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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.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

148 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 148
Hads: 401
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 11.55%
Wants: 528
Gots: 27 | FT: 2
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 148 | Hads: 401
Photo of akorsak
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to beerbeagle for this growler of Jack Daniels barrel aged Czar Jack.

A: The stout is deep and darl, a black color that looks like Hershey's chocolate syrup. The consistency is a little more viscous though, than said syrup. A tan head, standing out against the darkness, whittles away slowly, leaving thin atolls of lace behind.

S: The nose is mind-blowing, offering up a great deal of Jack Daniel's without the requisite booze that should accompany it. The JD lends vanilla, coconut, and brown sugar to the nutty, roasted stout body. Absolutely complex and increadible.

T: Toasted goodness matched with Tennessee whiskey. I mean, damn, this is tasty. Roasted grains, coffee and burnt toast build up a harsh landscape that is softened by nuttiness. And then, when a stout can't seemingly get any better, it goes through the roof. The Jack Daniel's whiskey imparts a bourbon-like flavor that builds off of the stout. Vanilla and coconut rise up, sweet and mildly boozy, overtaking the stout with a resounding sweetness. The end of each sip brings out chocolate to mix with the vanilla, a fitting end to the the stout. Fantastic, just fantastic. Only my second 5.0 on taste for Russian Imperial Stouts.

M: The mouthfeel is decadent, sweet and strong from first sip to last. The Tennessee whiskey adds a little more, depth-wise, than most bourbon barrels.

D: The abv is unknown but it's gotta clear 10%. I had three people to share my growler with; there was no way I'd get through the entire container on my own. Damned good, though, verging on perfect. (1,563 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (1,371 characters)

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. (622 characters)

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

Growler at DLD, thanks Dan!

Pours an opaque black, a bit of brown comes through in the edges, thick light brown head forms, slowly settles to a thin ring around the glass, a few spots stick.

Smell is great, very heavy barrel character, lots of vanilla, whiskey, chocolate, licorice, burnt sugar, oaky, intense roast, a bit of alcohol, dark fruit, Ol Jack Frost on steroids.

Taste is similar, very rich, big vanilla, bourbon/whiskey, brown sugar, licorice, chocolate roast, coffee, wood, very intense and rich character, light roasty bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, silky smooth with low carbonation. I really dug the Ol Jack Frost and this is a pretty tremendous example of barrel aging, retaining the character of the original but adding an extra layer of complexity. On a day of great beer this one really stood out. Thanks Dan! (864 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

1/2 gallon growler.

The beer is black as night. A small brown collar forms, but no head. Tiny beads of brown lace cling to the glass as I drink. The aroma is thick, sweet and heavy. Bigass tones of vanilla bean, sweet bourbon, oak and chocolate. That is supplemented with tobacco juice, char and dry cocoa powder. The nose is outstanding. This beer has a great spicy alcohol/roasted bitterness blend to it. And cloaking everything is a sweet bourbon/vanilla/wood blanket. Milk chocolate and espresso come into play as well. And it's got an oily texture that pleases and a medium-full body. Damn nice.

I remember this one from years back and am glad it has resurfaced again. Truly a gem. (688 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
2.61/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

2012 bottle opened on 1.24.13.

A - Pours a very dark brown with a huge mocha brown head that just sits there.

S - Booze, wood, ripe fruit, slight cherry.

T - Sour cherry, tin, damn it! This one is infected.

D - Tons of carbonation and a medium body.

O - I see what this could have been, but it isn't! (305 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled from a growler that Jamal32 brought to DLD. I got a decent pour as Jamie was really cool about it, just enough that I think a review is in order.

The beer was dark brown-black colored, completely opaque when held to the sunlight, with a very thin head (probably due to a careful and slow pour). The nose was immense and delicious-smelling, with bourbon (Jack Daniels apparently), chocolate and vanilla, just a massive aroma. The beer tasted just as big, roasted malts leading while bourbon and barrel flavors were big in the after-taste. Thick body, not close to Dark Lord thickness but still thick for the style, giving a good match to the aroma and taste. One of my favorites from DLD 2010, and that's saying a lot. (727 characters)

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 jrallen34
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
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. (256 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
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. (1,275 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
3.61/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Of the first craft beers ever on the porch on a cool spring night. Pour is opaque black with a dark tan head and a few large bubbles on top of a thick head. The nose is rather sweet, a touch green and a note of plastic. There is a faint touch of coffee bean along with some fruity berry sweetness. The taste reminds me a bit of kate the great with a very similar texture. Smooth and velvety, clean soft finish on a great full body. It has a nice berry characteristic but a faint touch of plastic. The flavor isn't overly complex, it is actually rather simple but it has a subtle quality that makes it inviting and drinkable. (624 characters)

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. (327 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (925 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very thick, oil looking beer that had a nice brown head that faded into pretty much nothing. Looks like a beast, and I don't hold the lack of lacing in stouts against them.

