MesandSim (7117) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - AUG 14, 2008
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
A Sim rate (gravity cask at GBBF): This beer was the opposite of the old phrase "It does what it says on the tin". It was the anti-thesis of what it said on the tin. Reading "bitter chocolate oatmeal stout", I was convinced this would be my beer of the festival and I b-lined straight to it upon entering, but must admit, I was a bit let-down. Bitter, chocolate, oatmeal it wasn’t. And certainly not hefty enough to be called stout. Aroma of excessive alcohol, whiskey, oil. It’s good, but almost wrong in combination. Oily appearance for some reason. I quite like that. Flavour is good, but just way too alcoholic and oily (again) to be great. No oatmeal in it. And lacking that grainy texture in the palate that usually makes oatmeal stouts so outstanding. It slips down the throat like vegetable oil.. certainly not like stout. I quite enjoyed it to drink, but the whole was not made up of the sum of its slightly-lacking parts.
SpringsLicker (3542) - Tennessee, USA - AUG 14, 2008
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
A black pour throws up a tall, long lasting head of tan.
Aroma is dark roast coffee, cocoa powder and alcohol.
The flavor is bitter and smooth with a touch of alcohol on the tongue.
phishpond417 (2088) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 14, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a dark opaque black colour with a very little head. Hardly any carbonation, the body is extremely thick, almost syrupy as comes out of the bottle into the glass. Taste is rich, alcohol infused, caramel, coffee grounds, burnt toast. Aroma is the same, noticeable alcohol and bready. Dark fruits, cherries and overripe apples. After a long day of tasting beers, this was by far the best one.
wilkie (1208) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - AUG 14, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pours black, opaque, with medium tan head. Aroma is chocolate, roast malts. Flavor is bitter from roasted malt, slightly sweet, smoke, black currants, lighter flavor than I would expect.
sallad (115) - USA - AUG 14, 2008
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Black. No hints of orange or red or brown, not even when held to a 100w light bulb. Head like a chocolate milkshake. Burnt sugar and cocoa with a touch of berries. Coating like chocolate milk, hints of nutty coffee, lightly bitter from hops and roasted grain in the finish. A bit of perfumed alcohol flavor and noticeable warmth on the way down.
NomDeBeer (414) - Maryland, USA - AUG 13, 2008
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Smells like chocolate covered cherries and hot alcohol. Pours a thich oily black with small brown head that diminishes completely. Taste is mostly chocolate covered cherries again plus alcohol, a touch of sourness, and bitter roasted malts in the finish. Light carbonation and a bit thinner than expected. A flavorful beer, but a 22oz. bottle is a bit much for me, difficult to finish near the end.
Skyview (5834) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - AUG 13, 2008
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Picked up a single 22-oz bomber at Riley’s World of Wines in downtown Madison, WI. Pours an opaque very dark brown brew with a thick tan head that has a nice retention and some good lacing. Aroma of dark chocolate, touch of coffee and plenty of toasted dark malt. Taste is full bodied, very light carbonation with flavors of thick toasted dark malt, bittersweet chocolate, toffee and some citrus zest. Finish is thick texture with a bitter chocolate and molasses aftertaste that lingers after the finish.
maeib (8749) - Wootton, Northampton, Northamptonshire, ENGLAND - AUG 13, 2008
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Cask conditioned - gravity dospense - GBBF 2008. A dark, dark brown beer with some chocolate and alcohol in the thinner than expected aroma. The taste is full bodied boozy alcohol, chocolate and hops. Very tasty, and very American.
MartinT (9617) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - AUG 13, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: SEP 29, 2010 My Bottom Line:
Dark chocolate and roastiness form succulently sweet curves before they team up with leafy hops and alcohol heat to build a potent bitter dryness in this original and very likeable Imperial Stout.
Further Personal Perceptions:
-A ring of foam circles the opaque black.
-Oatmeal contributes some crunchy cereal character.
-Upon release, alcohol was well hidden (by all the roastiness?) for a beer this size; but at 2 years of age, it comes through readily in both aroma and flavor profile.
-The flavor profile is straightforward, but it is highly enjoyable when you enjoy such dark malt-driven discourses.
doublebock (558) - California, USA - AUG 13, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Chocolate malty and high alcohol aroma. Dark color with tan thin head. Flavor is sweet toffee, espresso, and smooth bitterness at end.