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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: 20.09%
Wants: 529
Gots: 27 | 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:
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 Alieniloquium
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

64 oz. growler poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body. Nice big khaki head. Settles to a thin collar.

Smell - Lots of oak. Dark chocolate. Woody. Kinda chaulky. Light bourbon.

Taste - Dark chocolate. Bitter woodiness. Lingering burnt malt. Bourbon and oak in the back end.

Mouthfeel - Remarkably easy to drink. Medium low carbonation. Medium body.

Overall - Tasty and approachable stout. Not a huge beer and not an intense barrel.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Backlogged entry, reviewed from notes. The appearance is pitch black with thick brown head and great head retention for the stature of this brew. The nose features heavy molasses, undeniable Jack character which brings some "rough" oaky notes. This is paired with chocolate, dark fruit, and more oak. The taste is ashy up front with definite charred barrel character. Heavy whiskey with a sweet malt profile. Roasted malt sneaks its way through at the end. The mouthfeel has higher than average carbonation and a relatively thin mouthfeel. Overall, this has a ton of flavor, but is somewhat harsh with the whiskey character.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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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.

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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 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 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.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

64oz growler filled on 3/5/13 split six ways and poured into Teku Glass. Consumed on 3/14 and reviewed from notes.

A- Pours a midnight black with about a fingers worth of light mocha brown head that recedes a moderate pace leaving some light spotty lacing, recedes to a flat top.

S- Dark chocolate with some light oak, vanilla, and a slight sweet bourbon presence. Not overly aromatic with some light booze present but not bad for being almost 10%. Overall aroma is pretty nice but could have had more potential.

T- Dark creamy chocolate, coconuts, vanilla some light oak and fairly light bourbon. Well balanced with nice rich flavors although bourbon could have come out a little bit more.

M- Very smooth, lightly creamy, medium bodied, nice carbonation, very easy drinking.

O- This was a very nice barrel-aged RIS that definitely did not disappoint. It was very easy drinking and had some nice rich creamy flavors with a fairly nice balance. I would love to try this again and I wish they could bottle it more regularly (without it being infected).

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Photo of zeledonia
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
1.98/5  rDev -54.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

A: Poured a deep, dark brown nearly black with a dark brown cap which has some staying power; leaving bubbles and a brown collar clinging to the glass

S: Green funk like sour apple, metal, chocolate and booze

T: Dooooh! Like sour apple green funky stuff. Infected indeed. Really not going to bother finishing the tasting notes on this...

M: Abrasive and I ain't talkin' Surly folks, overcarbed and funky, sharp and off-putting to put it mildly

O: Roll the dice on this one.

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Photo of JackieTH
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Czar Jack 2013 (growler)

Foreboding deep brown-black pour with a thin angry film of deep mocha foam. Trace of lacing.

Smells of rum cake, raisins, dark chocolate, toasted coconut, vanilla..delicious.

Taste is semi-sweet chocolate, figs, raisins, coconut rum cake. Lightly sweet. Very complex with layer upon layer of flavor.

Nice zing of carbonation cuts through the richly layered flavors. Creamy mouthfeel. Medium heavy body is actually lighter than I expected.

No hint of ABV.

Very very good...it will be challenge for me NOT to finish this entire growler tonight..

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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!

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Photo of GregSVT
4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a tulip

A: Pours black with a really brown head that fades to a ring and leaves some lacing on the glass.

S: The nose starts with chocolate, vanilla, slight notes of molasses, and a hint of earthy hops.

T: The taste is similar with great flavors of chocolate, vanilla, citrus, and a bit of molasses on the finish.

M: The feel is medium bodied and really creamy.

O: This is not exactly a top 5 stout but it's still pretty tasty. A bit less hops and this could be fantastic...just not my style. This bottle was definitely not infected!

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Photo of Arbitrator
1.86/5  rDev -57%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Chilled bottle into a glass, courtesy of lurchingbeast. From notes.

A: Pours black with a mocha-colored head. Very foamy, but I'm hoping this is just a bottling issue.

S: Metallic, roasty chocolate with a mild bourbon nose. I'm hoping this isn't infected.

T: Hopes dashed. Tart cherry, a mild sourness, and strong metallicity. Bourbon and roast are restrained. This is way off.

M: Light-bodied and overcarbed.

O: Yuck.

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

Black with fluffy khaki head and good retention

Nose is roasty. Chocolate, roasted nuts, mild coffee and bourbon and faint dark fruit.

Standard characteristics of what I'd want in a BA Stout just on the weaker, almost watered down side. Follows the nose.

Mouthfeel is on the this side for the style. Another disappointment for me. Medium carbonation.

Overall I just don't think Minnesota makes very good BA Stouts. They are good but not great.

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Photo of oline73
3.6/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: The beer poured black as night with a finger of tan head that leaves a thick layer on top of the pour.

Smell: Sweet with some dark chocolate, mild coconut, dark fruit, and mild bourbon notes.

