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Fegley's Insidious Imperial Stout - Allentown Brew Works

Not Rated.
Fegley's Insidious Imperial StoutFegley's Insidious Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

166 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 166
Reviews: 46
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 10
Gots: 23 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Allentown Brew Works visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beerthulhu on 06-13-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 166 | Reviews: 46
Reviews by deg:
Photo of deg
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured pitch black with a tan head. I could smell cherries, but only faintly, and not much else. I could taste chocolate, some vanilla, with a roasty finish. No cloying aftertaste and no noticeable alcohol burn. A pretty easy drinking imperial stout.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #47 (Dec 2010):

Excitement fills the mind when the cork pops and the head rises upon this black liquid. Burnt raisins, molasses, charcoal, chicory, woody hops and alcoholic esters awaken the nose. Thick medium body with a semi-viscous smoothness. Burnt roastiness, faintly acrid ... nothing but a twang. Slight yeast tone sits behind a dark dried fruit flavor of currants and raisins. Carob powder meets fresh coffee grounds. Leafy hops are layered deep within the roasted character. Semidry palate with a scrubbing of charcoal for good measure. A slow sipper here, tasty even if the roasted flavor reaches a little too far with that burnt twang.

Photo of BigE90
3.41/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: poured a nice black color with only minimal light getting through, medium viscosity and one finger head that disappeared quickly

s: not a lot going on, some bourbon and chocolate coming through but I really have to swirl it to get anything to come up

t: just a little bourbon flavor with some chocolate and molasses like notes as well, everything well balanced, nothing overpowering but nothing bold either, everything just mellow

m: medium, slight creamy feeling with a very small hint of the alcohol at the finish, for 9% it is hidden well

o: very drinkable for an American Imperial Stout, nothing about it though that makes me want to seek out another, received as an extra in trade and enjoyed it very much but too many others in that style that I enjoy better, I would drink another one though if landed in front of me!

Photo of Metalmonk
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Craaazy...after the usual six twists (try it!) the cork in this bottle pushed the wire cage off before I could do it myself. And it produced the loudest pop I've ever heard this side of a gunshot. Holy mackerel. This stuff is just dying to get out of the bottle.

Insidious is an utterly gorgeous beer, being abyss-like in its blackness. The toasted tan head is insanely creamy and the bubbles are so tight and small, this very firm head looks like something you'd see in a Belgian stout. Lace sticks to the side of the glass like iron filings on a magnet. The head never totally dies.

Aroma has two major characteristics: dusty cocoa powder and alcohol. Despite the alcohol presence, it's quite subdued for a 9% stout, although what's here is completely enjoyable. Just not a ton of depth or energy to this aroma.

Flavor is cocoa, mineral, coffee, alcohol, wood, and cream (in that order)...plus light dark fruit way in the background. The cocoa stays on the palate longest into the finish, and takes on a more burnt character then too. Alcohol isn't overbearing.

Feel is a nice balance of fizzy, airy, soft and slick. A bit dryer than expected. With the head, the big cocoa, the earth/mineral and the fizzy aspects, I'm thinking "Belgian Stout."

Yeah, they could easily sell this as a Belgian-style stout. Since we know this brewery loves the Belgian stuff (ie. Steelgarden, plus many various Belgian-styled offerings of their own), it's a wonder they're not selling it as such. Whatever the case, this is quite good, although not as balanced, complex, gooey or decadent as I'd hoped for.

Photo of socon67
3.64/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber with beige foam that settles. No lacing of note.

S: Strong smell of pumpkin spice and light malt.

T: Like many pumpkin beers this was a bit too spiced. The subtle pumpkin notes were lost in the cinnamon. There is a bit of caramel malt in the finish.

M: Too spiced to enjoy more than one. Finishes with a warming burn, and a slight acidic bite.

O: A decent attempt, but I think the bolder profile detracted somewhat. Would like more of the pumpkin influences in this beer.

Photo of ajaxivan
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cask and cage bomber poured into my Victory Tulip

A: Deep black with huge tan head due to the fact i poured vigoursly expecting low carbonation, incorrect

S: Mostly chocolate then some coffee on the back.

T: Roasted malts along with coffee and chocolate. I find no noticeable heat from the alcohol.

M: My first sips were pretty creamy but later sips, not so much. Medium with good amount of carbonation

D: I would say high drinkability on this one. I dont see myself having a problem polishing off this bomber by myself tonight.The alcohol is masked very well and i think this is a solid beer.

