Ol' Jack Frost Imperial Stout - Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

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Ol' Jack Frost Imperial Stout
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BA SCORE
97
world-class

63 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 63
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 5.62%
Wants: 61
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: feloniousmonk on 01-26-2006

Version aged in Jack Daniels Barrels = Czar Jack (  http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profi ... 1177/20578  )
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 63 | Reviews: 30
Photo of Thorpe429
4.4/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Town Hall in August 2009.

Pours a deep, deep black--one through which no light escapes. The head is quite large given the style. Good lacing. The smell is that of chocolate, plenty of roasted malt, a little bit of vanilla, and some anise to round it out. The taste is much the same with a little bit of hop bitterness and coffee. The mouthfeel is fairly full and quite creamy. This is very drinkable for the style and would love to be able to age some of this myself.

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mothman sent this one. Thank you, Ben. This growler was consumed side by side with Czar Jack. Jack Frost is black in the glass, opaque and viscous with a large cap of light brown froth. Compared to Czar Jack, it has a more sustaining head from a greater level of carbonation.

It smells of chocolate malt, black licorice and, at a lower level, dried dark fruit. There's a mild vinous quality to it as well. Sweetness is at the ideal level for the style. This is very inviting.

The flavor is exceptional; roasted malts lend a dark chocolate and black licorice character that's backed by moderate bitterness from roasted grain and hops. Full-bodied yet very drinkable and balanced, it finishes with dark fruit flavors, a mild vinous note and firm bitterness. The balance is impeccable, making this one of the better imperial stouts I've tried.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.68/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks to my friends up north for sending this growler my way. Used this one to cap off my sons bday party, hell of a day and a fitting end for sure. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 05/16/2010.

Pours back as night with a huge brown head that easily topples over the top of every glass that it comes nears. Huge sticky lacing follows and we know we are dealing with a monster here for sure. Aroma is deep chocolate and molasses, hints of bourbon, lots of vanilla and huge aroma of coffee. I am in heaven instantly.

I take the first sip and it all becomes clear to me. This is what it is all about. Screw all the bullshit, this is what I need. Rich and decadent chocolate and coffee notes collide with bigger then life notes of vanilla and molasses, warming only brings out more of a thick, viscous flavor and feel, this was not going to be outdone, no, this was goin to hurt.

Final sips are a mesh of chocolate and burnt caramel, molassses and vanilla, just rich, sweet, dessert notes that collide perfect. Smooth and even follow through and a huge sweet finish cap it perfectly.

This was everything I hoped it would be. A huge stout that just sealed the deal on the evening. Worth every bit.

Photo of MasterSki
4.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the brewpub. Listed as 9%. Served in a 10oz snifter.

A - A hint of transparent brown at the fringes of an otherwise black body. Dark tan foam that slowly dissipates to a thin cap and ring, and leaves some patchy lacing.

S - Lots of chocolate, roasted malt, and touches of coffee, booze, anise, and sherry-like oxidation. Very potent - reminds me of a lighter version of Hunahpu's without the cinnamon and chilis.

T - Again, tons of milk and bitter dark chocolate, dark fruits, caramel. The aftertaste is a blend of dark chocolate bitterness and Skor bar roast and caramel. Very rich and decadent.

M - Medium body that seems a bit undersized. Roasty, with a dry tannic finish. Not much in the way of heat. Medium-low carbonation.

D - My 10oz went fast, and I definitely would have had a few more pours if there hadn't been so many other beers to try out. Alcohol is well-hidden other than in the nose.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.53/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Solid, unsoluble black, 'neath a roasted tan head. Classic picture of an Imperial Stout. Very inviting.

Aroma brims with vitality, rich and roasty, with flavors of carob, anise, mollases, espresso and cocoa vying for their place in the nose. It's a luscious blend, full and heady.

Taste: big in the mouth as well, full and pervasive on the palate. Solid as any real IS worth the name should be, but very mellow as well. Alcoholic strength doesn't seem an issue, not until you near the end of the glass.

