Pothole Filler Imperial Stout - Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pothole Filler Imperial StoutPothole Filler Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

61 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 61
Hads: 158
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 8.33%
Wants: 25
Gots: 29 | 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: 61 | Hads: 158
Photo of SPLITGRIN
3.81/5  rDev -6.6%
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. (355 characters)

Photo of mtomlins
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to FondueVoodoo for the bottle!

Pours deep, bark brown with a tall, bubbly, creamy, tan head with good retention and lacing. The nose is rich with heavy dark chocolate, prunes, raising, roasted malt, coffee and whiffs of alcohol. The taste is similar featuring roasted malt, dark chocolate, mild coffee notes, raisins, brown sugar with nice residual sugar. It is round and full in mouthfeel but still surprising drinkable. Overall, a delicious stout, good balance and a bit sweeter than most RIS's. (514 characters)

Photo of kissmybunniebutt
3.27/5  rDev -19.9%
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. (354 characters)

Photo of wedge
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep black color with a very creamy head that sticks well. Aroma is full of malty goodness: cocoa, molasses, smokey roast, prunes, nuts, and caramel. Pungent, in a way, but so easy to sniff and enjoy. Flavor has less of a fruity element...thick malts, char, espresso, and nuts. Thick, creamy, and smooth. This surprised the hell out of me. Very tasty, very dark, very smooth and just a delight to drink. (409 characters)

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

Poured into a balloon glass.

Pothole Filler is a black beauty, the color of dirty motor oil capped with a mocha colored head. Nice foamy lacing leaves a world map foamy picture on the glass initially.

The aroma is rich with roasted malts, black licorice, and sweet black strap molasses.

The brew tastes much like the aroma. The molasses really sweetens this beer and works well with all of the roasted malts, making it one of the easier drinking imperial stouts I've had.

Mouthfeel is pretty silky, with a lactose sugar coating the mouth, seemingly.

Overall: A high price tag at $13 for 1 liter, but it's rich and definitely well crafted. (645 characters)

Photo of StJamesGate
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
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 (396 characters)

Photo of Scrylol
3.38/5  rDev -17.2%
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. (379 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (1,362 characters)

Photo of tbeckett
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My brother picked this up for me when it was part of the LCBO Winter release. Split with a friend. From notes.

A - Black pour with a two finger beige head. Good lace rings and a finger of retention.

S - Chocolate, espresso, mild alcohol, leather. Nice.

T - Alcohol, roast, grain husks, chocolate.

M - Dry finish, full and creamy body with mild carbonation.

O/D - A big stout. And one of the better Ontario-made ones. Roasty and tasty while being ballsy and aggressive. Very 'to style' IMO. Enjoyed it. (506 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of roasted malt with coffee notes and some black chocolate is quite enjoyable. Taste is a mix between some roasted malt notes with light bitter aftertaste and some light dry coffee notes with some nice black chocolate with light lingering bitterness. Body is actually above average but not as full or creamy as I was expecting with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. This is a good rendition of the style but lacks a bit of body and creaminess that would showcase more of the black chocolate notes. (630 characters)

Photo of Kmat10
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 (456 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
4.04/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: inky black, brown head, spongy lace.

S: molasses, heavy roast, plums, dates, chocolate, tinge of coffee.

T: syrup, chocolate, roast, molasses, dark fruits, subtle booze.

M: thick, rich, full.

O: definitely a this, surprisingly drinkable RIS. Somewhat classic, and very solid. (282 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pothole Filler looks dark and thick enough to serve as exactly that; it's like someone poured tar into the glass. Normally, I wouldn't expect any head from a 9% beer in a flip-top bottle* but this is topped with a fluffy, deep-coloured foam that dresses the glass in designs reminiscent of a Banksy piece. This lacing could go on auction at Sotheby's.

The aroma is heavy on the nose with notes of burnt malt, cocoa and molasses - somewhere an Italian man drinking an espresso is experiencing the same thing. Typically the more impressive and overwhelming a beer, the more adjectives and tasting notes are used to try to describe it. In this case, it's straightforward enough that just the three listed should suffice.