Photo of thagr81us
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to the individual who shared this one with me (forgot who it was)! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a massively dark brown (almost black) with a one finger mocha colored head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, subtle coffee, and subtle caramel. The flavor was of roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, bitter hops, and subtle citrus. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. As stated in previous reviews this one was a little hoppier than I was hoping for. Despite this fact the other flavors carried over quite well. This one was quite complex as well... Worth trying if it is around, but I wouldn't seek it out personally.

Photo of kbuzz
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle (I think) into a snifter. Couldn't find a date on the bottle.

A: Poured a dark opaque black with a monster 3 finger tan/mocha head that sticks around a bit. Leaves really solid lacing as it descends back into the liquid.

S: Bittersweet chocolate is noticeable right away...there's some burnt caramel/brown sugar in there...some booziness. A good spicy floral hop presence. Dark fruits - plums and raisins. A licorice scent is detectible as well.

T: Tastes very much follow the nose on this. Dark fruits up front along with a confectionary sweetness. Bittersweet chocolate that teams up with a spicy hop bitterness to balance it out. At the end there is plenty of roastiness/charred coffee, some brown sugar along with a lingering licorice/anise taste. Alcohol isn't all that noticeable considering the 9% tag. Very impressive, complex tasting beer.

M: A medium to full bodied beer...if pressed, would have to call it medium. Very frothy, coats the mouth quite well. I have to say that I think it might be a tad overcarbed. I noticed that the cork was a little hard to remove (actually had to use a corkscrew cause it broke off)...I wonder if they had used a more gas permeable cork that maybe the carbonation wouldn't have been as high. So far this is my only complaint and it's a minor one.

O: Great example of an Impy Stout. Phenomenal aroma and taste...plenty of roasted coffee, sweet chocolate and a good amount of hop bitterness to balance it all out. I'd like to try an aged version of this to see if the carbonation mellows a bit. But definitely loving every sip of this one.

Photo of CooperEllis
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From therealnomayo - another of a great box he sent a while back. Thanks as always.

1pt 9.4 C&C that was really stuck in there (I've also had some hand issues so maybe I'm just weak) that gave a loud pop. Faint aroma right out of the bottle, bourbon and roast malt. The pour is heavy on the head, into a Duval glass as I'm tasting 8oz at a time. 2" full head, still hadn't settled after 1:30 still 1/2" and leaving faint frothy lacing.

Full aroma, deep roast malt, light but quality bourbon notes, a little bakers chocolate.

The taste is a little dissapointing, but more notable is that this is quite watery. Give the deep color, the mohogany head and the general aroma of roast was expecting a thicker glass. It is not unpleasant but very much caught me off guard. The taste is a bit onesided to the bourbon, but after those up front notes go the underlying 'ale' is enjoyable if light.

With the first sip I thought, meh, it's a 3. But with each successive sip it has grown on me. The initial shock of the mouthfeel really took me off guard. It's a solid brew and one that I wouldn't mind a few more bottles of.

(135th)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

- this is considered an english style imperial stout by the brewer.

A: From the bottle a dark reddish-brown pour yielded a deep midnight black in the glass. A mocha colored head, about a finger high in height, only stood briefly before it fizzled away to a patchy covering.

S: Rich dark chocolate malts overlay a soft, but sweetly roasted character with only faint glimpses of the 9.0%abv to be had on the nose. Dried milk cocoa powder offers some ending and intriguing hints as well.

T: A deep smooth coffee roastedness first greets the taste buds. Dark fruit with a bitterness of dark chocolate malts also come into play. Its not doubt the malting is the highlight here, with hardly an aspect of hops to be noticed, with creamy dried milk chocolate that could be interpreted almost like a dry sweet stout. A soft coffee presence of wet grounds is picked up on the finish which was as equally smooth and silky as it started.

M: Full bodied with an oily smooth and silky texture effortlessly lets this slide around the tongue with little friction or mention from the carbonation. A smooth coffee ground roastedness sits well on the tongue after the swallow with only considerable mention of the 9.0% abv.

D: Very drinkable, definnitly its strong point here, a 9.0% that drinks with all the smoothness and ease of a 6% sliding down with a rich and dark, but sweetly toned flavor.

Photo of gregshead
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Once again, Biglobo blows me away with another winner. Thank you again. Tasted on 5/23/11. Reviewed from notes:

Cork pops with lots of pressure behind it.

A: Pours black with a finger and a half of khaki colored head. Lots of head for a bourbon barrel stout

S: Strong whisky/bourbon on the nose. Yeehaw. Also hints of chocolate

T: Strong bourbon and oak flavors shine through. Lots of bourbon, did I mention bourbon flavors stand out? Almost a spicy flavor in there as well.

