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Pothole Filler Imperial Stout - Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

Pothole Filler Imperial StoutPothole Filler Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

120 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 120
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.8%


Brewed by:
Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is a strong, inky dark ale, brewed with 6 malts and blackstrap molasses. It is a thick beer, with an intense roasted barley flavour, with notes of chocolate and licorice.

65 IBU

(Beer added by: BDTyre on 09-07-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 120 | Reviews: 54 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of lumikuuro
lumikuuro

British Columbia (Canada)

5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1 litre bottle.

Appearance: Thick, oily, very dark brown on the pour, filling the glass with an opaque solid blackness topped with a hilly brown head with good retention and blankets of lace.

Aroma: Molasses, liquorice, bitter cocoa, some coffee.

Taste: Liquorice and molasses with a building but gentle coffee and cocoa bitterness. Some vinous dark fruit such as blackberry and perhaps sour cherry. Then a smooth sweetness takes over, muting the coffee and enhancing the liquorice; the addition of molasses to this beer definitely gives it a great character and balance. Never too sweet, never too bitter, this is a delight to drink. There is a definite alcohol hit here, but it doesn't burn.

The coffee flavours come through a little more when it has warmed somewhat: I recommend drinking it chilled to enjoy it at its most refined. The swing top bottle allows you to savour it and not let it warm too much by having small glasses at a time.

Mouthfeel: Very, very full bodied and silky, with a modest carbonation that quickly becomes restrainedly dry for the style.

Drinkability: This is yet another wonderous beer from a fantastic brewery. Beautifully balanced and dangerously easy to drink at its 2010 9% abv.

Very high quality.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2010 06:51:48 | More by lumikuuro
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 liter swingtop, generously given to me by my friend George when I was back west.

Pours a deep and opaque black, huge and thick tan head forms and slowly settles down to a very thick layer and ring around the glass, drops a ton of sticky lacing everywhere, looks pretty damn good.

Smell is great, rich and malty, big roastiness, toffee, chocolate, lightly fruity, some raisin, a bit of smoke and some licorice, vanilla, oak, brown sugar, very rich and balanced.

Taste is similar, really nice, toffee up front and a touch of biscuit, chocolate wafers, big roast, brown sugar, raisins, lightly smokey, wicked licorice character, oak and some vanilla, pretty solid bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, just silky smooth going down. A really great RIS, Thanks George!

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2010 16:13:33 | More by Viggo
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Black with a tan head, great retention & lace.

Aroma is subtle, considering the strength: brown sugar, chocolate, coffee and roasted nut with hints of tar & fruity esters.

Flavours of coffee, demerara sugar, bakers chocolate, roasted nut, caramel, biscuit, rye bread, light cider-like fruitiness, good bitterness; only a slight hint of alcohol warmth.

This is like a protein shake! Full bodied and very smooth, without much residual sweetness. Awesome.

Incredibly drinkable for its strength. Overall, another extremely well-crafted brew from Howe Sound.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2012 22:47:37 | More by Derek
Photo of jaz58
jaz58

Ontario (Canada)

4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A real nice stout.

Poured in a clear pint glass.

Nice dark brown / black appearance.

The head was almost a smooth as a guinness yet more of a chocolate milk color.

Thin lace on the glass as it's enjoyed.

The nose is slightly sour with nice hints of toffee.

Taste is warm with hints of dark chocolate and toffee and a subtle clean bitters finish.

Mouthfeel is well rounded.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 22:13:57 | More by jaz58
Photo of LazyL
LazyL

British Columbia (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very nice 9% Porter.
The head is a dark mocha and the beer itself is black.
The nose is very inviting, malty, espresso notes.
The taste is great. Coffee, chocolate, yum.
Very well balanced, dry great mouth feel. Goes down like a cold Starbuck coffee, but its a 9% dream.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2011 02:06:54 | More by LazyL
Photo of Rutager
Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. Pours black with a 1/4 finger of creamy tan head.

Smell. Lots of roasty, chocolaty malts with a little bit of fruit in the form of cherries and a hint of citrus rind.

Taste. Big roasty malts, some dark coffee, a little bitter chocolate and just enough slightly tangy, citrusy hops.

Mouthfeel. On the lower side of full bodied with below medium carbonation.

Overall. Nice big stout. Tons of great roasty flavour and still drinks pretty easy. Better grab another bottle of this one before it's gone!

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2012 16:44:25 | More by Rutager
Photo of leaddog
leaddog

Alberta (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pour a dark cola brown/near black with a one finger width of creamy beige head. Leaves a nice lacing around the glass.

Smell- Dark chocolate, molasses, bready aromas and caramel malts.

