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Pothole Filler Imperial Stout - Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pothole Filler Imperial StoutPothole Filler Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

67 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 67
Hads: 170
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 16.05%
Wants: 24
Gots: 31 | FT: 1
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:
Beer added by: BDTyre on 09-07-2008

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 67 | Hads: 170
Photo of beertunes
2.75/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a translucent light black color with about an inch of medium brown head that had OK retention and lacing.

The aroma was a below average showing of the typical grain and malt scents. The roasted malt was a bit bolder on the tongue, but still not above average.

The body was much thinner than average, lighter than most Porters. Drinkability was OK, but why bother. If you want to try this to tick it, go right ahead. Otherwise bypass this beer.

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Photo of kissmybunniebutt
3.27/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Awesome package (got that 1 L swing top sensuality going), great dark stout look, but I honestly wanted more. The black strap molasses that pretty much forced me to buy it was either missing or showed up entirely as a bitter flavor. I was looking for more of that woodsy, burnt sugary taste of molasses. Alas, great idea, but I think this guy needs more.

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Photo of TheStove
3.28/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Smuggled on a cruise ship from BC to USA! Poured into an imperial pint glass.

Pours a deep inky black with a nice mocha colored head.

Smells vary somewhat, from boozy to chocolatey malts to molasses. First sip reveals rich chocolate malt flavors giving way to a thinner lighter malty consistency ultimately ending with a light hop bite and some earth flavors at the end. A consistently malty, creamy and delicious beverage.

A solid offering yet in the world of imperial stouts this one doesn't particularly stand out.

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Photo of Scrylol
3.38/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Black body, one finger beige head, bit of lacing.

Sweet milk chocolate, cocoa, dark chocolate, coffee.

Roasty caramel malt backbone. Lots of dark chocolate and black coffee notes. Decent amount of bitterness balanced by strong malty flavor. Can detect quite a bit of alcohol flavor and burn unfortunately.

Okay carbonation, but it feels watery.

Didn`t really enjoy this one.

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Photo of cwguy5
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

thanks to Sharpski for the hook-up on this one! poured into a De Molen snifter from the quart bottle.

A - black and oily with minimal cinnamon colored head that is mainly just a bubbly ring; lots of arching lacing left on glass

S - seasonal allergies are kicking my butt, but i am getting a light aroma of dark and roasted malt and not much else

T - lots of dark and roasted malts, espresso, black coffee, dry overall, molasses is very faint, dry-bitter finish

M - med-thick bodied with fine, light-moderate carbonation; long bitter finish is fairly strong

O - always love a 9% stout in a quart bottle! a solid dry & roasty stout overall, but the bitterness is a bit distracting for me. it starts to wear out my palate pretty quickly. this might be paired with cheese/food well.

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Photo of hotmailmsn
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

9% ABV, 65ibu, 1L bottle.
A - dark dark brown (I wouldn't say it's black) with half finger brown head.
S - molasses, brown sugar, dried fruit, tend to the sweeter side, but of chocolate, not really coffee. toasted bread, roasted malt.
T - decent carbonation. mid heavy mouthful, thick, silky smooth, rich like chocolate milk. vanilla, liquorice, smoky burnt bitterness, but not lasting.
O - since its fall, stout season is here. not much expectation on this, but this really surprised me! palate is def better than nose, 9%abv is well hidden. great BC brewed daily imperial stout. Will get it next time, if there's not much other choice out there yet.

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Photo of cfalovo97
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Just got a bottle of this from the LCBO. Pours dark, brownish black color with a nice head. solid retention. It doesnt have a very strong smell, which threw me off a little bit, so I was pleasently surpised when I tasted it. You can taste the molasses and some vanilla and coffee. The taste lingers nicely.
Overall it was quite enjoyable. My first beer from this brewery and I look forward to trying others

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours a deep, dark brown with slim chestnut higlights and a voluminous tuft of stiff cooca brown head.

Smell -- Bakers chocolate, molasses, patent malt, black leather, and a little bit of woodsmoke. Rich and roasty, but not as saccharine as a black strap molasses stout would have you believe.

Taste -- Molasses and dark cocoa sweetness, as well as leather, smoke, and anise. Earthy hops in the finish keep things from getting too saccharine. The alcohol is not well-hidden, but it's not a terrible distraction, either.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-light in body with moderate carbonation. Feels thin, especially compared to the robust and boozy flavor.

Overall -- Overall, pretty good. It didn't wow me with it's complexity, and the mouthfeel needs a boost, but it works. Worth trying.

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Photo of bamadog
3.66/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Special thanks to beerman207 for bringing this back from his latest trip out west. Poured from the bottle to a pint glass, review is from notes taken on 4/22/2011.

Appearance: Pour is a dark espresso brown/near black color; starts with a big 3 finger creamy tan head with solid retention that leaves a thick curtain of lacing trailing down the sides as it slowly fades; body is dark and nearly opaque, but does show some dark ruby/mahogany highlights near the bottom.

