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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

364 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 364
Reviews: 148
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 12.59%
Wants: 498
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: 364 | Reviews: 148 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of beermeX2
4.5/5  rDev +3%

beermeX2, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of FalconA
4.5/5  rDev +3%

FalconA, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of Alpar
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Alpar, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of mrbubbler
4.5/5  rDev +3%

mrbubbler, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of Mark000
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Mark000, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -8.5%

KAF, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -8.5%

ygtbsm94, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of disemgrowler
4/5  rDev -8.5%

disemgrowler, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of pirmannt1
4/5  rDev -8.5%

pirmannt1, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.5/5  rDev +3%

orbitalr0x, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of jwelsh
4.5/5  rDev +3%

jwelsh, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of Centennial
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Centennial, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of Schlais
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Schlais, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -8.5%

acurtis, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of SpdKilz
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks to Frank (lurchingbeast) for busting this out at the JP La Roja GR release. Poured from a growler into a snifter glass.

Appearance – Pours a pitch black color into the glass with very little head. The slight head achieved is a nice dark coffee brown color that dissipates somewhat slowly leaving slight lacing.

Smell – Nice coffee, vanilla, bourbon, oak, and bittersweet cocoa. Does not smell very sweet (hurray!) but more of a “dry” stout (if that makes sense). A hint of alcohol comes through in the nose.

Taste – Wow, fantastic. Lots of roasted malt and wood up front creating an almost astringent flavor. That then mixes into a semi-sweet mid which consists of the dry/bitter coffee and cocoa. Just a hint of brown sugar and sweetness. Finishes with a touch of alcohol and dryness.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, creamy, honestly finishes so dry my mouth literally did feel dry.

Overall – Amazing. I am not into stouts at all anymore (overall) and would have never sought this out. Hence, that in itself takes me away from being “biased” because I love the style/tried hard to get such a rare beer. That said, this very dry, not overly sweet RIS was delicious. I wish I could have stayed longer and had another glass. Of course I find a new RIS I enjoy and it has to be one of the hardest to obtain. Would be extremely pumped to try this again.

SpdKilz, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of Shango42
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Shango42, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of corby112
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler courtesy of brian23456. Thanks again!

Pours pitch black with a one finger beige head that slowly settles into a thin ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Complex aroma with a prominent barrel character that doesn't overpower the roasted malt character of the base. Toasted oak and vanilla notes along with plenty of sweet, boozy whiskey. Although the whiskey notes are strong, there is still plenty of roasted dark malt. Hints of coffee bean, toast, dark chocolate and oatmeal.

Chewy medium body with a decent balance of whiskey barrel and dark malt flavor. The barrel presence is a bit stronger than the aroma suggests with a decent amount of dry, toasted oak and vanilla along with a very strong whiskey flavor that slightly overpowers the other flavors. Underneath there is a nice roasted malt presence with hints of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, burnt toast and oatmeal. The ABV is well masked. Plenty of alcohol flavor but very little heat/warmth in the finish.

Overall this beer is pretty good but I wish the spirit was integrated into the beer a bit better. A little too strong on the barrel and whiskey for my liking but still very tasty.

corby112, Dec 12, 2011
Czar Jack Imperial Stout from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 364 ratings.