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Flying Monkeys BNL Imperial Chocolate Stout - Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Flying Monkeys BNL Imperial Chocolate StoutFlying Monkeys BNL Imperial Chocolate Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

101 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 101
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 16.95%
Wants: 21
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: korguy123 on 11-24-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Treble Clef Series: Beer 1

Barenaked Ladies Collaboration.
If I had 2 million Ecuadorian Cocoa Nibs... I would brew you an Imperial Chocolate Stout.

Brewing with BNL demanded a rare treat - organic Ecuadorian Cocoa Nibs - to create a rich, friendly Imperial Chocolate Stout as sweet and quirky as the band's music. We lovingly agreed aged this beer on a bed of luscious raw cocoa nibs creating a black velvety brew so fudge-y it makes you want to lick the inside of your glass.

Opaque as chocolate cake, this roasty brew pours topped with a whipped mocha froth. The creamy dark cocoa flavors gently warm with a steady 10% ABV. No bitterness to this stout, just a chocolate boldness the, like a happy memory or a perfect song, keeps on giving.

And like great music, this bottle is meant to be shared with special friends and family.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 101 | Reviews: 35
Reviews by leaddog:
Photo of leaddog
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a dark chocolate syrup brown with two fingers of creamy mocha head. Leaves nice lacing on the glass.

Smell - Milk chocolate, cocoa nibs, prunes, cherries, little bit of musty hops. Smells like a delicious chocolate dessert.

Taste - Hit right away with the milk chocolate and cocoa flavours. Transitions to the dark fruits. Aftertaste is reminiscent of a Coffee Crisp chocolate bar - slightly bitter coffee/cocoa taste. ABV is pretty well hidden.

Mouthfeel - Medium-to-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth texture.

Overall - A tasty collaboration between Flying Monkeys and Barenaked Ladies. Decadent chocolate flavour is the star of this brew. I would be interested in trying this with some more roasted notes - maybe another future collab! A tasty treat - pick up a bottle to share with a friend.

More User Reviews:
Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.54/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glad I caught this one in Uptown Waterloo - served in a nonic glass and shared among friends as our dessert beer.

Normally, I start with appearance, but for this brew I'll make an exception and jump right to the nose. The second we removed the cap, it felt like the entire room suddenly smelled of rich milk chocolate. Absolutely stunning, and this carried through with every sip. Sweet chocolate, marshamallow, a touch of roasted malt, and grape, but this brew is still dominated by the chocolate. And it's amazing.

Black with a hint of chestnut around the edges. Poured a bit hot, so there was a great deal of foam to deal with, but once it settled, a sturdy light mocha cap had set up a permanent camp.

The imperial character to the brew comes out a bit more in the taste, but I still can safely call this brew a "chocolate bomb". Good mix of dark, dry chocolate and sweeter milk variety. It felt to me like I had taken a couple of big bites of chocolate and washed it down with a serviceable, roasty imperial stout.

Decent thickness, carbonation is firm enough. Creamy.

Well done, Monkeys, this brew was fantastic, and a great way to (nearly) cap off 2012. One of the better chocolate stouts I've come across, Ontario or otherwise. The pricetag is a bit high, but I'm still going to shoot for another bottle or two. I suppose if I had million dollars, I'd buy a few more. Fine, I'll stop.

Photo of BGDrock
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: dense and sticky milk chocolate head with good retention; pure black

Aroma: incredibly chocolatey - like fudge ice cream, can practically taste it; even velvety; keep going back for more, it's so pure and nothing distracts from it

Taste & Mouthfeel: I don't read labels before trying, so only found out afterwards they do in fact add cocoa nibs - and man it shows! just like the scent, like hot chocolate, but not the fake stuff, this is real deal cocoa with that powdery texture; there's some dark roast coffee in the finish, quite pronounced and a great way to cap it off - suddenly it's a mocha! satin mouthfeel thick and creamy; doesn't leave you feeling gassy, easy to drink, and the 10% is non-existent - until you've finished the bottle and find yourself a little wobbly standing up

Overall: now that's living up to your name - rich beautiful chocolate flavour and luxurious mouthfeel make for a truly decadent brew; have it for dessert with berries

Photo of biboergosum
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. I take it Steven Page has nothing to do with this little endeavour? What, too soon? BNL? Beer, now, lad!

