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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
Photo of Thorpe429
4.72/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Initial thanks to Dan for sharing a few ounces of this at DLD. Big thanks to chewy08rx for getting a growler of this out my way. Shared with bmanning, Azurelimits, amyliz4, and hhanson at a recent tasting.

A: Pours a thick midnight black with a tight deep mocha head and a nice amount of lacing as it makes its way down the glass.

S: Lots going on here. Plenty of whiskey, chocolate, vanilla, black licorice, brown sugar, roasted malt, and a bit of oak.

T: Everything is insanely intense. Loads of vanilla, whiskey, and chocolate come through atop a bit of roasted malt, coffee, brown sugar, molasses, and oak. Wonderfully complex and completely powerful at the same time.

M: My only complaint is that it's maybe just a tiny bit thin. Great carbonation--the counter-pressure fill definitely works here, as I couldn't tell that this growler was filled 6 or 7 weeks ago.

D: The lighter mouthfeel servces to enhance the drinkability on this; little alcohol presence, and works to bring the flavors together and keep me from gulping this one down. Another absolutely excellent beer from Town Hall. Jack Frost was a pleasant surprise when I was there in August 2009, and this one only adds more complexity and intensity.

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Photo of ZAP
4.72/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Can I give the nose a 5.5 or 6.0? flatout kickass, top of the world aroma....boubon, vanilla,oak, sweet milk chocolate...burgundy black color...no head...body is full...creamy texture...sweet chocolate, oak, vanilla and bourbon on the taste...really nice....no head...ABV hidden..very smooth...great flavor....top notch effort.

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Photo of supercolter
4.73/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance is very nice- deep black, almost opaque. There is a slight tan head.
Smell is very good as well, but not picking up a lot of the Jack Daniel's here. Smells aged, roasty and tons of vanilla all on board with just a very slight amount of alcohol on the back.
Taste is very similar with a bit more coffee and the Jack Daniels coming through for the home run. Alcohol hidden incredibly well.
Mouthfeel- this ties with Allagash Oddessy as the velvetiest beer I have had on the tongue. Wonderful.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.73/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brad brought this to my tasting on May 29, 2010. A huge thank you for sharing this great beer.

Czar Jack has a stunning appearance. The beer is jet black with a substantial, thick beige head that leaves copious amounts of lacing on the glass. Aromas consist of a big whiskey presence, roasted malt, and subtle oak notes. This beer tastes incredible. The flavors are integrated and balanced very well. The Jack Daniels flavor is bold and forward, yet not offensive or overdone. This is a truly well-crafted brew. The feel is creamy and smooth with a warming note in the finish. I highly recommend this beer.

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Photo of jjanega08
4.73/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A= stone growler gives a nice pop when I open it. Pours a pitch black color with an awesome brown colored cascading head. The head is a nice three fingers high and leaves wonderful lacing on the glass. Most pitch black beers have a little light shining through around the sides but this one doesn't at all. Black as night. I'm super impressed by the head retention as well. This beer looks alive.

S= Wow really nice woody vanilla bourbony smell to it. Nice chocolate smell in it that melds with the vanilla and makes a sort of milk chocolate. Really wonderful barrel smell from it. On par with some of the founders barrels in my opinion really well done. Nice coffee sort of smell too.

T= Similar to the smell only less on the barrel notes. They are there for sure don't get me wrong tons of vanilla and wood. A nice bourbon taste to it but the original beer comes through a little more in the taste than the smell led on. Really wonderful complex flavors. All the great smells are there in the taste as well. Then on top of that there are nice layers of the chocolate only a little deeper. Great coffee and mollases flavors in it. Great roasty flavors and nice caramelly malts. Super delicious.

M= Smooth and creamy. Coating is an understatment and it has a nice lasting finish.

D= Awesome beer! This would easily be up there with the elite RISs if it were more available. The flavors of this beer match the barrel flavors of Founders barrels and the stout flavors underneath are on par with some of the best RIS that I've had. Great beer and I need more.

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Photo of Norseman
4.74/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Beer #500

First visit to Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery. Will not be my last. Czar Jack had just been put on the taps at the end of their Barrel Aged Week. Pitch black pour with minimal head. Bourbon plus on the aroma. Same on the taste but also vanilla with very light coffee and tobacco. Mouthfeel a tad thin but didn't detract much. Very glad to have tried this offering from MTHB.

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Photo of isubsmith
4.74/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I tasted plenty of this at the Gitchee Gumee brewfest in Superior, WI.

Appearance: Dark brown/black. Opaque. Brown caramel frothy head.

