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Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout - Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice StoutMegadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

109 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 109
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 14.07%
Wants: 18
Gots: 14 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BDTyre on 01-08-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 109 | Reviews: 38
Reviews by mattsander:
Photo of mattsander
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Opaque w/ chestnut edges, mocha head, decent lacing.

S: A nice complexity of roasted malts and licorice. The combo is almost minty/herbal, slighty nutty, an interesting smelling stout.

T: Well balanced roastiness that never seems acrid. Doesn't lean strongly towards sweet or dry, impressive for a 10% stout. Nothing especially exciting here, but a well made stout with strong licorice flavor.

M: Full and creamy throughout.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Although not a black licorice fan by any means this be was calling my name out today so i grabbed it on a whim.Pours mor of a deep dark brown than stout black with a thick creamy lighter beige head that settles ever so slowly into a frothy mass.It smells almost like black licorice extract...that much licorice in the nose,some molasses and a hint of vanilla is present as well.A nice full creamy feel is almost airy in the mouth.Alot of beers say they are flavored or enhanced by a certain thing and Iam left wondering where it is,this one not at all.Licorice really hits home in this beer in the aromas and flavors,a bit of coffee roast and vanilla round out the palate along with some warming alcohol.This beer is no joke,I hate licorice but like this beer,go figure.The Jagermeister of beer?Maybe.

Photo of Doomcifer
4.44/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

If you don't enjoy black licorice, AVOID AT ALL COSTS. If you like black licorice, GET THIS. All other stouts that encorporate anise, I have a hard time picking it up besides the subtle anise notes that are apparent in many other stouts by nature. This beer is full-on chocolate covered black licorice and I love it. The bottle, however, is a bit intimidating. A one liter behemoth of a swing-top bottle. Danger.

Photo of BashOnABike
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 1L bottle into snifter:

A: ~1/2" tan, foamy head, which dissipated moderately quickly. Dark cola appearence. Messy, tan lacing

S: Coffee, licorice/anise, vanilla, faint nutty. A little mild, considering the snifter pour

T: Much like scent, but much stronger. Almost salty, reminescent of Baltic Porter. Coffee, licorice, nutty with a boozy aftertaste.

M: Low carbination, fairly foamy with a boozy bite, short on tongue.

O: A very good, heavy beer, but not as unique as I hoped. Not too heavy body, and disguises alcohol well. After flattening out a bit, though, the anise really came through,

Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

1L capped, swing-top bottle. This is one bad-ass label, the name and austere Soviet iconography setting the tone with a sledgehammer.

This beer pours a dictionary-definition black, with the slightest of slight pencil-thin basal cola 'highlights', and two beefy fingers of densely foamy, rocky beige head, which leaves perfectly consistent drop-down speckled drip patterns of painted lace around the glass as it very slowly abates.

It smells of musty, dusty, Zellers-going-out-of-business black licorice, middling dry cocoa, bittersweet cupboard-bound raw molasses, soft day-old coffee notes, and a latent black fruit infused caramel malt - good, sure, but a bit over the top, and I can't believe I'm saying that. The taste is ethereal anise, with a near cousin, more quotidian packaged black licorice essence, sweetly grainy, slightly roasted caramel malt, syrupy root beer, understated sugary molasses, a touch of espresso, and duly under-appreciated earthy, musty hops. The 20-proof booze is more than capable of keeping its hedonism well under the radar.

The bubbles are present, and mostly perfunctory, to no ill end, the body an adequate medium weight, and tacitly smooth, the hops and slightly metallic alcohol choosing this particular point to make their debut. It finishes a whole lot more dry than anything up to this point, the licorice character having a hard time differentiating itself from an ouzo cameo.

A big, big, big, (did I say big? Ok, then) beer, of the Imperial Stout bent, fo sho. The licorice and anise (the difference is real, I know) is readily noticeable, front and center, really, with the other flavours eventually just a futile exercise of pissing in the wind, it seems by this point. Not the most complex of offerings for the style, but agreeable enough in its weight, a suitable Saturday Night Special, as ever was.

Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A litre of a story in licorice. Black with a large head, big lace. Black licorice and anise. Looks like a stout but overwhelmed by the licorice taste. ROasted malt in secondary.Significant carbonation. Jason's bottle from his BC friend. A fun beer, a novelty.