M: This is where the beer really throws me for a loop. Strong champagne like bubbles in the carbonation. Beer has a really light feel on the tongue. Some heat on the nose as well.

O: This bourbon barrel stout has some really unique qualities I appreciated. It puts itself ahead of the curve by being different than the rest of the -bal aged stouts I've had. Would definitely have again, in a heartbeat.

Photo of metter98
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high tan head that died down but consistently left a thin but dense head covering the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of cocoa powder in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of cocoa along with hints of roasted malts.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied and a bit thin on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. A bit of dryness is noticeable.
O: This beer is very light-bodied compared to other beers in the style (it’s more reminiscent of a dry stout) and lacks much complexity in the taste. Nonetheless, the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

Photo of ShanePB
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft as part of a sampler at Allentown Brew Works this past weekend. Poured into a 5.5 oz glass.

A: Black body with hues of dark brown and maroon around the edges in the light, creamy tan head. Very very nice looking beer.

S: Roasted elements dominate with coffee beans, toffee candy and some bitter chocolate morsels. Nothing too sweet or dry and the blending of the flavors is quite good.

T: Chocolate notes, sweet caramelized toffee and some roasted grains and malts. A bit of alcohol heat but nothing to detract from the flavors that are here. The other reviewers seem to be getting too much alcohol in the bottle, I'd recommend letting it sit (like I'll be doing with mine) because the tap was extremely well balanced.

M: Smooth body, medium to full, with saturating carbonation but thankfully it's not overkill and keeps this body feeling thicker.

I was satisfied after the 5.5 ounce glass, and when I crack my bottle, I'll definitely be splitting it. Nothing bad with it's drink-ability just not my favorite to sit with it for hours.

Photo of BuxMontBeerLover
3.41/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased for my buddy and mine's monthly beer tasting night. Cheers, Pat!

Purchased at Wegmans in Warrington, PA
Purchase Price: $6.99/bomber

Enjoyed in a DFH Signature Glass.

A - Pours a pitch black, totally opaque color. Massive two to three finger, foamy, light-tan colored head on the initial pouring. The head lasts a good amount of time. Nice amount of lacing on the side of the glass.

S - The faint smell of chocolate is the initial aroma. After the beer warms up a bit, the burnt malts seem to be there also.

T -Initially a rather tangy, slightly bitter mocha taste. A mixture of chocolate and burnt malts also are present as the beer warms up. The ABV of 9% is decently disguised but is noticeable. Just seems like something is missing. More of a sweetness would have helped out this beer.

M - Not as thick and creamy as some other stouts I've had. Leans more to the thinner side. A bitter aftertaste is noticeable after each sip.

D - An OK tasting stout but not an outstanding one. Thankfully I had someone to share the bottle with as there's a small possibility that I could have finished the entire bottle myself.

Overall: A bit of an underwhelming stout. There are better stouts available so I have to say that the liklihood that I'll purchase again is small.

Cheers!

Photo of TheFightfan1
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I must have forgot to review this one from my trip last week. Anyway poured a darker brown not opague but almost. Decent lighter brown heading, about an inch thick and kind of fizzed out after a few sips. Very little lacing in the beginning.

Nice roasted aromas and whoa a heavy hop blast here. Slight mocha mix with a nice bang of alcohol.

Taste has a nice mocha mix with a decent roasty and toasty malt backbone. Semi wood flavors with a touch of dark fruit. A bit more of a hop twang taste than I would expect from my stouts.

Medium - Full bodied and decent carbonation. Ok balance maybe not as thick as I like my stouts but still not bad.

A good stout, not the best I've had but not the worst. A nice hoppy twist to a stout.

Photo of irs
3.08/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

from a bomber from the local Joe Canals...
nice pour, lots of head....lots and lots. unfortunately, too much carbonation is my ultimate conclusion. nose is thin, dark chocolate, and dark fruits, currants, raisins, nice,but thin.
taste is nice, but thin. Thats the problem, the mouthfeel is just not up to what i want from an Impy. ok, its just a 9%, so thats not an overreach, but for my taste, I'm still drinking an impy for a chewy mouthfeel. a lot of carbonation and a thin mouthfeel is a negative for me. I will retry because I want to like this beer. Especially coming from Fegleys.

Photo of stooge
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Excited to find this beer on a recent trip to the Philly area close to where I grew up. Nice roasted coffee and mocha aromas with a dark brown but opaque appearance. Tan head that dissipated rather quickly and produced nice lacing. More carbonation than expected from this style. Nice blend of roasted malt flavor combined with hints of dark chocolate, caramel, and raisins. The flavor and complexity of the bourbon barrel aging came through nicely in the aftertaste. Not as thick as what I would expect from an Imperial Stout.