Nose: Wow. The nose on this is wonderful. Plenty of sweet, maple and bourbon notes. Hints of maybe coconut. Chocolate as well. Smooth. Very complex.

Taste: Even better than the nose. Very complex. Huge mouthfeel. Very smooth though. Chocolatey flavors. Plenty of malt character as well. The alcohol is barely noticable, but it is there on the finish.

Drinkability: A very drinkable beer for me. One of the highlights of the GG beer festival. Too bad Town Hall was out of it and (apparently) had been for a while. Hopefully it will be available next season..

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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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

thrilled to finally be able to crack my growler of czar jack. i have had it in the fridge forever and really just waited for a special occasion that just never happened. so screw it, open it and drink without reseveration! consumed on 10/10/2010.

the pour is as dark as could be, no light was ever going to escape this monstrous liquid. every drop seemed to just make you fall further into its oily looking depths.

aroma is deep chocolate malts and a touch of vanilla and would up front. very nicely done as it was not overally hot and full of bourbon but more subtle and blended so damn well it was hard to distinguish from the regular version. smooth, rich, creamy with such a well defined profile i struggle to not just fall head over heals with this one. tremendous notes of rich chocolate and sweet brown sugar and vanilla just scream through your mouth. viscous, with a thick and pronounced roasted malt flavor that just drives the point home. smooth finish is big on flavor and soo smooth with the alcohol that you just never see it coming.

overall just a superior beer here. simply amazing in every sense of the word.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 64 oz growler into a Darkness snifter. I've had this in my fridge since the release, the anticipation has been builiding up for some time. Split with a fellow BA member.

A- Pitch black, motor oil, Dark sludge body, dark brown one finger mocha head, nice lacing and retention, excellent carbonation.
S- Very sweet, chocolate and vanilla upfront, amazing bourbon aroma, nice oaky notes as well, as I continue to smell my mouth starts watering, I already know this is going to be an amazing tasting beer.
T- Very smooth, taste of Jack Daniels is present, sweet vanilla notes, with amazing chocolate and bourbon taste, cocoa, hints of coffee, roasted malts, notes from the barrels (oak, wood) are very present pushing the taste from awesome to truly amazing, very easy drinkability.
M- Medium mouth feel, nice carbonation, smooth and creamy.
O- Amazing beer, alcohol is very hidden, very easy drinkability, well balanced with the bourbon and oak aged notes, just delicious, the bourbon taste is not overpowering, beautiful appearance, aroma, and taste one of the best BA stouts out there.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My first encounter with this beer, which took a Gold at the GABF back in 2001, finished in a Jack Daniel's barrel and served at the 7th Anniversary party.
Pours out black as my morning coffee, with a shallow brown ring of foam atop. Judicious 10 ounce serving.
Aroma is rich and strong, sending off a panoply of associations, carob, maple, a hint of charcoal and a wisp of leather, but cocoa is taking the lead...big with the bourbon, though still, somehow velvety smooth. Whiskey tones ride a sidecar next to the chocolate. Some glimmers of juicy fruit interject and jumpabout in the flavor, too. Staggeringly complex! Slick, thick texture on the tongue, full bodied, long, deep finish, huge mouthfeel. Yet, still, unbelievably smooth
This was deliriously good! Had two samples, that I can remember, and so wish I could take it home and enjoy as a nightcap. If it were more accessible, perhaps that could prove to be a detriment to my participation in good society?

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.78/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Approx. 55 degrees (Pulled from the fridge and allowed to sit on the counter-top for about two hours before pouring.)
VINTAGE: 2011 (Dated 3-14)
Massive thanks goes to jawzman for this sweet hook-up!
Shared this one at a tasting, last night, with about 5 other local BA's.

This one pours impressively black. No light can penetrate. It has about an inch of creamy looking foam on top, which is the color of crema (espresso foam). Retention is good and the lacing is quite nice. Not overdone, but nicely sticky.

The nose, in a word, is decadent. Big notes of whiskey blend very nicely with big vanilla notes. Good hints of oak. A very nice presence of chocolate....mostly milk, but some hints of dark, as well. Roasted malts with caramel, molasses and brown sugar. Light hints of dark fruits and a trace of bananas. A faint touch of spice presence, somewhat like cinnamon. (This probably comes from the barrels, I'd guess.)

This has a very wonderfully balanced flavor profile. Big notes of chocolate and whiskey/bourbon. Hints of caramelized sugars. Toasted coconut. Brown sugar. Light coffee and molasses notes. A hint of banana appears in the slightly boozy finish, which is moderately sweet and nicely long-lasting.

