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Czar Jack Imperial Stout - Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

Not Rated.
Czar Jack Imperial StoutCzar Jack Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

356 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 356
Reviews: 148
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 12.81%
Wants: 501
Gots: 29 | FT: 1
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:
Ol' Jack Frost aged in Jack Daniels barrels.

(Beer added by: feloniousmonk on 11-01-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 356 | Reviews: 148 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sbricker
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

sbricker, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of Petcha
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Petcha, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of jjheinrichs
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

jjheinrichs, Jun 22, 2013
Photo of imperialking
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

imperialking, Feb 17, 2014
Photo of DefenCorps
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Chris!

Pouring a very dark brown, almost black, this beer is capped with a nice, dark brown head with great retention and a little lacing. Surprisingly, this beer has some legs! The nose is solid. A little unique in that there's a moderate biscuit-like malt presence, along with the cocoa. Significantly roasty, there's a lot of toasted grain character. And of course, whiskey. Big vanilla and oak with chocolate fudge, this smells great! Mellow oxidation, there's a little sherry and raisin character too. I couldn't wait to chill this (I'm an alcoholic, you see), and that's really helped this beer.

The palate is solid. Heavy roasted malt bitterness, tartness almost, leads things off with a rather boozy character with a pronounced vanilla and bourbon bite. Chocolate, fudge and a moderate caramel character are present. This is clearly a JD-aged beer, the signature sweetness and vanilla. Moderately boozy on the finish, there's lingering vanilla and malt bitterness. A moderate level of tannins are present on the finish, though it strikes me more as a grainy tannin character as opposed to a barrel tannin. Medium in body with a medium-light level of carbonation, this beer is very enjoyable. I dig the balance between the booze and the grainy bitterness.

DefenCorps, Jun 11, 2010
Photo of stakem
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sitting at Capones with the Harrisburg area group of BA's on 4/23/11 for the tapping of Hill Farmstead's Ephraim, a small glass of this brew appeared before me (care of Matt I assume?) Thanks!

This brew appears black in color with a dark brown head that recedes leaving a webbing of lacework on the glass. The cap holds fairly decent for a barrel aged brew, it maintains a thick and creamy look of froth. As it fades, a light swirl regenerates the cap.

The smell of this brew is sweet chocolate initially that gives way to a whiskey tang coupled with a lot of vanilla smoothness and light suggestions of toasted coconut. The smell of this brew is pretty fantastic, the barrel aging aspect is very evident and mingles well with the typical roasted grain chocolate character. As it warms up, a bit of green yeastiness emerges but it blends into the whiskey tang aspect in the nose.

The taste of this brew is dark chocolate flavoring with a strong whiskey kick. The is plenty of vanilla smoothness to balance it out. A slight citrus and fruity note appears from time to time being the only slight evidence of hop incorporation. There is a flavor of dark skinned fruits that mixes with the whiskey inclusion to formulate a flavor reminiscent of something like whiskey soaked raisins. As the aroma predicted, there is a very light green yeastiness across the back of the tongue. However, it is very much an afterthought compared to all the delicious flavors running throughout this brew. This beer provides a lasting aftertaste of coconut mixed with chocolate malt with a slightly nutty character and tangy with alcohol. Very well done and super enjoyable.

The feel of this brew is caught between medium and full, slightly leaning more towards full. It is lightly, yet enjoyably carbonated. Exceptionally smooth and an easy drinking offering. It provides a pleasant warmth and well integrated abv flavoring that in total provided an exceptional drinking experience. I would love to have this again but am thankful for the opportunity I was given. For my first town hall experience, color me impressed.

stakem, May 11, 2011
Photo of Kegatron
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

64 oz growler into a tulip glass. This is from the 2011 release. I’m amazed how well this held up for being in a growler for a year. Kudos to MTH Brewery for the pro fill here!

