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Review by SAP on 10/04/08  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
74 3 10 13 4 7 2008
Bottle code of 04258 & 31710; Sampled October 2008
A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass creates a slightly cascading, tightly beaded froth that starts out three fingers in height and has a darkly browned, tan colored head. The beer is quite black in color thought it shows some dark chocolate brown notes around the edges. The aroma has rich notes of concentrated, sweet, dark malts as well as an ample roast character that produces aromas of dark cocoa, soft burnt grain, and a rich toasted whole grain character. There is something here that is a bit like burnt nuts, or even burnt play-doh. The aroma is actually fairly restrained, I was expecting this to be a bit more aromatic than it is, though I do like that it seems pretty well integrated and balanced (but that might just be because everything is so muted).

The flavor has a rich, complex, dark malt sweetness to it that accentuates sweet dark chocolate notes up front and a nice dark cocoa note towards the finish were the sweetness is not quite so prominent. A touch of dusty, roasted grain character adds some burnt bitterness to the finish. Reminds me of a rich, dark chocolate something or other that has a strong, black coffee infusion. As the beer warms up the sweetness softens a bit and starts to couple with concentrated, roasted fruit flavors of prune and perhaps a touch of fig. This does have a really complex, rich malt character to it, unfortunately a lot of this gets masked by the sweetness.

This is actually quite sweet tasting, though it is not as thick as the sweetness might suggest; it could actually use more roast malt character to balance things out and some more body, without more sweetness, would help to balance this a bit more too. I like that this is a fairly well integrated and smooth in its roast character. Not a bad example of an Imperial Stout & it is certainly quite enjoyable, and if it was not for the simplistic sweetness, this would be really damn good.

Served In: Tulip