The palate is a mouth-coating monument to roasted malt: coffee, dark chocolate, black cherry, smoke, pipe tobacco and a hint of clove are appreciated (in order of most to least). While the espresso and cocoa make up the vast majority of the flavour, they fall on brooding dark fruit and caramel notes. The tastebuds are kept occupied through the entire 1 liter.

Beneath the heavy cocoa and burnt malt notes is a beer that is less aggressive than assumed. This imperial stout holds a firmly bitter structure but, perhaps owing to the molasses, drinks with an ultra-velvety mouthfeel and passes over the palate with ultimate smoothness. It has a dry, poised finish (with a hint of chopped mint, i.e., hops) that helps conceal its true strength.

It be may a touch short of the best imperial stouts but Pothole Filler is every bit in the same vein and should be counted among Canada's best. While I didn't find myself doing back-flips over it, this is nonetheless absolutely what fans of the style should be on the lookout for. It won't have the biggest 'wow' factor but does provide everything else one could want.

*while it has a flip-top, the bottle is actually capped. (1,894 characters)

Photo of jaz58
4.44/5  rDev +8.8%
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. (379 characters)

Photo of IronDjinn
4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
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. (934 characters)

Photo of tonyf55
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
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. (1,130 characters)

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

1L bottle, yes that's right, 1 whole litre of 9% beer. And with a swingtop too so my pint glass can get a refill later.

A - Pours nearly black, hints of brown on the edges, thick bubbly creamy light brown head, foam reduced slowly, and plenty of lacing.

S - Coffee, toasted bread, dark chocolate, brown sugar, a bit of fennel, grass.

T - Roasted & toasted flavours upfront, some brown sugar, herbal hop bitterness and a bit of alcohol in the finish. A bit lighter than the aroma let on and the finish has a slight harshness to it at times. Still good overall.

M - Medium carbonation, medium-heavy body, creamy, oily, sticky, dry finish with some heat. Not as thick as a name like pothole filler would suggest.

O - Very good RIS. One of the best I've had so far. (766 characters)

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (826 characters)

Photo of Electros
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - BLACK with a creamy head.

S - Chocolate, burnt, caramel, and black malt.

T - Creamy, lovely malt notes, lots of malt, low hope, aftertaste disappates quickly.

M - Lovely, surprisingly light.

O - I was really impressed by this beer, the alcohol was not over powering and the malt notes on this was very balancing! (320 characters)

Photo of SebD
4.31/5  rDev +5.6%
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. (540 characters)

Photo of peensteen
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Basically jet black, 1.5 fingers of tan head, some lace as well on the glass. Smell is quite heavy on the roasted malts with a good deal of chocolate as well, some molasses, coffee, pretty up front hop charachter and just a touch of smoke. Taste is big and roasty, lots of bakers chocolate, coffee, hop bitterness rolls in around mid palate, only lightly sweet, big roast and chocolate finish and aftertaste. Light-medium carbonation, medium body though felt thin at times also. Really solid stuff here however the serving size was a little much but I still saw this through to the end, next time I have one of these there will be another person or two involved. (662 characters)

Photo of sukwonee
4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
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. (677 characters)

Photo of hopsolutely
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
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. (876 characters)

Photo of Digimaika2
4.14/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First review with the 0.25 increment system- Things are about to get crazy! ...

(4.5) A: Black with a beautiful thick and creamy mocha coloured head. Long lasting retention and very good lacing. Gorgeous stuff.

(4.25) S: Roasted malts with the focus on creamy dark chocolate, gingerbread, molasses, dark fruits (figs and dates), and a noticeable hop-like aroma leaning to the herbal side.

(4.0) T: Similar to the aroma with roasted malts and dark fruits upfront, with a transition to a fruitier and semi-herbal bitter hop taste. Hints of smoke detected. A fair amount of spice in this with some ginger and nutmeg, but the focus is towards the bitterness.

(4.0) M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Creamy with a chewy character.

(4.25) D: This is a well put together imperial stout that exhibits all those traditional imperial stout traits with probably a bit more hop bitterness than others. Bonus points for the enourmous swingtop bottle. I'm totally taking water to work in this. (1,001 characters)

Photo of Stocean1
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
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, (856 characters)

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Pothole Filler Imperial Stout from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.