S - Chocolate, vanilla, some dark fruits, possibly raisins or dates. Bitter cocoa in this is a nice balance to the subtle whiskey.

T - Bourbon is present, but not hot, complimented nicely by the cocoa. A bitter roastedness is also present, but sutble and only adds to cut the sweetness of a very sweet beer. Traces of vanilla, coffee, and dark fruits are all present. All the good stuff you would want in a beer of this type.

M - Full bodied, slick finish, lighter-side of medium carbonation.

D - Sweet, heavy stouts can tend to get hard to drink, but this one was pretty easy. (758 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
4.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh growler courtesy of ADR who adorned one of the lastly capped growlers over to me. I will not explain the circumstances here, but I will say this, Thanks Andy! I owe you one!

The Age of Czar Jack: The Imperial Stout from Town Hall -

Czar Jack ruled during his time from his Glass Throne wearing a heavy dark brown cloak stitched at the top with a loosely fluffy Lions Mane. At the sides and bottom of the sleeves were patches of beautiful embroidery that resembled the four seasons with varoius snowflakes and leaves.

Standing Strong and Tall at the Hall entrance of the Nose is the Watchman, a man thickly built of milk chocolate. He lets no one through, only those who are fair and true to the Czar may pass. Visiting from time to time is The Cake Batter Princess, she is allowed through quite often with her two younger sisters Vanilla and Oak. As is the General of the Molasses Military along with a couple of his guards who come complete with rich fudge armor and swords of sweet bourbon. Fruity outsiders are turned away quickly by the Watchman as they are a bit to ripe for the Czars' liking.

Czar Jack exerts control over the Kingdom of Taste with a powerful chocolate presence and a thickly rich authority. Coating every surface, soothing every bud, keeping order and maintaining balance throughout the abundant sweet land with a mighty malted creamy smoothness. Sending riders only to the far reaches of the Kingdom to find anything that may keep the smoothness from reaching its full potential. Only to be found are scattered pieces of what was once a oak barrel filled with bourbon. The Czar claims the pieces as great treasures of a once lost era of time in the land and decides to use them with care and integrates the pieces into the taste Kingdom for all to partake.

The people under his rule have a fine understanding with their leader as he makes them feel very comfortable with this land of chocolate he has built. The days are filled of rich chewy cake, creamy caramel, and mellow molasses. Everything here is silky smooth to the touch. The nights are warming and soft with complex minglings of candy bar neighbors and fruity friends where the burning embers of a mighty bourbon bonfire roast leave dreams dancing in their heads of more chocolate to come.

But Alas, the reign is over, the Glass Throne empty, and those who lived during this time were blessed indeed.

May the Czar Jack return swiftly to our aid for his time was a truly unforgettable Age. (2,503 characters)

Photo of maximum12
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The experiment in slowly stretching out Town Hall growlers continues - this one's 3 1/2 months old, I believe. Am I mad for trying it out on the Czar? Well, let's see. Split with my wife & mother on a balmy Monday night at Clamshell Beach, Pequot Lakes.

Black as the soles of my daughter's feet. Pops & pours, still foamy & active after months lurking in the back of the fridge. Fresh barrel smell escapes from the glass, balanced with silky, seductively hard malts.

Ohhh. Rich, dense chocolate rises to the top of the Czar. A whiff of Renaissance Festival wood smoke drifts across the tongue, anise or dark fruit from a witches tables oozes into the palate, subtle notes of vanilla & good old Jack round out a beautifully roasted imperial stout. While only part of the mix, the finish is all Jack, which soothes & coats the senses with a mild, dry insistence. Drinkable? You bet. If I didn't have children to watch tomorrow, I'd take this down by myself.

Excellent beer. This borders on A/A+ country for me, but is lacking that "wow" factor to push it up into elite status. Still? Bloody damn fantastic. Town Hall not only continues to churn out amazing extreme beers, but they know how to seal a growler, too. Another hats off! (1,235 characters)

Photo of mynie
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From sparse, stained notes written on the back of a bar napkin:

SWEET. But good. Nice bitter back end where finally you realize you're drinking an Russian Imperial and not some kind of bizarre, strong sweet porter.

As you drink more, the opening sweetness gets rough and complex. Vanilla, red wine, burning cedar, and black chocolate. Ends rough and alcoholic, very pleasant. (378 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.48/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another great MN beer from Buebie. Shared at the Brick Store HMOG.

Pours opaque black with the faintest hint of light showing through the edges. There's a small tan head that recedes fairly quickly.

The aroma is big and complex with roasted chocolate malts and hints of coffee representing the underlying beer. The barrel character is noticeable but not dominant, which I like.