Taste- Dark chocolate and roasted flavours are most present with the sweet sticky molasses and caramel playing a supporting role.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with light carbonation. There is a pleasant sticky characteristic to this one.

Overall- A very enjoyable RIS from Howe Sound. The dark chocolate and the roast flavours were pleasant. The molasses provides a nice variation on the style. The ABV is well concealed which makes this 1 L bottle even more dangerous. Definitely worth a try!

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 01:51:49 | More by leaddog
Photo of liamt07
liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from wordemupg, 1L swingtop into a tulip.

Blac with a light brown head. Thick head and dense retention/lace. Nose of baker's chocolate, brown sugar, molasses and light roast character. Definitely on the sweeter side of this. Taste has light smoke, roast, brown sugar, molasses, bakers chocolate and hops in the finish. Full feel, lower medium carbonation. A really solid imperial stout, well worth tracking down.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2012 01:12:42 | More by liamt07
Photo of papat444
papat444

Quebec (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to chickenm for this one.

Poured from a 1L swingtop and shared with my wife.

Appearance: Pours a really thick and really dark body. Cascading head that doesn't overdo it but is plentiful. Great lasting power and thin veils of lacing all around.

Smell: Milky chocolate, sweet mixed with a bit over roasted notes, nuts, a bit figgy, raw cocoa powder.

Taste: Dates, nuts, bit of raisins, semi-sweet chocolate mixed with pure milk chocolate. Very easy to visualize what i'm drinking.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is spot-on, not too much and not too little. Creamy and next to no bitterness.

Overall: A pleasure to drink. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2012 12:29:59 | More by papat444
Photo of Stocean1
Stocean1

Ontario (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- three finger dark mocha head with massive retention, near black body, thick lacing and big bubbles, so far so good.

S-herbal and floral hops, nutty malt, some tobacco

T - nice balanced hops up front with chocolate and some coffee coming through in the finish. Booze is well hidden (could be that I seem to be drinking only imperial stouts and IPAS lately and I have become immune to it).

M-medium bodied very smooth with plenty of carbonation for the style, refreshing bitterness that lingers, sweet flavours are balanced and not overdone.

An excellent imperial stout that is worth the $11 I paid for it (not bad given it has as much booze as a 12 pack of coors) - and for you homebrewers out there it comes in a handy reuseable 1L flip top bottle. Not one thing sticks out to me yet there is nothing I would add to it either - simply a great brew,

Serving type: growler

12-21-2012 00:21:16 | More by Stocean1
Photo of sukwonee
sukwonee

Washington

4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This bottle has been sitting on the shelf of this shop for at least a year. They were finally down to their last bottle, so I picked it up. $11.99 for one-litter swingtop half growler. Not too bad, since I can re-use the growler.

A: Black with two finger mocha head. Good lacing.

S: I can't really smell much after I pour it into my snifter but when I first opened the bottle I got lots of chocolate, coffee, molasses.

T: It's tasting great! Dark chocolate, molasses, brown sugar, roasty malt. Small hop bite but not much.

M: It's not bad but it's a tad bit thin. Good amount of carbonation.

O: Very very good classic Imperial stout. Smooth, relatively easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2013 01:32:47 | More by sukwonee
Photo of Mages64
Mages64

Washington

4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a swing top bottle into 12oz snifter. Filled glass twice, once cold and once when it had warmed to room temp. Reviews are from combined notes from both temps. It must be stated that room temp is WAY better than cold.

A: deep dark brown but edges are translucent. Fantastic head retention and visible carbonation.
S: Smokey, peated malt, licorice/anise, burnt molasses, roasty
T: Fresh Coffee, peated malt, dark chocolate, caramel, smoke and hints of molasses and spices (tarragon?). Finish is sweet and hint of hops, nice vanilla and LOOOONG chocolate finish.
M: chewy when warm but thin when cold.
D: hides 9% abv well! balanced and fun. Almost drank the entire Liter in one shot. I could have though and wanted more. it's both sweet and a little savory and could match some select dishes well!

I'd put this RIS up there with the best of them. Certainly not stellar but really damn good!

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2011 23:27:12 | More by Mages64
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Somehow this ended up on the shelves of a western Wisconsin bottle shop. The name alone deserves my money - possibly the best beer name, ever, period. Add in my fondness for molasses & syrup, & my fond memories of swigging Howe Sound in Vancouver...come home with me, little 1L buddy!

Thirty-three plus ounces of liquid pig iron poured into two oversized snifters to contain the brew plus a soft, slightly dirty white head. Love the big, stylin' flip-top bottle. Smells are distant: roasted malt, bit o' sweetness, dark licorice.

