RichardWilding (201) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - AUG 10, 2004
Bottle. My introduction to Imperial Stout. It was a huge dissapointment. A deep brown/black colour, with little head. Licorice flavour was a little unpleasant, especially when combined with raisiny notes. I didn’t like this one, hope you have more luck. mjg74 (3204) - La Mesa, California, USA - AUG 9, 2004
Pours a very dark black color. Has a sort of chocolate/caramel scent. Flavor is very smooth, very roasted. Maltiness, chocolate, a little bit of coffee. Slight alcohol kick, but not like some imperials. Overall a very delicious stout. mongkut4 (132) - Florida, USA - AUG 8, 2004
Very nice. Rich malty flavor. Warming but not overly strong alcohol tones. I think I’m going to have to have a Rasputin’s as I’m no longer sure which is my favorite. Sully (1380) - Potts Point, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA - AUG 8, 2004
UPDATED: MAR 16, 2006 OK , clear bottle with a dark beer. The only gripe can be where the beer is not up to scratch. This one? Jeeeesus, sensational. It presents itself in the glass as a dense and seriously assertive ale. The nose is rich and complex which is supported by the body and eventual mouthfeel. There is chocolate, coffee and deep burnt caramel to demonstrate the complex integration of an immensely brilliant beer. Everything about this one is an absolute champion. Into the top ten with a bullet. Hangover (1152) - oxford, Georgia, USA - AUG 7, 2004
First off, I want to gripe about the clear bottles. Sam Smith is a pretty solid brewer, I wish they would get away from these. Anyways, to the review. BLACK pour, with a wonderful reddish brown head. Aroma is roasted malt, coffee, chocolate. Taste is excellent. Smokey with some molasses, dark chocolate, vanilla, dried fruit mostly plum and more roasted/toasted malts. Pleasant mouthfeel with top notch hopping at the end. Dry, slightly bitter finish, just how I like stouts to end. I’m glad that sam smiths didn’t go with a higher abv and perhaps lose some of the complexitiy that this brew has. Very nice.
RedEft (155) - Wichita, Kansas, USA - AUG 6, 2004
Black black black...I even put a small flashlight up to the mug and it didn’t shine through. Seriously. Aroma of malt and coffee with perhaps a milk chocolate overtone. Nice head, about the same color as a root beer slush. Taste of malt and coffee on the front, with a smokey, bitter chocolate finish. An almost sickly sweet finish as I close on the bottom of the mug. Thin, and a bit greasy like all Sammy Smith products I’ve tried. rajendra82 (1109) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - AUG 3, 2004
The beer came in a 550 ml. sturdy looking clear (why?) bottle that released an a dark brown liquid with red highlights. This beer does not have the inky black look of other imperial stouts. The head was coffee-colored and formed at about 1½ inches thick initially, but then quickly dissipated to a thin layer of foam and some decent lace. The aroma was roasted coffer and dark chocolate goodness, with a dollop of dark skinned fruits thrown in the mix. The taste was a delightfully intense balance between the sweet flavors of raisins, figs, toffee, and apples; and bitter notes of old coffee and unsweetened chocolate. The alcohol warmth was pretty tepid for an imperial stout, and is clearly not the draw in this beer. The mouthfeel was also quite a bit lighter that the big boys, but was satisfying nonetheless. An easy drinking stout that is clearly a step above the ordinary, but remains very approachable still. A sessionable imperial stout if you will. Metalhead (644) - Lake Zurich, Illinois, USA - AUG 2, 2004
Poured almost black with a fairly big tannish head. Aroma of Chocolate and mild coffee. Licorice came out as it warmed in both aroma and flavor. Also chocolate and a roastiness in the flavor with a slight bitterness in the finish. I felt the body was too thin and ABV too low for it’s style. Tasty but nothing stellar. Emil (6064) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - JUL 27, 2004
UPDATED: APR 9, 2005 Black color, roasted malts, liquorice coffee aroma and taste, Full body, smooth finish. Great stout. davidflores99 (225) - Signal HIll, California, USA - JUL 26, 2004
Very dark and tan head, this is a good beer. Flavor is of roasted malts and chocolate, and not too sweet, which is a good thing for me. Great brew.