SourNotes (104) - Bloomington, Minnesota, USA - MAR 3, 2011
on tap @ Town Hall Brewery on release day
Jet black with easily 3 fingers of dark brown thick foamy head. reminded me of a foamy frozen mocha. The head sat thick like wip cream all fluffy. It held great retention even after it touched my lips. After the third sip the head finally had fallen. It held great empire over the top of the beer.
The smells were beautiful Dark bitter chocolate and roast espresso mingled with blended in splashes of bourbon/whiskey. not even a hint of alcohol.
Taste goes right along with the smell. like liquid bitter chocolate and espresso but plenty of residual sweetness to keep it lively.
So well blended, all the flavors are representing themselves perfectly, nothing overwhelms. The whiskey bourbon slides through just enough to let you know that it was in a barrel, the dryer oakiness comes in at the end to make sure you know.
The mouthfeel is thick, creamy, a little oily slickness on the front but bubbled away by the carbonation. It sticks to your lips like an ice cream float. A good amount of oaked dryness at the end, seems to come with the territory.
It is almost unfair how drinkable this is because I don’t have time to have another. good thing i picked up 2 growlers. I still can’t get over the fact that I can’t tell there is a lot of alcohol in this.(if i’m not mistaken the batch i am drinking is 12% not the stated 9%)
Sticking with my usual theme. I would have this with Ice Cream. Vanilla Bean Ice Cream or maybe a caramel drizzled cream puff... or why not both. I wouldn’t want to comprimise this beer by having savory foods, salty foods, or overly rich and sweet desserts. Simple and light dessert food would be awsome with this to contrast the big bold rich flavors of the beer.
zizzybalubba (1886) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - APR 16, 2011
64 oz. growler generously shared by ksurkin. Pours black with a thin brown head and leaves sticky brown lace on the sides of the glass. Aroma of dark chocolate, booze, and oak. As wonderful as the aroma is the flavor is even better with chocolate cake, coconut, oak, roasted coffee, and vanilla. Finishes assertive but not overpowering. The alcohol is perfectly integrated providing just the right amount of warmth. An incredible imperial stout. cruchr123 (29) - St.Paul, Minnesota, USA - JUL 18, 2011
Poured from a 64 oz growler into a Darkness snifter. I’ve had this in my fridge since the release, the anticipation has been builiding up for some time.
A- Pitch black, motor oil, Dark sludge body, dark brown one finger mocha head, nice lacing and retention, excellent carbonation.
S- Very sweet, chocolate and vanilla upfront, amazing bourbon aroma, nice oaky notes as well, as I continue to smell my mouth starts watering, I already know this is going to be an amazing tasting beer.
T- Very smooth, taste of Jack Daniels is present, sweet vanilla notes, with amazing chocolate and bourbon taste, cocoa, hints of coffee, roasted malts, notes from the barrels (oak, wood) are very present pushing the taste from awesome to truly amazing, very easy drinkability.
M- Medium mouth feel, nice carbonation, smooth and creamy.
O- Amazing beer, alcohol is very hidden, very easy drinkability, well balanced with the bourbon and oak aged notes, just delicious, the bourbon taste is not overpowering, beautiful appearance, aroma, and taste one of the best BA stouts out there.
Glouglouburp (6103) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 15, 2011
In short: Best barrel aged imperial sout ever? MaybeElGaucho (2401) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - SEP 6, 2004
How: Fresh growler sent to me by oakbluff, thanks a lot Scott
The look: Black body topped by a small tan head
In long: Incredible nose that is both fruity, roasted, light barrel notes, even hoppy herbal. Taste is bittersweet black chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits, fresh green herbs/grass, nougat, lots of wood, light bourbon barrel notes, milk chocolate. A nice green herbal bitterness in the finish that makes the beer oh so drinkable. The barrel aging is not overdone. The beer had some bourbon notes but overall it was more of a pure oak wood flavor than an actual bourbon barrel flavor. As for the mouthfeel I couldn’t possibly ask for more, very full body and with a very lively carbonation. This beer seems like a once-a-year beer and I cannot comment of previous years but this 2011 release was a masterpiece, maybe the best barrel aged imperial stout I’ve ever had. Drinking a full growler by myself was a pure pleasure. I got two growlers of Minnesota’s top rated rated barrel aged imperial stouts on the same week (Town Hall Czar Jack and Barley Johns The Dark Knight) and this Czar Jack blew away the disappointing Dark Knight. We opened a growler about 4 months later and while not as explosively fantastic as my fresher growler it was still a world-class Imperial Stout. Another winner from Town Hall, a fantastic brewpub I’ve only traded for but never actually visited. To me, going to Town Hall is like having sex with a dead donkey. Never done it, but I think about it all the time.