This beer pours with kind of a pissed off look to it, with a black or maybe more of a deep cola brown color, topped with a finger of burnt looking reddish mocha colored head. This maintains some rich and frothy edges, which whips up a foamy cascade of spotty lacing and brown oils that slowly drip down the sides of the glass. This look gets a bonus point just for how angry it is. The barrel sit right up front of the aroma, with a warm charred stickiness and tannic edges that reach out and envelope a base of vanilla, chocolate, brown sugar, espresso, and maybe even a touch of lingering green citrus along the back. Some stiff warmth works its way in as this warms. This is decent but seems to favor the barrel flavors a little too much overall. I’d like to have seen some more integration of the base and barrel a bit more.

The taste provides much more of a melding of the two however, with a sticky and burnt mélange of chocolate, molasses, vanilla, roasted coffee, citric hops, and a smack of brown sugars on the tail-end. Dry woody edges pull into the finish and leave this fairly tannic feeling. The overall profile however is quite smooth and flavorful with a good interaction between the whiskey barrel and base Imperial Stout. The mouthfeel is full bodied, and while this started out a little thin right out of the fridge, the carbonation here expanded nicely as this warmed with some sharpness on the tongue that then spreads out into more of a firm creaminess that fills out the corners of the mouth. The alcohol presence here is VERY well hid, mostly just adding some intensity to the stronger aspects of the flavors here but I was hugely impressed with how smoothly this drank overall.

While Jack Daniels isn’t my favorite choice of barrel, this was still pretty darn good. I would have liked for the nose not to have been as barrel heavy as it was and this showed a bit too much of an almost oaky astringency as this hit room temp (that wasn’t helped by the burnt roastiness of this as well) but when this hit the sweet spot temp wise, the flavor here was about as good as I’ve had in a while for a BA Stout. The smoothness with which this drank was a huge plus as well. I’m not sure that this quite lived up to the hype but it is certainly worth checking out if you get the chance.

Kegatron, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of Stevedore
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery. 12 oz served cold in a tulip glass today 4/19/2014.

A- pitch black body, thick with a dark mocha head that has the best retention of any BA stout I've ever seen. Thick, filmy and stays for what feels like forever. Not much lacing

S- sweet dark chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, a touch of Cherry and just the right amount of bourbon and vanilla.

T- Roast malt, milk chocolate, coffee, well integrated bourbon that adds more sweetness and a touch of vanilla. The roast really helps counterbalances the sweetness.

M- full bodied. Well carbonated, creamy almost. Sweet, mocha-like aftertaste that's balanced by a roasty bitterness.

O- excellent RIS that has the right touch of bourbon barrel aging. The barrels add a lot to the character without overwhelming the base beer.

Stevedore, Apr 20, 2014
Photo of drabmuh
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Brad! Wicked awesome. This growler showed up at a recent tasting.

Beer was nicely carbonated, the growler hissed when the cap was popped. Beer poured into a snifter. Beer is black and forms a big brown head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Beer is too dark to see through at the corners but at the interface with the glass there are no bubbles. I can't tell how carbonated the beer is. Looks good though.

Sweet aroma, filled with whiskey and some oak notes. Aroma is a little roasty but its mostly filled with a liquor aroma.

Lots of Jack Daniels character in this beer. Overall beer is really smooth. It starts sweet and then has this dry, midpalate, liquor flavor and the beer finishes with this roasty and dryness. Pretty complex and thoughtful overall. Good connectivity. There is an appropriate amount of carbonation on the palate of the beer. I don't know if that is because the carb is intended to be this way or if its blead off a little and I'm just lucky. I thought the mouthfeel is good and drinkability is high. A great barrel aged whiskey beer. MORE JACK DANIEL BEERS EVERYONE. DO IT!

drabmuh, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of SamuelJackson45
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- black as night. With a tan head and even lace.

S- Smell of bourbon and chocolate and coffee and vanilla and burnt oak.

T- Taste of chocolate and vanilla and hint of coffee and bourbon taste.

M- Very smooth and creamy with coffee notes and vanilla and chocolate woven in.

D- very good beer glad I got a chance to drink this. Thanks Matt...
Capones ...

SamuelJackson45, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of emerge077
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A delectable stout, shoutouts to the appropriate parties...

