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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 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 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 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 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 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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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 mtomlins
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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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 wedge
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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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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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 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 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 tbeckett
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.05/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of Kmat10
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
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

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of biegaman
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of jaz58
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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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 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 decimator
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of Electros
4.05/5  rDev 0%
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!

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