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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: 400
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 7.16%
Wants: 527
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
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Reviews: 148 | Hads: 400
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. (450 characters)

Photo of BeerBuilder
4.79/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this one at Winterfest '05 and then again at TH with some of my MN BA buds....picked up a growler to review.

Pours to a deep dark brown almost black color with a light brown ring for a head. Leaves spotty lacing. The aroma is of milk chocolate and a slight bit of roastiness. It has a pleasant bourbon and oak aroma, not overpowering, but just right. The flavor is malty and a bit sweet. It has the milk chocolate and bourbon in the taste as well. It is very smooth and easy drinking, almost creamy in texture. It has a well hidden alcohol content. Top notch brew. (575 characters)

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

Served from a growler curtesey of Brad (Thanks!) at a recent tasting into my Stone Old Gaurdian glass at the appropriate temperature (05/29/10)

A: Pours a very dark brown that is nearing black. Quite thick capped with a cappuccino brown head with nice retention.

S: This beer smells great! Lots of the barrel and whiskey shine through on this one with notes of chocolate and coffee.

T: Luckily the beautiful aroma translates directly in the flavor and this tastes great. Cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, and chocolate. There is a hint of molasses in there as well. The JD really shows itself, but there is still some nice balance to this one.

M: Full-bodied with a light creamy carbonation and some nice fullness. This seemed to hold up very well in growler.

D: For a barrel-aged beer that is almost 10%, this one drinks very nicely.

Overall I was very impressed with this beer and Minneapolis Town Hall seems to be rolling out some great brews. Thanks again Brad! Highly Recommended. (986 characters)

Photo of Mistofminn
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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. (928 characters)

Photo of tewaris
4.16/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jack Daniels barrel aged Imperial Stout
9.3% ABV

Served in a wide mouthed 10 oz. glass at the brewpub on the last day of this year's barrel aged week. 02/26/2011 is the date.

Shiny, brilliant, rich, "colorful" black, as opposed to the gray kind, with a thick and creamy coffee and cream colored head that just stayed there for a while. Among the best looking stouts and perhaps the best looking barrel aged example. Very beautiful.

Coconut, banana, other fruit, and roast is the first impression. With warmth the coffee and bourbon character takes off really well. The taste is similar: bitter chocolaty, fruity-tart, and coffee tart. Finishes very clean and leaves a roasty aftertaste with plenty of coffee. Quite warming. The body is thinner than I would like or it might be the higher carbonation lending the impression of lightness. Drinks well and the alcohol never interferes. A very good beer for sure!

Scores: Appearance 5/5; Aroma 4/5; Taste 4/5; Mouthfeel 4/5; Drinkability 4.5/5 (993 characters)

Photo of kzoobrew
4.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Frank for a couple pours from the growler at the La Roja release.

Body is black and opaque. The body is visibly viscous. Small mocha colored head set atop. The growler was no freshly crack, no doubt diminishing the head potential. Limited lacing left behind.

The aroma is wonderful, top notch without doubt. Roasted, sweet and bourbon aromas are perfectly layered. Dark malt and coffee scents contrast sweeter chocolate and vanilla aroma. The bourbon is equally present and wonderfully integrated, really ties the dark and light aromas together.

The flavor displays the same level of integration noted in the nose. Big chocolate, java and molasses flavors lay heavy on the tongue. Sweeter caramel and vanilla flavors fill in and contrast behind. The bourbon flavor is once again integrated to perfection . The flavor is prominent though not heat and booziness is very much subdued.

Full bodied stout, carbonation is lower and appropriate. Very creamy, silky texture on the tongue. Very long, enjoyable finish.

Czar Jack was certainly a surprise. I was not expecting to try it, I expected it to be good, did not expect it to be this good. Czar Jack is simply outstanding. Flavor is beautifully layered. tremendously drinkable beer. (1,246 characters)

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! (557 characters)

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

Glad I was able to land a growled of this. Shared with friends. Poured into my Town Hall Tulip

Pours an extremely dark black. Just a ring of head. No lacing.

Aroma of roasted grains and sweet caramel. Little bit of dark fruits.

Taste is great. It tastes best as I let it warm up for about 30min. It was in my fridge at about 34F. It was a little tangy at the lower temp but as it warmed up the sweetness came out better. It has a little bit of dark fruit. Caramel and roasted bitterness in the finish. It's pretty good.

Mouthfeel is smooth and has good carb.

Overall I don't think it's as good as some other RIS's on the market and some are alot easier to find but it was worth the effort and I'm glad I had the opportunity. Probably wouldnt give up the rare beer again for a growler but it's worth the effort to have once. (829 characters)

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. (874 characters)

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to shadesofgray for sharing yet another Town Hall growler.