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - pitch black with a thumb of brown head, held at a thin cover with decent random lacing
S - big licorice root aroma backed by strong espresso and some molasses
T - the licorice is in your face along with a rich black strap molasses flavour, cold pressed coffee along with more subtle roasty flavours bring up the rear, make no mistake this is a big boy beer with big boy flavours
M - chewiness in tempered by the high ABV, has a strong bitterness of both the licorice and coffee, finishes with a warm feeling in your chest
O - this beer is huge all around, and the licorice is more pronounced than any i've sampled, definitely made for beer geeks and not for the faint of heart, and finally big props for collaborating with a cool company like Megadestroyer!

Photo of ZiggyPop
3.76/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

So this is my first real review, so sorry for any "amateur" terms or mistakes :P

Poured from a 1 liter bottle into a pint glass. My pouring hand wasn't used to pouring this amount of beer, so it definitely quivered. I should probably work out more often.

Appearance: Opaque black/brown body, with a mahogany head and some lacing, but not as much as expected.

Smell: Licorice smell is the most dominant, yet I sense another lesser smell, something along the lines of a nut of some sort. I'm assuming this could be roasted malts.

Taste: Right off the bat, a very smooth licorice flavor accompanied with a roasted flavor. Neither is over powering and are very balanced. Was pleasantly surprised by this, because I feared when buying this bottle that it'd be a liter of alcoholic licorice. Finishes with a great licorice aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: The standard stout feel. I don't know how to describe it in any further details to be honest, other than that classic stout feel we all know.

Overall: Very content about this one. My first from Howe Sound, and I was a little skeptical about their line because of the liter sized bottles at the very reasonable price of 10 dollars. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a brew off the beaten path, or just a fan of stouts in general.

Photo of souvenirs
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

1L bottle bought at Lennox Liquor Store for $9.65 + deposit.

Appearance: black, impenetrable to light, with a massive light brown head that's quite slow to dissipate.

Smell: licorice (from the anise), some booziness, not much else. Definitely appealing, and rather unusual.

Taste: loads of licorice flavour, some sweetness from the molasses. I think it seems less bitter because of the licorice flavour, which either makes the bitterness less pronounced or more expected.

Mouthfeel: thick. Probably about what you'd expect from a beer made with blackstrap molasses. Not overly carbonated.

Overall: with flavour so pronounced and ABV of 10%, this isn't something I'd want to drink often or very much of at once. I kind of wish it were available in a smaller bottle, but it would be fine if you had a friend (or two) to share a bottle with. I'm very glad I tried it, but I probably wouldn't have it again anytime soon. I might like it to be a bit more complex, but it is what it is.

Photo of Rutager
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. Pours a deep dark brown, very close to black with almost 2 fingers of thick tan head. Pretty nice lookin'.

Smell. Dark roasty malts, some Pernod, a little bit of molasses and dark chocolate. Pretty nice smellin'.

Taste. Nice big chocolaty roasty malts, a little anise, a bit of dark fruitiness. Fairly complex, much more so than I was expecting. Pretty nice tastin'.

Mouthfeel. Pretty full body with medium-low carbonation. Just a little warmth. Pretty nice feelin'.

Overall. Loved this one. Big and rich with a complimenting amount of licorice. Pretty nice beer.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.41/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a relatively large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma consists of liquorice with sweet malt backbone. Taste is dominated by liquorice with some sweet malt and black chocolate notes. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Liquorice is an interesting ingredient but over-dominant in this case. Not sure why they insist in bottling this in 1 litre bottle.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

1L swing top bottle...Shazam! Split with my bro in law.

Pours black, all black, with a dark tan head and lots of lace.

The aroma is sure as sh*t licorice.its not too daunting, and there's plenty of roast and chocolate coming through to even the score.

Taste also starts off with a licorice kick, then some chocolate, even a soft coffee note and some brown sugar.

Full bodied, for the most part, but a smidgen lacking in overall stoutness.