The feel of this one is perfect for the style. It is thickly full-bodied, yet not quite 'sludge-like'. It has a light-to-medium level of carbonation, filled with tiny little bubbles, that give it a wonderful level of creaminess. It comes off as very velvet-like, which is wonderful for a Russian Imperial Stout.
This should actually rate as a 5.0+. It's wonderful!

This is very delicious and quite well-balanced and smooth and drinkable. I'm knocking off half a point because of the high(er) abv (9.30%) which comes across as a nicely warming presence and because it is just a touch more to the sweet side than I think that most people would want.
This is a very excellent beer though, and I yearn for the day when I can taste it again.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
4.79/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this one at Winterfest '05 and then again at TH with some of my MN BA buds....picked up a growler to review.

Pours to a deep dark brown almost black color with a light brown ring for a head. Leaves spotty lacing. The aroma is of milk chocolate and a slight bit of roastiness. It has a pleasant bourbon and oak aroma, not overpowering, but just right. The flavor is malty and a bit sweet. It has the milk chocolate and bourbon in the taste as well. It is very smooth and easy drinking, almost creamy in texture. It has a well hidden alcohol content. Top notch brew.

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Photo of Mistofminn
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in a 10 oz goblet.

Pour is pitch black, with a nice brown head sitting on top. Retention is good and it leaves tons of lacing.

The nose isn't as strong on the Jack Daniels notes as I thought it would be, but there is a nice whiskey character to it, along with oak and earthy characters. The base beer is excellent, as usual, with nicely roasted and sweet malts, and subtle notes of chocolate and vanilla.

This tastes absolutely amazing. The whiskey notes are at the perfect level, with a soft earthiness and woodiness, dark roasted malts, chocolate and vanilla, dark fruits and so much more. Extremely tasty.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, incredibly smooth and soft, with a light carbonation and a smooth feel. Drinkability is great.

Overall, yet another excellent beer from Town Hall. It doesn't get much better than this. I only wish I could have gotten another growler to keep, as this was gone before I knew it.

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Photo of marullamarats
4.82/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

serving type: stone growler '07 release -> tulip

A: the minimalist of heads (-), but the tan mix of small and sticky cask bubbles eventually disappear completely like humble fireworks (+). opaque to deep amber at the very bottom and as it thins(+).

A: oak, vanilla, alcohol. belgian sweetness and a little roastiness. very mild coffeed up almond-banana.

T: the bitterness is an extension of the malt and yet i notice a rush as it finishes. it's sweet, the banana-ness of a dunkel but w/o the clove. think oaked whiskey maple oatmeal bananabread.

M: first i thought it felt a little thin but quickly realized it was possibly the silkiest and thinnest of oils. dries out but thankfully falls far short of cottonmouth.

D: you'll drink it til you can't.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
4.83/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Last night of barrel aged week, and it sure finished strong with a full house when I showed up a bit before 7 pm. Packed front to back, I appreciate that a whole bunch of people keep my local profitable even though I don't show up every day like this week.

From years of drinking Czar Jack as eight drafts, a growler, and a stone growler for those who remember, this tenth time is simply recognizing an old friend who's greatness resides in not being extreme but a nuanced interplay and overlap of style, bourbon and barrel. Dark tan and brown streaked head lusciously falls to a rimmed film. Opaque, black on black in the glass with a nose of dark roast and oak, black strap molasses, burnt sugar, buried earthy hop, alcohol warmth and a clear bourbon smoke and vanilla from the Jack Daniels. Taste follows the nose but adds chocolate blended in a malty center that supports rum raisin with a lingering hop bitterness that sneaks out from under the sweetness. 8.5% alcohol isn't pushy, but let's you know that it's there. Smooth and blended, this is a great beer that deserve to carry a gold medal.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.84/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Big thanks to urwithdave for the healthy pour

A - It pours a deep brown-black, with moderate viscosity visually evident, and is capped with sudsy khaki froth.

S - The nose is totally insane, and ridiculously delectable. In a day filled with excellent brews, this still really stands out. I am getting impressions of everything from creme brulee, vanilla fudge, and s'mores, to toasted almond, coconut, and hazelnut. The whiskey is subtle but omnipresent, the oak note is spicy-sweet as opposed to dry, and the more it airs out, the more a strong vanilla-chocolate note seems to fuse everything.

T - The flavor is every bit of the aroma's promise; this tastes so outrageously delectable as to suggest fusion of a chocolatier's assortment of candy cordials macerated in whiskey, Kahlua, Bailey's, espresso, sambuca, Frangelico. World class -bal, no doubt.