This beer pours a deep, black abyss, with slight basal cola highlights, and three fingers of tightly foamy chocolate milk head, which settles at a loping pace, eventually leaving a solid pocked wall of painted lace around the glass.

It smells of luscious, pungent milk chocolate, like a melted Dairy Milk candy bar, some moderately overwhelmed black fruit - prunes and cherries, mostly, and a tiny earthy mustiness that I'm going to make an educated guess in attributing to hops. The taste is more big, silky chocolate, a sort of blend between sugary milk chocolate and darker, roasted bitter cocoa. Wading through this confectioner's wet dream, I get some further black fruit 'astringency', a twinge of real vanilla (the boozy kind), a little earthy hop bitterness, and a conspicuous lack of alcohol heat.

The bubbles are a wee bit frizzy, but generally quite under the radar, the body medium-heavy in weight, a bit syrupy, and pudding smooth. The foam detritus weirdly drips down the side of the glass, leaving sticky pools of goo on the table - that's a first for me. It finishes sweet, cocoa-nib chocolaty, a subtly rising warmth barely threatening the Willy Wonka hegemony.

Well, ya can't say that this isn't true to its claims - though the chocolate rather overshadows the 'imperial' and 'stout' monikers. They seem to play out in the background, ensuring that this somehow doesn't become a sweet, sickly mess, and a pretty tasty one at that, though better suited to dessert accompaniments, especially fruit.

Photo of Sammy
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A very good chocolate beer. Sweet chocolate aroma fills a boardroom. Very dark brown with lasting head, a little lace. Smooth mouthfeel. Major league achievement. Hot boozy follow on. Worth trying, and hits the mark though not the greatest in the style. Still, lots and lots of chocolate, similar to Baker's chocolate or a decile better.

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.54/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - thick dark black, one finger of mocha head, retained at a thin cover, solid lacing
S - incredible aroma of rich chocolate fudge, hints of vanilla and mild raisins, the aroma of this is amazing
T - rich cocoa, vanilla, espresso, mild dark fruit, roastiness lingers,and just all around deliciousness
M - heavy and rich like melted chocolate, mildest touch of bitterness and alcohol sweet heat
T - a hands down must have, I plan to buy another to savour right away

Photo of Rutager
4.36/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to wordemupg and liamt07 for sending me this huge Canadian want.

Appearance. Pours a deep dark brown, black in the glass with over two fingers of thick tan head that lasts a looong time and leaves a ton of thick lace.

Smell. Wow!! Massive chocolate fudge, and man does it smell good. Just a little dark malt in behind the rich fudge.

Taste. Rich dark chocolate, a little booze, and more rich dark chocolate. Slight bitterness and not too sweet considering the massive amount of chocolate flavour.

Mouthfeel. On the lowest end of full bodied, medium+ carbonation.

Overall. A chocolate stout doesn't get much more chocolate than this. I happen to love chocolate and really enjoyed this beer. Very impressed at how much chocolate they crammed in to this beer.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of pure cacao nibs is quite intense with well-balanced sweet notes. Taste is dominated by pure creamy chocolate notes with well-balanced level of sweetness. Body is full with nice creamy texture and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. This is an over the top experience for sure but I did enjoy it. I am not sure I could drink more than a couple of ounces in one session. This is getting close to Southern Tier style of extreme flavours.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.26/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured in to tulip.

A - Poured dark brown and settled black with two fingers of espresso coloured head. Good lacing.

S - Massive artificial chocolate aroma completely dominates the nose; reminiscent of Nestle Quick - very sweet and syrupy. Nothing else comes through at all. Not a terrible nose, but one-dimensional and artificial.

T - A huge cocoa presence that is not as artificial and syrupy as the nose suggested but those qualities are still present. A fairly big bitterness is present throughout that is likely a bi-product of the cocoa nibs, not of hopping. The cocoa presence is overwhelming and at times approaches being cloyingly sweet but manages to get enough balance from the bitter cocoa and the warming alcohol presence to remain drinkable.

M - Medium body; chewy. Light carbonation.

