Czar Jack Imperial Stout - Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
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Ratings: 353 | Reviews: 148 | Display Reviews Only:
4.5/5 rDev +3%
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!
03-14-2010 04:20:15 | More by gford217
4.47/5 rDev +2.3%
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.
03-09-2010 23:22:00 | More by glid02
4.5/5 rDev +3%
This was definitely my favorite beer from Town Hall's Big and Barreled week.
A: This beer has the classic opaque plague blackness that a RIS should have. The cascading head is a nice burnt caramel. What remains from the above average retention is the a nice salivary layer. Still plenty of carbonation left in this growler. It talks the talk, but can it walk it?
S: The smell is not a barrel explosion, but a good blend of the barrel with the base beer. The barrel adds the unobtrusive whiskey, oak, vanilla. The base beer I imagine is dominated by chocolate, because I'm getting chocolate and espresso from it, still roasted to not smell too sweet.
T: Wow, alcohol heat is imperceptible or maybe I have been drinking too many big beers. A beefy malt build in this one, the sweetness slowly turns up once this beer hits the tongue and finishes with a descending mildly dry barrel bit. There is chocolate with vanilla - chocolate shake? Vanilla, espresso especially in the bitterness department, and caramel. Hell of a beer.
M: The mouthfeel is chewy and creamy, like a fattened up milk - yum.
D: Alcohol hidden far too well, probably a result of the extended aging. I was told that it was in hibernation for 18 months and that really shows. I have probable consumed about 100 oz of this beer in the past week.
03-06-2010 09:54:11 | More by MPLS
4.7/5 rDev +7.6%
Big thanks to Mike Hoops for continuing his creative brewing and producing this delight!
Picked up last Saturday in growler form from Town hall.
Poured from the growler into an oversized snifter. Black as night, no light penetration. A dark brown half inch of head forms up and quickly disperses, leaving a thick collar.
Aroma is delicious! A lightly toasted oak with sweet malt and lots of it. Mixing in with a touch of Jack Daniels, oats, chocolate, brown sugar/ maple, vanilla.
Aroma resembles ice cream really with chocolate topping and sweet aromas alongside.
Mouthfeel is thick as thieves, heavy really with a slick feel and mild carbonation.
Taste also is so bob (best of the best) as far as imperial stouts and barrel aging goes.
Sweet upfront with raw vanilla beans, maple, lightly boozy jack daniels, very lightly boozy at that. Bittering with toasted wood through the middle along with bitter chocolate grain flavors, grain flavors are coming forward as well providing a fresh just brewed taste. Finishing with a cane sugar sweetness, tangy Jack, bitter chocolate, and toasted wood.
This is by far one of the best barrel aged brews I've ever tasted.
Drinkability is quite high as abv is completely under the radar here and flavors do not overwhelm. Some warmth after the swallow down the esophagus, but not is taste.
Totally exceptionally awesome brew!
Brisk store guys, you should enjoy this one at your coming event! :)
03-04-2010 20:55:14 | More by Buebie
4.75/5 rDev +8.7%
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.
03-03-2010 04:28:53 | More by jjanega08
4.5/5 rDev +3%
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.
I'll be interested to what others will think when they get to try their growlers ;o)
03-02-2010 02:40:58 | More by kbutler1
4.47/5 rDev +2.3%
So, I threw in on 1/3 of one of these growlers yesterday, but was then pleased to see that it was on tap today. Pours a thick, dark brown color with no light passing through anywhere. Dark tan head that left some wispy rings of lacing down the goblet. Wow, unmistakable JD aroma when it's cold, but it starts to gently fade as it warms, and then turns chocolaty, roasty, and slightly oxidized (probably from the time in a barrel) but it's all integrated well. Taste is spectacular. Roasted barley is backed up by large amounts of chocolate, light cherry/general fruitiness, vanilla, and light bourbon in the background. The oak isn't overdone in this beer, in fact it's quite mellow, but there's also a light oxidized flavor, but again, it's integrated nicely with the overall brew. Dense and creamy, light carbonation. This thing is just fantastic by the end of the glass. The alcohol can barely be felt, and it's dangerously drinkable. I wanted another goblet, but had to refrain since I was driving. This was a great brew, and another stellar accomplishment by MTH.
03-01-2010 02:17:50 | More by KeefD
4.83/5 rDev +10.5%
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.
02-28-2010 08:58:45 | More by Mistofminn
4.78/5 rDev +9.4%
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.
02-27-2010 23:08:42 | More by supercolter
United Kingdom (Wales)
4.75/5 rDev +8.7%
Drank this at the release. Waited for an hour to drink this on tap and it was worth it.
Served in a 10 oz goblet.
1/2 finger of dark tan head. Very thick and creamy. Good lace as well. Color is a dark black.
Aroma: The aroma starts out with some subtle notes of Jack Daniels. It is not overpowered but it lets you know it's there. Then comes the roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee. Dark fruit notes show through in the background. Oak and vanilla up front. Very nice.
Taste: Lots of cherries and dark fruits are apparent from the first sip. There is a nice amount if Jack Daniels, but again, it is not over done. Oak, vanilla and roasted malts follow after the JD with some chocolate and coffee.
Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and roasty. Full bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends very clean. Everything I could ask for in an RIS.
