Czar Jack Imperial Stout - Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

Not Rated.
Czar Jack Imperial StoutCzar Jack Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

148 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 148
Hads: 399
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 11.55%
Wants: 526
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: 399
Photo of Sideswipe
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler which I brought to Clusterfork 6. 2009 vintage.

A- Pitch black with a half inch of mocha colored foam on top. Excellent lacing.

S- Coffee, roasted malt and subdued bourbon in the nose.

T- Roasted malt up front transitions to chocolate and dark fruit. Muted bourbon presence enters mid-palate. Finish is semi-dry with lingering roast and chocolate notes.

M- Feel is full bodied, viscous and sweet, befitting the style. Carbonation (still very evident after a year and a half in the growler) is spot on and lends a very nice creamy quality to the beer. ABV is completely masked by the excellent interplay of flavors at work in the beer.

O- Czar Jack was a joy to imbibe. The incredible smoothness of the beer was a very pleasant surprise. An effort by Town Hall worthy of great praise, and one which I will certainly be seeking out again in he future. Recommended. (880 characters)

Photo of snpub540
3.83/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this during the Town Hall Anniversary weekend. When it was brought, it was opaque black with almost no head. There was just a thin ring of tan bubbles. No lacing.

Smell of coffe, chocolate, and some piney hoppiness make up the nose.

The taste was mostly chocolate with a coffee bitterness. There was a hint of bourbon in there as well as some roasted malts. Nice alcohol presence.

Very creamy mouthfeel and the taste just gets more pleasant as it warms. Nice warming alcohol was pleasant as I was enjoying this beer in the outside patio. A great stout. (559 characters)

Photo of urwithdave
4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tnx to gtreid for sharing. Poured into my cigar city snifter.

A- black hole! Tar! Used motor oil. litlle head on it but it left some chunky lacing.

A- dark chocolate, roasted malts, molasses, licorice, and bourbon.

T- sweet molasses starts the show. A good blend of the bourbon and malts. The bourbon doesn't overtake any of the other flavors. Chocolate notes,vanilla, and dark fruits come out as it warms.

M- thicker than thick. It really coats your mouth and throat on the way down.

D- pretty fantastic considering the magnitude of this stuff. (555 characters)

Photo of SamuelJackson45
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- black as night. With a tan head and even lace.

S- Smell of bourbon and chocolate and coffee and vanilla and burnt oak.

T- Taste of chocolate and vanilla and hint of coffee and bourbon taste.

M- Very smooth and creamy with coffee notes and vanilla and chocolate woven in.

D- very good beer glad I got a chance to drink this. Thanks Matt...
Capones ... (357 characters)

Photo of psychotia
4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
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! (992 characters)

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

This was definitely my favorite beer from Town Hall's Big and Barreled week.

A: This beer has the classic opaque plague blackness that a RIS should have. The cascading head is a nice burnt caramel. What remains from the above average retention is the a nice salivary layer. Still plenty of carbonation left in this growler. It talks the talk, but can it walk it?

S: The smell is not a barrel explosion, but a good blend of the barrel with the base beer. The barrel adds the unobtrusive whiskey, oak, vanilla. The base beer I imagine is dominated by chocolate, because I'm getting chocolate and espresso from it, still roasted to not smell too sweet.

T: Wow, alcohol heat is imperceptible or maybe I have been drinking too many big beers. A beefy malt build in this one, the sweetness slowly turns up once this beer hits the tongue and finishes with a descending mildly dry barrel bit. There is chocolate with vanilla - chocolate shake? Vanilla, espresso especially in the bitterness department, and caramel. Hell of a beer.

M: The mouthfeel is chewy and creamy, like a fattened up milk - yum.

D: Alcohol hidden far too well, probably a result of the extended aging. I was told that it was in hibernation for 18 months and that really shows. I have probable consumed about 100 oz of this beer in the past week. (1,315 characters)

Photo of Gfunk720
4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kevin for this growler.

A- Pitch black and oily. The head is a chocolatey color, and is quite healthy. There is very good lacing, and the head stays around for a while.

S- Creamy and malty, chocolate and hints of booze. I get a little jack daniels, but it is very well blended. Some roasty notes and oak.

T- Wow, this stuff is thick and oily. Creamy at first, with a beautiful chocolate and hops flavor that comes in. The aftertaste smooths back out and I get some touches of oak and booze. I get a note of whiskey here and there, but nothing crazy.

M- Thick and beautiful. Reminds me of Zuhkov's but better. Carbonation is perfect, and the complexity is there. Aftertaste is great and lingers for a bit.

