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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.

63 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 63
Hads: 163
Avg: 4.06
pDev: 16.5%
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: 63 | Hads: 163
Photo of Kmat10
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
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 IronDjinn
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
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 grub
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
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 cfalovo97
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
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 SebD
4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of chickenm
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
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 JuicesFlowing
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
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 BDTyre
4.18/5  rDev +3%
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!

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Photo of hopsolutely
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
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 LampertLand
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
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

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
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 leaddog
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
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!

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
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 bamadog
3.66/5  rDev -9.9%
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 sukwonee
4.34/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

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Photo of ericj551
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
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 Electros
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
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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Photo of Digimaika2
4.14/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of beerman207
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
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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Photo of souvenirs
4/5  rDev -1.5%
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 Drinkerofales
3.98/5  rDev -2%
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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Pothole Filler Imperial Stout from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.