M - The feel is effervescent, but perhaps less silky.

O - One of the best beers I've had. Thanks Dave.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.85/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Growler filled and provided in trade by StuBob. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head is quickly down to a thin layer of bubbles, but heavy coatings of lace is the name of the game here. Aroma is heavy dark malts, tending towards the sweet. Taste is incredible sweet chocolate, and parts with a light coffee bitterness. Only real evidence of the alcohol is a warming down the gullet. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both tremendous. This stuff is stupid drinkable, and I highly recommend doing what you have to get some.

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Photo of Bulkman
4.85/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought this during the Big & Barrel Aged Week at the end of February (2/27). Finally got the chance to crack it open this weekend (3/21) & this beer has suffered no ill effects from over 3 weeks in the growler. It is, in a word, magnificent.

Pours with light carbonation, to be expected for the style, but still produces a caramel-colored, 1/2 finger head. Small swirls on the surface, along with the head, makes this beer look like cutting oil.

The aroma is woodsy & sweet with notes of up-front vanilla, followed by chocolate & whiskey.

Taste is of vanilla, coffee, chocolate, toffee, & some fig. As with the nose, vanilla is up-front. There is no bitter after taste as with some beers of the style, only an extremely satisfying JD flavor. Exquisite.

Mouth feel is just right, not too thick. The beer coats your tongue, lingers for several minutes after, then is gone. Full-bodied, & almost perfect.

Highly drinkable; flavor is so good with little burn from the alcohol, that even though I sipped this to savor it, I could easily have had a 2nd glass in that hour had I chosen to.

I have had several hundred beers over the years, with special attention to imperial stouts in the last few years. This takes big, barrel-aged imperial stouts to an entirely new level, as it is nearly perfect in every way.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.88/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a growler.

Pitch black body, opaque, dark brown finger of rocky, frothy head. Dissipated to a foamy ring and just looks sexy. The aroma is rich with Belgian chocolate, bourbon, charred oak, burnt cara,el, vanilla beans, roasted coffee and fudge. On the taste, there's this luxurious, velvety chocolate, like truffles and mousse. Mildly bourbon-y with some smoldering woodiness, vanilla, and espresso. Finishes with some mild warming alcohol in the back of your throat. The body is so incredibly silky, smooth, thick and viscous, rich, but not too heavy. Nothing is cloying, despite being rediculously decadent.

I don't have really anything I can complain about this. The flavors are so complex it's stupid, and so drinkable it's scary.

Big ups to Shane for sharing! Very glad we could get a big group together to share this!

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Photo of younger35
4.88/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Have been excited to try this tasty treat for a couple weeks now since I heard Town Hall was having a Barrel Aged week. Served to me in a generic tulip.

Appearance- Pours a pitch ass black with a beautifully full one finger dark tan head. Spotty cap, thick collar and tons of lacing. Beautiful beer.
Smell- Nice and roasted and warm with a ton of rich milk chocolate and enough bitter earthy cocoa to keep the nose chocolaty and on point. Some vanilla and bourbon from the barrel but nothing extreme. Nicely balanced with the rest of the beer as the bourbon is light but nothing that screams Jack Daniels. Loads of caramel and butterscotch hide amongst the rest of the beer.
Taste- Starts with a big oaky kick of bourbon and booze and super creamy chocolate. The chocolate is raw and rich with a cocoa nib like earthiness. Plenty of caramel and dark fruits step in as well. Some over dried raisins, plums and even a touch of apricot step in. Maybe a touch of coffee and smoke but nothing to crazy. The finish is lightly tannic and oaky with a big vanilla and bourbon finish.
Mouthfeel- Thick and creamy with a sticky feel and nice aggressive carbonation. Great feel as the beer is thick and assertive.
Drinkability- This beer is everything I was hoping it would be. Rich and creamy with the perfect balance between bourbon, barrel and beer. Easily one of the best beers I've had in a long time. If this could reach the masses, it would be a top 20 beer, guaranteed. Can't wait till this comes around again!

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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.

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Photo of Stoneyrok
4.97/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A wonderful, lacing head, black.

S smelled of coffee, toffee,

T was an incredible beer. I sampled this at the foothill sexual chocolate bourbon barrel release, and while I can't pin down the details right now, it was one of the best beers I sampled that night and one of the only ones I took note of to remember.

M medium body, smooth, perfect

O I could probably drink the whole growler had he left it behind. I know this review is low on details, but remember I sampled maybe 50 different world class beers and this stood out among them all, and one other. Buy this if you can. Hope they distribute one day!

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