As far as appearance goes, I could talk about the color and the texture, but instead, I will focus on the thin milk chocolate colored head that reaches a full finger in height and is well retained. It produces an irregular and uncharacterizable lace combined with some spotty bubbles. A swirl kicks up oily brownish legs, and that looks really good.

Aromas of chocolate, roasty coffee, light oaky vanilla and hints of whiskey. Only a touch of warmth, but certainly no overwhelming booziness. The flavor is even more well balanced, with the whiskey playing only a supporting role to a dark fruity medley of dates, figs, and currants along with the chocolatey malt that is both sweet and bitter. The somewhat acrid roast tempers the sweetness and rounds out the flavor nicely.

Czar Jack manages to be both sticky and resinous while being smooth and silky all at the same time. There is a bit of a slick feeling while there is significant stickiness from the hop oils. I much prefer this over the other -bal aged version of Jack Frost, the Port Frost, as I find it more complex and nuanced with more compelling balance. (1,185 characters)

Photo of sisuspeed
4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jw347 for sending out this awesome brew!

Twisting off the cap produces a nice hiss, which is good to hear since the release was a few months back. Poured into a Portsmouth tulip glass producing a big, foamy, tan head. The body is essentially black and beautiful webbed lacing is left behind with every tip of the glass. Looks great.

Rich, creamy, chocolate and perfectly balanced whisky on the nose. Sweet roasted malts and fudge. The barrel presence is perfect. Definitely there, but not overwhelming. Smells delicious. This is most likely the best whisky/bourbon stout I have had the pleasure of smelling.

Smooth, creamy chocolate notes and whisky in the taste. Dark, roasty malts, fudge and light alcohol. Some vanilla lingers in the background with other light wood notes. The balance between the barrels and the base stout is very well done.

The mouthfeel is so smooth and creamy with light carbonation and warming alcohol. This is perfect for an RIS. Thick, but not sludgy. Spot on. The growler has held up well.

Drinkability is very good. The ABV is somewhat noticeable, yet lighter than most RIS's. The smooth body with the chocolaty whisky goodness makes this dangerously drinkable. A pleasure to drink.

Overall, this is a great RIS and possibly the best barrel aged stout I have ever had. Minneapolis Town Hall has created a masterpiece with this beer. The barrel aging is nearly perfect and is reflected in how well balanced the nose and flavor are. Not to mention that the body is silky smooth and feels great. I highly recommend this beer and hope that it is released again sometime in the near future. (1,631 characters)

Photo of supercolter
4.73/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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. (501 characters)

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

Thanks to erick for sharing his growler at the June Philly Suburbs BA meet-up.

A-Dark black with brown highlights, off white head

S-Like crushed apples, figs and a little chocolate, very little bourbon aroma at all. I think that the age of this growler resulted in oxidation of the beer leading to these crushed fruit/sherry like aromas

T-very smooth with low sweetness. Dry finish before the oaky barrel tannins. The chocolate and licorice flavors are well balances if a bit muted. Not the big aggressive, sweet, over-the-top beer I was expecting, but rather refined. The Jack Daniels definitely takes a back seat to the beer.

M-great creamy carbonation, ever after almost four months since it was filled

O-very good, but a bit shy of great.

I think this beer is another example of hype exceeding the results, although it was great to try. (846 characters)

Photo of dragonWhale
4.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

6/10/10

After a long wait (of a month or so), cracked this open for good people celebrating graduation. How beautiful the filler these guys have. Black as the crow from my dreams, looks chewy, pillowy head. Mmm yes. A lovely rich smell of chocolate and roasted barley, hint of whiskey. The taste is more of the same with a bit of oak and a slightly stronger, though not dominant whiskey presence. Got to share this with 4-5 other people and it was gone almost instantly.
Perhaps not quite as thick as I'd like my imperial stout for a perfect 5, but damn nice on the moufeel. So smooth and gratifying, perhaps the mood was just right, but it's a celebration, bitches! I know of no other grand time to open such a statured growler. Big thanks to Craig for hooking this up and a very excellent trade. (799 characters)

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 64 oz growler into a Darkness snifter. I've had this in my fridge since the release, the anticipation has been builiding up for some time. Split with a fellow BA member.

A- Pitch black, motor oil, Dark sludge body, dark brown one finger mocha head, nice lacing and retention, excellent carbonation.
S- Very sweet, chocolate and vanilla upfront, amazing bourbon aroma, nice oaky notes as well, as I continue to smell my mouth starts watering, I already know this is going to be an amazing tasting beer.
T- Very smooth, taste of Jack Daniels is present, sweet vanilla notes, with amazing chocolate and bourbon taste, cocoa, hints of coffee, roasted malts, notes from the barrels (oak, wood) are very present pushing the taste from awesome to truly amazing, very easy drinkability.
M- Medium mouth feel, nice carbonation, smooth and creamy.
O- Amazing beer, alcohol is very hidden, very easy drinkability, well balanced with the bourbon and oak aged notes, just delicious, the bourbon taste is not overpowering, beautiful appearance, aroma, and taste one of the best BA stouts out there. (1,102 characters)