Pours a deep black, glints of brown around the edge where the light gets through. Plenty of lacing with a tan head of foam. Spotty lace cascades down the sides.

Aroma is really nice for a bourbon-barrel stout...vanilla, sweetish milk chocolate, with an underlying fruitiness from the barrel. Can't pull my nose away, a sure sign of greatness.

Flavors of roasted malt and chocolate, intertwined with tannic oak barrel character, more sweet and vanillafied than anything. Easy to drink, and not too heavy or cloying. Very tasty stuff...

emerge077, Apr 03, 2008
Photo of gatornation
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at mthb..on tap on my recent visit

A- pours a black color with a touch of brown a 1 finger tan head stays

S- is roasted malts,chocolate,bananas sweet caramel and some bourbon

T- chocolate meets roasted malts,,then some bananas with a bourbon sweet caramel finish

M- very smooth and creamy its velvety smooth with light carbonation

D-smooth on the palate a pleasure to drink.. not easily found at MTHB but a gem if you do

gatornation, Mar 26, 2011
Photo of jrallen34
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I originally had this at DLD, then this time rated off a growler Sean provided...Black pour, light tan head...Aroma is sweet bourbon and vanilla, light sweet chocolate...The taste is easy to drink, light feel thought. Easy to drink despite a coffee finish.

jrallen34, May 06, 2010
Photo of inlimbo77
4.36/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

3/6/13 filled, growler drank 7/20/13
MN town hall glass

A: Pours pitch black. Motor oil. Thin layer of dark tan head. Amazing how for MN town hall growler system works! Still amazing carbonation streaming up the glass.

S: Typical chocolate roast and normal hints. Cocoa puffs. Vanilla and caramel. Some dark fruits maybe. Coffee.

T: Deep dark chocolate up front. Dark roast coffee. Vanilla hints. Medium bodied. Finish is long. This is really drinkable. There is some heat on the back end but nothing overly offensive.

M: Full bodied.

inlimbo77, Jul 22, 2013
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

64oz. growler into a Brooklyn Brewer snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a viscous pitch black with a .25 finger dark mocha head that dissipates quickly. Big, oily and sticky legs that clings heavily to the glass. Lacing is spotty and mineral. As expected due to the style and serving vessel.

Nose is chocolate, fudge, sweet soy sauce, molasses, roasted malt, toasted almonds and brownie. Booziness is deep but well hidden. Not the most aromatic but the flavors are well integrated.

Opens chocolate and sweet soy sauce. Roast and molasses sweetness in the middle with layers of fudge and more chocolate. Dark fruit and booziness sneak in at the end right before a chocolate finish. Aftertaste is booze, roast, and more dark fruit and chocolate sweetness. Really good.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Oily, slick, and smooth in the mouth and warm going down. Messy finish with a lingering, sticky aftertaste. Perfect for what it is. I actually like the slightly thinner body here.

A hyped brew that I have to say really lives up to the billing. The barrel presence is subtle, showcasing the complex and well integrated and complementary flavors. Feel is just right and the smell and look fit the style well. Definitely worth a try and another winner from Town Hall.

SpeedwayJim, Mar 25, 2013
Photo of HopsSchnapps
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

64 oz. growler received in a trade from a kind person that just wanted me to send them whatever. Thanks for not holding this rarity hostage. It poured black with a 1" tan head. Looks like dessert. The aroma is sweet, vanilla, coconut, barrel character, and cream. Smells very good with a good amount of barrel character and short of being over the top.

The taste is very smooth. Nice vanilla, toasted oak, roast, fudge, slight burntness and sweet vanilla really showing up in the end. Goes down thick and creamy. This is an ultra smooth barrel aged Imperial Stout and one where the flavors are layered nicely. I am curious to know what the base beer tastes like.

HopsSchnapps, May 18, 2011
Photo of Rhettroactive
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 64oz growler to Boulevard tasting glass on 5/7/11
Sampled at the 1st NoVA BA Tasting Extravaganza
*From notes

A BIG thanks to billab914 for opening this one. Cheers, Bill!