Smell: Not very robust or potent, bit of a let down (fortunately, the taste makes up for where it lacks here); smell is of molasses/bittersweet chocolate; warm earthy roastiness; slight presence of alcohol.

Taste: Solid! Molasses is definitely the prevalent flavor; bit of a woody and oaky presence that has a touch of vanilla to it; smokiness lingers; slight burnt coffee roastiness to it as well as some warming alcohol; very nice overall.

Mouthfeel: Body is a little heavier than what I would consider medium and the carbonation is essentially non-existent, but that's OK in a thicker beer like this that has some ABV to give the body a little bit of life and warmth; body is definitely a little slick and oily; a moderately thick and dry coating is left on the roof of the mouth; gums are left tingly and the belly is left warm from the ABV.

Overall: Nice -- a solid offering from a brewery that I've never heard of until now. I really enjoyed the molasses flavor and the sweetness balanced by the grittier and earthy roastiness; ABV and weight would limit it a little bit, but it's something that is great to share with friends.

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Photo of jzlyo
3.69/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is dark malts, chocolate, mild sweetness and a hint of acidity. The flavor is dark malts, chocolate, dark fruit, mild funk and and a long and dry/acidic finish.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Jet with a sepia head that fades fast. 3.75
A whiff of oxidation, then fig, wood smoke and chocolate liqeuer. 3.75
Cocoa nibs up front, some boysenberry, a bit of char, and woody end. 3.75
Just about medium, oily, some chew, hot. 3.5

-- Chocolate is there, but there’s no hiding that it’s 9%. And the body isn’t there for the ABV. There are better example of such a competitive style. 3.75

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3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Head is an inch and a half of toasted bread light brown tone. Body is like used motor oil black. Nose is a nice mix of roasty chocolate and hints of attractive coffee notes. Taste boarders on an oatmeal stout and an imperial stout. It is creamy and chocolatey with hints of strong alcohol and coffee. This is a solid beer at an attractive price point.

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Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle two half pints at Bar Volo Howe Sound takeover. Enjoyed it knowing is somewhere between a Russian IS and an oatmeal stout. Not up to the RIS standard. Significant acid but under control. Dark as night, with only a whisp of head. Above average mouthtfeel. Appropriate understated carbonation. Decent drinkability, it is a sipper.

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Photo of tonyf55
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 1L swing-top into a sleeman lager glass (it was all that was available...)

Visual (5): Dark beer, completely opaque to any light. Sandy tan coloured head, rolling and dense, that lasts and doesn't go away. Great lacing. Thick body.

Aroma (2.5): A bit of coffee grind, hints of chocolate, but no big malty hit. No alcohol scents. A little too light for this big beer.

Taste (4.5): Piney hop flavours mingle with tastes of sweet malts and leave a welcomed boozy coat on the pallet. Flavours of both alcohol and hops linger long after a sip is taken. Malts are heavily toasted, with burnt flavours mixing with the fairly prevalent hop bitterness. Beautiful balance.

Mouthfeel (4): Oily and slick with a very thick body. Leaves an extremely dry pallet behind. The dryness really aids in letting the flavours linger long after a sip.

Overall (4): A beer that hits the Imperial Stout style perfectly, strong malt sweetness mixes with hits of hops & good alcoholic lingerings... all sitting on the pallet at the finish. Flavours sit so long, that it is difficult to have more than 1 in a single sitting. Great for a cool night.

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Photo of oldn00b
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Overall a decently drinkable Imperial stout. Comes in a cool reuseable swing top bottle and brings a large quantity of high abv beer at a very reasonable price. I was a bit worried it might be gimmicky but it's damn solid. Looks great out of the bottle into a stout glass. Light tan head forms great and retains wonderfully. Nose is a good bit weak though maybe it's me. Not much comes through at all for me. Flavor is solid but nothind spectacular. It really has a toastier flavor that much of the malt etc. but it's nice. Feel is on point, delicate and light but with enough body.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one from Rutager a while back. Cheers man!

From a 1L capped swing-top bottle into a snifter
Vintage: 2011
IBU: 65

APPEARANCE: A clear brown pour yields a two finger, thicker looking, fluffy, tan head with great retention. Clear black body with medium levels of carbonation evident. Head fades to a full foam cap and some chunky, sticky lacing is left on the glass. A swirly wisp and ring remain until the end leaving lots of good lacing. Nice head and all, but not dark enough for top marks.

SMELL: Big nose on this one. Lots of roasted barley, dark chocolate and caramel on the nose, Cocoa powder and still some light citrus hops too.

TASTE: Pretty good. Roasted barley, sweet caramel and dark chocolate up front. A roasted and caramel-sweet middle into more roasted and burnt grain with plenty of bitter coffee, dark chocolate lingering on the palate. Quite good.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy on the palate, enough weight, goes down smooth and finishes a touch mouth coating. Good feel.