O- While it didn't have quite as much barrel flavor as I expected, this is a world class stout. The body and flavors are incredible, and it drinks so easily. Want more...

-GFunk (899 characters)

Photo of newk340
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: a thick and creamy black pour, but not like a motor oil stout. this looked smooth and had a nice dark earthy head to it.

S: blasts of various aromas come from everywhere, bourbon, bitter chocolate, oak, banana, dark fruits. quite the smorgasbord.

T: took me nearly an hour to finish my 10oz pour as i tried to savor every lingering flavor of oak, chocolate, malts, vanilla, and jack daniels bourbon whisky. delicious.

MF/D: extremely smooth at first, though as it warmed, it tended to become a little boozy, but the jack daniels heat was not minded, just noticable. certainly was a kick in the pants as this one beer kept me buzzing for the better part of an hour. simple excellent. (688 characters)

Photo of BZero007
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Billab914 for providing this tasty treat at the last NOVA BA tasting.

Another fine crafted brew from the people at Minneapolis Twn Hall Brewery. Poured a black that the light could not break, dark chocolate colored head formed easily. The aroma on this brew was very nice as the dark roast powered through with hints of dark fruit. The taste was not over the top and was actually balanced for a brew of this style. The roast malt flavor powered through with molasses tones to it only to be matched with a sweet hint of chocolate pushing everything forward. The body of the brew was a medium/thick and I felt the carbonation matched great with it. Really enjoyed this brew and is another quality brew to grace my house from this renowned brewery.

Will be looking to obtain some next time around. (810 characters)

Photo of joshuaseresse
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to newk340 for busting this out last night to follow up the Utopias, thanks Nick! Although I live in Minnesota and have even traded growlers for Czar Jack, I've never had it before, so I was pretty excited to try it. Split 5 ways and poured into snifters:

A - Pours dark black with thick, frothy mocha head that is about 1.5 inches thick. Lacing is pretty heavy and sticks on the sides of the glass for a while.

S - Vanilla, sweet candy, little bit of chocolate, wood and light bourbon. Some roast along with a little bit of lactose. Kind of like milk chocolate. Hints of heat and booze.

T - Touch of booze and heat. Toffee, dark plums and raisins. Roast, vanilla, earth and a bit of butterscotch.

M - Good carbonation. Thick and bit of a tingle from the heat. Pretty smooth and creamy.

O - I was really happy with this one. I've had the Ol' Jack Frost before, which I thought was pretty good, and it definitely showed as the base beer, but I've never had anything aged in Jack Daniels barrels before, which I was also able to pick up in the smell, taste and mouthfeel. Really glad I got to try this one. It might be a tad bit better in a year when it has time to cool down from the heat, but overall, a solid offering from the Town Hall. (1,256 characters)

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

Major props go to the undisputed trading champion of the world - maximum12 for this dandy of a growler packed with an assortment of other goodies for my drinking consideration. If maximum12 is not the Ruth of BA, then he is no worse than the Gehrig of BA.

A- Pours a rich sinister look but where is the head. Wait a second then kaboom there it is. Luxury in a glass.

S - It's all there but not necessarily at the Defcon 5 stage. Rich chocolate, bourbon, fruits, molasses, and everything else that you could want in a beer.

T - Houston the Eagle has landed. Whereas the smell is inviting and good, the flavors jump off the chart. The whole band is on-fire, there ain't no Ringo in the bunch. Bourbon, chocolate, some smoke, fruits, what else can be packed in there. Everything works perfectly and I can certainly say that for RIS, I believe we have a winner!

M - Rich and perfect, everything is great.

O - For my money, actually not my money since the great maximum12 sent this one my way, this is the definitive measuring stick for the style.

This is OUTSTANDING. Empty the wallet and go get it. (1,101 characters)

Photo of LaCoursiere
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

THB busted out a Czar Jack keg yesterday and there was still some left so I had to stop by.

A - Served in a 10oz goblet. The beer arrived with a one-finger dark tan head that dissipated to a nice collar with thin islands of head in the middle. It is as black as used motor oil with no light coming though. There is a little bit of lacing

S - A great nose that smells like molasses, chocolate, licorice and smokey malt all backed by nice bourbon notes. The aroma has me anticipating sweetness.

T - I get molasses, caramel and cocoa sweetness fading to smokey malts. I also pick up a hint of dark fruity notes like figs and dates. The bourbon is there in the finish in all of it's boozy, leathery, oaky, smokey and spicy goodness. Hop bitterness is also there in the finish, but definitely muted behind the malt and bourbon.