O - Probably the most cocoa-forward chocolate stout I have had and for my tastes it went a little too far.

Photo of metter98
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is absolutely jet black in color and poured with a two finger high tan colored head that died down a bit but consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: There are very strong aromas of chocolate fudge and cocoa nibs in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is packed with flavors of cocoa nibs and has lots of chocolately flavors along with some hints of associated sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied but very thick and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is like a liquid dessert because it tastes a lot like fudge and chocolate sauce. This would go really well together with some vanilla ice cream or mixed together as a beer and stout ice cream float. No traces of alcohol are present, but the thickness makes it a slow sipper.

Photo of IronDjinn
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Comes in a 750 ml brown bottle, capped, which in turn comes in a pretty fancy cardboard box, they put some effort into the external packaging. Pours out one of the densest, intense opaque pitch black appearances I've ever seen in a beer, it's almost as if light bounces off of it rather than being absorbed and nullified. Tall dense tan head that settles to a thick cap.

Rich, intense cocoa aroma dominates, all those nibs make one helluva impact. Smells like fresh chocolate cake coated in chocolate icing.

The flavour is equally intense with nutty, earthy cocoa once again dominating, and not much else except varying degrees of sweet to dry cocoa characteristics. It works for what it is, and doesn't seem to claim to be anything else. However some black currant and black cherry pops up after a while in the aftertaste. Gives it something of a black forest cake taste at that point.

Full-bodied mouthfeel, thick velvety texture, with mildly brisk carbonation that helps cut through the heaviness a bit.

You want a chocolate beer where there's no mistaking where the chocolate is? This is it. An excellent dessert beer, or for helping to set the mood with a special someone (or hell, even with whoever happens to be in the general vicinity). Worth seeking out while it lasts, and also putting away a bottle or two to age.

Photo of papat444
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to jrenihan for this one.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle.

Pours a pretty dark brown body with a huge light brown head that settles at a good 3 fingers and doesn't look like it's going anywhere. Creamy & thick.

Smell: Can smell it very strongly as i pour it. Pure chocolate, reminiscent of Hershey's syrup. Rich and sweet but manages to not be overdone.

Taste: Assault of chocolate syrup, a bit cloying and a harsh roasted cocoa finish that camouflages the flavor a bit. Smooths out as it warms but not as good as the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Very rich, thick feel, carbonation a tad high but overall not very heavy.

Overall: Not the decadent monster i expected but also not the artificial beer i heard about either. Squarely in the middle and i'm very glad to have tried it.

Photo of uno99
4.39/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I didn't make it down to the Summerhill LCBO to meet the Barenaked Ladies, but I did buy a few of these as soon as they hit the shelves. $13. Rather expensive for a "local" brew but I have a good feeling about this one... Boxed 750ml bottle, served at 50 degrees into a small tulip.

Appearance: As usual with a Flying Monkeys product, the packaging is both brilliant bold. Practically every printable surface of the box has text and artwork on it. It's kinda fun to sit and read it as you work your way through the beer...
Big black soupy body. fairly tan colored head rises quickly from the pour. Doesn't stick around too long but leaves some lacing in my glass. Leaves a brown stain on the side of the glass if you swish it around a bit - a sign of a good imperial stout!

Smell: "Smell" is not the right word here... This STINKS to high heaven of chocolate mousse, dark plums and cherries, raw cocoa beans, etc... If you've ever been inside a craft chocolatier, it basically smells like this beer. In fact, it's probably the most chocolate I've smelled in a beer, but it's not one dimensional - rather complex actually.

Taste: Yeah its pretty sweet, but not totally sugary sweet, more like very dark chocolate sweet (I eat the 90% stuff all the time). Quite oaky, fruity and almondy... reminiscent of a cadbury "fruit and nut" bar. The finish has a hint of bitter, I'm not sure if I would have preferred more, but more may help with the drinkability (although I'm quite certain this bottle is meant to be shared a few ways - which I wont be doing).

Mouthfeel: It's pretty thick but not too cloying. Certainly not a "refreshing" beer, and more like a desert and nightcap sort of deal. Carbonation is quite gentle; Finish lingering.

