I got this awhile back from a great trader down in Texas, TPoling, thanks Travis! Of course this big RIS gurgles into the glass the blackest of blacks, nearly sucking the light up in the room. A stronger than normal pour yields a one finger mocha head that quickly dissipates to a solid cap with an even thicker collar. The carbonation can be seen colliding with the head and helping with the staying power.
The nose is packed full of roastiness and under ripe dark berries, blackberry leading the way with spicy under ripe blueberry no far behind. Dark and somewhat bitter chocolate play a huge role in the nose of this hefty stout. The more my nose is in the glass the more I pull out including big whiffs of black coffee and roastiness. Anise in the form of black licorice plays a good role as well. This beer just keeps on morphing and getting better. The nose is very peppery, spicy.
The flavor losses a little something from the nose but is still very close, and good. The roastiness isn't quite as bold as the nose suggests but the spicy under ripe berry plays a prominent role. High cocoa content dark chocolate abounds in this brew with a solid, somewhat bitter black coffee kick. There's a touch of heavy cream in there but it stays in the background with the roastiness. This is a damn fine stout.
The carbonation is on the low side while the body is on the dense side which makes for a velvety, slow moving, tongue coating mouthfeel. The body of this RIS is right where it needs to be and I can't get enough.
The sheer size and brute strength of this brew will limit the drinkability right off the bat. What's in my glass takes awhile to drink and now that it's about gone I wish I had a few more bottles lying around. I could easily drink a few of these in a long night although I may be sleeping where I sit.
A big thanks goes out to Travis for this brew! This is up there at the top of the style. A very good all around RIS that I would love to see get brewed again. The flavors are so robust and rich it's a sheer joy to drink. Thanks.
Served In: Snifter
Pours black as night. Very viscous and beautiful on the pour. A very nice cascading khaki tan head of about an inch develops right after the pour.
Smell is heavenly. Everything a big, viscous, brute of a RIS should be. Heavily roasted malts, some dark bakers chocolate, some molasses, leather and just a hint of dark fruits and alcohol. Wonderful.
Taste goes further with the flavors picked up in the smell. I would add just a hint of tobacco and just the slightest hint of faint hops. The finish has a nice roasted coffee flavor at the very back end. This is absolutely stunning. Full and viscous in the mouthfeel, a true gem.
It's a shame this was a one off, if this was made regularly I would seek it out at all costs. Very happy to have had the chance to try this one.
Served In: Tulip
*Uploading my old reviews, this one has a review date of: 10-6-07. If I can acquire the beer again I will re-review it*
Thanks go out to TexasStout for the trade. Now let’s see what all the fuzz is about.
Pours really dark with a big frothy head. Great head retention and thick lacing.
The aroma is odd, never had a RIS that smelled like this. It has an earthy aroma, the chocolate and roasted aromas are all there but this one seems different. Can’t quite pinpoint that scent but it’s not overpowering or distracting.
Seems like that odd aroma is in the taste as well, it tastes “organic”? if that means anything, or grainy. Chocolate and roasted barley, malts, coffee, and that damn taste I can’t figure out! It’s not bad at all, it’s just that I’ve never experienced it in any other stout and can’t quite describe it. The best I can describe it is a grape/vine-like aftertaste or maybe cherries and apricot pits or green grape skins.
Mouthfeel and carbonation are both above average.
Have to agree with some previous reviews that some ageing would do great things for this beer. Glad I have some more.
Served In: Bottle
A - Pour produces a small dark cocoa colored head that is a bit fizzy. Within about 30 seconds it is gone, leaving some wisps on the surface and broken bead around the edge of the glass. Body is jet black and completely opaque. It's oily too, leaving a film on the glass, but no real lacing.
S - Wow. Huge chocolatey nose on this one. Deep dark chocolate jumps out of the glass to your nose. There's some cocoa resting underneath the dark chocolate. Roasy dark malts.
M - Starts off really roasty, rather than the expected chocolatey, with some light coffee and mild espresso roast. This is followed by some of that chocolate flavor, although not as strong as would be expected from the aroma. Distinct warming alcohol comes around, but doesn't dominate the brew. There is a subtle hop bitterness that rides along throughout the whole experience.
M - Big and slick, almost oily. Carbonation is a touch fizzy, but nothing overbearing.
Overall - Nice Imperial Stout. I love beers with a big chocolate nose and I expect that more chocolate could come out with a little more time behind it.
Served In: Snifter
Pours an oily, thick, jet black with a nice somewhat short lasting tan head on it in a snifter. Right off the bat after uncapping it, I could tell this smell was different than any Imperial Stout I’ve tried and still it was quite complex. It was a very rich malty, somewhat roasty and quite chocolately smell with just light hint of coffee at first, and definite gooey banana and juicy dried fig like sweet notes to it. Body and mouthfeel was amazingly smooth, thick and mouth coatingly creamy and exactly what I’d want in this type of beer. Taste was rich, hearty, malt and chocolate with a truly pleasant hint of alcohol (which I typically strongly dislike) and an over ripe sweet banana and rich dark fruity finish to it. For 10% this is all too easy to drink. The only thing it lacked was everything I dislike about Imperial Stouts such as overly chalky or powdery bitterness, burnt tastes, and a dreaded soy flavor. I’m glad to have gotten my hands on some as it appears to be sold out in the area already. Truly a unique, great beer in every respect.
Price: $2.50 Served In: Bottle
Thanks Culdeus for sending this one!
Beer pours dark black, creates about a 1/2 inch light brown head. As I drink this beer the head dissipates, but leaves a nice lacing on the glass.
Chocolate and roasted malts on the nose of this brew.
Great tasting beer. Very balanced chocolate, roasted malts, alcohol, creamy taste. A very good RIS IMO.
This has a good mouthfeel, a little more carbonation then your typical RIS, but it works with this beer, very smooth. Its hard to believe this is a 10% beer.
I'm glad I had a chance to try this and didn't know anything going into it, what a pleasant suprise. I will have to try more stuff from St. Arnold soon.
Served In: Pint Glass
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