A: Someone turned the light out, as it's pitch black. Really creamy 1.75 finger head on a good pour. Thick, sticky lacing rims the glass.

S: Warm caramel dipped in chocolate ganache. The booze lurks in the dark crevices of my nose, though it's quite pleasing and integrates well with the heavy malt.

T: Spicy, rich and creamy. Melted dark chocolate on the fore. The Jim Daniels will not go gently into the dark night, as the bourbony booze is prevalent on the mid to finish. Charry, mellow malt and hints of molasses and vanilla finish this bad boy up. It should be noted that I much preferred this one as it warmed.

M: Thick and viscous. It ain't Hunahpu, but it certainly packs a hell of a punch. The carbonation is well balanced with the weight of the massive body. It stood out in an evening that included some serious competition.

O: Minneapolis Town Hall's Czar Jack is one of the better RIS's I've had the pleasure of quaffing. I found it best to let this one warm and open up a bit, which allowed all of the wonderful nuances buried within to blossom. Having a 64oz growler at our disposal was awesome, as I throughly enjoyed each of the multiple pours I got.

Easily recommended.

Rhettroactive, May 13, 2011
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Into a curvy taster (8 oz probably), pours black, opaque, with no head upon arrival. Which means more beer to drink... excellent. However, no lacing. The aroma is awfully bourbon infused, and I don't get much besides that, but who the hell cares, its really good. Some other hints are perhaps chocolate and, well who know, but good stuff behind that bourbon for sure.

The taste is kind of the same, mostly bourbon, thick and syrupy, but coffee and chocolates are more expressive here, and they're delicious. Its thick and heavy, roasty and dark and delicious. Its a shame it only comes out once every blue moon. I was tempted to stick around for an hour and have several more, easily could have as its a very drinkable brew, but figured that'd be a prick thing to do. As it stands, damn good beer. Damn good.

objectivemonkey, Oct 29, 2007
Photo of nickd717
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to translucent for sharing this awesomeness on DLD. In my ultimate ticker quest to try the 100 Best of BA, this beer was not currently on the list, but I was doing a trade with Andrew and had just come back from my first (and only) trip to the guest taps double-fisting Cigar City Brandy Barrel Aged Warmer Winter and Avery Moloch, which were about to send me on a one-way express train to Wastedville. He just happened to be holding this growler, and since I'm never one to turn down a -bal aged imperial stout, I accepted his offer of a pour of this.

Pours just like you'd want it to, black and thick with a nice one-finger dark tan head that lasts.

Aroma is phenomenal. Picture a great base stout with very well-executed whiskey barrel aging, and you pretty much get the picture. The Jack comes through big on the nose, as well as oak and lots of vanilla. Roasty and chocolatey flavors from the base stout assert themselves as well, and there is a slight tobacco note.

As for the flavor, well, it's also excellent. Very similar to KBS, although I did not have them side-by-side. Chocolate, caramel, roast, lots of vanilla, and malted milk balls, along with just the right amount of oak and whiskey. A little bit of dark fruit comes through as well - plums and dates maybe.

Fairly full on the body with a nice carbonation level. Not at all too boozy, although you do get the alcohol warmth.

Damn, this is good. Like I said earlier, a good bottle of KBS is a fair comparison for this beer. The whiskey flavor seems a bit different though. As a big-time RIS guy, I could down lots of this. Unfortunately I had way too much other awesome beer to try at DLD.

nickd717, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to shadesofgray for sharing yet another Town Hall growler.

As far as appearance goes, I could talk about the color and the texture, but instead, I will focus on the thin milk chocolate colored head that reaches a full finger in height and is well retained. It produces an irregular and uncharacterizable lace combined with some spotty bubbles. A swirl kicks up oily brownish legs, and that looks really good.

Aromas of chocolate, roasty coffee, light oaky vanilla and hints of whiskey. Only a touch of warmth, but certainly no overwhelming booziness. The flavor is even more well balanced, with the whiskey playing only a supporting role to a dark fruity medley of dates, figs, and currants along with the chocolatey malt that is both sweet and bitter. The somewhat acrid roast tempers the sweetness and rounds out the flavor nicely.