The rich flavors indicated in the nose come back in the taste, a mellifluous melange of dark and delightful tints, tinges, and tastes. A cavern of delights, a full well bringing forth deliciousness.

Tasty, tasty, this, a devilishly delicious stout that makes me commit the unlikely sin of wishing it were colder right now, to enjoy this warm and wonderful brew better.

The first non-bourbon/whiskey-fied Imperial Stout I've yet tasted at Town Halll, not counting the short-lived version they tapped for Anniversary Week 2005, which was the Czar Jack before the Jack.
I'd like to see a lot more of this.

As big and bold as this beer is, the growler will not last the night. It's that tasty and my will power is that weak.

Photo of mothman
4.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at Town Hall the other day. Poured into a goblet.

Pours 1 finger of thick creamy tan head. Color is a deep black. Looks solid for an RIS.

Aroma: Huge roasted malts, but lot of dark dried fruits as well. Some cherry notes, raisins, and molasses. Chocolate. Well rounded and very big.

Taste: Roasted malts, caramel, and chocolate. Fairly sweet from the licorice and molasses. Cherries and raisins also present. Well done beer.

Mouthfeel: Velvety, creamy, and bitter. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends rich, chocolate, and relatively clean.

Overall, a very solid RIS. I do like Czar Jack better, but this is still very good. Fairly drinkable with such a large body. Big flavor here. Not to much missing.

1-14-12 had a vintage version at th. a special treat this was. Much more rounded and complex. Amazing mouthfeel. Extremely drinkable. A nice dose of cocoa and chocolate. Better than aged expedition.

Photo of Viggo
4.32/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub, poured into a snifter.

Pours a deep and opaque black, some dark brown highlights, medium sized brown head forms, slowly settles to a solid ring, some lace spots stick. Smell is real nice, caramel, vanilla and chocolate, dark fruit, sherry, alcohol, tons of fruit, brown sugar and molasses, licorice, very rich. Taste is similar, sweet and fruity, raisins, chocolate, touch of roast, brown sugar, vanilla, toffee, licorice, sherry, lightly woody, very sweet and intense, real heavy licorice finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, slightly oily, with low carbonation, some warmth going down. A real nice RIS, I dug this stuff.

Photo of Bighuge
4.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Coal black. No light gets through. Head is substantial for an Imperial Stout and it lasts a long time. Creamy brown texture to the topping. Abundant amounts of lace as well. Looks seductive sitting there all alone in my snifter...naked and willing.

Aroma: Chocolate, anise, molasses, roasted malt, vanilla bean, char and light smoke phenols.

Taste: Milk chocolate, roasted malts, licorice, char, tobacco juice, bitterness from hops and roasted malts, caramel malts, hop oils, coffee bean.

Mouthfeel: Lightly carbonated and medium-full body. Kind of silky, but not a real "hefty" body. Alcohol is nowhere to be seen.

Drinkability: I would return to this one again and again and again if this was a bottled version. As it is, I will return to it at least one more time as I just picked up another growler of it today. Great flavor + smooth, creamy mouthfeel = Extremely Drinkable.

Photo of ZAP
4.33/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Black with a maroon tint...

Aroma is more subdued than expected...chocolate chip cookie dough...black cherry ice cream....rum...

Full bodied...creamy, velvety...luxurious...

A nice sweet milk chocolate flavor...also some dark fruits...a little vanilla...and some rummy booziness on the finish along with a surprise hit of some piney hops..

Hell of a nice Impy...a sweeter take on the style but just enough hops to keep this balanced...very drinkable and not as big as some but still a sipper..very nice...

Photo of tavernjef
4.51/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at the brewpub: Served in a 10oz chalice at $5 a pop - Thick dark brown nearly black appearance with a dark tanned top of medium-sized sitting foam. Foam crumbles down to a wide bubbly collar and the lacing bakes itself to the glass in a lovely looking brown frosting of delicate whispy sheets.

Aroma is a whole lot of fresh, cold coffee beans covered in sweet darkened chocolate. Brisk, cool, roastingly inviting, and dark with just a nod to some oily hop resin. Perhaps a bit restrained, especailly when first set in front of you, but begins to percolate its air as it sits.

