Churchill's Finest Hour 2010 - Pizza Port Solana Beach
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Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 22 | Display Reviews Only:
4.28/5 rDev +10.6%
Marcos surprised us with this 2010 bottle, and it then surprised everybody by not being infected! Opened alongside the 2012.
A handsome stout, boasting hearty tan head above its black body. Dark, burnt malts kick things off. Smokey, plenty of chocolate, light tobacco aroma too.
Taste follows the nose with distinctively dark, smokey cigar undertones throughout. Chocolate, dark fruits, and burnt malts join the fray, adding their flavors as the boozy warmth creeps in towards the end. A touch sweet in the middle; finishes with bitter dark chocolate. Mouthfeel is thick and dead on for the style.
Been a few months since I had the 2011 so it's hard to say how this compares, but one thing is clear: 2012 is Churchill's finest vintage so far.
08-20-2012 23:24:47 | More by brystmar
3.1/5 rDev -19.9%
Brought this to tasting on about 4 occasions and never got around to it... so I said, forget it, gonna drink it myself... Poured from a waxed and capped 22oz. bomber into a Southampton oversize snifter.
A: Big fizz as I pop the cap. Amid cries of infection, this is NOT a good sign. Beer pours a 1 finger coarse mocha head with good retention. Beer is an opaque black. Lacing is frothy and thick with moderate cling and decent legs.
S: I don't even have to put my nose in the glass to know this one's infected. Aroma wafts from the open bottle. As my nose peers over the rim of the glass, all I get is a pungent, rotting sour cherry smell and plastic. There's a good bit of milk chocolate and roasted malt in the background, hinting at what this could've been but that's long gone now. All I get is an infected mess that makes me wanna puke. I almost have to hold my breathe as I take a sip so as to avoid the odor.
T: Effect on the palate is surprisingly decent, considering the horrible nose. Definitely infected though. Opens sour cherry, ethanol, and sour roasted malt. Chocolate lingers submissively in the background. Dark fruit is present but they've all turned sour. Noticeable unripened prune tartness at the middle to end. Chocolate becomes a bit more prominent at the finish as does the sour cherries. Complemented in the finish by a bit of smokiness. Aftertaste is sour cherries and cocoa powder.
M: Medium bodied and moderately carbonated. Prickly and abrasive in the mouth but smoothes out significantly as it warms and actually becomes oily and slick. A tad tingly going down but viscous and thick. Messy finish with a filmy, lingering aftertaste.
D: Considering the infection, this beer is not all bad and its the first infected stout that I haven't drainpoured almost immediately. Tartness here is not overwhelming and although overcarbonated, its bearable and smoothe out considerably as it warms. Nose is hellacious though. Drink this one now if you have it, if you don't and can get it for cheap, its worth a try. Definitely infected but that does surprisingly well for this beer.
02-11-2011 01:27:48 | More by SpeedwayJim
3.38/5 rDev -12.7%
Split with some buddies while watching the Super Bowl. Out of my Maudite tulip.
A- Nice and black, pours with a healthy mocha colored head. Good retention and lacing
S- Bourbon, oak, chocolate, coffee, and creamy malt. Some vanilla/brown sugary notes, definitely pretty sweet smelling.
T- An oaky blend of chocolate, coffee, and bourbon. No signs of infection which is good. The oak is very prevalent. Soy saltiness, and some tobacco
M- This is probably the worst part of this beer, as it is way too fizzy and lacks body. It has a strong bite at first, and then falls off quickly. Aftertaste is almost non-existent.
EDIT: Got much better after it warmed up and breathed a little bit. The aftertaste was still pretty weak
D- A good beer, but not as good as Older Viscosity or some other Port/LA offerings IMO. While I am happy it wasn't infected, it was a somewhat mediocre barrel aged stout.
02-06-2011 23:49:52 | More by Gfunk720
4.45/5 rDev +15%
Reluctantly traded for due to the rumored infection issues. SO HAPPY I DID!