Overall: I've had A LOT of good, world class stouts this year and this one is up there with the best of them. The box says it ages well so that an invitation for me to go stock up on several more of these. Congratulations FM and BNL.

Photo of SebD
4.72/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: It has a nice jet black color to it. It has a nice thick tan head that dies down slowly and leaves some lacing.

Smell: All chocolate! Chocolate bars, chocolate milk, cocoa, some coffee and light vanilla. Amazing!

Taste: Like the aromas, it has alot of chocolate/cocoa, roasted malts, coffee, vanilla sweetness and a slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel. Rich and sweet.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with great flavors and aromas. I went out on a limb and bought 5 of these before even trying it and I don't regret it at all! This beer is amazing!

Photo of dbrauneis
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with no highlights and a light amount of gentle carbonation at the surface. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy dark tan to mocha colored head that slowly reduces quarter finger thick layer evenly covering the entire surface of the huge. Huge amounts of lacing are observed.

S: This is probably the best smelling chocolate stout that I have ever come across - I would argue that this beer smells like pure perfect chocolate indulgence. Underneath the strong milk chocolate aromas, there are some more subtle aromas of cocoa, and marshmallow.

T: Significant flavors of milk chocolate and cocoa with some lighter flavors of marshmallow. The beer is slightly sweet with minimal amounts of bitterness.

M: Just a tiny amount more than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: This beer is a great dessert beer with the huge chocolate/cocoa flavors and aromas - similar to a hot chocolate on flavor or a chocolate egg cream. This beer was a huge hit with my wife (a stout enjoyer) as well and she says it worked like hot fudge on her ice cream. Thanks to my wife's co-worker that brought this one back for me from Canada. One of the best smelling beers I have ever come across (even the bottle cap smelled like fudge). Alcohol is extremely well hidden.

Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - very thick; dark black, good brown brown head
S - a very rich chocolate
T - cocoa, well balanced, could not tell it was 10%

A quality offering by FLying Monkeys, one which I quite enjoyed while eating new year's day breakfast. The arroma was very impressive, with the chocolate notes jumping off the glass.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of jrenihan
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is jet black with a good-sized tan head. Decent retention and lacing.

The smell is MAMMOTH. The aroma hits hard as soon as the beer starts pouring. I have never had a beer that tastes like cake the way this one does. Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate, very rich. Some malty scents give it a cake scent, but almost any chocolatey items fits the bill- smells rather like fudge, cocoa, syrup, etc.

Taste is like the nose, but not quite as overwhelming. Lots of cocoa, reminiscent of hot chocolate, and also taste rather like dark chocolate-covered raisins. Burnt marshmallow. A bit of a cherry flavour, like black forest cake. Are you getting the picture? Chocolate is the name of the game here.

Full bodied, moderately carbonated. Sticky. A bit thinner than I expected, but it is still an imperial stout and a big beer.

Overall, if you are looking for a chocolate stout, this is for you. A bit one dimensional perhaps, but it does what it does very well. This is a dessert beer like no other.

Photo of andrenaline
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Props to peensteen for passing this brew along, super stoked to get an opportunity to take it for a spin.

A - Pours pitch black, two fingers of nice mocha head, solid retention and nice sheeting lacing.

S - Sweet milk chocolate, reminiscent of Nesquik syrop and hints of vanilla. Basically a blast of chocolate, not much else beyond that.

T - Similar to the nose, this is basically like drinking chocolate milk. The ABV is completely hidden, and dark cocoa flavours linger. The sweetness could easily be a turnoff for some, but I definitely didn't mind.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and finishes surprisingly wet.

O - I can see why there's mixed reviews on this brew. It's heavy on the sweetness and the closest beer I've had to chocolate milk, which could easily be a turn-off for some. Over time I am detecting the playdough flavours that others noticed. That being said, it wasn't overwhelming and I certainly had no problem taking down this bottle alone. A tad pricey, but worth a try nonetheless.

Photo of GodOfBeer
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a jet black with a thick brown-tan head.

The smell is very aggressive, an intense chocolate aroma filled up the room as I opened this beast. Not very much else going on here but the chocolate, some dark malts, hint of alcohol.