The taste is a bigger version of the aroma. It's got lots of roasted malts but with some cocoa and espresso added in. The finish is where the barrel dominates with a vanilla sweetness and bourbon burn.

The mouthfeel is extremely smooth with enough carbonation to keep things working.

The drinkability is where this one stood out to me as I could have drunk this all day long. For the style, it's as drinkable as it gets. It's probably not in the top tier of BA beers, but it's pretty close. Thanks again Brian! (893 characters)

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

Bottle shared at the Santa Cruz tasting in March. Pours inky black with a light brown head. Coconut-dominated bourbon notes with a lot of wood in the aroma. Flavor is bourbon bombastic with coconut, chocolate, and a dry astringent roastiness that leaves a charred bitterness. This is bold and flavorful but it's just too in my face and harsh. (342 characters)

Photo of KarlHungus
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Town Hall Tap. This beer arrives an opaque black color. The head is half an inch of dark tan colored foam. The aroma is of roasted malt, dark chocolate, dark fruits, and bourbon. The taste is similar to the aroma. The bourbon is nicely integrated into the rest of the beer. The mouthfeel is full bodied with appropriately low carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a very, very good beer. I will definitely search this one out next time it is being poured. (480 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler into a Weyerbacher tulip. Enormous thanks to Knifestyles for obtaining and sharing this sought-after elixir.

A: Midnight black body with an inch of frothy, lumpy brown foam. Good retention and lacing. Lovely.

S: Huge, rich, sweet, and creamy. Whiskey, oak, vanilla, chocolate, and molasses. Perfectly balanced, perfectly decadent.

T: Much like the nose, it provides a rich melange of classic BA stout flavors - impeccable balance and ridiculous smoothness. The vanilla, chocolate, and whiskey swirl and spiral across my palate, absolutely flooring me. The finish is a bit boozy, though, keeping this from being a perfect beer.

M: Smooth, slick full body. Light carbonation. Nice.

D: A little boozy, but it's so great that I can't stop drinking it.

Notes: While not the biggest, most intense barrel-aged RIS I've had, this is definitely one of the smoothest and best. The whiskey and oak are everpresent, but lend a maximum of flavor with a minimum of heat and harshness. Fantastic beer, well worth the hype.

Cheers! (1,030 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

CP filled growler that I've had since the cold winter months. Thanks Steasy66, been looking forward to this bad boy.

Appearance. Pours fairly thick, black, and topped with a finger of pretty dark brown head that had moderate retention.

Smell. Dark chocolate, woody bourbon, vanilla and a little bit of licorice root and prune plums.

Taste. Nice semi sweet bakers chocolate, lots of toasted oak, a dash of bourbon and licorice root, and just a trace of dark fruit. Very nice. The dark chocolate lingers a while.

Mouthfeel. Pretty full body, medium-low carbonation.

Overall. Fantastic stuff. Lots of wood and chocolate, bourbon is complimentary and not even close to overdone. Just how a BB RIS should be imo. Thanks again man, you always hook me up with the goods. (769 characters)

Photo of jera1350
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2010 on-tap for Anniversary Week.

Served in a goblet a pure black with an oily brown layer of foam coating the top.

Smells very rich and sweet and bourbony. Molasses, vanilla bean, caramelized sugar and bourbon are all there.

The taste has really mellowed with the age. Lots of sweetness going on with vanilla bean, molasses, burnt sugar and cola. The bourbon is there. It's not hot and is really quite mellow and smooth. Seems the flavors have subdued over time. Still good, but not the great beer it is fresh. No alcohol detected at all, unless you want to count the bourbon flavor.

Sticky, syrupy and slick describe the feel of this brew. Full bodied.

I really enjoyed this beer, but it was just missing that little kick that it has when fresh. Still a terrific beer that really drinks easily. I could have two or three of these pretty easily. I will snare more of this the next time around. (907 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

676th Review on BA
Growler to Flute

Thanks to Sideswipe for sharing!

App- A very nice dark brown, on the border of black with a nice bubbly tan head. Nice little bits of stick and cling

Smell- Very nice stout even for sitting in the growler for so long. Chocolate with whisps of bourbon, vanilla and oak. Quite enticing.

Taste- What a great smooth stout. Pulled together wonderfully. This stout is creamy and balanced and not a punch in the mouth. A lot of chocolate and roast with touches of the barrels.

Mouth- On the border of being thick but still retains a medium body to it. The carbonation held up very well over the year this sat in sideswipes fridge.

Drink- Can't thank him enough for this growler. Super smooth and easy to sip on. Was a welcome additions to the beers I have got to try. Watch out MN, if I am ever at town hall I am taking the tap. (864 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
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. (822 characters)

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