notpeewater (1) - USA - FEB 2, 2006 does not count
This is my favorite beer. Unfortunately it only comes out once a year. Fortunately, I purchased two cases!
This beer is wonderfully rich in flavor with strong hints of espresso, chocolate and licorice. It’s super smooth too.
WARNING: This beer has a high alcohol content ;-) dhlesq (233) - Thousand Oaks, California, USA - FEB 1, 2006
Aroma of roast coffee, chocolate, some licorice and faint dried fruit. Appears a deep dark brown with frothy, creamy brown head. Flavor is rich sweet chocolate, with sharp bitter hops at the finish. Palate is thick and creamy. Overall, this is a fantastic brew, and at least equal to the sum of its parts. Storm (2684) - Amager, DENMARK - FEB 1, 2006
65 cl bottle. Pitch black colour with a lovely head. Great aroma of coffee, roastedness and sweetness. Also great flavour of roasted malt, chocolate, some oli and notes of coffee. Ends up very complex and AMAZING. I really love this one. GG (2332) - NorCal, California, USA - JAN 31, 2006
I sampled the Early Summer ’05 release I must say it was great!! The calling card "midnight black" color, it looked like something that came out of the engine of a 1950 Studebaker! Aroma was roasty, mouthfeel was strong and chewy. Flavor was simply wonderful. TURDFERGUSON (4068) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - JAN 25, 2006
UPDATED: FEB 28, 2006 2004 vinatge; on tap at the Moan and Dove. (Also have had 22oz bottle several times.) pours dark brown (not as black as the more recent versions) with a light brown head that dissipates after a couple swigs. aromas of chocolate, figs, and a little smokiness. flavor is very nice--more chocolate and those oh so subtle hops that make this beer one of my favorite imperial stouts. wanted to have another one, but i gotta drive home somehow.
fbennett (293) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 23, 2006
This beer pours a dark black with brown tones and has a thick tan head that lingers with the entire pour. The smell is of dark chocolate, plums, raisins, black cherries and no alcohal to be smelt. As I tasted this beer the bitterness from the hops kicks to the fore-front as well the malty chocolate essence and finishes sweet caramel and nutty. This beer is so smooth I could drink it all day.
MikeMac (185) - Wyandotte, Michigan, USA - JAN 19, 2006
Pours a nice deep brown to black> Beautiful dark tan head one of the best imperial heads around that I have seen to date. Aroma was full of Chocolate and roast malt with some hints of fruits and wood. Taste was incredible with Chocolate and roast malt. very balanced flavor with the hint of fruit added to it. Very balanced Imperial stout NachlamSie (3572) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JAN 18, 2006
UPDATED: APR 3, 2009 bottle. Pours like motor oil and leaves a ridiculously dark brown head. The inviting aroma is so strong that I can smell it before I take a whiff up close. This stuff smells damn good. There’s plenty of chocolate and coffee of course, but also there is plenty of sweet wood which reminds me of a good scotch. The flavor is wonderfully complex and very assertive. Plenty of mlik chocolate, more woody notes with a very earthy foundation. There’s a little nut flavor as well, perhaps in the vein of pecans. The alcohol (10.8% for the ’05) is not even detectable unless under the harshest scrutiny. Some faint, distant hops make themselves known in the finish. I was expecting something more ridiculous from Stone, but this is just sensibly complex and damn savory.
tronraner (2459) - Walland, Tennessee, USA - JAN 18, 2006
[May 27, ’07]
Bottle of the 2007 stuff. Pours black with a firm dark tan head. Very nice lacing. This is definitely a good looking beer. Man, this stuff smells so good. Savory, rich roasty espresso, earth, mocha, hickory, a bit of pine are all noted. Palate is thick and chewy. I love this beer. This time around I drank a fresher bottle, but truth to tell, it’s not a whole lot different than my first experience. I’d say there are more bitter notes present now, and the heavy body doesn’t seem quite as syrupy, but this beer definitely can hold up with some age on it. There is a very nice chocolate presence that comes out in the finish along with a smoky, nutty flavor that dries the palate a little. Obviously, as this bad boy warms it gets even more delicious. The alcoholic qualities fade away completely and more density is felt. This is truly a top notch imperial stout. I was a little afraid that revisiting this one after I’ve tasted so many others in the style since, I would appreciate it less. But no, it is delectable.
[March 30, 2009]
Bottle of the 2009. Pours ebony with a very well formed dark head. The aroma is chewy, roasty, with hints at raisins, molasses, dark choco
Bottle. Pours black with a tinge of amber only on the extreme edges and a thin dark tan head. The aroma is very, very malty. Lots of raisin, wood, some chocolate, just a faint hint of espresso, and Scotch whisky. The flavor: wow, where to start. It evolves as it moves across the palate. Initially it is quite sweet, like raisins and maple. It moves on toward the more intense grainy malts. Lots of barley, oak, pot ash, earth, and peat. Toward the finish the hops finally come out, though not as obnoxiously as in other Stone offerings. They are fairly mellow, but quite earthy and blend well with the rest of the flavors. There is really no indication at all of the high alcohol. The mouthfeel is really quite thick, but not sticky. This is some excellent stuff. Yum yum. ATOmemphis (200) - Franklin, Tennessee, USA - JAN 18, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 20, 2006 Pours a rich thick dark chocolate color with a milk chocolate and coffee colored head. Smells of chocolate and coffee from the pour alone. Good lacing, a tan color on the glass in intricate patterns. Drinks a thick chocolatey taste, even a little refreshingly so. Malts are present and so is deliciousness. By far better than some other Stone’s, and that says a lot, because Stone seems to sit near the top of the pack. This brew is awesome, and because the store has more, I’m going back nearly immediately to pick up some.