Czar Jack manages to be both sticky and resinous while being smooth and silky all at the same time. There is a bit of a slick feeling while there is significant stickiness from the hop oils. I much prefer this over the other -bal aged version of Jack Frost, the Port Frost, as I find it more complex and nuanced with more compelling balance.

NittanyBeerFan, Jun 26, 2011
Photo of birchstick
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - served on tap at TH brewery during anniversary week.

S - nose sweet molasses and vanilla bourbon scents dominate the nose with some hints of chocolate and some burnt malts

T - starts off with sweet vanilla flavors. These fades to a really nice molasses flavor. A splash of bourbon comes out from behind th vanilla and molasses and give it a little bit of spiciness. Ends with dark fruits, some chocolate fudge and more bourbon spicy heat. All of the flavors are really well integrated and form a really nice barrel aged RIS.

M - nice and full with some carbonation that burns with the bourbon

D - this is a really nice barrel aged RIS. Solid flavor profile that has really nice complexity and A really nice blend of flavors. This is a hard one to get but worth seeking out. This reminds me a lot of bcbs, which is a really good thing.

birchstick, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of koopa
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler offered by beerloco at a tasting tonight with mrsbeerloco, mikey711, and myself.

Appearance: Pours an attractive opaque with a 1 finger creamy light brown crown. The head shows moderate retention and lace.

Smell: Nice amount of Jack Daniels presence over moderate to deep roasted malt. Good amount of sweetness from the oak whiskey barrel.

Taste: Same as the nose but the sweetness doesn't come through as much. A bit muddled but the elements for success are all present.

Mouthfeel: Perfect carbonation, hefty for a medium bodied beer, and satisfying.

Drinkability: The alcohol flavor and abv hold it back but its good for the style.

koopa, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of Vonerichs
4.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with a dense and considerable amount of cinnamon colored head.

Loads of bakers chocolate, root beer, and vanilla in the nose. Like a boozy root beer float.

The barrel accentuates the vanilla and oak while still
letting the underlying beer shine. It has a slight heat, but not boozy by any means. Bitter and sweet chocolate, a dark roast, fudge brownies, and root beer.

Very smooth and heavy body. Moderate carbonation.

Highly recommended and one of the better beers from TH, and I mean that in a complimentary way.

Vonerichs, Apr 30, 2014
Photo of thagr81us
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Massive thanks goes out to cmrillo who shared this one with the group at the "Evening Wood" tasting graciously hosted by cmrillo as well! Served from growler into a Mikkeller flute. Poured pitch black with a half finger brown head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, brown sugar, wood, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, brown sugar, wood, and sweet alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a great brew. My only gripe is that the mouthfeel was a little thin for the style, but that is just me being picky. The flavor was very RIS and quite complex as well. You never knew what you were going to pick up on in the next sip. The aroma was quite nice and inviting as well. Really glad I got the opportunity to finally try this one and would love to do so again.

thagr81us, Jul 12, 2011
Photo of Sideswipe
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler which I brought to Clusterfork 6. 2009 vintage.

A- Pitch black with a half inch of mocha colored foam on top. Excellent lacing.

S- Coffee, roasted malt and subdued bourbon in the nose.

T- Roasted malt up front transitions to chocolate and dark fruit. Muted bourbon presence enters mid-palate. Finish is semi-dry with lingering roast and chocolate notes.

M- Feel is full bodied, viscous and sweet, befitting the style. Carbonation (still very evident after a year and a half in the growler) is spot on and lends a very nice creamy quality to the beer. ABV is completely masked by the excellent interplay of flavors at work in the beer.

O- Czar Jack was a joy to imbibe. The incredible smoothness of the beer was a very pleasant surprise. An effort by Town Hall worthy of great praise, and one which I will certainly be seeking out again in he future. Recommended.

Sideswipe, Jul 24, 2011
Czar Jack Imperial Stout from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 356 ratings.