Pours a wonderful inky black with a nice dark mocha head.
Smells of bourbon, chocolate, raisins, vanilla and more bourbon.
Decadent dark chocolate, milk chocolate, soft bourbon, vanilla, coffee, some of the best flavor integration I have ever had. The flavor lingers with a bitter but welcomed mouth cleansing finish.
Medium bodied with a touch too much carbonation for me. The one detraction of this beer but not a killer.
Drinks beautifully. Such an easy beer considering the abv. One of the better barrel aged stouts I have drank. Feeling fortunate that this didn't suffer the same fate as others.
01-31-2011 02:27:16 | More by GoGriz
4.33/5 rDev +11.9%
Big, big thanks to bmanning for sharing this at a tasting. Reviewed from notes.
Pours a deep, dark brown with a nice head and some pretty good lacing. The nose brings bourbon, oak, vanilla, a bit of char, brown sugar, chocolate, and some roasted malt. The taste is bourbon mixing wonderfully with some sweet notes, vanilla, and a bit of roast. Good feel with nice balance between alcohol, barrel flavors, and the base. No sourness detected in this bottle. Not sure if we were just lucky or it was because this had been refrigerated throughout its lifespan. Overall, taste is quite good and the nose was really nice. A really great beer that I was glad to try. Thanks, Ben.
11-03-2010 01:54:15 | More by Thorpe429
4.4/5 rDev +13.7%
Wax coated bomber received in a trade with a generous BA thanks!
Appearance: Pours a dark ink like black with a super dark brown 2 finger rocky crown that shows little retention and some lace. Funny thing is that upon second pour (when bottle was much warmer) the crown has lightened in color significantly and has also become much more dense with tons more retention! This is the first time I think I've noticed temperature playing a role in crown appearance!
Smell: Overly roasted malt (espresso like), bourbon sweetness, oak, plums, prunes, dates, and cherries perhaps.
Taste: Same as nose but more balanced and interesting than I was expecting. I get chocolate malt and coffee notes up front with mellowed dark fruits and bourbon in the background. Nicely done!
Mouthfeel: On the heavy side of medium bodied with good carbonation. I'd prefer it to be a bit creamier. UPDATE: It got much better upon warming (damn I review beers to fast sometimes!) so 4.5 instead of 4.0
Drinkability: Really good considering the double digit abv, the bourbon, and the burnt malt. I'm enjoying this brew and regret that it is so limited. I have one more bomber and would be torn to trade it at this point because of how much I'm enjoying it and how limited it is.
09-27-2010 22:36:50 | More by koopa
3.38/5 rDev -12.7%
Bottle, thanks Matt. Open with a big hiss, and foam actually starts creeping out, which is weird for this style. Pour is black with a huge, spongy beige head. Nose is pretty much dark malts, some bourbon, and a really strong chocolate that borders on annoying. Slightly tart in the mouth, some dark sour cherries. Boozy and hot. Doesn't really work as an imperial stout because of the sour level, but actually not bad when looked at as a dark sour ale a-la Perseguidor 4, Black Cherry Bomb, or Sinners 09. Not quite as good as any of those though as the body is really overly thin. Not great, I don't see any reason to age these further.
09-06-2010 20:18:23 | More by JAXSON
3.9/5 rDev +0.8%
Bottle. Shared graciously by Mothman. Roasted malt along with a slight bourbon note in the aroma. Very good head retention. The taste has notes of the roast malt, dark fruits, with a nice slight bitter coffee aftertaste. Pretty smooth. Really happy we didn't get a soured bottle as some have reported. The 1 thing holding this beer back is the mouthfeel for me. It just is a little light in my opinion but other than that this is a pretty good beer.
08-19-2010 13:56:05 | More by kbutler1
United Kingdom (Wales)
4.35/5 rDev +12.4%
Thanks to thedindaniel for sending this one out.
Shared this with a few buddies at the Great Taste. None of us thought it was sour.
