Serve in Snifter


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1093   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.87/5   SEASONAL: Series   EST. CALORIES: 276   ABV: 9.2%
Who knew a worldwide hop shortage in 2008 would give rise to such a memorable, delicious beer? When it came time to craft a commemorative offering for our 12th anniversary, we decided to trade in the bitterness of hops for the bitterness of unsweetened chocolate, and paired that with flaked oats. Featuring a thick, rich, roasty mouthfeel and chocolate-heavy flavors and aromas, this onyx-colored, malt-forward beauty became an instant classic that shares space on our liquid trophy case alongside our hop-focused fan favorites. Rebrewed for our 20th Anniversary Encore Series.

Hops: Summit, Willamette, Galena & Ahtanum

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   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
unclemattie (4358) - Georgia, USA - AUG 7, 2008
22oz bottle. pours dark black, dark brown head.Huge chocolate, coffee aroma. Roasted malt. Burnt oat, malt. Flavor is sweet, some heat, but overall... super smooth. so delicious. the only bitterness that seems to linger is the roast and some unsweetened cocoa. The best!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Stine (1767) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - AUG 7, 2008
Poured from a 22 oz. bottle. Hugely thick oily black pour. Roast and chocolate, fat coffee bean aroma; maple and molasses and baking chocolate. Firmly bitter and sweet. Flavor brings a feathery but pungent herbal mint quality and a heavy, soapy patent black bitterness that together would seem to achieve a fair feat of astringency, although this graciously never occurs. Somewhat simple. Malt character is a bit wet and cardboard-textured; flavors of graham crackers, dark roasted coffee, vanilla granola, and semisweet chocolate. The herbal sensation lingers and lends a cooling, lightly acidic touch through the mouth and nostrils. Smooth texture, in a full palate; oily, and rich, but still quite bitter, which tends to make it seem obese and simply overstuffed; little balance in the malt character ultimately. Some maple sweetness lends a comfortable richness in the finish, with a bit of doughy sugar. Passable; theres too much darkness in the beer and not enough softness. Thanks Bob!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
ATLBeerDog (280) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - AUG 7, 2008
Pours a beautiful dark black with a small tan/caramel head. Smells of coffee and chocolate dominate followed by the aroma of roasted malts. Fairly light bodied for a 9.2% ABV. The chocolate is yummy and not as bitter as the name would indicate. This is quite tasty and a real pleasure.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
bdigital (658) - Ft Wayne, Indiana, USA - AUG 7, 2008
Bottle: Viscous, black pour with no head. Nose is complete with notes of dark chocolate malts, dark fruits and alcohol...this definitely needs to sit for at least a year IMO. The mouth feel on this is what I wish their RIS was, thick and chewy...very nice. Ashy flavors hit immediately followed by some dark chocolate, roasted malts and alcohol. The most disappointing part about this was the lack of oat. I was initially pretty geeked about this coming out and I was a bit disappointed.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
badgerben (4958) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - AUG 7, 2008
Big thanks to Skyview for sharing! Black color with a thin head. Strong chocolate aroma. The name about says it all... lots of bitter chocolate and roasted barley. A little bit of oats to sweeten it up. Not much complexity and variety, but very solid and enjoyable.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
yespr (41884) - Copenhagen O, DENMARK - AUG 7, 2008
UPDATED: JUN 14, 2009 From tap at Stone Bistro. Pours a black brown and creamy chocolate brown head. Roasted malty and slight spiced chocolate aroma. Light smoked in the initial flavour impression with a smooth chocolate base and a malty roasted flavour added in. Lingering chocolate finish.8-5-8-4-17=4.2>br>
From bottle, blind #7. Pours black with a small tan head. Mild smoked, metallic and roasted malt aroma. Light sweet, roasted, light smoked and dark chocolate to coffee flavoured. Light alcohol note. Smooth roasted malt flavoured finish.8-4-8-4-15=3.8

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 7/20
PilsnerPeter (3045) - Flushing, New York, USA - AUG 7, 2008
Bottle: Opaque pour with a deep brown head which falls to a film. Very simple aroma. Tons of alcohol, dark chocolate, soy sauce, and even more ethanol notes (smells like vodka) Slick body with an extreme alcoholic flavor. Tastes like vodka with a homogeneous charred bitterness. The forefront of the flavor offers some bitter dark chocolate/bakers fudge (as notalush mentioned), as well as a salty soy sauce note. There’s just too much apparent ethanol, which is frusturating because this stuff is only 9.2% ABV (which is low, relative to many of those alcohol monster Imperial Stouts, which many happen to have less apparent alcohol flavor than this particular one) I wasn’t able to pick up on any subtleties of the malt, or any nuances at all. Reminiscent of charred vodka. I may have to re-visit this with some years behind it.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 6, 2008
UPDATED: AUG 7, 2008 Pitch black oil pour with milkshake-thick head. the head eventually settles to nothing but a ring of dark suds around the glass. the nose starts burnt but starts to show some complexity as waves of fig, charred fruit, roasted marshmallow, smoke, tar, permanent marker, and tree sap follow. The beer feels somewhat chalky in the mouth as its thick and accompanied by very weak carbonation and the chocolate bitterness/ hop harshness start to feel extremely astringent after a while. The ending feel in the mouth is one of warmth to possible burning sensation and a flemmy milk-like aftertaste. The flavors are primarily faceless malts with sharp bitter chocolate overtones but not exhibiting the smoky tar-dripped burnt fruit of the nose. Bitterness makes itself quite evident here with the bitter chocolate hop sharpness. However, other than this sharp bitter-chocolate, the rest of the beer feels muddled and confused and the thick under-carbinated body makes it crash into a mess in the finish. ---NOTE---->>T above description was taken from a 55 or so degree sample...Cool the stuff down a bit and it becomes a little more congruent and less muddled..but of course, colder temperatures hide the flavors that are there in the first place...so its irrelevant...though its a much easier swallow at colder temps..

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
mgumby10 (1856) - Jupiter, Florida, USA - AUG 6, 2008
Draft at the Bistro. Pours black, with a small off white head. Smells of some dark choclate, lots of bitter roast, and small coffee notes. The flavor is quite bitter as its title suggests. Also very roasty, with some chocolate andvanilla cream notes showing up. Not a chocolate bomb, but it definitely lets you know its an imperial stout. Oily and sharp on the palate. Alcohol was masked quite proficiently. Nice flavor to it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Dickinsonbeer (5074) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - AUG 6, 2008
Bomber. pours a really rich deep dark black - similar to a dark horse stout black- lots of carafa II must be used- nice tight dark brown head as well with some nice lace. Aroma is initially bittersweet chocoalte, some hints of roasted barley and some light acrid burnt malts, but as it warms some plasticy phenols come out- plastic inflatable pool toy which could be a slight oxidation (of the dark malts?). Flavor is chcooalte bittersweet toll house morsels, lightly sweet, some roast, and good hop bitterness, with some earthy leathery hints throughout. As it warms burnt toast, and other dark roasted malts come through more, some licorice/anise character and a relatively short finish for a big beer. Pretty good overall, but nothing too unique or memorable about this one.

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