DuffMan (10751) - the land of bitumen, beef & beer, Alberta, CANADA - MAR 29, 2009
Bottle, 2007 vintage. I approached this with modest expectations, and was completely blown away! This beer pours a thick, heavy motor oil black. Initially it appears still, then after a second or two, a dark red-brown head ominously roils its way to the surface and forms a dense crown. It looks perfect. Rich complex aromas and flavours flood the senses: figs, plums, sour cherries, leather, dark bitter chocolate, and pipe tobacco, along with more minor notes of coffee, charred wood, and anise are complimented by a heavy velour mouthfeel and a slightly tart acidity. Absolutely fantastic! Among the best of the impies I’ve had for sheer complexity and character. This isn’t just a head-on collision with high alcohol and bitter coffee roast, which tend to form the foundation of many imperial stouts. It is much more than that, and sublimely enjoyable in my opinion! The best kiwi beer that I have yet tried (and that is just shy of 100 at this point). Jimthechap (2064) - Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND - JUL 1, 2008
GIVE ME MORE! This beer is a favourite amongst myself and the Denny Cranes. We taste beer regularly and salute the brewing genius that is Roger Pink. This beer is dense, chocolately and the epitomy of what is to be appreciated as the Imperial Russian Stout Style.
I’d knight you if I could Roger. greig (253) - Hamilton, NEW ZEALAND - APR 23, 2009
2006 - OK, when I first had this, it lacked depth and character. I’m so glad I cellared some. It’s tasting fantastic right now. Aromas of burnt toast, mud, and those toffee sweets you get at funfairs. The flavour is so complex it’s hard to break down the components. Again, there’s that funfair toffee-on-a-stick flavour, there’s some marmitey autolysed flavour, some milky sweetness, some bitter coffee grounds, and some darkest of the dark chocolate. The finish is bitter and warming. Damn it’s good. mullet (849) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - OCT 31, 2007
Pretty bloody dark stuff - the darkest of all the imperial stouts on the day. Crazy aromas jump out of the glass at you - blue cheese, tar, tobacco, burnt toast, sour fruits and cream cheese like some Wig & Pen stuff. Insanely dry, ashy flavour, lots of fruity acidity and a leathery, tarry, bitter finish. Weirdly fantastic stuff. Very much in the British style with all the weird yeast- and malt-derived characters as per my very limited understanding of such things. It really stood out in comparison to all the other beers for the extra layers of flavour, where the others offered more linear intensity. A brilliant beer from a brewery which I thought had shut years ago! You’ve gotta love that. Dunno if it’d go with Stilton though - it tastes just like the stuff. I’d go with Parmagiano Reggiano. Thanks to Stew41 for bringing it. donfardz64 (538) - Wellington, New Zealand, NEW ZEALAND - AUG 5, 2008
UPDATED: FEB 25, 2009 2008 batch #1 bottle #37. Pours pitch black, black head! Aromas of burnt malt, chocolate and dark fruit. Flavour is very full. Strong smoky burnt malts, chocolate and prune sweetness off setting the strong roast malt bitterness. Wow, what a stout. Or stowt. Beautifully complex, incredibly strong and robust. A benchmark for imperial stouts.
kempicus (343) - Bakewell, Derbyshire, ENGLAND - NOV 20, 2008
The 2006 Vintage. Good on Mr Pink for cracking out a commercial Impy stout! Pours the blackest black with a really dark tan head that surprised me, looks really inviting! It’s light, fruity and slightly winey on the nose there’s no warning to what is to follow! Enormous flavours of coffee, smoke, chocolate followed by a really bitter finish! great flavours, palate was a surprise i guess it has thinned out a lot! a great beer but i like mine better! SorenE (168) - , NEW ZEALAND - MAR 20, 2009
330 ml bottle 2008 vintage, courtesy of Roger Pink himself. Pours completely and utter black with a dark head. Prunes and smokey burnt malts on the nose. Taste is treacle, burnt bitter chocolate and malt sweetness. Bitterness is high, but in my opinion spot on. Medium and very appropriate carbonation. A bit of age might mellow this out but to me this is great as it is. sdriessen (320) - Dunedin, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 8, 2009
This beauty has the darkest head I’ve ever seen. Pretty much a deep, red hue. Gorgeous.
Also the darkest beer I’ve encountered.
Nose fills with bubblegum, clove, chocolate, licorice and smoke, to name a few! (quite complex...). A fruity, pilsner-like hop shows through with some citrus notes... unusual.
Tastes of a sugary licorice, mollasses and some yeast. Beautiful. Extreme roast malt, with coffee at the very end.
Burnt and smoky, yet sweet and fruity. Awesome!
Thank you so much, Donfardz64 DiscoForever (72) - Dunedin, NEW ZEALAND - JUN 17, 2010
Cellared 2008 vintage: intense!
Get ready. When this pours it’s like viscous dark brown espresso with a dense chestnut head. True to style the head ducks away and you can swirl the beer up the glass like oil slick. A little daunting... The aroma is dense and complex with lots to discover: some over-ripe pear (but not much sweetness) and dark choc with tart currants underneath - inviting.
Tastes huge. An explosion of tart/sour/bitter with the briefest respite provided at the start by some sweet choc. Then it’s allllll dark dark cocoa, espresso, some currant tang and brooding thoughts. I got a brief huskiness in the after-taste of my first sip and there’s a slight sour astringency that begs for the cheddar Roger suggests. This is neither Marmite-y nor sweet.
Room temp = perfect for this thick and syrupy drop - like the medicines of my childhood but not at all hard to swallow. Alcohol is well hidden: felt but not tasted.
Few regular folk will like this, but I really do - for its sheer gutsiness, its fierce cocoa/currant bitterness, the way it interrogates my very soul. Try with the darkest chocolate you can get, creamy choc dessert (like mousse) or sweet rich cake. Cheese for sure. Even good old edam works!
Intense and rewarding. Has lasted two years and I’m hoping, for the other bottles, many more. yespr (48895) - Copenhagen O, DENMARK - FEB 1, 2009
From bottle, blindtasting #19. Pours pitch black with a fully gone head. Wineous, hardroasted malty aroma and tar note. Mild acidic and hardroasted malty flavoured. thick and oily. Mild hoppy note to a solid hardroasted malt, smoke and tar. Lovely body.