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Czar Jack Imperial Stout - Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

Not Rated.
Czar Jack Imperial StoutCzar Jack Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

148 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 148
Hads: 405
Avg: 4.33
pDev: 12.24%
Wants: 529
Gots: 26 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: feloniousmonk on 11-01-2004

Ol' Jack Frost aged in Jack Daniels barrels.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 148 | Hads: 405
Reviews by zeledonia:
Photo of zeledonia
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at the brewery in the wake of barrel-aged week. Tasted 26 February 2013, reviewed from notes.

Pours black as night. Big pillow of dark, grayish brown head, to the brim of the glass. Retention is really good, lacing is just not quite impressive enough for a 5. Served toooo cold, but poured into a gorgeous Town Hall tulip (I want one).

Really nice in the nose, very balanced and well integrated, with just a little bump of Jack Daniels. Most of what I get from the barrel is really strong oak, a little bit of woody vanilla. The stout is roasty and rich, mildly sweet. Overall, it's woody, but rich and roasty and well put together.

Taste is a bit bimodal, with a higher, sharper peak on the right from the Jack Daniels, in the latter part of the flavor. The base stout is fantastic, rich and roasty, and I think I might like it better on its own (though it's sometimes hard to pick out what the barrel is adding). A little sharper than I'd like, especially that back end, but maybe that's my bad Jack Daniels experience speaking. The whiskey is like smooth smooth smooth, pop, just reminding you sharply that it's there. I don't really like that pop - I'd much prefer a smoother integration. Not as heavy on the Jack Daniels as I thought it might be, which is good, since I don't really like JD all that much (after a bad experience with it in high school). The points that I liked least were those where the Jack Daniels reared up and was most assertive.

Mouthfeel is really nice, heavy-bodied and smooth; not as chewy as some imperial stouts, but smooth and luscious. Carbonation is low, but not too low, as it should be for an imperial stout. Right on.

I'd put this in the upper tier of barrel-aged stouts, but on the lower end of that upper tier. I don't think it's on the level of KBS, BCBS, or certainly Black Note - in the same universe, but not the same neighborhood. But overall, it's really good. As a final note, I find it pretty annoying that Town Hall serves their barrel-aged beers so darn cold. Every one I've had, I've needed to give 20 minutes or so to warm up. This one I was cradling in my hands, as I was in a bit of a hurry.

 2,158 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Schlais
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of newk340
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: a thick and creamy black pour, but not like a motor oil stout. this looked smooth and had a nice dark earthy head to it.

S: blasts of various aromas come from everywhere, bourbon, bitter chocolate, oak, banana, dark fruits. quite the smorgasbord.

T: took me nearly an hour to finish my 10oz pour as i tried to savor every lingering flavor of oak, chocolate, malts, vanilla, and jack daniels bourbon whisky. delicious.

MF/D: extremely smooth at first, though as it warmed, it tended to become a little boozy, but the jack daniels heat was not minded, just noticable. certainly was a kick in the pants as this one beer kept me buzzing for the better part of an hour. simple excellent.

 688 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Callmecoon
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of deebo
3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 2012 version tapped tonight.

A-Black with a tan head that sticks to glass-pretty standard appearance.

S-Definite bourbon aroma with lots of heavily roasted and burnt malts in here. Vapory alcohol and some faint vanilla aroma.

T-Like it smells, the bourbon is there but does not overwhelm this stout. Definitely a big stout with lots of malty and dark roasted malts. A fair amount of bitter bite to finish.

M-Heavy mouthfeel but is not syrupy at all, the alcohol is completely hidden but at under 10% that isn't that surprising.

O-A nice BB stout. Nice complexity and is a perfect beer to sip as a night cap. Wish this was a bit more creamy and not as bitter in the end.

 679 characters

Photo of MNMike
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of bpfrush
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of dogfishandi
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of warmbier804
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of MattyG85
4.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the brewpub. Poured into a 10 oz. goblet glass.

Appearance: Pitch black and oily with a moderate amount of bubbles and about one finger of tan coffee like head that quickly fades into a thin patchy layer. Lots of lace sticking to the glass.

Smell: Big aroma of bourbon whiskey (technically Tennessee Whiskey), with lots of dark roasted malts with chocolate, molasses, vanilla, oak, anise, coffee, and a little chocolate milk, nuts, and dark raisins. Smells very robust and fairly sweet.

