Lou18 (1353) - West Paterson, New Jersey, USA - MAY 25, 2005
Another fav from the Jim invitational. Poured black and thick. Tan head and great aroma of caramel roasted chocolate vanilla and a bit of smoke. The alcohol was well hidden and there was a nice creamy coffee finish. The body was a little watery for such a strong brew. This was excellent. Thanks for sharing.
eboats (1082) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - MAY 25, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 7, 2006 Poured pitch black like the devil’s soul with a dark brown head. I could tell how thick this stuff was just from pouring it. Like oil. Left tons of lacing on the glass. Aroma was huge coffee, chocolate, and vanilla. The flavor was powerful unsweetened coffee. The coffee dominated every aspect of the beer from first sniff to last sip. Chocolate and vanilla flavors were noticable in the coffee, but was masked by the strong coffee. Creamy mouthfeel with a lingering powerful bitter coffee finish. I couldn’t taste the alcohol at all. Dry finish. MAP (1133) - Lakewood, Ohio, USA - MAY 24, 2005
Rating Number 666. Beer pours completely black and a nice dark tan, with a hint of red, foam rises from it Aroma is a heavy coffee molasses and chocolate blend. Reminds me of the chocolate crunchs in a candy bar. Taste is a whole lot of coffee, sort of a chalky bitter flavor, alcohol shows up here as well. Flavor is..well... not that great. I’m having a hard time getting past the heavy bite of alcohol and bitterness. I’ll let it wark up and hope it mellows out, but damn, whats with this. After an hour out of the fridge, its still overwhelmed by the bitterness. There is a great taste of chocolate, vanilla, and other sweet sitting at the back but its hard to get to. If this was thrown in a cask for a while, it would be wonderful. As young as it is, its far too abrasive for it to be one of the great beers, but hell, what do I know. I’ll stick with a Stone or an Expedition any day over this. Viggo (3) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 24, 2005 does not count
A pretty amazing beer, black as night with a tan head that rises from the deep like some sort of alien life form. Smells like dark roasted coffee, tastes pretty much the same, 13% hidden to the extreme, not a hint of alcohol. Oily and thick mouthfeel, great beer. richlikebeer (838) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 24, 2005
UPDATED: OCT 2, 2005 jimmack04 opened a bottle at the invitational, 2005 vintage. pour was a jet black with a creamy tan colored head that faded down very nicely to some light lacing. aroma is loaded with coffee and hints of chocolate and molasses. the flavor was a little bit of a let down for me, as there was a lingering bitterness mixed in with tons of coffee, hints of vanilla, and a tail made up of molasses, bits of chocolate, and some hoppy tanginess. the abv comes out a bit toward the end of the mouthful, and i thought the body was a bit thin, compared to some of the other top shelf stouts i have had that have had the opportunity to age. that would be my issue with this brew, dont get me wrong, it was excellent, but it felt too young...it needs to sit and age a bit to smooth out and achieve what i think is its full potential.
rerate: drank an ’04 bottle supplied by the ever generous BBB63, much smoother, much thicker body. great improvement over time. flavors were more or less the same, but the balance was so much better as the brew aged.
clvand0 (350) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - MAY 24, 2005
Thanks to kmpitz2 for picking me up a case of this stuff. 2005 vintage. Cellar temperature. This beer pours a darkest of dark color with a tall and thick brown (mocha) head that has great retention and leaves tons of lacing on the glass. Very attractive and also a bit daunting. The aroma is all about coffee. Lots and lots of coffee/expresso. Maybe a slightest hint of alcohol, but minimal. Some slight chocolate in there as well, but mostly coffee. The flavor kicks you in the face. Strong presence of coffee and chocolate with hints of dark fruit and molasses. Big, big taste. The body is huge. Tons and tons of body, but it manages to avoid the oily syrup feel (which is great). Soooo thick. Awesome. Just awesome. The alcohol is very well hidden in this darkness. Drinkability is extremely good for 13% and they somehow avoid some of the drinkability problems that other large impy stouts have. Awesome brew. Glad I have most of a case left.
Sammy (12616) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 23, 2005
Gorgeous dark colour. Sweet sour. Bitter at first, Roasty finish. Chocolate malt subdued to roasty Starbucks coffee. Alcohol clobbers later. Very smooth. Medium-thick mouthfeel. Thanks Viggio, only $6 at Sam’s in Chicago, take note EBay! mdi (573) - Nebraska, USA - MAY 22, 2005
22oz bottle...this was the 2004 release...and a beauty it is...the aroma doesn’t strike me as so great, but man o man this is a big yummy beast of a beer...it is so thick it just clings to the glass...what a treat! And yeah, I drank the sediment at the bottom after we were done...intense! Thanks Kevin! 0o9i (439) - Reno, Nevada, USA - MAY 22, 2005
Cafe Mocha anyone(cappuccino + dark chocolate...screw the milk!)? Bottle, shared @ O’Brien’s in SD, courtesy of DSYSOCCER--THANKS!!!! Rich, thick, chocolaty, coffee...smoothe and silky, pitch black, nice sized, dark head...nice lace. I tried this and just went "Wow." Alcohol is hidden incredibly well. Super smoothe. It really tastes like something you could pick up at a coffee shop. Amazing stuff. I lost my notes from that night, but no beer I’ve had really competes with this stuff...in a class of its own for uniqueness--it’s not what you would expect from an imperial stout--and it’s really well done. I didn’t have any "man, they should have..." thoughts. KAggie97 (3529) - Ugly, Hot, and Humid Spring, Texas, USA - MAY 20, 2005
UPDATED: APR 24, 2008 Thanks to Eric, aka ’footbalm’ for sending this prized brew down my way.
2005. Pours as it claims- like motor oil. Aroma is a sweet rauchbier with hints of vanilla and cherry. Okay, first sip of this highly cherished offering: Taste is a waterfall of flavor, with the smokiness at the apex of the formation, consisting of smoke and malted barley followed by a gradual widening of caramel and cherry. Interesting. This is obviously a very complex brew. There are a myriad of flavors that contort themselves around a solid center of roasted nut. As it warms, there are hints of raspberry in the finish, but it never loses its grip on the roasty/smoky flavor. I swear there is an oak tree somewhere in this bottle. The character in the finish is like a strong cup of coffee- bitter, biting, and thickly veiled. The alcohol becomes much more prominent as this beverage warms. Is it worth the hype? In some instances, yes, it is. Overall, I would rank this as a better than average Imperial Stout. Definitely worth a try.