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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 andrenaline
andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A brew I was able to procure via private order through the LCBO, coordinated by Keep6Imports. Pretty stoked to get my hands on some of this.

A - Pours pitch black, two solid fingers of dark mocha head with solid retention and some nice chunky lacing.

S - Milk chocolate, hints of tobacco smoke, molasses, black licorice and leather on the finish.

T - Chocolate dominates with a rich mocha flavour, with the espresso and coffee serving to complement the chocolate. ABV is very well hidden and some leafy green hop notes come through on the finish.

M - Lighter bodied ale, but can still come across chewy on the finish. Goes down smooth and finishes surprisingly wet.

O - This stuff is super tasty, boasting loads of flavour and the chocolate notes certainly shine. I bought a case to split, but now I'm wishing I would've kept it all to myself!

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2012 01:14:14 | More by andrenaline
Photo of joemcgrath27
joemcgrath27

Alberta (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
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

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2012 03:26:06 | More by joemcgrath27
Photo of cwguy5
cwguy5

North Carolina

3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2012 03:15:26 | More by cwguy5
Photo of TheStove
TheStove

Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -20.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2012 21:20:56 | More by TheStove
Photo of Drinkerofales
Drinkerofales

California

3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

DOA

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2012 18:19:38 | More by Drinkerofales
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 biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 liter swing-top bottle, par for the course for this brewery (and a good thing, usually).

This beer pours a solid black, with broad southern cola highlights, and three fingers of foamy, creamy weak chocolate milk head, which leaves an attractive random webbed pattern of lace around the glass in its leisurely wake.

It smells of bitter chocolate milk powder, mildly roasted caramel malt, and zingy earthy, leafy hops. The taste is big bittersweet chocolate, mildly roasted coffee, creamed caramel, earthy semi-sweet molasses, and prominent earthy, weedy hops, their substantial potential bitterness somehow plowed under. In the morass that is the malt/hop showoff here, the big 9 points of booze get a pass as far as their oral effect is concerned.

The bubbles are nicely restrained, the body a solid medium weight, and just a bit prickly from hop and/or booze (who knows at this point) but overall things wind up pretty damned smooth. It finishes a mite bit drier than expected, the hops and bitter side of the chocolate aiding and abetting, but not without a still hefty nod to their existential better half.

One of the hoppier examples of an RIS I have thus far encountered, which is no bad thing, as the chocolatey malt counterpoint is more than equal to the task. Big, brash, and bold, yet somehow easy to drink. Approach with due care and attention, as you would the titular road conditions.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2012 05:45:56 | More by biboergosum
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 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 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 Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.88/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2011 14:05:51 | More by Sammy
Photo of DaftCaskBC
DaftCaskBC

British Columbia (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-21-2011 15:26:17 | More by DaftCaskBC
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 yeahnatenelson
yeahnatenelson

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2011 02:12:18 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

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

Happy birthday Alex! 32 oz. Flip top poured into a plastic cup. Black body, dark brown as its poured, creamy mocha foam sticks around for the duration of the glass, lacing some around the edges.

Aromas of plum, dates, raisin, smoke, dry bakers chocolate.

Fudgy blend of cocoa and unsweetened chocolate, espresso, dark fruit, prune, toasted almond, mild char, mellow sweetness from the molasses.

Creamy and viscous body, mellow bitterness in the aftertaste. Not especially sweet, balanced elements of roast, dark fruit, cocoa. Reminds me a little of Expedition stout. Pretty drinkable, best shared considering the serving size. The 9% abv is completely hidden, masked by the creamy chocolate and dark fruit flavors. Not bad and certainly worth trying, but for my money Expedition is still my go-to for a big stout.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 05:00:01 | More by emerge077
Photo of bamadog
bamadog

Kentucky

3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2011 03:23:42 | More by bamadog
Photo of beerman207
beerman207

Kentucky

4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2011 00:40:37 | More by beerman207
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 chickenm
chickenm

British Columbia (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
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!

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2011 19:58:03 | More by chickenm
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 beertunes
beertunes

Washington

2.78/5  rDev -31.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2011 23:00:04 | More by beertunes
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 Hornet2003
Hornet2003

British Columbia (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1L swing top bottle. Purchased at the Central City liquor store.

Appearance: Jet-black. Creamy tan head that lingers.

Smell: Dry chocolate and coffee aromas.

Taste: A slight smoky coffee flavour backed up by a big chocolate backbone. very rich flavours. Not as much dark fruit action as other RIS like Brooklyn.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and sweet. Not overly sweet, just nicely complementary of the dry coffee flavour.

Drinkability: For a RIS, it's easily drinkable. Little to no alcohol burn.

Overall: Nicely blended malt, coffee and chocolate flavours make this a smooth drinker that is dangerous in it's large 1L serving size. Try to share it with a friend or two.

Note: Alcohol is actually 9% ABV

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2010 03:52:43 | More by Hornet2003
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 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
Pothole Filler Imperial Stout from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 120 ratings.