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

372 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 372
Reviews: 148
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 12.59%
Wants: 505
Gots: 28 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 372 | Reviews: 148 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Arbitrator
1.8/5  rDev -58.8%
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.

Photo of Stevedore
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Big thanks to urwithdave for the healthy pour

A - It pours a deep brown-black, with moderate viscosity visually evident, and is capped with sudsy khaki froth.

S - The nose is totally insane, and ridiculously delectable. In a day filled with excellent brews, this still really stands out. I am getting impressions of everything from creme brulee, vanilla fudge, and s'mores, to toasted almond, coconut, and hazelnut. The whiskey is subtle but omnipresent, the oak note is spicy-sweet as opposed to dry, and the more it airs out, the more a strong vanilla-chocolate note seems to fuse everything.

T - The flavor is every bit of the aroma's promise; this tastes so outrageously delectable as to suggest fusion of a chocolatier's assortment of candy cordials macerated in whiskey, Kahlua, Bailey's, espresso, sambuca, Frangelico. World class -bal, no doubt.

M - The feel is effervescent, but perhaps less silky.

O - One of the best beers I've had. Thanks Dave.

Photo of TastyTaste
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Czar Jack was a very large beer with intense flavors start to finish. Served in a 10? oz glass, absolutely no head, but black as motor oil. Smell was coffee, alcohol, and that extremely recognizable bourbon scent. The beer hits your lips like a shot of whiskey, but soon the imperial stout flavors come in combine with alcohol to make this intense and flavorful. Burning alcohol and adequate carbonation. I was going to get a growler, bu alas, they were out. I would like to revisit more of this giant of a beer.

Photo of oglmcdgl
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of jampics2
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

64oz growler into my Duvel Eley Kishamoto glass. Gotta bust out the good glass for a beer like this! Traded for at DLD 2011 and consumed over Memorial Day.

Since Town Hall rocks their growler fills the right way, with CO2 purging and bottom-fill, this opened with the hiss of a growler that was days old instead of months. The beer is black - pitch black like a January Minnesota evening. The most remarkable quality is the one and a half inch cappuccino colored head that sticks around and leaves great lace. Czar Jack is almost a perfect looking BA Russian Imperial Stout; with just a bit more sinister a complexion she would be perfect.

The smell is complex, inviting and really damn good. The first notes I get are pure caramel sweetness, then some dark malt creeps in and reminds me this is a Russian Imperial Stout after all. A bit of bourbon and oak give nice whiskey and vanilla characteristics that are well integrated. There's also a touch of dark fruit that reminds me of raisin and a touch of cherry as well. Nice nose on this - a bit more definition from the roast would make this spectacular, but it's pretty good as is.

The taste is heavenly. This is one of just a handful - maybe 1 or 2 percent - of beers I've rated that deserve a perfect score for taste. The reason this stands out is that the myriad of flavors meld and make this more of a ride down the tunnel of love than the rollercoaster many big Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stouts seem to take me on. There's a slightly bitter bite and a lot of barrel at first, giving a slightly brash flavor and even a touch of woody tannins. The bourbon creeps in and then a twang from bourbon and bitterness peak and clear out, making room for the roasted malt to move in. Chocolate, coffee and a touch of molasses give way to a caramel and dark fruit wave of flavor. There's a touch of raisin and cherry that, for a brief second, remind me of a quad. Then, the lingering roast and perfect barrel aging flavors - think chocolate and vanilla - close out the set with a standing ovation.

The booze is very well-concealed except for the wet bourbon, and the beer has wonderful drinkability with little palate fatigue. The only flaw was still well within an acceptable range, and that's the feel of the beer. Yep, the mouthfeel is a bit thin in terms of viscosity for a Russian Imperial, but the creaminess is there and a slight sparkle from the carbonation accentuates the beer very well. While a touch more heft would be great, this is stellar stuff. One of the most memorable and tasty beers I've had this year.

Photo of DonFrap
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

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.

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.

Photo of jegross2
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of macrosmatic
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of mychalg9
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of JRod1969
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of bashiba
3.55/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep dark black, super black, tons of huge creamy dark brown head, nice lacing and retention, amazing for a growler thats been filled and refrigerated for 6 months.

The smell is light bourbon, oak, and dark fruit sweetness.

Very sweet and fruity up front. Oak, vanilla, chocolate, and bourbon flavors all mix in with a big roasted grain taste.
Still finishes sweet, very sweet with a lot of dark fruit, the bourbon notes are very mild.

The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy.

This is just a bit to sweet for me, the barrel notes are a bit underwhelming, otherwise a good stout.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.36/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Photo of gatornation
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at mthb..on tap on my recent visit

A- pours a black color with a touch of brown a 1 finger tan head stays

S- is roasted malts,chocolate,bananas sweet caramel and some bourbon

T- chocolate meets roasted malts,,then some bananas with a bourbon sweet caramel finish

M- very smooth and creamy its velvety smooth with light carbonation

D-smooth on the palate a pleasure to drink.. not easily found at MTHB but a gem if you do

Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to for this one arniepnminne.

Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pours a gorgeous slightly velvety dark pitch black with a 0.25 inch head that has some dense bubbles but receded quickly. With a dense swirl I can lift up a nice dark tan brown head that is very dense and very frothy and has some nice retention.

S - Oh my god! Molten chocolate flows through the nostrils with some delicious slight burnt coffee balance. Bourbon notes with some nice delicious vanilla. The sweetness in the nose is magical because its not too intense and overpowering but its so present and well crafted. Vanilla and chocolate play so well together with the slight roasted malt notes. The Bourbon notes are almost perfect.

T & M - Wow! This is a hidden gem. Delicious woody notes start off mixed in with some nice bready malt. Then, the delicious cake like chocolate sweetness comes up strong and is then milded out by a bit of vanilla notes and some nice slight Bourbon sweetness. The beer is not hot at all and quite drinkable. The beer has some nice velvety and oily notes and finishes with a nice bready and almost oaty like notes mixed in with the sweetness. So good.

O - This beer is delicious and rivals many other more highly regarded RIS. Not too intense notes but very well crafted.

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.

Photo of jaasen64
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
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).

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of thebigredone
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of josephwa
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Czar Jack Imperial Stout from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 372 ratings.