UPDATED: MAR 17, 2005 Rerate: 3/17/05: I was able to parlay my flat growler into half off my next one, which was not flat. Turns out they were filling growlers with the CO2 out and thought they had discarded all of the flat beer. Nope. My latest growler was much better and carbonated. My only complaint about this brew is that the chocolate caramel flavor can be a little too much after awhile, but then again, this brew is not made to drink half a growler of. That’s two weekends in a row I have woken up with a headache the night after half a growler of Czar Jack. Then again, it was by no means the only thing I drank the night before! Rerate: 3/6/05: I’d have to echo slikwily’s comment that the Czar Jack is a little flat coming out of the growler. His was rebottled as well. Still, the wonderfully rich complexity I remember from last summer’s GTM was evident. The aroma was more pronounced this time; sweet, rich bourbon. Not much head or lace, which may be attributable to the aforementioned flatness. Flavor is chocolatety, rich with bourbon. Perfect. I’d really like to have this again directly out of the tap to see if it is a little more carbonated and to see the appearance as it was meant to be. Other than that this is a marvelous, delectable, caramelly, chocolate brew. AR 10; Ap 4; Fl 9, Pal 5; Ov 18. 9/6/04: 2004 GTM. Aroma not all that strong. Milk, alcohol, caramel malt. Deep dark reddish black hue; light brown head. Very attractive. High alcohol flavor with caramel notes. Phenomenal. Warming. Best of show.
1FastSTi (3360) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 12, 2007
GTMW 2007. The beer pours to a normal looking black body with a large tan head and thick density. The beer has a heavy maltiness all around. Molasses and chocolate and light coffee with a nice bourbon and charred toffee with vanilla. The flavor is heavy on the molasses and maple syrup with chocolate and coffee mixed with vanilla laden bourbon and a charred wood. The palate has a medium sweetness and is slightly bitter with a full creamy oily body. This beer did not disappoint. GandGKevin (934) - Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA - APR 16, 2011
Growler shared from ksurkin. Thanks Kenny! Aromas of semi sweet dark chocolate. Flavors are dark chocolate and coffee. Absolutely wonderful! ksurkin (1021) - Norfolk, Virginia, USA - APR 16, 2011
64oz growler courtesy of Derek from BA and shared with gandgkevin, zizzybalubba, drunkenpolack, and Gabe. opens with a glorious pop and rush of CO2 (hell yeah these growlers are sealed well!) and pours a luscious, viscous black with a thick, creamy, dark beige head that has beautiful retention and leaves thick sheets of glass-staining lace. aroma is absolutely wonderful and gets even better as it warms with huge notes of raw dark chocolate, crusty fudge brownies, graham crackers, and decadent coffee backed by ever-so-subtle notes of molasses, vanilla, toasted coconut, and brown sugar with perfectly integrated notes of oak barrel and smokey bourbon. flavor is fantastic as well with notes of rich dark chocolate, roasted malts, mocha coffee, and molasses up front backed by subtle notes of charred oak, vanilla, and dark fruits with the dry, smooth bourbon notes tying all the flavors together on the back end. palate is rich, decadent, and silky smooth with perfect carbonation and not a trace of alcohol leaving a glorious finish of dry oak and bitter dark chocolate. overall, an absolute world class imperial stout. drunkenpolack (322) - Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA - FEB 2, 2012
Smell is out of this world. Dark chocolate, vanilla, small amounts of coffee and molasses. I think out of everyone in the room I stuck my nose in the glass the most. Couldn’t stop.
Taste is pretty much as good as the smell. Up front the dark chocolate reigns supreme followed by the molasses, vanilla, brown sugar, and roasted malt. The effects from the oak barrels linger on the aftertaste. For a higher ABV beer, the alcohol is well hidden making this a dangerous beer. Mouthfeel is spot on. Smooth and medium bodied. Goes down wonderfully. World class barrel aged stout. mcberko (18998) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 5, 2013
Growler, sent from mista (thanks a lot, Geoff!), pours jet black with a small brown head - beautiful looking. Nose is luxurious, full of oak barrels, wood, high quality dark chocolate, roasted malt and a little vanilla. Flavour is remarkably complex and luxurious, with velvety chocolate, moderate wood, a bit of vanilla, and great use of the oak barrels. The woody oak notes are what is left lingering, along with some melted dark chocolate. Palate is velvety, as noted, with amazing complexity. The oak barrels are used perfectly, neither dominating nor barely noticeably - perfectly situated amongst everything going on. Carbonation is soft and well-suited for the flavour profile. An absolutely wonderful barrel-aged impie that lives up to its hype.