Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout - Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

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Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice StoutMegadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout

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BA SCORE
87
very good

113 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 113
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 13.81%
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: 113 | Reviews: 40
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 UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle I brought to share at mrbubbler's tasting.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, and black licorice aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder, char, and black licorice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable, but the black licorice characteristics come though much better in the smell.

Serving type: bottle.

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a black body with two finger head and minimal lace with an aroma that is sweet and boozy although I must say it is mostly anise/licorice but I do get some touches of molasses and a bit of roasted/charred malts as well. Beer is thick, chewey, bready, has good balance for a while between the dry, roasted malts (bordering on burnt) and licorice and touches of dark chocolate with a slightly boozy finish. This is a good beer but, aside from the 1 liter bottle being too much, the licorice starts to overpower everything as I keep drinking and it is not something that I could keep drinking as time went on.

Photo of maximum12
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Rutager for sending this along in a springtime trade, the last bottle standing from that deal, as I begin my bi-annual back-shelf fridge sweep. Big, wide-hipped bottle containing 33.8 ounces of black liquid, with '12 in black marker on the label. Capped, with optional swing-top. I like it.

The pour is black with a surprisingly peppy head curling from the top of the brew. Nose is drowning in several klafters of bad-guy licorice with a side of anise: yizza. Like a molten field of black licorice.

Megadestroyer is singular, as I've never tasted anything in its weight class. Licorice follows the nose down the throat, but it's cut with plenty of hot-tar roast. Anise is a bit stronger than I'd like, & accentuates the oral licorice assault. Slightly sensed leftovers include cocoa, vanilla, with a nice drying bitterness mid-palate. But the end is all about the Red Vines. Very thick. And strangely drinkable, as my sips often turn into glugs, complete with sound effects.

An interesting beer that's hard to judge using conventional methods. Not a beer I need to drink everyday, but a very good one, & a worthy experiment.

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 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 canucklehead
4.82/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a year for RIS in BC what with Singularity from Driftwood and now this. Essentially the Pothole Filler RIS combined with licorice this is a totally unique beer that has tons of depth and an incredible smoothness from the licorice. You have to love licorice to like this beer but it tastes like the best black licorice combined with the already complex chocolate and roasted malts from the stout. One glass is just right as the big flavours and high ABV make the big bottle either a multi night drink or one to share

Photo of Jeffo
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one from Rutager a while back. Cheers! We drank a relatively fresh 2012 vintage in the summer of 2013 and I found it much too licorice forward. I have higher hopes for this 2011 in January 2014.

From a 1L capped swing-top bottle into a snifter
Vintage: 2011
IBU: 75
23 Plato

APPEARANCE: A clear brown pour yields a two finger, thicker looking, fluffy, tan head with great retention. Clear black body with slightly higher levels of carbonation evident. Head fades to a full foam cap. A slight ring with a few dots of wisp remain but leave no real lacing down the glass. Decent looking, but a little too light in color, much like their Pothole Filler.

SMELL: Light roasted notes, dark chocolate, light molasses and some anise on the nose. Definite licorice, but not the bomb that the 2012 was a while back. This one is actually really well balanced at this point.

TASTE: Light licorice with some roasted grain and sweet molasses up front, then some dark chocolate bitterness and more roasted grain at the swallow. Medium but lingering aftertaste is roasted with bitter chocolate, sweet caramel and molasses, and some definite minty anise flavor. Like this nose, this vintage is quite well balanced at this point and actually quite enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy on the palate, enough weight, goes down smooth and finishes a touch mouth coating. Good feel. Just like Pothole Filler actually.

OVERALL: I liked this way, way more than I thought I would. The fresher 2012 vintage was pretty much a drain pour for me, but I easily finished this whole 1L over the course of an evening. The anise has subsided considerably (or perhaps it was more in tune to begin with), and what we have now is a very nice imperial stout with some hints of licorice in there for good measure. Nowhere near the undrinkable anise bomb I was expecting. If you've got a 2011 and are waiting for a good time, this is the time. Thanks again Rutager!

Photo of peensteen
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Jason

Jet black with some dark brown spots, thick tan head, and nice lacing along the glass. Smell is full of liquorice and anise but not so much that it dominates, still a good amount of roast and chocolate here as well as coffee, black liquorice towards the end again that leaves a bit of a fruity scent. Taste is roasty with tons of liquorice but again never seems to dominate due to the fact that there are giant roast and dark chocolate flavours here and to a lesser extent coffee, finishes bitter sweet with a liquorice aftertaste. Light carbonation, sticky medium body, almost felt like cough syrup consistency at times as well. I liked this much more than I had expected since I am not the biggest fan of black liquorice or anise flavours, rather enjoyable and something I would probably pick up my own bottle of, the second best liquorice beer I have had behind Labyrinth.

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 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 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 BDTyre
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An awesome combination. Roasted malts, chocolate and coffee and nice anise and sweet licorice explode in the bouquet and taste of this brew.

Predominantly licorice root in the nose with a bit of milk chocolate and some green anise. Chocolate and licorice root mingle in the taste with hints of molasses, anise and even grape juice in the taste. Almost a root-beery taste. Very enjoyable. Low, but ever-preseny boozy warmth

Smooth as it warms, but too carbonated when cold. As tasty as this is, I think at 10% in a 1L bottle this is something to share. Indescribable taste - if you like anise and licorice root and beer this is a must. Get it before it is gone.

Photo of kjyost
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 L swing top bottle shared at a recent bottle share. Poured ~6C into a 5 oz sampling glass. From notes.

Pours as thick and opaque as oil with a tan head that drops and laces lightly. Tons of liquorice on the nose though not much else as it blocks everything else out. The body is much the same. Roasted notes in the finish with perhaps a hint of mint? A really odd finish and flavour to this beer. Definitely fennel seed flavours here causing a vegetal finish. I know it is advertised as such, but why so much liquorice?

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

On tap at the Alibi Room in Vancouver.

A: 1/2" mocha head that left a nice lacing over black liquid.

S: Heavy scent of black licorice and some yeast.

T: Huge amount of black licorice and some yeast up front which transitions to toasted malt, coffee and some alcohol.

M: Medium viscosity and a medium level of fine carbonation.

O: An easy drinking Imperial Stout whose drinkability is dependent upon how much the taster likes black licorice.

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 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

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Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 113 ratings.