Not quite what I was expecting, but overall a nice find.

Photo of JMad
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from a wine glass...

The beer is black with a light brown colored head that left some lacing. It smells of milk chocolate with some undertones of molasses, a hint of rum and anise. The taste is mostly dark chocolate with some roasted malt. There is a smooth creaminess and it finishes nutty and slightly bitter. The beer is thick, but not too thick, it has low and soft carbonation and a dry finish. I thought this was a very good imperial stout, I really liked the smoothness of this beer.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.01/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with some hints of dark brown when held up to the light. The beer has a finger tall fluffy yet dense tan head that slowly reduces by about 50% leaving a thin (about 1/8 finger) even layer over the entire surface of the beer. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of dark roasted malts with lighter notes of cocoa and chocolate. Additionally there is a very light note of dark fruit (figs).

T: Moderate to strong flavors of dark roasted malts with lighter notes of cocoa and dark fruit sweetness (fig and black cherry). Light bitterness that lingers for quite a while.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with heavy amounts of carbonation. Slightly dry.

O: Not the easiest beer to drink, doesn't really seem to be similar to other beers in the style - something in the mouthfeel of this beer just does not work for me. I would not get this one again as there are much better examples of beers in this style readily available.

Photo of 57md
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is deep chocolate brown with a finger of tan head that had little retention but left some nice lacing anyway. There is a mild roasted note in the nose and the bite of the roasted malt is certainly present in the flavor. There is some alcohol sourness on the finish that does not quite go with the upfront flavor.

I paired this with some beer and cheese soup for a perfect light lunch.

Photo of jmdrpi
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2011 vintage 750ml corked & caged bottle

appears black, with nice tan colored head. good head retention. nice mild roasty aroma, taste follows in the same vein, but is a bit acidic, a little ashy, a bit of charcoal. bitter finish. thicker body, lower carbonation.

Photo of sitarist
3.51/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed blid via the blind bif#4...thanks to sholland119.

Pours opaque and void of color. Nice thick, dense, khaki head. The head falls to a top coating that leaves no lacing behind.

I smell bosco, new shoes, roots, rich organic soil, and hints of smoke. Some odd aromas, but they work well together. Maybe just a little too much of the new shoe smell coming through.

The first thing I taste is bosco/coco, but just as I'm digging it the weirdness comes waltzing in. It has a burnt rubber taste, like that from tires burning on a drag strip. This weirdness doesn't overpower, but its there. There are also hints of soy sauce, dates, and burnt caramel.

Light to medium body. It has a slight bitterness. Dry with an odd aftertaste.

Despite the weirdness this still goes down fairly well, and is a great way to deliver alcohol into my body. Im able to drink this with a smile on my face.

Photo of superspak
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a BIF from JNForsyth. 750 ml bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Cork did not pop upon opening, extremely low carbonation. Pours fairly pitch black color with a minimal tan lace cap that reduces to nothing pretty quickly. Some very slight spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, molasses, light char, raisin, plum, light licorice, herbal, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and light-moderate dark fruit notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, molasses, light char, raisin, plum, light licorice, herbal, and roasted earthiness. Fair amount of herbal/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, molasses, light char, raisin, plum, light licorice, and herbal/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted malt and light-moderate dark fruit flavors; with a good roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Minimal carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Imperial stout. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted malt and light-moderate dark fruit flavors; and very smooth to sip on even with the lacking carbonation. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of 2dogbrew
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Quality stout, nothing that makes it memorable. A little sweet.

Photo of jzeilinger
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm behind on posting my reviews here on BA, but the origina tasting was on 3/12/11 and this is taken directly from my personal beer notes.

A - Pours an engine oil black with a very thick and robust lacing ring that's a burnt caramel color.

S - Dark bitter chocolate malt with mild charcoal, oak tannins, oak woodiness, mild bourbon, and a very obscure and distant vanilla and roasted caramel and toffee.

T - Unlike the nose, the palette is predominantly vanilla, oak, bourban, and roasted caramel. For an Imperial Stout, the flavors are not as robust as I'd prefer. However, this beer is unpretentious and will creep up on you quite quickly.

M - THE biggest downfall of this beer is the mouthfeel/body, it's way too thin for the style.

O - Absolutely love this style but this one just 'ain't doin' for me'.

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Fegley's Insidious Imperial Stout from Allentown Brew Works
86 out of 100 based on 166 ratings.