Overall, a very solid beer. Tons of flavor and the barrel aging was perfectly done. Some beers can adapt the whiskey flavors too much, but this beer was perfectly crafted. I highly recommend. Very drinkable. No heat at all with this beer. Simply amazing. I had over 2 glasses of this and still wanted more. This beer is one of Town Hall's finest.
02-27-2010 18:15:16 | More by mothman
4.45/5 rDev +1.8%
pulled a 2005 vintage from the cellar for a post-holiday party in January 2009.
pours dark as night with nice creamy brown layer of insulation.
Aroma of dark chocolate, alcohol and roasted barley.
Huge chocolate contribution. Rich carmalized malt, candied sugar and molasses. absolutely delicious for the age. no oxidation whatsoever!
intoxicating alcohol warmth. great sipper for a cold night in front of the hearth.
this beer was amazing. i only wish i had an unlimited supply for times like this. or at least one more bottle!!!
01-22-2010 04:17:17 | More by satowns
4.58/5 rDev +4.8%
Pours a very dark brown in color with a nice, slight head. Very nice oak, vanilla and bourbon notes in the smell. I can and did smell this for awhile before tasting. The taste did not disappoint at all. More notes of oak, vanilla and bourbon, but complimented wonderfully with cocoa and a slight espresso. Incredible beer. Reminded me of Older Viscosity. Well done.
05-13-2008 01:25:13 | More by FtownThrowDown
4.33/5 rDev -0.9%
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...
04-03-2008 05:38:54 | More by emerge077
4.83/5 rDev +10.5%
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.
11-08-2007 06:58:23 | More by marullamarats
3.85/5 rDev -11.9%
Had this during the Town Hall Anniversary weekend. When it was brought, it was opaque black with almost no head. There was just a thin ring of tan bubbles. No lacing.
Smell of coffe, chocolate, and some piney hoppiness make up the nose.
The taste was mostly chocolate with a coffee bitterness. There was a hint of bourbon in there as well as some roasted malts. Nice alcohol presence.
Very creamy mouthfeel and the taste just gets more pleasant as it warms. Nice warming alcohol was pleasant as I was enjoying this beer in the outside patio. A great stout.
10-29-2007 19:44:07 | More by snpub540
4.38/5 rDev +0.2%
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.
10-29-2007 01:14:08 | More by objectivemonkey
4.13/5 rDev -5.5%
Originally reviewed April 9, 2005. Gitchee Gumee Brewfest 2005. Barrel Aged. Pours super tar black, with a growing frothy light brown head. Very even. I had a double dose of this at the Brewfest. What a ridiculously amazing beer. Tops at the fest for sure! Aromas of coffee and chocolate bounce of the beer. Roasted honey, nut and sugar flavors. Finishes with strong vanilla, coffee, and espresso. Unlike other Imperial Stouts or Stouts, the flavors arent as harsh or dry as I would expect, instead theyre very mellowed out and smooth and very supple. The sugary sweet, velvet texture just rounds this out beautifully. Amazing!
08-05-2006 15:27:02 | More by CharlesDarwin
4.22/5 rDev -3.4%
This is one mother of an imperial stout. Deep dark color. No head, lots of lacing. A tremendously full nose. Sweet, fruity, malty. Big full mouth feel. Very thick beer. Taste is full of licorice, chocolate, raisin, bourbon and toasted malt. Very drinkable, but probably only one at a setting. Town hall had the ABV listed at 11.5, rather than the 9.3 as shown on the site. I have some of this every chance I get. I love barrel aged beer!
10-27-2005 13:51:46 | More by corporatejim
4.7/5 rDev +7.6%
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.
04-15-2005 22:45:27 | More by ZAP
4.75/5 rDev +8.7%
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..
04-14-2005 03:31:51 | More by isubsmith
4.88/5 rDev +11.7%
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.
03-21-2005 02:08:49 | More by ppoitras
4.5/5 rDev +3%
Poured into a Stone Imperial Stout Glass from a 64 oz Growler.
Pours black with just a hint of light visible around the edges (although that could very well be my imagination). I wasn't able to get much of a head, but what was there was a very nice tannish brown. Collar is nice, as is what little lacing evolved.
Smell is quite pleasant. Coffee, chocolate, fruits (dates, figs, cherries), a hint of caramel and vanilla. Very nice.
Taste is kind of similar to the aroma. Coffee, chocolate and a toasty malt character dominate, followed closely by a present, but not outstanding under current of alcohol heat and hops. Fruit is present, but it seemed to be more pronounced in the aroma than in the flavor.
Mouthfeel is good, coats the tongue, feels a bit warming on the way down. Very fine carbonation makes for a real nice experience.
Overall, quite enjoyable. I'm continually impressed with the Town Hall Beers that I've had. I just wish there was a place like this around here for me to go to.
Thanks again go out to feloniousmonk!
03-18-2005 02:44:54 | More by LuckySevens82
4.65/5 rDev +6.4%
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.
03-10-2005 05:00:08 | More by Bighuge
3.93/5 rDev -10.1%
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...
03-06-2005 19:22:00 | More by ADR
4.65/5 rDev +6.4%
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.
03-06-2005 17:56:05 | More by tavernjef
Czar Jack Imperial Stout from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 353 ratings.