dflip (27) - USA - JAN 28, 2003
Bubbly head that lingered & medium brown in color; Carmel and berry aroma; Dark as night (even held up to the light); Tastes of sweet carmel and hops; Chocolatey also. That bitter bite lingers after each drink(a good thing). Not my favorite, but definitely worth the purchase. Kaya161 (1139) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 20, 2003
Definitely not one of my favourite imperials, but not too bad. Like the Shakespeare, this is heavy on the cascades. It's thick, chewy, molassesey, and bitter. Sham (1844) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JAN 15, 2003
This beer pours a deep black with a nice dark brown head. The aroma hints of chocolate and caramel,and almost describes the taste, but a presence of roast coffee is detectable. Goes down pretty smooth, and leaves a nice taste behind. This a pretty good imperial. Crit (4049) - Surrey, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 13, 2003
UPDATED: MAR 29, 2009 Even though this is a very good beer, it is one of the few Rogue products I don’t care for.The alcohol heat is much more harsh then any of the other Rogue brews, except the barleywine, which is substandard as well for this brewery heykevin (1281) - Decorah, Iowa, USA - JAN 8, 2003
Sweet dark malt aroma, with a bit of liquorice, and an extremely dark whiff of a head. Malt flavor is straightforward and uncomplex, with the standard flavors for imperial stout, (coffee, chocolate, plum, liquorice), but not a superlative example.
kmeves (1098) - Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 2, 2003
Very thick pour! The darkest head I've ever seen while watching a beer glass fill. Spicy aroma. Creamy, rich tasting, nice hoppiness.
Dry finish xmandax (130) - Astoria, New York, USA - JAN 2, 2003
aroma is heavy, but not readily apparent. very dark pour, with a beautiful tan head, though not creamy. rich, complex flavor with a good bit of hop. a little less thick than i like my stout, and probably a beer i should be aware of the abv on. definitely one i'll drink again. jskendzel (602) - Washington DC, USA - JAN 2, 2003
Wondeful example. Well balanced, a tad on the hoppy side but nevertheless complex and very rich and thick. Alcohol is notable but not overwhelming--just right. Like a shot of espresso, very dry in the finish. Excellent. MilkmanDan (1943) - Eagan, Minnesota, USA - DEC 31, 2002
One word. DARK. Blackest stout I've ever seen. Head very deep brown, good-sized. Nose is of cola and quite roasty. Very big stout, much more vinous than expected. Quite rich. Pucker-dry, definite hops in the end. Wish it was a bit creamier. A bit harsh, could use a bit more sweetness in the malts to balance it out. PhillyBeer2112 (2884) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - DEC 31, 2002
Update - Bottle tasting 2002: (numbers going way up) Rich sweetish doughy roasted aroma. Somewhat milky in the nose too. Pours thick motor oil black with the darkest brown head ever. Head size was medium with good retention and light lacing. Rich vinous flavor. Sweet malt coats the mouth, chewy, some roasted notes. Fairly highly tannic, almost harsh, but within the realm of being balanced by the sweeter malts. Tannic finish is puckering. Fairly strong bitterness in the finish as well. Something to savor very slowly. Old rating: This is for a tasting of a 1997 keg in 2001. (oh yea).
Intensely malty - with notes of dark fruit. Very smooth, yet thick and mouthcoating. Understated hops, and nicely bitter. Perhaps a bit of astringent/bitterness from black patent malt?