M - A lot lighter than I was expecting from the aroma. Slightly chewy medium-heavy body is a tinge syrupy up front that blooms into a nice light carbonation with a pleasant alcohol warmth in the finish.

O/D - This is one big, bad and bold RIS. I'm a big fan of bourbon so it was not hard for me to enjoy this one immensely. I'm glad I had the chance to sample this out of season. I could easily go back-to-back glasses of this one. I can't wait for '12. (1,282 characters)

Photo of airohead2001
4.19/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great looking beer. Pours a motor oil black with an espresso colored head that billows upwards from the bottom of my snifter to the top of the drink, culminating in a one and a half finger head that retains for about a minute and then fades to a thin film.

Smell is outstanding. I get coconut, vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, coffee, chocolate, and whiskey. So complex. I admit that I know very little about different types of whiskeys, including bourbons, but the whiskey in this nose smells distinctly different than any other bourbon aged stout I've ever had. Good ol' Jack Daniel's.

The taste is also great. I get coffee, chocolate, vanilla, whiskey, and a nice roasty finish. Through out, I also get a subtle piney hop profile. The sweetness of the whiskey and vanilla pairs well with the bitterness of the roasts. Overall, the taste is pretty complex and balanced.

The mouthfeel is good, but for such a rich, smooth barrel aged RIS, I would have preferred if it were a bit thicker.

This drinkability on this beer is very high. So smooth through out, and never too harsh to make me want to put it down. No EtOH burn. I doubt I'll have the opportunity to try it again, but this beer was certainly worth seeking out. Support your Midwest brewers!! (1,255 characters)

Photo of isubsmith
4.74/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I tasted plenty of this at the Gitchee Gumee brewfest in Superior, WI.

Appearance: Dark brown/black. Opaque. Brown caramel frothy head.

Nose: Wow. The nose on this is wonderful. Plenty of sweet, maple and bourbon notes. Hints of maybe coconut. Chocolate as well. Smooth. Very complex.

Taste: Even better than the nose. Very complex. Huge mouthfeel. Very smooth though. Chocolatey flavors. Plenty of malt character as well. The alcohol is barely noticable, but it is there on the finish.

Drinkability: A very drinkable beer for me. One of the highlights of the GG beer festival. Too bad Town Hall was out of it and (apparently) had been for a while. Hopefully it will be available next season.. (705 characters)

Photo of satowns
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pulled a 2005 vintage from the cellar for a post-holiday party in January 2009.

pours dark as night with nice creamy brown layer of insulation.

Aroma of dark chocolate, alcohol and roasted barley.

Huge chocolate contribution. Rich carmalized malt, candied sugar and molasses. absolutely delicious for the age. no oxidation whatsoever!

intoxicating alcohol warmth. great sipper for a cold night in front of the hearth.

this beer was amazing. i only wish i had an unlimited supply for times like this. or at least one more bottle!!! (535 characters)

Photo of corporatejim
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one mother of an imperial stout. Deep dark color. No head, lots of lacing. A tremendously full nose. Sweet, fruity, malty. Big full mouth feel. Very thick beer. Taste is full of licorice, chocolate, raisin, bourbon and toasted malt. Very drinkable, but probably only one at a setting. Town hall had the ABV listed at 11.5, rather than the 9.3 as shown on the site. I have some of this every chance I get. I love barrel aged beer! (437 characters)

Photo of sugit
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to dougofthefuture for this!

A: BLACK BLACK and more BLACK. Thin brown head and low carbonation. This thing looks like it's going to go down like sludge and it's going to hurt me!

S: Wow..such a great smell! Big bourbon hit. Chocolate and some roasted malts. Sweet caramel Very nice.

T: Very sweet upfront with bourbon, though not as strong as the nose would suggest. Nice chocolate notes blend in very nicely together. As it warms up dark fruits seem to jump to the forefront.

My only criticism is it was a bit too sweet.

M: Very full bodied. Very smooth with a decent amount of carbonation for like this. Sweetness seems to give it a little stickiness

O: Very nice beer. The bourbon wasn't as strong as I was expecting, but I appreciate it not being so strong it killed all the other flavors. Tough to drink more than a glass or two. Very reasonable price for the growler as well (894 characters)

Photo of Bulkman
4.85/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought this during the Big & Barrel Aged Week at the end of February (2/27). Finally got the chance to crack it open this weekend (3/21) & this beer has suffered no ill effects from over 3 weeks in the growler. It is, in a word, magnificent.