Pothole Filler bring a whole horn full of flavors to the feast. My first impression is just to be overwhelmed; then, I ought to let this warm some. Lots going on here. Licorice might be topmost, & the molasses is prominent, but soft. Sweet malts put a solid stamp on the beer, along with a jolt of roast. Moving towards the finish line, there's a nice, refreshing flash of bittering hops. They form a nice backboard & mix in with the molasses on the fade. Which lasts a good long time. I find my hand straying back to the big snifter often, & it's emptying rather quickly. At 9%, perhaps I should slow down. An absolute joy to sip.

Excellent beer. The molasses is masterfully blended into this stout, & the hops give it a crowning touch. Beautifully crafted beer. If this is still around next time I cross the river, another bottle will be headed home with me.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2011 02:13:05 | More by maximum12
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

1L capped bottle with swinging pop top stopper (like anyone would need to cap a liter of RIS) poured into tulip 8/7/11

A jet black with just a little cola at the lip, solid three finger mocha looks pretty sexy, especially when it just sits there staring back at you for some time, the foam falls uneven leaving a tilted rolling hill of foam that falls further too a thin film, beautiful looking beer, would be perfect if more then two big patches were lift behind

S lots of milk chocolate with some smoke, coffee, and coco powder, as it warms charred wood and booze come out pretty strong

T the chocolates darker in the mouth and I pick up on a little licorice and molasses I couldn't smell, the coffees leaning towards espresso, a darker roast version of the smell and the booze isn't as noticeable, tasty stuff for sure with only booze holding it back

M the darkness doesn't translate to the body, not thin but I expected pothole filler and it wasn't there, not watery but thin for the color, well carbonated and just a little sticky on lips with a flavor that lingers long but barley detectable

O some time might turn this into a foolish mans session brew, if the booze mellows out this one could have some real potential, not that there's anything even close to wrong with it today..but I could see this aging elegantly

Should I be surprised that I liked this beer as much as I did? I've liked Howe Sound in the past but this beer earns the brewery a new form respect from me. Pretty stoked I have a few of these to trade and/or sit on for ages, I won't complain about the bottle of Mega Destroyer in my closet either. Mr Hoff is a legend

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2011 05:41:58 | More by wordemupg
Photo of SebD
SebD

Ontario (Canada)

4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: It has a nice jet black color to it. It has a nice tan head that dies down slowly and leaves nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of roasted malts, molasses, brown sugar, chocolate and coffee.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some roasted malts, sweet molasses, chocolate, coffee, some licorice and a grassy/earthy bitterness from the hops.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2013 20:11:01 | More by SebD
Photo of grub
grub

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

another treat shared by Viggo, brought back from his recent trip out west. thanks eric!

1 liter capped swingtop bottle. sampled july 1/2010.

pours deep dark brown, nearly black, with a big brown head. the head drops slowly and leaves spotty lace. inky and opaque.

aroma is great. espresso and coffee. caramel and toffee. dark and milk chocolate. bit of orange and tangerine. earthy and woody. light alcohol. multi-grain bread.

taste is good. dark and milk chocolate. bit of bittersweet chocolate. espresso and coffee. lightly sweet caramel and toffee. multi-grain bread and biscuit. light orange and tangerine. bit earthy and woody. hint of dark fruit.

mouthfeel is great. nice big body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is great. great balance, hiding most of its 9%. nice depth and complexity.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2010 22:55:28 | More by grub
Photo of canucklehead
canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aged for about one year this beer really comes into its own with a thick luscious mouthfeel and very long roasty chocolate finish. One of the best Impy stouts in BC and thankfully not too hard to find. Since it comes in a big 1 litre swing top it is best to leave half for the next day when it will be even more interesting as the carbonation drops a little. Full of complex flavours redolent of cocoa nibs and coffee this beer is a winner from Howe Sound.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2012 20:33:06 | More by canucklehead
Photo of LampertLand
LampertLand

British Columbia (Canada)

4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Howe Sounds "Pothole Filler" Imperial Stout @ 9%
A-served cold into a chalice , poured a thick black almost oily , big tan head with good retention and lacing
S-rich and malty , molasses , bakers chocolate , espresso
T-heavy malt taste , coffee and chocolate , light hoppyness
MF-medium body especially compared to the robust and boozy flavor
Ov-very drinkable , good balance throught , hides the 9% well , highly recommended

Cheers LampertLand

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2012 19:26:43 | More by LampertLand
Photo of hopsolutely
hopsolutely

Ontario (Canada)

4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A solid RIS, enjoyed from a 1L bottle that's been in the basement for at least a year. It has aged well!