Taste is full and big with roasted softness and smoothness on the palate. Broad cold pressed coffee beans bring a very nice rounded, dark bitterness all the way through while a pleasingly play of silky chocolate takes off any rough areas. Very tiny notes of molasses, cookie dough with vanilla, and fruit cake. Finish is warm, lengthy, and roasted with a mild emerging coffee/chocolate/hop oil bitterness.

Feel is super smooth and silky in the front and middle turning quite full and fluffy with a cake batter richness. Not overly thick mind you, its ever so tender and slippery with its roasty richness and bitterness. Very well rounded and the warming finish is a welcome boost of stoutness.

Dangerously drinkable. My first glass was gone in no time. The second one took a bit more time to quaff but still mannered itself as if it were the first. Glossy and yummy. A very nice stout, Imperial or Double, styles aside; its soothingly roasted and bittered to near perfection. Enough with the lighter styles being presented in winter please. More like this!!

Photo of alexgash
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, black and oily. Dense, small but clingy, creamy tan head. Dark, ripe fruits (raisins, plums, dates). Singed, roasted malt sweetness. Chocolate liqueur. Very nice. Wow! I always expect great things from the Town Hall, but this is amazing! Sweet, rich, fruits with alarmingly smooth milk chocolate. Roasted malt character comes forward with warming alcohol before balancing hop bitterness takes over. An almost herbal hop bitterness that avoids being astringent (like some big stouts). Finish retains some bitterness but sweet chocolatey malts linger. Delicious. Full-bodied. Silky, mouth coating feel. Perfect carbonation level. Dangerous.

Photo of koopa
4.35/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler received in a trade with brian23456 who rules!

Appearance: Pour deep mahogany to black with a 2 finger medium brown crown that displays decent retention and lace.

Smell: Dark roast malt, dark chocolate, dark fruit, coffee, ande vanilla. Definitely my favorite aspect of this brew. I'd give it a 4.7 if I could so I'm rounding down a bit in this category.

Taste: Roasted malt and dark chocolate focus up front with some soft coffee in the finish. A tiny bit vinous and it gets more fruity as it warms which adds complexity. I'd give it a 4.3 if I could so I'm rounding up a bit.

Mouthfeel: On the thin side of thick bodied. Moderately syrupy and satisfying.

Drinkability: The abv and the mouthfeel hold this one back a tad but the flavors are good.

I really like Czar Jack leaps and bounds more than the base beer but its a solid base beer none the less.

Photo of grub
4.35/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

sampled on tap at the brewpub aug 1/09.

pours inky black with a small cap of dense dark brown head. the head quickly drops to a ring around the glass. spotty lace.

aroma is great. dark and milk chocolate. coffee and espresso. light alcohol. multi-grain bread and biscuit. roasty and toasty. caramel. light toffee. anise. bit earthy and woody. really nice depth and complexity to it.

taste is great too. much the same as the aroma really. medium-low bitterness level. again, great depth and complexity.

mouthfeel is good. right around medium carbonation and i think it'd be even better just a bit lower. nice big body.

drinkability is good. great balance. nice depth and complexity. a great RIS.

Photo of ADR
4.48/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Out of a growler from the brewpub...the recipe is confirmed as that for Czar Jack without the bourbon-barrel aging (Hoops gave me a prototype taste of this idea back in October)...

Deep black and opaque, smaller tan head out of the growler pour. Nice strings and dots for lace. Mild aroma, a sense of slight hop oils and coffee are most pronounced. Mouthfeel is medium thick, the carbonationon is on the lower side. Not as roundly mellow as Czar Jack, in some ways its more interesting and enjoyable, the complexity is easier to pick out as individual flavors. Dark fruit, dates, figs, molasses, and expresso are all fairly assertive -- and while not seemless, give a nice variety of things going on. Rounds out with bitterness and elements of cake flour. Powerful but not overly boozy. Nice entry here, flavor is pretty outstanding for me.

