biz82 (1327) - austin, Texas, USA - AUG 19, 2008
Pours thick and solid black with a creamy brown head. Slightly lactic aroma, burnt with leather, cocoa and smoke. Big body for sure but the flavor is somewhat rough, acrid and alcoholic. Little in the way of hop flavor with muted chocolate and no noticeable oat flavor due to the huge alcohol and roasted grain component. Perhaps this would mellow with age but as is it is rough. auerbrau (3203) - Ithaca, New York, USA - AUG 19, 2008
On tap at Zeno’s Pub - State College. Aroma is really subdued, in light cocoa dust and dutch chocolate liquer. Pours a deep brown black with a darker than expected brown head, lacy. Flavor is good. Dense, cool cream sugar carries a bit of 60% Ecuadorian single estate cocoa bean, melded with plain sugars. Minimal caramel character. A very clean, cool chocolate sugar, blended with clean alcohols, a really bright fresh Northern Brewer hop presence. Hmm. I actually wouldn’t have guessed that this was an Imperial Stout. Strong and somewhat sugary, but surprisingly drinkable. Carbonation lays low. Hop character is really juicy and fresh. Bright. Not bad. Clean flavors, mild, and balanced. Maybe a little lean on the flavor profile for an Impy. Also, when you put Bitter Chocolate in the title, it makes me think I’m going to be sinking my teeth into a fresh bar of good chocolate, so when the character doesn’t begin to approach that feeling, I feel a little let down. Nothing I’d run to. TURDFERGUSON (4058) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - AUG 19, 2008
Bottle from secret santa, summer of 08. Thanks! Pours black with a tan lace. Nose is sugar, alcohol ,chocolate, light roast, raisins and coffee. Flavor is similar with a light smokey character and a very astringent and bitter finish. This beer was hard to drink at times and I poured out the last 1/3 of the bottle. It was very sad. tennisjoel (1484) - Rochester, Minnesota, USA - AUG 19, 2008
22 oz. bomber picked up at Woodmans in Madison, WI. Pour is dark black with a thin tan head. Very nice aroma of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, cocoa. Easy drinking for the strength here. Silky smooth palate, rich, with a bitter finish. Unlike a lot of Stone’s beers, I do not detect a ton of hops used here. Not my favorite Stone beer, but not bad by any means. Fruitfly (59) - , Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 19, 2008
22 oz bottle; july release. Pours a deep black. The first layer of head is a lasting and fine caramel colored ring with a crown of creamy white superfine head. Smoke and alcohol dominate the aroma but it also includes roasted malts and sweet coffee liquor. The bitterness is more than expected and very welcome for a stout. This is no doubt from the rich cacoa that dominates initial taste. This is followed by a medium bitterness and a long, very pleasant, smoked coffee finish. My expectations from a stone are relatively high and this did not dosappoint. An excellent desert in itself.
grimreeser (797) - Minnesota, USA - AUG 19, 2008
Pours a dark dark brown with a thin dark tan head. Aroma of chocolate and roasted coffee. Bitter finish. Dmalone102 (223) - Denver, Colorado, USA - AUG 18, 2008
Great, complex beer. It has a woody-roasty aroma. The flavor is well balanced and has a roast flavor, not too much sweetness. Great to sip on. DocHop (278) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - AUG 18, 2008
Pours a very dark chocolate fudge brown with a small brown head. Aroma of semi-sweet chocolate and roasted coffee beans. Taste is well balanced, only a small chocolate sweetness at first with a likewise smooth roasted flavor settling in with a sweet coffee finish. Finish lingers nicely with a little dry bitterness as well. A little plain and low keyed. Vas19 (313) - Maryland, USA - AUG 18, 2008
Pours black with a thin tan head. Aroma is sweet coffee and chocolate. Nice creamy mouthfeel. Flavor starts with sweet chocolate and has a hint of hoppiness in the background. The flavors are good but not that powerful. Its very nice and smooth, easy to drink for an imperial stout, but there are none of those blow me away flavors that I prefer in and imp. stout. DrBayern (1139) - Morehead City, North Carolina, USA - AUG 18, 2008
Date: 08/18/2008, 22 oz. bottle
Aroma - Prominent chocolate, some coffee, burnt caramel, peppery spice, bu thte chocolate is certainly preeminent
Appearance - Black through and through, large, creamy, light brown head settles slowly, decent lace
Flavor - Actually more bitter than I had expected, but not a bad thing in and of itself. Still, I think it could use a sweeter entry, but the bitter chocolate, dark malts, and hop presence is too much of a barrier.
Palate - Full body, lightly carbonated, astringent, quite dry
Overall - Oatmeal in the grist usually tends to soften the flavor, but this isn’t really the case here. We’ll see how it is a year or two down the road, but for now, it seems s little unbalanced. That being said, it still quite good. Stone sets the bar high for itself, and expectations of enthusiasts are similarly high. I think it’s a little off the mark.