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Czar Jack Imperial Stout - Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

Not Rated.
Czar Jack Imperial StoutCzar Jack Imperial Stout

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352 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 352
Reviews: 148
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 12.81%
Wants: 504
Gots: 30 | 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: 352 | Reviews: 148 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Serving type: growler

02-02-2012 14:52:45 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of chrispoint


5/5  rDev +14.4%

04-26-2012 07:11:05 | More by chrispoint
Photo of trxxpaxxs

New York

4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

06-18-2012 17:44:48 | More by trxxpaxxs
Photo of josephwa


4.5/5  rDev +3%

02-24-2013 00:57:04 | More by josephwa
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2014 23:47:59 | More by Stevedore
Photo of coreyfmcdonald


4.5/5  rDev +3%

11-16-2011 16:50:39 | More by coreyfmcdonald
Photo of Urbancaver


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

Pours a beautiful dark brown almost pitch black with a good amount of dark brown head. A gorgeous pour. Smells banana heavy and chocolatey. It's like a chocolate covered banana on my nose :) tastes sweet and bourbon heavy with some great chocolate on the tongue. S smooth and amazing. The banana compliments well. This is truly a tasty tasty beer

Serving type: growler

03-19-2011 18:12:34 | More by Urbancaver
Photo of FreshmanPour77


5/5  rDev +14.4%

11-28-2011 18:23:48 | More by FreshmanPour77
Photo of mychalg9


4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

02-17-2013 18:44:53 | More by mychalg9
Photo of zeledonia


4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at the brewery in the wake of barrel-aged week. Tasted 26 February 2013, reviewed from notes.

Pours black as night. Big pillow of dark, grayish brown head, to the brim of the glass. Retention is really good, lacing is just not quite impressive enough for a 5. Served toooo cold, but poured into a gorgeous Town Hall tulip (I want one).

Really nice in the nose, very balanced and well integrated, with just a little bump of Jack Daniels. Most of what I get from the barrel is really strong oak, a little bit of woody vanilla. The stout is roasty and rich, mildly sweet. Overall, it's woody, but rich and roasty and well put together.

Taste is a bit bimodal, with a higher, sharper peak on the right from the Jack Daniels, in the latter part of the flavor. The base stout is fantastic, rich and roasty, and I think I might like it better on its own (though it's sometimes hard to pick out what the barrel is adding). A little sharper than I'd like, especially that back end, but maybe that's my bad Jack Daniels experience speaking. The whiskey is like smooth smooth smooth, pop, just reminding you sharply that it's there. I don't really like that pop - I'd much prefer a smoother integration. Not as heavy on the Jack Daniels as I thought it might be, which is good, since I don't really like JD all that much (after a bad experience with it in high school). The points that I liked least were those where the Jack Daniels reared up and was most assertive.

Mouthfeel is really nice, heavy-bodied and smooth; not as chewy as some imperial stouts, but smooth and luscious. Carbonation is low, but not too low, as it should be for an imperial stout. Right on.

I'd put this in the upper tier of barrel-aged stouts, but on the lower end of that upper tier. I don't think it's on the level of KBS, BCBS, or certainly Black Note - in the same universe, but not the same neighborhood. But overall, it's really good. As a final note, I find it pretty annoying that Town Hall serves their barrel-aged beers so darn cold. Every one I've had, I've needed to give 20 minutes or so to warm up. This one I was cradling in my hands, as I was in a bit of a hurry.

Serving type: on-tap

03-10-2013 03:37:42 | More by zeledonia
Photo of BeerBucks

New York

4.5/5  rDev +3%

03-08-2013 22:25:13 | More by BeerBucks
Photo of thebigredone


4/5  rDev -8.5%

06-22-2013 15:45:13 | More by thebigredone
Photo of bauermj


4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

08-24-2013 18:47:11 | More by bauermj
Photo of beagle75


3.7/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a half-pint glass.

A: Opaque black color with over one finger of light brown foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Earthy roast is savory with mild spirituous whiskey notes. Despite the presence of the spirit, it is without the urgency of actual ethanol.

T: Begins off-dry, with refined roasted malt that is soft and definitely not scorched. Dark fruit and maple syrup are light but accessible, while whiskey is understated. Sweetness surges in the middle, showing brown sugar as the biggest flavor quality present. Musty oak is also well developed into the finish, with a resurgence of spirit that balances the bitter roast.

M: Medium to thick viscosity, smooth and slightly syrupy on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This barrel-aged stout is far from the most extreme examples of the style and treatment, with a fairly balanced profile that leans most toward sweetness in the middle. Oak and spirit make their contributions, but do not define the product. It is drinkable, treating the palate gently for an imperial stout. Czar Jack is probably more versatile than the typical barrel-aged strong stout, but on the flip side it lacks (or, does not suffer from) extremeness.