Not a big fan of licorice, but it works nicely here and isn't too godawfully overwhelming.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.48/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Maudite snifter. Pours an opaque pitch black with a nice two finger brown head with good retention and lots of lacing. Aroma is dominated by fresh black licorice with light roasted malt and a hint of cola. Flavor is fantastic, roasted malt, lots of licorice, anise seed, caraway seed, charred coffee. Finishes with light hop bitterness and lingering licorice. Medium bodied with light creaminess. High ABV well covered, making this dangerous in such a large bottle. Must resist finishing the bottle tonight... A great stout and the best use and integration of licorice in a beer that I have ever had. Outstanding.

Photo of IronDjinn
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From a 1 L brown bottle. Pours out a dense opaque black hue, impermeable to light. Tall dense spongy beige head that retains well and eventually settles to a thick cap.

Intense molasses and sweet black licorice on the nose, along with sweet dark malt and notes of chocolate and coffee.

More intense sweetness in the flavour, almost cloying. Yeah, sweet black licorice dominates (seems more like anise to me though, perhaps some sarsaparilla root as well), with dark malt, mild chocolate, and molasses, with some dry cocoa and coffee rounding out the finish. Astringent dark malt and alcohol appear in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium-full, velvety and slick texture, also dry and astringent on finish, with moderate carbonation.

A real heavy hitter, and it delivers with everything mentioned on the label (hell, in the name alone!). 1 L is a bit much for anyone to tackle on their own, a friend or two to help out is well advised, or the remainder would make one hell of an expensive but kick ass marinade for ribs. Worth seeking out, however only if you enjoy licorice, as that most certainly is the powerhouse in this stout, hands down. That aside, certainly worth seeking out.

Photo of papat444
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to chickenm for this one.

Poured from a 1L bottle and shared with my wife.

Appearance: Really dark brown body, huge thick head that really takes its time, bubbly a bit. Each sip leaves some lacing in its wake.

Smell: Some licorice, raw cocoa powder mixed with actual chocolate.

Taste: Black licorice present but doesn't overpower. Leaves equal amounts of cocoa, milk chocolate and roasted coffee get to play.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, nice smoothness mixed with a bitter feel. Chewy a bit.

Overall: Found the licorice to be a nice compliment without obstructing the other flavors. Wish it came in a smaller format though!

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours jet black with 1 finger of light tan head which dissipates into a thin cap. No light passes through even well held directly to the light.

S: Big blooms of black dutch liquorice with deeply toasted malt. Notes of cocoa powder, roasted coffee and the scent of sassafras, what you would find in root beer.

T: Taste follows the smell, black liquorice followed by cocoa and roasted coffee. Finish is very smooth with a slight bitterness left on the tongue, reminiscent of grapefruit rind.

M: Full bodied and oily smooth.

O: This is a well balanced stout, liquorice is very evident but not overpowering allowing the other flavours of bittersweet chocolate, roasted malts and coffee to come through. Alcohol is barely noticeable. A very enjoyable sipping beer. Will be buying a second to store and try again next winter.

Photo of LampertLand
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Howe Sound "Megadestroyer" Imperial Stout @ 10%
A-served cold into a chalice poured jet black with light tan head
S-black licorice aroma star anise , molasses , hint's of coffee
T-bold taste of anise and molasses over roasted coffee , smooth nothing bitter here
MF-full bodied at 10% , but the alcohol blended with dark malts leaves the palate slighty dry , have another sip
Ov-a true winter beer , enjoy

Cheers LampertLand

Photo of JasonLovesBeer
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Jet black, somewhat inky, pretty thick. Even at the edges there's not a lot of light getting through - what does shows a dark reddish brown. Head was modest, medium brown.

S: Huge licorice / star anise - it's really nice but a little one dimensional too. Some hops and alcohol prickling as well.

T: The licorice is more balanced on the palate, combined with brown sugar - this is still pretty sweet despite the 75 IBU. Some sweet cherry and plum perhaps too.

M: Syrupy thick, not as thick as say a Dark Lord or anything but beyond the average RIS.

O: I would love to try a barrel aged version of this, I hope Howe Sound does it sometime. It seems to contain the sweetness (and the hops) to go the distance. As it is, it's delicious anyway - especially if you like licorice!

Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Pours a three finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Black color, no highlights. Good carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Licorice nose and flavor is licorice, some malt, smooth. Good - not a wussy beer. The high ABV is hidden. $10.49 for a 1L flip-top bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

Photo of Svingjo
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black. The nose had definite licorice and anise, with a molasses sweetness on the edge. Licorice comes forward on the taste followed by the molasses and malt. There is a definite hoppy bitterness but not as much as the advertised 78 IBU may suggest. I enjoyed this beverage but can see someone who doesn't like licorice may not appreciate this much.

Photo of Derek
4.72/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a tan head, good retention & lace.

S: LICORICE! Black strap molasses, more licorice, hints of underlying dark caramel, roasted nut & coffee. When I smelt it, I thought it'd be a little one dimensional (licorice).

T: Yes the licorice comes through, but there's a plethora of other flavours: black strap molasses, burnt caramel, roasted nut, espresso, biscuity malt, rye bread, very nice spicing (the hops aren't identifiable, but I'd guess there's some Willamette). There's a slight vinous quality (figs, dark caramelized raisins, dates), but the alcohol is really hidden under all the flavour. The bitterness is not at all harsh, and the crisp finish is surprising for a brew of this strength (and body). Exceptionally well-crafted.

M: Full body is smooth with a light roasted acidty, slight drying finish.

D: A surprisingly good drinker.

Photo of leaddog
4.48/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a dark chocolate black with two fingers of dark and dense mocha head.

Smell - Molasses, roasted malts, anise seed, licorice, cocoa.

Taste - Licorice and anise seed star in the flavours, followed by the roasted malts, molasses and cocoa in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Slight creaminess.

Overall - A unique flavoured stout by adding licorice and anise seed. Since those two ingredients are notoriously strong, I was concerned about their flavours being overpowering - not the case in this brew, which balanced all the flavours well. If you want to try a stout that's a little off the beaten path, give this one a taste.

Photo of brureview
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a jet brown-black color with less than a 1/2 finger head in a snifter.

The aroma wafts outward before I place my nose near the glass: very strong black licorice and anise.

The alcohol is strong on the back of my tongue. I possibly get a bit of hop bitterness from the mouth feel.

Taste: Deep, rich, licorice and anise. I drank this beer slowly, and put it back in the refrigerator for 5 minutes a few times. After a while I could taste the roasted malt character of this beer.

I switched to a Imperial pint glass for comparison: the snifter brings out the aroma, licorice -anise taste, and roasted malt more intensely. In a imperial pint glass, which is shown on the brewer's page, the beer is lighter bodied , with more of a malty mouth feel,
and pours a bigger head.

Drink this beer slowly in a snifter. It has a Grolsch bottle cap, so putting it back in the fridge will preserve the aromatics.

The beer well goes with a meal: I ate a spicy chicken dish which greatly enhanced its flavor.


This is my first Howe Sound Inn& Brewing company beer. They finally are being distributed in my area. I am looking forward to tasting more of their beers.

Photo of wordemupg
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1L swinging pop top poured into tulip 16/3/12

A near black with just some red highlights at the edges, large light brown head has great retention slowly falling to a thick film leaving lots of unorganized lace all over

S licorice pops out pretty strong but not the final product but the root itself, reminds me of the licorice root I'd buy in the candy store in Banff as a kid, there's a little molasses and coco and a fair bit of fennel, cola and root beer

T mimics the smell pretty well, a little more earthy root notes, do they use licorice root in root beer? I'm getting more root beer notes then I would expect, reminds me a little of absinth with the anise but without the booze, that reminds me there's no booze detected with this one

M not overly heavy for a beer this dark but decent carbonation helps its cause, still no booze and a lingering aftertaste is of nutty char

O very smooth stuff all around, looks great smells and tastes great, not much to complain about... unless of course you don't like licorice if that's the case avoid like the plague

Imperial licorice stout is quite accurate in this case, a great heavy hitter that could convince you its a lightweight if you ignored the warning signs, mellow stuff well worth looking for, cheers chickenm for sending me this bad boy

Photo of korguy123
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thick, opaque, black pour. Two finger tan head. Lacing is decent.

Black coffee, dark chocolate and a huge amount of licorice. It's really potent.

Dark chocolate, coffee and copious amounts of black licorice. It's fairly one dimensional in the sense that the licorice dominates everything else.

Full bodied, low carbonation and sticky on the lips.

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Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.