Well it tastes like dark chocolate milk with some coffee, very sweet tasting overall. Alcohol is very well hidden. This is without a doubt the chocolatey beer I've ever had. They definitely weren't lying about the cocoa nibs.

Very thick and chewy beer, I couldn't imagine having more than one of these in one sitting.

Photo of wordemupg
4.39/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into tulip 11/19/12 from notes

A just a thumbnail of cola edge in a black body, large mocha head falls from 3 fingers to one rather quickly but then sticks around leaving partial rings deep down the glass

S I could smell this the second I popped the cap, big nose of chocolate fudge and cake with some Glossette raisins and some faint smokey bourbon, more chocolate in many forms, coco powder, Hershey syrup and the faintest hint of coffee beans...chocolate covered of coarse, this is perfection for a chocolate lover

T a small step back from the nose as there's less chocolaty goodness with just a hint of booze and over-ripe fruit with slightly more coffee

M silky smooth and creams up after a couple seconds, slight bitter bite and just a little sticky on the lips and some faint heat on the finish, great fudgey aftertaste lingers for ages, well done in this department

O I'm pretty impressed with this one, MASSIVE nose, tastes solid, feels right on the money, I have little to complain about

Even at 14$ a bottle I'll be buying a few more, its mellow fresh so I'm hoping some time will smooth out a beer that's already smooth. Looks like I got this one well before the local folks in Ontario, not sure why. If my computer wasn't in the shop last month I would have added this one nearly a week before the folks that live down the road from the brewery.

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pure black with about a millimeter of cherry red on the bottom of the glass. A huge, infinite tan head coats the glass in lace. Quick chocolate sauce and dark Belgian chocolate in the nose - in massive amounts, the second we popped the cap, the room filled with chocolate. Big coca and milk chocolate flavors mix with a light hoppiness and some dark malt roastiness. This beer is a chocolate delivery vehicle. The mouthfeel is super thick and sparsley carbonated. Bitter hops and dark chocolate fill the long finish. Alcohol is well hidden throughout.

This beer is fantastic, celebrity association or not. Massive chocolate flavors in layers and layers. A must try for any chocolate or stout fan. Good job FMs and the BNL!

Photo of korguy123
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Read on Facebook these were available at the brewery and rushed over on my coffee break. They were still unboxing them lol.

750ml bottle into snifter. The box it's in says 2012 release (part of a series or part of a collection?) Bottle dated 10/18/2012 and Barenaked Monkeys.

Syrupy black pour. Totally opaque, motor oil consistency. Three finger, short lived dark tan head. Lacing is very good for the alcohol content.

There is so much chocolate in this it's incredible. It's chocolate milk, chocolate syrup and chocolate bars all rolled into one. There is a slight marshmallow and graham cracker presence. Dark coffee, vanilla and a touch of brown sugar. So much chocolate.

Holy chocolate! Dark chocolate, not overly sweet, more bittersweet bakers chocolate. Makes this rich but not super cloying like Chokolat from ST. Dark roasted coffee, brown sugar and a nice vanilla flavor. Alcohol is invisible and finishes slightly dry.

Lower end of full body, decent carbonation, syrupy and sticky on the lips.

This is a real home run. The bottle size is a little big just because I have no one to share with... Oh well more for me. I will definitely be aging a few of these.

Photo of DrJay
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle courtesy of Zithal. Thanks Rob!
This one poured black with faint ruby edges and had a fluffy mocha head. The one inch cap showed good head retention and left thick, sticky lace on the glass. There was one word for the aroma -- chocolate. It smelled like a mix of cocoa and milk chocolate, not overly sugary, and that's pretty much it. The flavour was primarily chocolate, but with more complexity than the aroma. Notes of alcohol, malt, mild roastiness and fruitiness in the background balanced some dark grain and hop bitterness. Though it was balanced towards sweetness, it was kept from being cloying by these other qualities along with a bit of spicy hops in the finish. The body was a bit thick and palate coating, carbonation was medium/low, decent texture. Overall it was pretty good. Very chocolatey while staying somewhat balanced, which is often the downfall of beers of this type.

Photo of Jeffo
2.12/5  rDev -47.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Big thanks to JonnyBarman for picking this one up and hanging onto it for me. Cool that you could make over to my place again for the festivities. Cheers!