Pours an oily black with only the faintest hints of auburn at the edge of the glass when held up to the light. Creamy, coffee-coloured head dissipates more quickly than I'd expected. Robust yet subtle aroma of roasted dark malts, with the smoky barrel tannins I associate with this style. The rich mouthfeel is a pleasure to sip, and the taste is well balanced but sufficiently complex to be interesting. Sweet caramelized chocolate and black malts with a bitterly dry aftertaste that still maintains sugary molasses elements. Hints of peat and aged wood flesh out the combination. The 9% ABV is evident in some alcohol warmth at the end, and I'm glad to be sharing this bottle!

Not a beer I'd choose every night, but one I'd recommend and definitely worth the splurge.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2013 02:48:33 | More by hopsolutely
Photo of jrenihan
jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer is black with a moderately-sized tan head. Decent retention.

Smell is very big and full of roasted malt. Also lots of milk chocolate, some black liquorice, coffee. Nice smell.

Taste is in line with the nose. Roasted malt, very chocolatey, a bit of black liquorice, Not as robust as the nose suggested. Moderately bitter, but some sweetness and molasses flavour as well. Some grassy hop flavours in the back. Good.

Full bodied, not as heavy as expected. Low carbonation. A bit oily.

Overall, good stuff indeed. I would prefer if it came in a slightly smaller bottle!

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2012 01:27:25 | More by jrenihan
Photo of ericj551
ericj551

Alberta (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Howe Sound Pothole Filler pours an inky black with a nice brown head. The aroma is sweet, caramel malt with tons of rich chocolate and dark, roasted malt. A caramel sweetness pops up in the flavor first, but the chocolate character quickly takes over. The dark malts build on the palette and lead to a moderately astringent, burnt character. The astringency is amplified by a solid bitterness, with some earthy, herbal hops. The bitterness lingers with the astringent, burnt malt. Overall this is a really intense imperial stout, especially for it's abv.

On a side note, the copy on this beer label is a bit confused, at the begining they claim, "unfiltered 100% barley mash," but they describe the beer as containing wheat and molasses.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 04:33:36 | More by ericj551
Photo of JohnnyBarman
JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Massive 1L swingtop from the Conestoga LCBO, enjoyed over a couple of evenings (a litre of imperial stout is a bit too much for this guy in one night).

Poured into my Duvel tulip. Black as pitch (go figure), with about a half inch of dark tan head that recedes into a thick ring. Some lacing. Your classic RIS.

Nose is rich and bitter, with a bit of sweetness lingering in the back. But yes, all the usual suspects are here: bitter coffee, roasted malt, caramel, licorice and hops. Very nice.

If you like your RIS's dry and generously hopped, this one is definitely for you. Quite bitter, puckery hop finish, with roasted coffee, caramel and licorice as well. Well crafted. Medium-thick, mild carbonation, silky.

Solid RIS, and I enjoyed the near growler-sized bottle on both evenings. Worth seeking out while its here.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2013 04:14:30 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of Kmat10
Kmat10

Alberta (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Dark black opaque to any light, two fingers of light brown head, head reduces slowly

S- Dark chocolate, coffee, brown sugar, not a lot of malty hints

T- Piney hops mixed with sweet malt, malts are toasted, very creamy, lots of malts and little hops

M- Medium bodied, medium carbonation, very creamy, dry finish, not much heat from the alcohol,

O- Very good RIS, the alcohol wasn't overpowering and the little hops and lots of malt was a good balance

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2013 04:41:50 | More by Kmat10
Photo of BDTyre
BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sort of like an amped-up version of Diamond Head, this is a limited test run that may or may not be bottled in the future. I got the first pour out of the cask and this was very fresh. Dark black with a very thin, almost soda like head to it. Rich, heavy roasted malt smell with light hop notes.

A little heavy on the malts and a bit light on the hops in taste, but not nearly as bitter or vinous as some imperial stouts I've had. Good hit of coffee and chocolate, with a faint raisin-wine background. Very little hop presence. Nice and thick with out being too "chewy."

Not sure of the alcohol, but there was only a very light alcohol burn. I'd love to see this in bottles - I'm not sure if I could get through one of their jugs in a single sitting, but I'd try it!

Serving type: cask

09-07-2008 22:10:59 | More by BDTyre
Photo of bdawe
bdawe

California

4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 1L swing top bottle into a 12oz mug

deep, deep black, with a thick brown head that holds for some time
smells like an imperial stout

tastes less intense then other imperial stouts I've had, and is much easier to drink. Somewhat less bitter than say, Old Rasputin

The beer contains molasses, and I wonder what stage of the brewing they added it in.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2010 18:54:03 | More by bdawe
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Pothole Filler Imperial Stout from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 120 ratings.