Taste: Very roasty with a good amount of whiskey flavor. Big taste of dark roasted malts with notes of chocolate, caramel, molasses, whiskey, vanilla, oak, anise, brown sugar, milk, and nuts. Also a subtle presence of dark fruit in the background with some raisin. Some earthy hops towards the finish. The dark malts and whiskey play off each other well with neither dominating. Sweet but the whiskey helps keep it in check.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Creamy and moderately syrupy and sticky. Very robust. Alcohol heat is hidden very well.

Overall: A great barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout. Loaded with dark flavor and the barrel adds a nice kick.

 1,189 characters

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.04/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Soonami
3.76/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to erick for sharing his growler at the June Philly Suburbs BA meet-up.

A-Dark black with brown highlights, off white head

S-Like crushed apples, figs and a little chocolate, very little bourbon aroma at all. I think that the age of this growler resulted in oxidation of the beer leading to these crushed fruit/sherry like aromas

T-very smooth with low sweetness. Dry finish before the oaky barrel tannins. The chocolate and licorice flavors are well balances if a bit muted. Not the big aggressive, sweet, over-the-top beer I was expecting, but rather refined. The Jack Daniels definitely takes a back seat to the beer.

M-great creamy carbonation, ever after almost four months since it was filled

O-very good, but a bit shy of great.

I think this beer is another example of hype exceeding the results, although it was great to try.

 846 characters

Photo of HoppySeb
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ADR
3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub, the last growler went to tavernjef, who had an event...bourbon barrel aged...

Forbidding dark black appearance, scant medium brown head of bigger bubbles...leaves sparse laces, thick strings. Complex aroma, sweet, just slightly smokey, the most expression of any bourbon-like characters in the beer for me. Full mouthfeel and an agreeable medium carbonation. Flavor is luxurious, heavily dark chocolate, layered and grainy in the manner of quality brands. Little fruitiness and actually less complexity than the normal Oatmeal Stout which has an extra coffee oiliness to make things interesting. Finishes as it begins, satisfying with some alcohol to notice. A nice beer, frankly could be more complex to me, some similarities in profile to Brooklyn Black Chocolate.

Mike Hoops gave me a sample of non barrel-aged Czar in October of 2005, aside from a somewhat thinner mouthfeel, I prefer it, better bitter qualities...

 948 characters

Photo of rudylaw
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Not one, not two but THREE separate tastes of this brew at DLD!

Pours blacky-black with decent head.

I can't believe how much vanilla comes to the forefront in the nose. Decadent, dark chocolate and the slightest hint of hops.

Sweet, lucious taste! More vanilla, more chocolate and subtle notes from the barrel... some oak, but mostly more chocolate.

Medium body and perfect carbonation. This is VERY similar to Bell's Black Note with just a hair less complexity. I have a feeling you'd be feeling this if you had a snifter or two... but 4-5 oz of this was good for me. Nah, I wish I had more. Outstanding stuff from MTH!

 626 characters

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of glid02
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by gford217 - thanks!

Pours black with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of smooth roasted malts and dark chocolate buttressed by good amounts of vanilla from the barrel. Also present are mild amounts of dark fruits.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Deep roasted malt and dark chocolate flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by very mild amounts of dark fruits. Midway through the sip the booziness and vanilla impressions from the barrel kick in and carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have another.

Overall this beer was very good however it fell just short of great. The flavors were all there, they just didn't meld as well as I'd hoped. Still, I'm picking nits as this is a beer that's well worth a shot.

 961 characters

Photo of striker2160
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of weonfire
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of MrVonzipper
3.48/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black with fluffy khaki head and good retention

Nose is roasty. Chocolate, roasted nuts, mild coffee and bourbon and faint dark fruit.

Standard characteristics of what I'd want in a BA Stout just on the weaker, almost watered down side. Follows the nose.

Mouthfeel is on the this side for the style. Another disappointment for me. Medium carbonation.

Overall I just don't think Minnesota makes very good BA Stouts. They are good but not great.

 450 characters

Photo of jh1982
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of mhenson42
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

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Czar Jack Imperial Stout from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 148 ratings.