From a 750 into a snifter
Bottled 18 October 2012
Aged on Ecuadorian raw cocoa nibs

APPEARANCE: A clear black pour produces a three finger, medium looking, dark tan head with great retention. Black body with higher levels of carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a full cap and leaves some chunky lacing down the sides of the glass. A splotchy wisp remains until the end and leaves some decent lacing down the glass. Looks pretty good.

SMELL: Huge chocolate fudge right off the pour. Hershey's mild chocolate, like an Aero bar, and cocoa powder. All chocolate all the time. Some boozy rum-like cherry aromas as well, like those cough candies perhaps. One dimensional and somewhat intimidating.

TASTE: Cocoa powder and plenty of sweet milk chocolate up front, and then just an avalanche of processed chocolate at the swallow. Huge aftertaste of sweet Hershey's chocolate, powdery cacao and lots of bitter, dark fudge as well. Some rum and booze notes lace the sweet, chocolate bomb that this is. The label says there is no bitterness here, but that's not totally true, as lots of bitter-sweet chocolate lingers after the swallow for sure. Actually pretty decadent, but it's so one dimensional and overly dominated by sweet processed cacao that it becomes pretty challenging after half a glass.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Very creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes pretty sticky.

OVERALL: This is exactly as advertised, so I guess credit it due there. Chocolate and more chocolate, with lots of sweet chocolate on top of it all. I guess this would be tasty and interesting in small doses, but once you're forced to actually drink some of it, it becomes a daunting chore that I chose to avoid. Most of this saw the drain as a result. I'd suggests taking this novelty to a party and sharing it with an army of the willing, just as the bottle suggests / warns. In the end, this is not a good beer. See you again next year Jonny!

Photo of biegaman
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BNL Imperial Chocolate Stout is somehow darker and more opaque than chocolate itself. The black marble appearance is worthy of your finest chalice, especially given the intricate, sparkling beading of its bubbles which, assembled together, is plump enough to resemble two fat girls hugging. The brown, burnt-looking foam it produces sticks to the glass like glue.

It took only prying off the cap for me to make up my mind on giving the aroma a perfect 5. You can be across the room and still appreciate the smell of this beer. There is chocolate and then there is cocoa - this bouquet has the dark, rich, smoky, bitter, intense and dense scent of the cocoa, not of chocolate. The aroma is raw cocoa, pure and punchy, and any subtle nuances are still, also, always that of cocoa bean.

The flavour, however, has silky, sweet creamy notes. It is chocolate in nuclear proportions - drinking the full bottle may turn you brown. The quality of this chocolatey flavor is a testament to organic farming; if Nestle or Cadbury tried this they'd switch suppliers instantly (and pay huge sums of money to do so if necessary). This takes things to a level that, in my recollection, only Southern Tier's Choklat has ever reached.

The finish - clear as day - is a densely packed with cocoa bean flavour. Imagine the difference between brewing coffee and a biting down on a coffee bean - that's the idea here. Admittedly, that will be too rich for some. But why not take your time with it? It is, after all, perhaps the only beer where a 3 ounce pour can last an hour (even, as stated, for the chocolate fiends out there). It drinks well with a minimum of cellaring (and fresh!) and while it won't evolve, does guarantee a long life, provided you can keep your hands on it!

Although insanely rich, BNL ICS is indeed friendly, with no alcohol or much bitterness interfering with the chocolatey flavour. No need to drink it too cold, it holds up to warmth with superb poise. Its nicely weighted mouthfeel won't turn away casual drinkers; only a health-minded conscience will interfere with drinkability. That said, it is densely packed and a full bottle is a feat nearly impossible even for the most diehard choco-holics.

Tacky though it may sound, the simple truth is that BNL Imperial Chocolate Stout is a chocolate-lover's heaven. In short, it's an adult Fudgee-O cookie. Despite that bottles costs just short of a million dollars I still intend to buy more. Hell, to savor this (especially in the company of friends and family) is to truly be rich. Many won't find it as compelling, but for the chocolate fiends out there (like me) it is irresistible.

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Flying Monkeys BNL Imperial Chocolate Stout from Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.