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

Appearance: Dark black, thick, with a small head, which leaves a bunch of lace. Head is dark tan after the fade.

Smell: Sweet hazelnuts on top of coffee, molasses, and dark chocolate, very nice.

Taste: Sweet at first, sharp and strong. Coffee and hints of tobacco make up the body, with a very bitter finish. The sharpness of the hops stays with you for quite a while, a fantastic sipper, perfect for a cold winter's night.

Mouthfel: Slick but a little thin, still very good, and it would take more than that to distract you from how good this beer is.

Drinkability: I like it a lot, another fantastically complex brew from Town Hall. I don't see myself finish more than a coulpe tulips of this tonight, it's strong enough to get me into trouble.

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.33/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh from a bog ole good ole TH growler thanks to FeloniousMonk, the ambassador of Town Hall, himself.

Buh-lack light magnet black hues topped with a spumescent tan headcap.

Deep scents of fruit meets toffee stout. Impressive. The nose filled the room.

First swigs: Caramel and toffee notes meet a lightly roasted malt. Some Sugar Daddy candy and even a suggestion of maple syrup. Complex and bold. Exquisite! Linger of brown sugar with the roasty goodness.

Feel is dry and leaving some light heat thanks to the big ABV punch.

Last swigs: Wish that I could get my greedy mits on this more often. Man do I dig trades.

Beer is good. Happy brewpub beering!

Photo of kbutler1
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler. Have had this both on tap and in a growler. Very tasty. Pours a deep brown/black with a tan head. Aroma of dark roasted malts and bittersweet chocolate. Very smooth is really a good description of this. I expected this to be good as it is the base for Czar Jack. Balanced.

Photo of younger35
4.55/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this last week at the brew pub with Masterski. This isn't the first time I've had this brew and I know I like it, a lot. Drank from a 10oz generic snifter.

Appearance- Pours a pitch ass black with a light mocha head that's trying to creap out the glass. Great cap and collar the entire beer and loads of lacing.
Smell- Very chocolaty and earthy smelling with a deep roasted malty char that borderlines on smoky. Some coffee notes (of course) along with a touch of brown sugar. A fairly clean sort of hop character with some citric flesh and zest mixing in.
Taste- A sort of bitter bite starts the beer that's somewhere between hoppy and burnt. A nice bold char is the majority of the brew with a solid pinch of chocolate to back everything up. A touch of smoke and toffee sneak in but the beer doesn't even get close to slightly sweet. The hops sort of mix and add a subtle dark fruitiness.
Mouthfeel- Dry and gritty with a medium feel and fairly zippy carbonation.
Drinkability- Tasty stuff here. I could use a bit more body but the flavor is great. Not sure if any actual smoked malts are used but I get that pinch of smoke that just sets the brew off. Really enjoyed and glad Alex finally got to taste the goodness!

Photo of BeerBuilder
4.37/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours to a deep brown, pretty much black with just a ring of light brown around the edge. The aroma is of chocolate, fresh roasted coffee, caramel malts, and roasted malt. It has a bit of alcohol too. The aroma reminds me of Expedition Stout.

The flavor is roasty, and chocolate. It has a coffee flavor, and also a semi-fruit taste too. It is a bit too cold right now, but it is very tasty. It is creamy and smooth drinking. Oh, oh, oh, it is a bit vinous as well.

A very well crafted brew, thanks soak-bob.

Photo of Mistofminn
4.47/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm usually very good about logging reviews immediately, but when it comes to Town Hall they change their beers so often that I fall behind. Here is my backlog of napkin reviews stuffed in the back of my desk drawer.

Date: 8/1/09

Deep black color with dark brown sugar colored head. Decent retention but only spotty lacing. 4.0

The nose is earthy and bitter, dark roasted malts, chocolate and coffee, molasses and toffee. 4.5

Taste is like the nose, big toasted malt, bitter and milk chocolate, roasted coffee, caramel. 4.5

Mouthfeel is creamy and rich, thick and smooth. Light alcohol burn. 4.5

Drinkability is great. Sipper for sure. 4.5

Overall, solid RIS from Town Hall.

