RATINGS: 1052   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.2/5   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 85   EST. CALORIES: 288   ABV: 9.6%
This massive Russian Imperial Stout brings waves of flavors; chocolate, cherries, raisins, coffee, and toffee. We add a touch of hops to make this delicious brew even tastier. 85 IBUs. Labels:

07 = Grim Reaper
08 = Devil
09 = Mummy
10 = Vampire
11 = Zombie
12 = Werewolf
13 = Hell Demon
14 = Harpy (bottled reviews have separate entry in database)
15 = Bat
16 = Cerberus

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   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
tjthresh (1871) - Greenfield, Indiana, USA - JAN 12, 2009
Pours midnight black with plenty of brown head. Nose of soy sauce, and all of the hops that I have been told that are in this beer. The flavor is different to say the least. It starts of with some maple, then slips into a big date or fig finish. I get all the hops in the finish as well. Full body but it seems to be easily drinkable. Gosh...believe the hype.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
BVery (9999) - Plymouth, Minnesota, USA - JAN 12, 2009
UPDATED: DEC 23, 2016 TAP: at Stub & Herbs in Minneapolis - was lucky enough to get a pint at the 2008 release party. Pours jet black with a tan head. Aroma is rich, roasty, chocolate, dark fruits, hops, and the taste is similar, along with caramel and the higher ABV presence. Tremendous beer with lots of character - quite possibly the best beer I have ever had.

Re-Rate: was able to try 2008 (tap) and 2009 (tap) side-by-side (thanks Al!). I get a little more fig/port flavor out of the 2008, and a little more hop out of the 2009. The hop profile may be a function of aging, but it seems as though the flavor is different as well. I prefer the 2008.

Re-Rate: 2010 is here! Had it on tap at Blue Nile and at Pracna. Still the deep rich pour with the foamy chocolately head. I get a little bit of tart cherry in this years batch - just a bit hiding in there. Hop profile / roastiness seems comparable to the 2009 version. Plenty of chocolate in this.

2011 is here! Im getting more bitter hop profile and smooth chocolate this year. Still awesome.

2012 is here! Seems to be a throwback to a few years prior when the beer was a bit sweeter - this is awesome.

2013 is here! This is very sweet, perhaps overly so. Still rich and awesome.

3.16.2013: just did a 2008-2012 5 year vertical of this: my order is 2008, 2010, 2009, 2011, 2012. 2010 is amazing. 2008 is ridiculous.

2014 is here! Rating the non-barrel aged version here. Again, very sweet, but still as decadent as ever.

2015 - didnt like this one as much as prior years.

2016 - getting a hint of band aid in the aroma, odd. This on tap at Surly too. Taste is rich, dense, and sweet. Maybe a little sweeter than 2015? Would need to try side by side to confirm.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
kiefdog (1826) - Tampa, Florida, USA - JAN 11, 2009
courtesy of tpd975. Pours a murky pitch black with tannish-yellow head that clings to the sides of the glass. Aroma is roasted and malty with notes of floral hops, ripe dark fruit, chocolate, molasses, some caramel and honey notes. Flavor is intense with notes of roasted malts, coffee, toffee, dark chocolate, ripe dark fruit, molasses, candy sugar, chocolate fudge. Full bodied with a pleasing malty and chocolatey finish. Truly worth the hype.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
sloth (2859) - Ceciltucky, Co., Maryland, USA - JAN 11, 2009
Medium brown head, good retention and lace. Black body. Nose of hops surprisingly hits first, sorta piney and citrusy, backed with dark roast and chocolate notes. Medium body, slick on the palate though light for an Impy, some extra carbonation i guess? The usual chocolate, roast notes with the hops sliding in there for an extra flavor boost. Hints of coffee and light dark fruit notes. A nice fairly dry roasty, long finish. Nice Impy., Over rated? Ummm yeah, but nice none the less. The first batch must of been killer?! Props to GMCC2181 for sharing this highly rated brew. You rock Gabe! Almost forgot, props to footbalm for one of these badboys to age and try at a later date, thanks Eric!!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
eaglefan538 (3035) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - JAN 10, 2009
UPDATED: JAN 30, 2010 Wow, another embarrasment by GMCC2181, offering up a finer selection that I even have in my cellar at the SSSSLT. Pour was dark black with chocolate colored head, steady retention. The Aroma was strong Pac-NW hops, citrus and pine, really way more than anything in the base beer, not sure I would even have told you blindly the style. Flavor was very nice although not what I expected, the hops playing a flavor role (not adding a ton of bitterness), chocolate notes at the fore, yet vinous and dark fruits very prominent. The mouthfeel was much thinner than I expected and also featured some acidity and carbonation to keep it pretty clean. A nice brew, but overhyped a bit too. Thanks, Gabe, very generous of you, finally the Darkness is downed! Re-rate at NSSRQSOSLT, 1/10, bottle shared by Swolf3, thanks Steve! This thing did much better this time around, big full brew, nice deep rich flavors, chocolate, dark fruits, vinous, hoppy reinforcement all the way. Excellent brew, going up in numbers, but still probably a little bit overhyped?

