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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

356 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 356
Reviews: 148
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 12.81%
Wants: 501
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: 356 | Reviews: 148 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jakers90
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Jakers90, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of mrsdrabmuh
4.5/5  rDev +3%

mrsdrabmuh, Apr 19, 2012
Photo of CuriousMonk
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

CuriousMonk, Apr 12, 2012
Photo of scoand
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

scoand, Apr 09, 2012
Photo of cpetrone84
3.63/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

cpetrone84, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of MacDonaldT84
4.5/5  rDev +3%

MacDonaldT84, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of Mealhouse
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Mealhouse, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of theminutemen
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

theminutemen, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of MarkIntihar
3.98/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle and matching tulip (it's BEAUTIFUL!) graciously sent by Dan. Shared with a few Chicago-land BAs as part of a tasting held at my folks' place during my visit home last weekend. Review is from notes written before the rest of my pour was enjoyed side-by-side with Black Note, 2011 KBS, and 2011 BCBS.

A - Pours pitch black with a finger's worth of creamy tan head. Works for me.

S - Intense dark fruits, some licorice, and the faintest hint of bourbon vanilla. Figs, raisins, and dates dominate. Not feeling it.

T - Follows fairly closely from the nose, with huge fruit notes up front, with the licorice in the background and a more present bourbon heat and flavor than the nose would suggest.

M - Very smooth, with just the faintest burn from the bourbon on the way down.

O - I had tried this before from a growler, and I had thought that perhaps the growler had just not aged well, but evidently this is just a very fruit dominated stout. Definitely good, and very glad to have the opportunity to try it again, but not my favorite.

MarkIntihar, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of syrupjoe
4.5/5  rDev +3%

syrupjoe, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of psychotia
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quite surprised to see this on-tap @ Town Hall over a week after the release... time to review:

a: Black with a thin mocha head, lasting until the final ounce

s: Whiskey is faint, blending well with chocolate. A woody spice tickles the nostrils, creating a nice effect. For some reason, I think of fall when I smell this... apples, maple, spice??? Hard to pinpoint.

t: Once again, the barrel component is well-blended with the taste. Chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and again a spiced finish.

m: Smooth, yet not overly thick nor thin. I do feel the barrel/wood aging lends a drying sensation, but it is minimal.

o: A very good barrel-aged imperial stout. Nothing about it was "off", yet it didn't reach an "amazing" designation. Honestly, I think I'm so used to bourbon in beer, I expect something different than what I got from Czar Jack. If I knew what to expect from Tennessee Whiskey, I may have approached it differently. Very glad to have had it and look forward to having more again!

psychotia, Mar 05, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives with a pitch black color capped by an inch or so of foam that leaves a nice amount of lacing behind

Smell: The Bourbon is unmistakeable in the aroma, with chocolate, caramel, dark fruit, vanilla and coffee underneath

Taste: Up front, the chocolate, caramel and vanilla flavors jump out, with the Bourbon arriving at mid-palate; dark fruit flavors build, as well; balanced, in the aftertaste, with the Bourbon playing off the other stout flavors

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: Glad to be able to visit Minneapolis while this was still around; a very nicely balanced Bourbon barrel stout

brentk56, Mar 05, 2012
Photo of aclark44
4.5/5  rDev +3%

aclark44, Mar 03, 2012
Photo of Sender
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Sender, Mar 02, 2012
Photo of MattyG85
4.93/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

MattyG85, Feb 28, 2012
Photo of eawolff99
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

eawolff99, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of stpaulsipper07
5/5  rDev +14.4%

stpaulsipper07, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of herman77
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

herman77, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of FightingEntropy
4.85/5  rDev +11%
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.

FightingEntropy, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of deebo
3.95/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 2012 version tapped tonight.

A-Black with a tan head that sticks to glass-pretty standard appearance.

S-Definite bourbon aroma with lots of heavily roasted and burnt malts in here. Vapory alcohol and some faint vanilla aroma.

T-Like it smells, the bourbon is there but does not overwhelm this stout. Definitely a big stout with lots of malty and dark roasted malts. A fair amount of bitter bite to finish.

M-Heavy mouthfeel but is not syrupy at all, the alcohol is completely hidden but at under 10% that isn't that surprising.

O-A nice BB stout. Nice complexity and is a perfect beer to sip as a night cap. Wish this was a bit more creamy and not as bitter in the end.

deebo, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

64 oz growler into a tulip glass. This is from the 2011 release. I’m amazed how well this held up for being in a growler for a year. Kudos to MTH Brewery for the pro fill here!

This beer pours with kind of a pissed off look to it, with a black or maybe more of a deep cola brown color, topped with a finger of burnt looking reddish mocha colored head. This maintains some rich and frothy edges, which whips up a foamy cascade of spotty lacing and brown oils that slowly drip down the sides of the glass. This look gets a bonus point just for how angry it is. The barrel sit right up front of the aroma, with a warm charred stickiness and tannic edges that reach out and envelope a base of vanilla, chocolate, brown sugar, espresso, and maybe even a touch of lingering green citrus along the back. Some stiff warmth works its way in as this warms. This is decent but seems to favor the barrel flavors a little too much overall. I’d like to have seen some more integration of the base and barrel a bit more.

The taste provides much more of a melding of the two however, with a sticky and burnt mélange of chocolate, molasses, vanilla, roasted coffee, citric hops, and a smack of brown sugars on the tail-end. Dry woody edges pull into the finish and leave this fairly tannic feeling. The overall profile however is quite smooth and flavorful with a good interaction between the whiskey barrel and base Imperial Stout. The mouthfeel is full bodied, and while this started out a little thin right out of the fridge, the carbonation here expanded nicely as this warmed with some sharpness on the tongue that then spreads out into more of a firm creaminess that fills out the corners of the mouth. The alcohol presence here is VERY well hid, mostly just adding some intensity to the stronger aspects of the flavors here but I was hugely impressed with how smoothly this drank overall.

While Jack Daniels isn’t my favorite choice of barrel, this was still pretty darn good. I would have liked for the nose not to have been as barrel heavy as it was and this showed a bit too much of an almost oaky astringency as this hit room temp (that wasn’t helped by the burnt roastiness of this as well) but when this hit the sweet spot temp wise, the flavor here was about as good as I’ve had in a while for a BA Stout. The smoothness with which this drank was a huge plus as well. I’m not sure that this quite lived up to the hype but it is certainly worth checking out if you get the chance.

Kegatron, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of Pencible
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Pencible, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of Kenai4
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Kenai4, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of MITCHELLMPLS
5/5  rDev +14.4%

MITCHELLMPLS, Feb 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
Czar Jack Imperial Stout from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 356 ratings.