In retrospect, I liked Russian Roulette slightly better, but this is still a very solid brew.

Photo of BrewMaster
4.38/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Served in a 10 oz tulip glass with a thich, creamy, long-lasting brown head. The head sits nicely waiting to be scooped away. The beer is dark as night. As it is consumed the head leaves nice brown striped down the side.

Smell: Full roasted scents with chocolate and dark roasted coffee beans.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The flavor matches the nose and then some. Lots of coffee and bittersweet chocolate flavors. Some brown sugar sweetness carries the maltiness to the end. A little bit of hop flavor sneaks in the end but it is barely noticable to me. Nutty flavors and a thick feel make this one a winner.

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.27/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

10 oz pour on tap into a snifter glass.

Vintage Jack Frost.

A- No head, nice brown lacing, pitch black color, pretty straight forward looking RIS
S- The aroma is very nice, big Chocolate aroma, caramel, brown sugar, licorice, cocoa, vanilla.
T- The taste is just as impressive, big chocolate, brown sugar, cocoa, toffee, slight vanilla, slight dark fruit characteristics, love the chocolate that comes out.
M- Thick mouth feel, really smooth drinking, dry finish, really nice.
O- This beer is very impressive, first time having it, now I can see why Czar Jack is so amazing, the base beer is phenomenal, very easy drinking for being 9%.

Photo of FightingEntropy
4.35/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good night, popping the stone growler for the first time after a pint club. Can't ask for much more. The growler popped very nicely, one of my main complaints about growlers with the twist off cap not holding there fizz compartively. Looking in, there was just the color of the grey ceramic, but then pouring, out came the black gold, right down the center of a Rogue XS goblet, but very little head built. What was there was momentary, light brown with tight bubbles that fell. The nose smelled of roasted nuts, meaty but light with roast, vanilla, alcohol, dark cherry, slight sourness, and spice, but actually light until your nose is almost touching the brew. Taste is the highlight of the beer for me, sweet, syrupy roast with vanilla, cherry, spice, and an oak or woody taste. I didn't read the description tonight, so I've forgotten how it was aged but it's doing very well. Maybe not OMG, but well worth the price of admission. Disappeared from my glass before I knew it--night.

Photo of dfried
4.55/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black with the faintest garnet hues at the edges, thin coco colored head. Some wine characteristics in the nose, almost like a merlot, chocolatey, a little espresso, black cherries, black licorice, and a bit of stinging alcohol. The flavor was more packed with fruity flavors than I expected, black cherries, red and white grapes, apple cider, pears, some tropical notes, plums raisins. Good base of chocolate and coco powder flavors, some coffee flavors, but not all that obvious. Wine characteristics in the flavor too. Smooth and creamy, but a touch of sweet and tart, enough to make it not too oily.

Verdict: I wasn't expecting this beer to suck, but I wasn't expecting it to be this good either. Impressive how they packed all of those fruity flavors into this beer. It did drink like a sipping wine, but dissapeared quickly. I can't wait until they release the barrels of this they have aging in wine barrels.

Photo of hanco005
4.15/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler from the brew pub poured into a pint glass

A—as dark as I’ve seen, solid onyx color with a 1 inch cocoa colored foamy head that quickly turns into about 1/8 inch, leaving full sea foam like lacing on the glass

S—sweet chocolate and roasted coffee combo, a touch of nuttiness as well, about ½ way through the first pint I can really smell the alcohol

T—in the words of Emeril, “Bam!” Big and Bold flavor, extreme roasted coffee and chocolate combo, starts a little sweet at first, but ends with the roasted smoky bitterness that makes this one phenomenal

M—a little slimy and not as thick as I expected, but still very smooth

D— A great brew for a cold winter night. Can’t drink too many…its so rich and strong. I poured my second one from the growler and let it sit to warm a bit. To quote Emeril again, “when we come back…another notch”! The warmer it gets, the better it is.

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Ol' Jack Frost Imperial Stout from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.