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
emacgee (4658) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - JAN 10, 2009
Huge thanks to Turd for sharing this. Pours a thick viscous dark black that allows some light on the edges, sits black. Nice two finger chestnut brown head. The nos is rich and fruity, mild soy, roasty, bitter chocolate and coffee, some phenolic character, mild alcohol. The flavor is rich and chocolaty, definitive hop feel, dark fruits, waxy hop bitterness, sweet. Has a very young feeling about it. I would love to try this in about 6 months. As Jason said mouthfeel is above and beyond a 5. Very full and silky, rich and warming. George Kastanza would love to drape this velvety treat about his squat frame.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - JAN 9, 2009
Bottle shared by Turdferguson - thanks, Sam!!! First of all, palate is a hardcore 5! One of the most enjoyable mouthfeels of all time. You kind of knew from the creamy, inky pour, almost like Guiness on cask but with a big aggressive nose. Oddly, the aroma was fruity and yeasty, much like a Belgian stout or something (Sloth?). But there are enough hops and roasted malts in the flavor to balance this out. They manage to strike just the right balance between these two, mostly opposed stout tendencies, and have created a memorable beer that lives up to the hype. YUM.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
TearsforBeers (183) - Ohio, USA - JAN 7, 2009
Massive heavy metal thanks to beastiefan2k for this one! Pours black with creamy tan head and nice evil lacing. Aroma = whoa. Dark malts, coffee, chocolate, alcohol, hops, roast, licorice, dark fruits, black cherry. The flavor matches the aroma - roast, darker malts, dark fruit, coffee, chocolate, hops, oak, licorice, lingering coffee, roast, hops bitterness. The mouthfeel is smooooth creamy, thick, and warming. Good heavens this stuff is great. Lives up to the hype, and now I want to taste this side by side with the Dark Lord.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Drake (13176) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 6, 2009
2008 bottle courtesy of BDR. Thanks Brad! Shared with cdumler and Alraomon. Pours pure black with a medium, thick brown head. Excellent head retention and lacing. Aroma is roasted malts, caramel, bitter coffee, spicy hops and coconut. Taste is very sweet with bitter hops, caramel, soy, coconut, slight coffee and roasted malts. Full bodied and very sticky. Just a bit too sweet for my taste.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Fin (10076) - Merton, Oxfordshire, England, Oxfordshire, ENGLAND - JAN 6, 2009
Bottle that Craig kindly handbottled and sent down to me, cheers Craig. Pours shark eye black with a tan head, really thick and oily and with a sticky consistency. This was hoppy but not overly so, roasty, bittersweet, bitter chocolate and coffee dregs I even get some grapefruit coming through. Everything is in wonderful harmony and whilst I have tired of Impy Stouts a little of late I really enjoyed this, it was a great beer, many thanks Craig. A7 A5 F9 P4 OV17 4.2

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