Pours with light carbonation, to be expected for the style, but still produces a caramel-colored, 1/2 finger head. Small swirls on the surface, along with the head, makes this beer look like cutting oil.

The aroma is woodsy & sweet with notes of up-front vanilla, followed by chocolate & whiskey.

Taste is of vanilla, coffee, chocolate, toffee, & some fig. As with the nose, vanilla is up-front. There is no bitter after taste as with some beers of the style, only an extremely satisfying JD flavor. Exquisite.

Mouth feel is just right, not too thick. The beer coats your tongue, lingers for several minutes after, then is gone. Full-bodied, & almost perfect.

Highly drinkable; flavor is so good with little burn from the alcohol, that even though I sipped this to savor it, I could easily have had a 2nd glass in that hour had I chosen to.

I have had several hundred beers over the years, with special attention to imperial stouts in the last few years. This takes big, barrel-aged imperial stouts to an entirely new level, as it is nearly perfect in every way. (1,311 characters)

Photo of Stoneyrok
4.97/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A wonderful, lacing head, black.

S smelled of coffee, toffee,

T was an incredible beer. I sampled this at the foothill sexual chocolate bourbon barrel release, and while I can't pin down the details right now, it was one of the best beers I sampled that night and one of the only ones I took note of to remember.

M medium body, smooth, perfect

O I could probably drink the whole growler had he left it behind. I know this review is low on details, but remember I sampled maybe 50 different world class beers and this stood out among them all, and one other. Buy this if you can. Hope they distribute one day! (615 characters)

Photo of Draughtsman
4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in a 10 oz. snifter.

I eagerly watched the barkeep pour my glass, followed it from across the brewery to my table, carefully navigated through the crowd by a nimble, agile waiter.

It arrived at the table, sadly all the way across the 4-person table with me, a whole arm's reach away. Despite it's distance from me, I gazed at it's murky darkness. Thick, opaque, it looked...chewy, if something could ever look chewy. I could smell the wonderful aroma coming off the lacy, caramel head (The head was thin, however I'm sure this was a calculated move, allowing for more beer in the glass). It smelled wonderfully of vanilla, brown sugar, cocoa, coffee, and of course whiskey.

I then grapped hold of he goblet. Surprisingly, it was cold. I held it in my hands, warming it, releasing some of the more delicate aromas. toffee, caramel, oak.

Then, the anticipated first sip. Roasty, chocolaty, smooth, creamy, thick, molasses, whiskey. Deliciousness. Good thing I'm a big fan of whiskey, whisky and uisge.

Overall, an absolutely amazing beer, a great representation of the style, and the Jack barrel only makes things better. Too bad it only comes around once a year. (1,182 characters)

Photo of HopsSchnapps
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

64 oz. growler received in a trade from a kind person that just wanted me to send them whatever. Thanks for not holding this rarity hostage. It poured black with a 1" tan head. Looks like dessert. The aroma is sweet, vanilla, coconut, barrel character, and cream. Smells very good with a good amount of barrel character and short of being over the top.

The taste is very smooth. Nice vanilla, toasted oak, roast, fudge, slight burntness and sweet vanilla really showing up in the end. Goes down thick and creamy. This is an ultra smooth barrel aged Imperial Stout and one where the flavors are layered nicely. I am curious to know what the base beer tastes like. (663 characters)

Photo of marullamarats
4.82/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

serving type: stone growler '07 release -> tulip

A: the minimalist of heads (-), but the tan mix of small and sticky cask bubbles eventually disappear completely like humble fireworks (+). opaque to deep amber at the very bottom and as it thins(+).

A: oak, vanilla, alcohol. belgian sweetness and a little roastiness. very mild coffeed up almond-banana.

T: the bitterness is an extension of the malt and yet i notice a rush as it finishes. it's sweet, the banana-ness of a dunkel but w/o the clove. think oaked whiskey maple oatmeal bananabread.

M: first i thought it felt a little thin but quickly realized it was possibly the silkiest and thinnest of oils. dries out but thankfully falls far short of cottonmouth.

D: you'll drink it til you can't. (760 characters)

Photo of LuckyDucky
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Overall, a great beer. Got it at the new Town Hall taproom on 4810 Chicago Ave. They served it in neat glasses, too, with gold lettering and the Town Hall clock on one side. Not as syrupy as some Bourbon-aged Russian Imperial Stout's I've tried, but still delicious. Creamy, smooth mouthfeel. Warmed me right up. (312 characters)

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