Taste: Unfortunately this beer doesn't live up to the smell. I'm getting a red berry like tartness that's overshadowing everything else. I am getting some bourbon and roast along with alcohol heat.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side of medium with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I really wish I hadn't gotten an infected bottle. This didn't really work well for me. Oh well. I hope I get to try it again. Tried again and updated scores.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.17/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Alucard4. Thanks bro

Woooohooo this bottle is not infected

Look: Black as night with about a 1 inch dark tan head and great retention with some circular lace

Smell: There is a nice bourbon note upfront with some spice behind it which clearly screams jack daniels. Quite a bit of chocolate and vanilla

Taste: The flavor is not as good as the nose in my opinion. The beer starts off slightly chocolate with hints of coffee and some dark fruits are hidden in there as well. The beer finishes with a very slight bourbon note could be more in there I suppose but then again it is Jack Daniels so I think it is the right amount

Mouthfeel: Body is just a touch thicker than medium and maybe mild to medium carbonation velvety and no alcohol burn.

Overall: I would really like to go back and try this one again. I think some factors might have worked against this beer. Right before this one I drank a Apple Brandy and Rum Hunahpu and it could not hold a candle to those beers. However I did enjoy it quite a bit.

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Photo of mulder1010
1.63/5  rDev -62.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Got this in a trade and was geeked to try this.
Shared with Spicelab and Mrkennedy

A-- Poured a jet black color. Quite visible carbonation as got a three finger mocha colored head. Not what I expected at all. Head receded to a thick foam and left some visible lacing.

S-- Quite mild really. Mostly roast and chocolate. Just very slight oak and bourbon. Did not think it was barrels very long but the roast and chocolate character was quite nice as it warmed up.

T-- This can not be happening. Sour cherry and sour lacto. UGH. Just UGH.

M-- Sourness just builds in the mouth and overshadows the rest. Quite infected. What a bummer. Really sad to say the least. Was literally undrinkable.

O-- Been quite lucky in trading and not getting infected beers. Things happen and would still want to try this again but will not give up a lot to get it though. SIGH. Was a drain pour.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.76/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's been a long time coming. I've wanted to try this beer for quite a while now, so when it came out in bottles, I got my hopes up. A big cheers to the man with a plan! Appreciate the chance at this beer.

From a 75cl bottle into a snifter
Cellar Series 2012

APPEARANCE: Pours black and yields a three finger, medium looking, foamy, mocha colored head with great retention. Jet black body and higher levels of carbonation at the start. Carbonation mellows out half way through though. Head retains extremely well, but finally fades to a thick foam cap and leaves lots of chunky lacing down the glass. A good, full wisp hangs around until the end and leaves some nice lacing down the glass. A very nice looking beer.

SMELL: Medium nose initially. Some roasted malts, dark chocolate, cocoa powder and a hint of oak and bourbon. Barrel is very soft initially, though it opens up slightly more as the beer sits. Some oak, vanilla and sweet cream from the bourbon barrels. Mild in strength, though pleasant and well balanced.

TASTE: This is a little more forthcoming than the nose. Roasted malts and dark chocolate, with nice cocoa powder up front. Flavor comes out even more after the swallow, with lots of roasted and burnt malts, and bitter dark chocolate and cocoa powder. A hint of bourbon and oak as well, but quite faint initially. Medium but lingering aftertaste of roasted, charred malt notes as well as bitter chocolate and coffee. Barrel is relatively subdued but comes out more as it sits, with more bourbon and oak flavors, as well as some sweet cream and vanilla that compliment the base beer nicely. Very nice and more impressive than those nose, with a light barrel component that really compliments the brew. Good stuff.

PALATE: Medium and medium levels of carbonation. Very creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes relatively sticky. Nice, creamy feel with more than enough weight for the style. Good stuff.

OVERALL: This is pretty solid stuff. While I was a little underwhelmed initially, what with the muted nose and barrel component in the flavor, it certainly grew on me as my glass emptied. The base beer is very nice, with great roasted, burnt malt and chocolate flavors that are certainly worth checking out. Furthermore, once the barrel came foward a little later, this one became much more interesting and complex. This is not a bourbon bomb, but it's a great base stout with a slight barrel component, and it's very, very easy to drink. Was very glad to have a shot at this one, so cheers for the bottle!

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Photo of brystmar
3.92/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

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Photo of claaark13
3.71/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Ryan for the hookup here. Man, I've really wanted to try this one for some time. Poured into a Hill Farmstead tulip at cellar temp.

A - Pretty dark with a nice, thick mocha head. Thick and creamy in appearance. Sticks alright. Looks great down to the last drop.

S - Hops, roasted malt, some chocolate, slight oak coming through, dark fruits.

T - Sweetness, dark fruit, coffee, oak, dark fruit, coffee on the finish with a little dryness. After the palate gets coated, a vanilla tone can be picked out of the back-half of the flavor. There is some complexity, but I'm not sure how well it all goes together.

M - Pretty nice, thicker side of medium and feels smooth.

O - The barrel comes through, but I'm not too impressed by the presence. I will do the footwork to get a future release of this in hopes that maybe there is something "different" about this batch.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage 750ml bottle poured into a snifter glass. Pours dark black with a thick brown head. Beautiful lacing that lasts throughout. Aromas of oak, molasses, and bourbon goodness. The molasses, oak, and the well-masked smooth bourbon comes through the flavor. Was a little disappointed with the flavor as I expected this to blow many of the Imperial Stouts I’ve tried in the past out of the water. Thick and creamy mouthfeel. Sure glad to finally have tried this one, but personally I don’t think it’s worth the hype that has built up over the years.

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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.

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