Photo of FightingEntropy
4.83/5  rDev +11.5%
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. (1,101 characters)

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

Growler- pitch black in colour, few other colours coming through up to the light. Head was a frothy mocha three finger head (good sign given age of growler). Nose - vanilla, anise, brown sugar, roast and some bourbon. Taste- heavy anise and dark fruits, milk and touch of dark chocolate, moderate roast. Thick mouthfeel that really coats the mouth. finish has more wood and nut coming through along with lingering roastiness. (425 characters)

Photo of Axic10
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Shared out of a growler thanks to G311. Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Darkness with a half finger of cocoa colored head that settled down rather quickly.

Smell: A mix of dark chocolate, fudge brownie, smooth whiskey, oak and vanilla.

Taste: Sweet chocolate, coffee, brown sugar and molasses, creamy vanilla, oak and a nice mix of hint of whiskey.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and silky smooth.

Overall: Worthy of any hype this may get. Probably one of the best new beers that I've tried this year. (506 characters)

Photo of Jmoore50
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got a growler of this and shared it with a friend. It was fairly hyped up, and I was pretty skeptical because of the JD barrels, but it turned out to be pretty good. When a base beer is world class, the barrel is just a cherry on top.

The appearance on this one is black with a brown foam head. It pours a finger or so and leaves a film over the top. Good legs on this one.

The smell is very sweet with chocolate, Jack Daniel, vanilla, and some roasted grain.

The taste is pretty amazing, and I agree that this is a better stout that I have had. It has a great chocolate sweetness with a great whiskey background that pushes out flavors of dark fruit. It is balanced perfectly, with flavors being pushed through, not overwhelmed.

The mouthfeel is great, nice and thick and perfectly carbonated. Just sits on the palate and coats everything with stout greatness. I was really impressed with this one.
(910 characters)

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.17/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ThanksA. Pours black with a one finger creamy coffee colored head that sits nicely on top.

S. Holy cow banana with lots of chocolate.

T. Lots of chocolate with some banana, chocolate, and banana.

M. Medium body with smooth mouthfeel.

D. Drinkable. Quite good. (263 characters)

Photo of jpmclaug
4.66/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks goes to biglobo8971 for trading me this. This was split 3 ways with some fellow beer geeks. I kinda wish I had drank it all though!

A - Black, motor oil like with a dark brown head. Menacing.

S - Prominent bourbon notes mixed with chocolate and roasted malt. Smells a tad hot but still delicious.

T - Beautiful chocolate notes mingle with the flavor provided by the JD barrels. It really doesn't get much better then this in the style. Not hot but the booze is present, the base beer stands up to its assault though with plenty of roasted dark malts. Nice chocolate flavor really pull this one all together.

M - pretty thick with a fair amount of carbonation

D - Sooo drinkable. As I stated at first I almost wish I didn't share this! I could drink this whole growler... I might pass out afterward but I wouldn't mind. Honestly this beer stands up to the hype in my mind. I would love to try this one again. (919 characters)

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

Not one, not two but THREE separate tastes of this brew at DLD!

Pours blacky-black with decent head.

I can't believe how much vanilla comes to the forefront in the nose. Decadent, dark chocolate and the slightest hint of hops.

Sweet, lucious taste! More vanilla, more chocolate and subtle notes from the barrel... some oak, but mostly more chocolate.

Medium body and perfect carbonation. This is VERY similar to Bell's Black Note with just a hair less complexity. I have a feeling you'd be feeling this if you had a snifter or two... but 4-5 oz of this was good for me. Nah, I wish I had more. Outstanding stuff from MTH! (626 characters)

Photo of LuckySevens82
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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! (1,039 characters)

Photo of glazeman
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This growler marks airohead2001’s triumphal return from trading retirement. It’s like watching Jordan wearing the four-five. Here’s to you buddy!

A: Black in color with a 1.5 finger mocha colored head that has excellent retention and fairly good lacing.

S: The smell is of raisins, whisky, milk chocolate, and sweet vanilla. In all, a pleasant and interesting smell.

T: What sets this beer apart is its complexity. It’s got just about everything going on in the flavor profile. There’s butterscotch, raisins, whiskey, coffee, some hops in the finish, vanilla. The beer is like a chameleon with different things coming out more prominent with each sip as it warms.

M: Perhaps the worst aspect of this beer, as it is quite thin. The aftertaste is great, the carbonation is appropriate

O: I was glad I had the chance to try this one. It was super complex, although lacked certain integration/defining character. I would have this again anytime I was able to find it. (978 characters)

Photo of MarkIntihar
3.96/5  rDev -8.5%
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. (1,043 characters)

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