Serving type: growler

10-03-2011 20:45:26 | More by beagle75
Photo of Hopstout


5/5  rDev +14.4%

05-25-2012 03:33:39 | More by Hopstout
Photo of jjanega08


4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A= stone growler gives a nice pop when I open it. Pours a pitch black color with an awesome brown colored cascading head. The head is a nice three fingers high and leaves wonderful lacing on the glass. Most pitch black beers have a little light shining through around the sides but this one doesn't at all. Black as night. I'm super impressed by the head retention as well. This beer looks alive.

S= Wow really nice woody vanilla bourbony smell to it. Nice chocolate smell in it that melds with the vanilla and makes a sort of milk chocolate. Really wonderful barrel smell from it. On par with some of the founders barrels in my opinion really well done. Nice coffee sort of smell too.

T= Similar to the smell only less on the barrel notes. They are there for sure don't get me wrong tons of vanilla and wood. A nice bourbon taste to it but the original beer comes through a little more in the taste than the smell led on. Really wonderful complex flavors. All the great smells are there in the taste as well. Then on top of that there are nice layers of the chocolate only a little deeper. Great coffee and mollases flavors in it. Great roasty flavors and nice caramelly malts. Super delicious.

M= Smooth and creamy. Coating is an understatment and it has a nice lasting finish.

D= Awesome beer! This would easily be up there with the elite RISs if it were more available. The flavors of this beer match the barrel flavors of Founders barrels and the stout flavors underneath are on par with some of the best RIS that I've had. Great beer and I need more.

Serving type: growler

03-03-2010 04:28:53 | More by jjanega08
Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar


4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

12-13-2013 22:06:15 | More by HaveUSeenMyCellar
Photo of callmemickey


4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler thanks to Mothman... much respect for getting this beast to me!

A: Deep black-brown body... chocolate brown head... moderate sized head which quickly faded but left behind fairly dense lacing on the sides of the tulip I was drinking from.

S: Right off the bat the jack is prevalent... its not your typical oaky-vanilla, but instead is a deeper earthy, charred whiskey. Massive roast malts and chocolate... in this regard it reminded me a hell of a lot like abyss (which is a great thing in my book).

T: Much like the nose, but perhaps even more refined and complex. The roasted malts are like a kaleidoscope of semi-charred / semi-burnt sugary goodness. Caramel, the slightest bit of licorice, burnt brown sugar and molasses. The jack is ever present, but doesn't burn like jack does when left to pillage the mouth on its own.

M: Big boned, but not oppressive. While there is no denying the presence of jack it neither burns nor thins out the mouthfeel. Nice lingering finish with just the slightest bit of bitterness.

D: Really, really nice.... this is my first glass from the growler and will continue the growler in the morning.... possibly might earn a 5.0 here. Stay tuned!

Serving type: growler

05-14-2010 05:05:34 | More by callmemickey
Photo of herman77


4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

02-26-2012 19:34:08 | More by herman77
Photo of Dactrius


4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

08-13-2012 23:11:39 | More by Dactrius
Photo of Blakaeris


4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black with a creamy tan head.

Aroma is intense dark grain, bourbon, chocolate, and dark fruit.

Taste is similar to the nose. Dark grain bitterness and massive anise up front. Then a relatively sweet dark fruit aspect takes over. Chocolate and oaky vanilla notes are present throughout. Finishes with a great deal of bourbon alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is medium-full.

Overall a tasty RIS. This one is on the sweeter side, but still good. Alcohol warmth comes on strong. However, it could use more of a smokey character to add complexity.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2011 16:38:52 | More by Blakaeris
Photo of FtownThrowDown


4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown in color with a nice, slight head. Very nice oak, vanilla and bourbon notes in the smell. I can and did smell this for awhile before tasting. The taste did not disappoint at all. More notes of oak, vanilla and bourbon, but complimented wonderfully with cocoa and a slight espresso. Incredible beer. Reminded me of Older Viscosity. Well done.

Serving type: growler

05-13-2008 01:25:13 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of sliverX

S. Georgia & S. Sandwich Isls.

4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

06-17-2012 17:50:08 | More by sliverX
Photo of Vonerichs


4.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with a dense and considerable amount of cinnamon colored head.

Loads of bakers chocolate, root beer, and vanilla in the nose. Like a boozy root beer float.

The barrel accentuates the vanilla and oak while still
letting the underlying beer shine. It has a slight heat, but not boozy by any means. Bitter and sweet chocolate, a dark roast, fudge brownies, and root beer.

Very smooth and heavy body. Moderate carbonation.

Highly recommended and one of the better beers from TH, and I mean that in a complimentary way.

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2014 12:02:09 | More by Vonerichs
Photo of Auror


4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

03-12-2013 20:53:26 | More by Auror
Czar Jack Imperial Stout from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 352 ratings.