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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

365 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 365
Reviews: 148
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 12.59%
Wants: 499
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: 365 | Reviews: 148 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerBucks
4.5/5  rDev +3%

BeerBucks, Mar 08, 2013
Photo of thebigredone
4/5  rDev -8.5%

thebigredone, Jun 22, 2013
Photo of tbeq00
5/5  rDev +14.4%

tbeq00, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

HaveUSeenMyCellar, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of cadaugherty
5/5  rDev +14.4%

cadaugherty, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of brystmar
3.88/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by CosmicEvan at our big tasting last weekend. Thanks for hooking up this long-time want!

Fantastic stout-y aroma; this roasted malt & whiskey blend is glorious! Hearty, pungent, smooth, and inviting.

Unfortunately, the taste disappoints. The barrel aging doesn't mix well with the other components, and there's an odd raspberry-like flavor that shows up midway through and vanishes without a trace. Although unexpected, an addition like this this can work quite well, but it feels forced and out of place in Czar Jack.

This is a pretty good RIS, but we all agreed on Saturday it was completely over-hyped.

brystmar, Jun 05, 2012
Photo of jmarsh123
3.35/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours pitch black and almost sludge like. A small tan head sits atop it leaving little lacing behind.

The aroma is dominated by sweet notes although a fair amount of roasted malts and coffee cut through the sweetness. Lots of wood and vanilla as well with a little bit of dark chocolate. Booze is present, but barely noticeable.

The flavor follows the nose pretty closely. The sweetness is still what I notice first, but bitter roasted malts again cut through the sweetness to make it drinkable. Heavy vanilla and molasses are contrasted by coffee flavors which I wish were a bit more dominant. Finishes sweet. Good complexity, but way too much sweetness and not nearly enough barrel character.

Very full bodied. Lowish carbonation (some due to the grolwer perhaps, but low nonetheless) creating a very smooth velvety viscous mouthfeel. Became a touch cloying especially while warm.

I've been wanting to try this one for a while but ended up disappointed. It's not horrible by any means and some complex flavors are there, but can we dial back the sweetness just a bit? Even 4 oz of this was too much. To get a high score from me out of a barrel aged stout a beer has to bring it. For the cost associated with getting this, I doubt I'll seek it out again.

jmarsh123, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of kbutler1
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a goblet the day of the release. God, was I really about to drink this at noon on a Saturday?! Talk about starting off the day in the deep end of the pool.

We sat there watching as about 10 glasses were each filled in a row for all the people at the bar, drooling as it poured. So velvety looking and smooth.

Upon arrival it had a nice 3/4 - 1 inch head of a nice, tight tan head. Color is dark brown/black. The aroma is subtle for a Jack Daniels barrel, not too much which is nice. Also pick up notes of cocoa and coffee. The first taste was excellent. Nice and smooth with again the taste of JD slightly present but then dark chocolate, coffee, and vanilla. Excellent lacing down the sides of the glass.

Not trying to be a homer since this is our local brepub but this really is an excellent beer. Town Hall puts out some amazing stuff and this is no different.
Cheers!

I'll be interested to what others will think when they get to try their growlers ;o)

kbutler1, Mar 02, 2010
Photo of zeledonia
4.24/5  rDev -3%
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.

zeledonia, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of chrispoint
5/5  rDev +14.4%

chrispoint, Apr 26, 2012
Photo of Hopstout
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Hopstout, May 25, 2012
Photo of Dactrius
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Dactrius, Aug 14, 2012
Photo of herman77
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

herman77, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.5/5  rDev +3%

coreyfmcdonald, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of Urbancaver
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful dark brown almost pitch black with a good amount of dark brown head. A gorgeous pour. Smells banana heavy and chocolatey. It's like a chocolate covered banana on my nose :) tastes sweet and bourbon heavy with some great chocolate on the tongue. S smooth and amazing. The banana compliments well. This is truly a tasty tasty beer

Urbancaver, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of FreshmanPour77
5/5  rDev +14.4%

FreshmanPour77, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of mmulebarn
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

mmulebarn, Nov 13, 2013
Photo of Auror
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Auror, Mar 12, 2013
Photo of bauermj
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

bauermj, Aug 24, 2013
Photo of jjanega08
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

jjanega08, Mar 03, 2010
Photo of beagle75
3.7/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a half-pint glass.

A: Opaque black color with over one finger of light brown foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Earthy roast is savory with mild spirituous whiskey notes. Despite the presence of the spirit, it is without the urgency of actual ethanol.

T: Begins off-dry, with refined roasted malt that is soft and definitely not scorched. Dark fruit and maple syrup are light but accessible, while whiskey is understated. Sweetness surges in the middle, showing brown sugar as the biggest flavor quality present. Musty oak is also well developed into the finish, with a resurgence of spirit that balances the bitter roast.

M: Medium to thick viscosity, smooth and slightly syrupy on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This barrel-aged stout is far from the most extreme examples of the style and treatment, with a fairly balanced profile that leans most toward sweetness in the middle. Oak and spirit make their contributions, but do not define the product. It is drinkable, treating the palate gently for an imperial stout. Czar Jack is probably more versatile than the typical barrel-aged strong stout, but on the flip side it lacks (or, does not suffer from) extremeness.

beagle75, Oct 03, 2011
Photo of MattXT
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

MattXT, Nov 11, 2013
Photo of MNBeerGeek
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

MNBeerGeek, Apr 21, 2014
Photo of callmemickey
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler thanks to Mothman... much respect for getting this beast to me!

A: Deep black-brown body... chocolate brown head... moderate sized head which quickly faded but left behind fairly dense lacing on the sides of the tulip I was drinking from.

S: Right off the bat the jack is prevalent... its not your typical oaky-vanilla, but instead is a deeper earthy, charred whiskey. Massive roast malts and chocolate... in this regard it reminded me a hell of a lot like abyss (which is a great thing in my book).

T: Much like the nose, but perhaps even more refined and complex. The roasted malts are like a kaleidoscope of semi-charred / semi-burnt sugary goodness. Caramel, the slightest bit of licorice, burnt brown sugar and molasses. The jack is ever present, but doesn't burn like jack does when left to pillage the mouth on its own.

M: Big boned, but not oppressive. While there is no denying the presence of jack it neither burns nor thins out the mouthfeel. Nice lingering finish with just the slightest bit of bitterness.

D: Really, really nice.... this is my first glass from the growler and will continue the growler in the morning.... possibly might earn a 5.0 here. Stay tuned!

callmemickey, May 14, 2010
Photo of MaseFace
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

MaseFace, Apr 15, 2013
Czar Jack Imperial Stout from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 365 ratings.