OVERALL: This is really quite good. Good flavors and aromas with a solid feel to support the show. A little light in color but the head and lacing worked really nicely. Something worth checking out if you get the chance; was easily able to finish the whole 1L myself over the course of an evening. Thanks again Rutager. Recommended.

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Photo of Drinkerofales
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, almost black, with no light shining through. A large mocha head doesn't leave much lacing, but has good retention.

Smell is mostly roasted malt. There are whiffs of coffee, anise, and hoppy fruit.

Taste is sweet and bitter(straight from the wife). Mellow roasted malt, molasses, some coffee and hop bitterness on the finish and aftertaste.

Feel isn't thin, but isn't chewy, with a hop bite to it. Good thing it's smooth and drinkable.

Some of hop in almost all aspects, none of it taking over fortunately. Feels a tad on the thin side, but other than that, I liked the beer. I would have to say, the giant size is kind of strange, and while the swingtop can help save the beer for later, 32oz of a 9% is a bit much.


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Photo of souvenirs
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, malty and thick. Black, with brown head the colour of chocolate milk. Very nice. (I actually finished the litre bottle by myself in a single sitting.)

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a black body with one finger khaki head and left a one finger lace ring around glass. Dark fruits, possible raisins, first me in aroma and I get notes of wheat, molasses, anise (must be licorice), bitter chocolate and very little roasted malts. Fuller bodied with a smoothness that is almost oak/wood like and even comes across as creamy. There is a balance between roasted malts and bitter chocolate and some chocolate sweetness, a spicy sweetness which can be both the licorice and molasses and notes of dark fruits like figs, toffee and black cherry. Not a typical RIS or even regular imperial stout as the roasted/coffee malts and barley flavors are in background compared to sweeter aspects but overall it has some of that hefty dryness mixed with some different sweet flavors.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.01/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From a 1 L brown bottle, capped with a flip-top lid. Pours out a dense opaque jet black hue, impermeable to light. Creamy tan head that settles to a thick frothy cap.

Roasty malts, some sweet dark malt, coffee notes on the nose, some faint dry toasty cocoa.

Flavour starts out on a sweet almost milky note, then turns roasty, while the two in turn evolve into a sort of cafe au lait charatcter, finishing with a dry roasty, somewhat burnt finish. Burnt malt aftertaste. It's only after a long while and the bottle nearly finished that herbal, spicy hops appear on the finish and aftertaste.

Full mouthfeel, full velvety texture, medium carbonation.

While not very intense for the style, it's a very enjoyable and approachable interpretation of an RIS, and masking the alcohol content incredibly well. In my honest opinion it seems more like a buffed up Stout, or a Robust Porter, however it's still mighty fine of its own accord.

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Photo of chickenm
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a thick brown head that leaves some lacing. Aroma has coffee, chocolate, and a little smoke and licorice. Flavor of bittersweet chocolate, coffee, molasses, and ash. Medium bodied and smooth, and has a lingering slightly burnt aftertaste. Just a little alcohol is noticable. Overall, it's not in the top tier of Imperial Stouts, but it's still a very solid beer. I had no trouble finishing the 1L bottle!

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Photo of chinchill
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Large shared bottle in Atlanta.

A: dark reddish brown body is nearly black and opaque in the glass.
Flavor: Rich and dark roasty without char.
Enticing aroma.
Smooth, full body with medium-light carbonation.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - tar black, very tall thick brown head, left random blobs of lacing as it slowly receded
S - big roasty and burnt flavours, mild cocoa and licororice
T - intensely roasty and burnt malt, licorice root and mild dark fruits with a mild grassy hope note in the background
M - chewy low carbonated body, smoky and dry finish, 9% ABV undetectable
O - it a big thick in your face stout just as you'd expect, not an everyday drinker but maybe every other day

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Howe Sound Brewing tap house:

A: Black liquid with a 1/8" light brown head that left a fair amount of lacing.

S: Espresso, black licorice, and alcohol.

T: The taste profile is a combination of bitter black coffee, toasted malt, and dark chocolate. The beer begins bitter, but has a smooth finish.

M: Medium viscosity with a low level of carbonation.

O: This Imperial Stout is the type of beer that you have to settle into, especially if it is served cold. As it warmed it became less aggressive and much more drinkable.

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Photo of beerman207
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought the 1 L swing top. Just an awesome bottle and lots of stout to share with friends

A: Pours a deep dark brown with a nice tan head that starts at about 1 finger and lingers throughout the entire session - nice

S: Nose is smoke, malt, mollases (bootstrap variety), chocolate

T: Taste is like whopper candy and smoke, malt strong, some light hop

m: Medium body - a bit thick and oily/wet, nice

O: Fantastic offering from Howe Sound. Never had a brew from them but look forward to finding more in the future.

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Pothole Filler Imperial Stout from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.