains mostly unapparent. Typical PNW hop profile never bothered me at all, good job there.
Maybe I just don’t understand Impy stouts anymore, but while very good, the only particularly stunning thing about this is its body/mouthfeel. Otherwise it’s a solid but unadventurous, albeit restrained, example. Let’s add some more vinousness/fruitiness and ease off on the heavy dark malt for the next batch.
Opaque and midnight brown in color with a tan swirl in the center, as if it’s smiling at me. Lovely aromatic composure. Brown sugar melded in molasses with black chocolate baking like concrete, layered on a twice baked brownie bed. Flavorful fudge squeezes from the middle of the blackened mocha tort while sweet, granular brown sugar crumble strikes the nose and mouth simultaneously. Dark chocolate ink steamrolls in, permanently pressing burnt French roast grinds onto the palatary playing field. Scorched espresso tins with some concentrated mocha chocolate sludge squeezes through the teeth to form the ultimately dark, full-bodied substance. Chocolate silk pie gets burnt at the palate flame out. Big thanks to Ughsmash for sharing! brewblackhole (1587) - Muskego, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 24, 2007
Hand bottle from J.Muck, aroma was coffee chocolate caramel mollasses, the body is the stunning aspect here,despite the hand bottle and the slight loss of carbonation,there was this sensationof huge texture,like I was eating a piece of fudge chocolate cake,bitter chocolate and chocolate soda finish,amazing in all aspects,imagine what a fresh pint right from the pub must be like JoeMcPhee (10187) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 24, 2007
Tap at Hop Devil Grill. Pitch black with a thick dark brown head. Chocolate, cocoa, and dark sweet malts are what this brew is all about. A hint of fruitiness, but mostly dark toasted/roasted chocolatey malts. There is a soft rumminess behind the chocolate that works quite well. A touch of vanilla behind all the cocoa/malt flavours. Lingering bitterness and a dry roast finish.
jimmack (1223) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - MAR 23, 2007
Hand bottled thanks to DB? Black color with a small brown head. Complex aroma of dark roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, molasses, and dark fruits. Flavor was big roasted malts, coffee, molasses, vanilla and some piney hops on the finish. Extremely thick mouthfeel, which felt even more so because of the low carbonation. Very good. auerbrau (3206) - Ithaca, New York, USA - MAR 23, 2007
UPDATED: JUN 8, 2008 On draft at the brewpub and from a fresh growler. Nice somber cherry and wicking Cascade aroma, over creamy pine malt. Lots of dusky hops present in the aroma. Pour is a weird milky brown soap, with the darkest brown heap I’ve ever seen! Flavor is a sweep of mid-roasted malts, lots of nuts, toasted caramels, sweet orange candies and fat almonds. Mingling of dry malt and high hops works suprisingly well. Palate and smack are most impressive. A smooth, quenchable pour, with nice attenuation and astounding drinakbility amongst a deftly concealed 9.4%. Dry, yet fulfulling smack, with quafs of light crisp piney grass over an effervescent nut oil character. Pecan skins and cherry pits lingering in the higher alcohols that rise to the nostrils. Well-balanced, however somewhat middle-of-the-road, somehow. It doesn’t have a singular, unique character, aside from it’s entire build, that makes it a unique Imperial Stout. However, it’s beautifully built and brewed and certainly the most drinkable of ANY Imperial Stout. This strays from the classic sippers of the style to a near sessionable big beer. Mightly delicious. matta (1140) - Tampa, Florida, USA - MAR 23, 2007
UPDATED: APR 18, 2008 Thanks to my boy, Jason, for organizing the O-Town Throw-Down, and providing the keg of this luxurious beverage!
nolankowal (939) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - MAR 22, 2007
This was the beer that I was most excited about imbibing on… and that I did with a half dozen servings! An enormous amount of highly kilned malts chocolate and coffee, espresso goodness; a velvety palate, chewy and boisterous! The finish was bone dry, ashy, a bit chalky, with hints of citrus and vanilla shining out from behind those plentiful charred malts.
Hand bottle shared by butters and OhioDad at C-Bus 6 thanks fellas! Black pour with a tan head. Aromas of roasted malts, chocolate, a bit of booze and some coffee. Flavors of dark chocolate, light bitter coffee and roasted malt came through. SMooth mouthfeel...bitter/roasty finish. Now if only we could get this in cans. puzzl (3264) - New York, New York, USA - MAR 18, 2007
Hand-bottle from TAR. The fill on the bottle was at least 2 weeks ago, likely more, so a good bit of oxidation has unfortunately set in. But, I had this on tap a few weeks ago too, and though I didn’t take notes, I can try to leverage my memory of the beer with this to more accurately access the brew.
Expected big chocolate espresso nose, nice compliments of vanilla and lactose. Taste is much sweeter, good lactic sourness backing up a dry cookies-n-cream milkshake blast. Sherry notes from the oxidation are present, though on tap I remember almost complete dryness, and more coffee, much more akin to the aroma. In fact, as this is now, the flavor is wildly different from the aroma, though both are quite nice. I’m amazed this is 98 IBUs, as I notice zero hop presence. I would’ve guessed, oh, 20-25. Huge thanks to TAR for the bottle... now I just wish I could write reviews as good as his.