Poured into snifter
Pours 1/2 finger of tan head. Color is a deep black. Good head retention.
Aroma: Big whiskey, oak, vanilla, chocolate, and light roasted malted.
Taste: More oak up front then the warming whiskey comes along. Some dark fruits show with vanilla and chocolate.
Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, a tad fizzy. Medium bodied with a medium to high amount of carbonation. Ends clean with whiskey flavors.
Overall, I was very happy with this beer and glad it wasn't sour like some have sad. Pretty drinkable with a nice amount of warming whiskey flavors showing. Glad I got to try this one.
08-17-2010 21:30:17 | More by mothman
4.1/5 rDev +5.9%
Reviewed with kbutler, mothman and translucent.
Appearance: jet black with 1 1/2 finger of brown chocolate head.
Smell: I get a bunch of bourbon, vanilla and dark malts.
Taste: opens with a ton of dark malts and a bunch of bourbon. There is bunch of dark fruit. There is a subtle vanilla in the background. I got dark malt and fruit aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation with a medium body. Leaves a film on the palatte.
Drinkability: I would have this again if it wasn't a sour bottle. I recommend this to someone seeking a solid stout but with all the bottle variability it is tough.
08-14-2010 04:32:13 | More by capra12
3.13/5 rDev -19.1%
Bottle shared by Alex (Masterski) and poured into CCB snifter.
A - Pours black, tan-colored head that large and frothy (uh-oh), some lacing along the sides of the glass and a nice cap remains.
S - Freshly baked chocolate brownies, milk/dark chocolate, dark fruits. Really a wonderful-smelling beer we have here. The chocolate notes were unlike anything I've had recently, in a good way.
T - This is where I encountered a problem. This beer is infected, no doubt about it. The first clue was the huge huge head and with these tart/sour notes, I can confirm this. So, tart/sour dark fruits, slight chocolate, but really, the tartness is overpowering the beer here. I wish I could have enjoyed this one more...
M - Medium, rich, smooth, oily finish.
D - I don't want another bottle, that's for sure. I wish this wasn't infected, it had "Outstanding" written all over it until I tasted the infection. What a f'n shame. Can't recommend.
07-15-2010 20:53:18 | More by Sean9689
3.58/5 rDev -7.5%
Firstly, huge thanks to Shane for sending me this bottle as a surprise. I appreciate the generosity. Unfortunately we've both encountered a discouraging trend regarding this beer as it ages. I shared this with two other (uninformed) friends to get an unbiased opinion. Served in a snifter.
A - Pours with a couple fingers of tan foam that eventually settles to a thin cap. Nice lacing for a high-gravity barrel-aged stout. Black body with a hint of brown at the bottom of the glass.
S - Smells like a decadent chocolate cake. You can make out the Belgian yeast character of Serpent's Stout, as well as the dark roast malts of Older Viscosity. The Jack Daniels barrel quality is a little understated, but contributes a touch of barrel and vanilla. There's a slight lactic note, but it's in the periphery.
T - Uh oh. Tart sour cherries, lactic sourness, wet wood, and barrel tannins. A bitter licorice finish. This hasn't totally gone off the cliff, but it's definitely headed that way and it's probably not going to get any better. If you like sour Abyss, you'll probably love this.
M - Slightly over-carbonated for the style, probably due to infection. Otherwise it's pretty solid for a barrel-aged RIS. Medium-full body, dry tannic finish, and light residual stickiness.
D - This is tragic. Like I said, my two friends perceived the infection without any foreknowledge, so it's not just the power of suggestion here. The abundant foam and over-carbonation are pretty strong evidence too. If this beer tasted like it smelled it'd be a borderline A+ brew. Drink now, keep refrigerated - DO NOT cellar. Doubt Tomme will offer trade-ins on this one as I'm guessing the whole barrel suffers from the same problem.
07-12-2010 20:46:03 | More by MasterSki
Churchill's Finest Hour 2010 from Pizza Port Solana Beach
86 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.